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Study reveals "serious golfers" favour proposed ban on Anchoring

January 21, 2013

A first-of-its-kind study by Golf Datatech has evaluated the reaction of "serious golfers" to the R&A and USGA's proposed new ruling that would prohibit anchoring the putter to the body while making a stroke. The study, which is being announced prior to the start of the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, reports that a majority of golfers surveyed feel that their game will not be impacted by the rule, while the small percentage who use a long putter will continue to play regardless of the ruling.

The results of the study are based on responses from 1,766 randomly selected golfers drawn from Golf Datatech's exclusive Serious Golfer Database, who play an average of 68 rounds per year with an average handicap of 14.3, and as such are deemed to be "serious golfers".

Key findings in the Golf Datatech study on the Club Anchor Ruling include the following:
• Among the respondents who had an opinion about whether or not anchoring the putter makes it easier to putt, 45% feel that anchoring the putter makes it easier to putt; 55% believe anchoring the putter does not make it easier.
• 60% of respondents believe that the governing bodies of golf should ban the anchoring of clubs to the body, while 40% believe they should not.
• 62% of respondents do not believe the anchoring ban will cause some amateur golfers to enjoy the game less.

If the proposed rule is enforced in 2016, 31% of current long putter users say they will continue to anchor their putter, while 31% will not anchor against their body and 38% will switch to a conventional putter.

Considering differing rules for pros and amateurs, 68% of respondents believe there should be only one set of rules, 25% favour different rules and 7% are undecided.

50% of respondents agreed that the rule should be introduced, as planned, in January 2016, while the other half favour an earlier date.

"This is such an explosive topic in golf that we felt the industry needed a benchmark for evaluating the opinion of the game's most avid players," said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech. "On a practical level, the proposed ruling on anchoring putters has minimal impact on most amateur golfers, as only 5% use a long putter, and the majority of serious golfers don't believe long putters aid in the putting process. Overall, however, the debate over long putters has far more to do with a few elite professional players and less to do with the game as played by the average golfer."

Click here to download a copy of the full 'Study of Serious Golfers' Reaction to the Proposed New Club Anchor Ruling' (external site)

Golf Datatech, LLC ( is the golf industry's leading independent research firm for consumer, trade and retail golf trends.

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