Rule 14-1b, which prohibits anchoring a club when making a stroke, takes effect on 1 January 2016, as part of the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf.
This document explains how the Rule applies to various methods of stroke (Part I below), and also addresses
more general questions received by the The R&A and the USGA about whether it would be permissible under the Rules for players or competition committees to elect to waive the Rule (Part II below).
Playing in Conformance with Rule 14-1b
1. Guidance on playing in conformance with Rule 14-1b
A. Text of Rule 14-1b
Rule 14-1b focuses only on the method of stroke; it does not limit the conforming equipment that may be used. While making a stroke, a player may not anchor the club (i) “directly” or (ii) indirectly through use of an “anchor point”. These concepts are explained in the Rule:
14-1b Anchoring the Club
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point”.
Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.
Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.
Penalty: Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes
B. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQs respond to various questions received by The R&A and the USGA about the application of Rule 14-1b:
Does this Rule apply only to strokes made from the putting green?
No. Rule 14-1b applies to all types of stroke (i.e. putts, chip shots, pitch shots,
full-length shots, etc.), regardless of where those strokes are made (i.e. putting green, fringe, fairway, rough, tee, and everywhere else on the course).
Is this a ban on belly putters and long putters?
No. A player may still use any conforming belly mid-length) or long putter. Rule 14-1b addresses only the method of stroke, prohibiting a player from anchoring the club directly or by use of an anchor point while making a stroke.