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The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) is speaking out against the United States Golf Association’s (USGA’s) proposed ban on anchoring.

The outlawing of the practice—which involves players intentionally holding the club against the body—would take place in 2016, due to the four-year cycle for making amendments to the Rules of Golf. Under Rule 14, “Striking the Ball,” there would be the addition of 14-1b, “Anchoring the Club,” which requires that “In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either directly or by use of an anchor point.”

USGA says this new rule would not alter equipment rules and still allow belly and long putters, provided they were not anchored during the stroke. (Offenders would lose the hole or, in stroke play, incur a two-stroke penalty.)

However, NGCOA argues there is no quantifiable research to suggest anchoring offers an unfair competitive advantage. Further, the owners group is concerned the change might be a turn-off for current and prospective players.

In a statement posted on its website in late February, NGCOA says it believes the penalization of anchoring could have a negative effect on the sport’s popularity. It states, “Any action that inhibits the ability of participants to enjoy the game could negatively impact current participation levels and threaten to undermine industry-wide efforts to grow the game.”

When contacted, Jeff Calderwood, CEO of NGCOA Canada, said the group has not seen the need to declare any formal position at this time.

“Generally speaking, a lot of golf industry people feel any equipment and rules that make the game more enjoyable for the amateur golfer should be encouraged,” he says. “It’s good for business, gives the customer what they want, etc., so the opposition to the USGA ruling tends to flow from there.”

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