“One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot-the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something.”
In the adrenaline pumped world of golf, a major controversy has been stirring. One that outsiders are most likely completely unaware of. A rule change banning anchoring that is set for 2016 has caused outrage. However, before you fall off the edge of your seat, we must explain said controversy.
The USGA is the United States’ governing body for the rules of golf. Every four years the rules of golf are updated and most changes are met with open arms or unanimous acceptance. However this ban had many people (especially casual golfers that had been using this method for decades) shaking their heads with disapproval.
Anchoring is the act of “intentionally holding the club in contact with any part of the body”. The concept of sticking the putter into your body for use as a fulcrum may be odd to those that are unfamiliar with the idea. However, is an example of a major championship winner using the technique.
Some people have openly criticized it, deeming that it keeps players’ hand more steady. Others agree with the ban in the professional ranks but say that the casual player should be able to use it freely. Despite the controversy, people have reacted by creating new methods to make the transition easier.
The USGA rules state one exception “A player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm” (as the body is no longer being used as an “anchor”). Below is an example
Remember: Many misleading headlines may read that the USGA is doing away with the long putter, however this is a misconception. It is not the type of putter that the USGA is banning, but rather the act of anchoring (“intentionally holding the club in contact with any part of the body”.)
Meaning this this would not be acceptable:
It is important to understand that when we are working around the greens we cannot simply aim at the flag. We have to take into account the ball rolling.
Therefore we pick a target to land to ball, with the intended result of the ball rolling out to the target.
In addition, our eyes should be looking at this target rather than the flag
Using rings, or towels help you zone in on the target during practice.
Don’t play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty. -Harry Vardon
A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it – Davis Love Jr.
Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20 percent of the time, you’re the best. – Jack Nicklaus
I never learned anything from a match that I won. -Bobby Jones
“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots-but you have to play the ball where it lies. ” -Bobby Jones
Alignment (aim) is one of the biggest problems people struggle with in the game of golf. Even the best in the world will occasionally tell a reporter on TV that they have “gone back to the basics” and are “working on alignment”. This is mainly due to the fact that the player is parallel to the target rather than facing it.
One simple way to combat this problem is to use two knitting needles and elastic string. First, cut a long enough piece of elastic so that it can be stretched about 15 ft long. Then tie each end to a knitting needle. After that stick one needle at least 6 ft in front of the hitting area.
Next stick the second needle in the ground at least 6 ft behind the hitting area. Use a club to help align the second needle so that the elastic string forms a line that points at the target as pictured below.
Once it is set up, look down the line with your head to get comfortable with the way the target should look when aligned correctly. Then make sure the club face is square to the ball, meaning directly perpendicular to the line (as pictured bellow).
After that feel free to swing away!!
Set up the 4 tees as described below or in Drill #1 Four Corners.
Start by setting up 4 tees 3 ft away from the cup at each of the four major corners of the hole (6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 12 o’clock). A good way to get an approximate distance of 3 ft is to use one’s putter length.
However instead of hitting 3 balls from each station, like drill #1, hit three balls in between each station in a circular formation. (Pictured below).
This will allow one ball to be hit at 12 different angles around the hole similar to a clock formation. This drill is more testing than drill#1 as it doesn’t allow for any of the putts to be hit from the same angle. When comfortable, try again from 4ft, then 5ft. Count how many out of the 12 are holed and set a goal to improve every time.