Anchored strokes will soon be banned on the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Policy Board announced Monday.
The decision by golf’s premier tour comes on the heels of the USGA and R&A announcing in May that their proposed ban would in fact become effective on Jan. 1, 2016.
“In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a release. “The Board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion.”
The PGA of America — which runs the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship and Ryder Cup when it is played in the U.S. — also formally agreed to adopt the ban after a board of directors meeting June 24.
“We had a very spirited debate and discussion among our Board members at the June meeting,” said PGA President Ted Bishop in a release. “The PGA of America respects the USGA as the Rules-governing body in the United States.”
However, the PGA Tour and PGA of America both urged the USGA to not apply this ban immediately to amateurs.
“The Policy Board continues to believe that extending the time period the ban would go into effect for amateurs would be beneficial for golf participation and the overall health of the game,” Finchem said.
The PGA Tour typically follows the rules laid out by the USGA, but noted that that doesn’t always have to be the case.
“Although the Board has elected to follow the USGA in this case at the elite level, it continues to be mindful of its responsibility to review future rule changes that might be adopted by the USGA in order to determine whether they should apply to PGA TOUR competitions,” Finchem said. “It is not inconceivable that there may come a time in the future when the Policy Board determines that a rule adopted by the USGA, including in the area of equipment, may not be in the best interests of the PGA TOUR and that a local rule eliminating or modifying such a USGA rule may be appropriate.”
Now the question becomes: Will any players take action? Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott are among a group of golfers that has acquired the services of lawyer Harry Manion to look into the possibility of taking legal action against one of the organizations imposing the ban.