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Former USGA Executive Director Expects Anchoring Ban to Stand

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COMMENTARY | Don't get too attached to your belly or long putter. A former executive director of the USGA expects the proposed anchoring ban to go through as intended.

David Fay, who retired from his post at the USGA in December 2010, said on Golf Channel on Tuesday he suspects the game's governing bodies will likely make "no edits at all" to the ban they proposed in November 2012.

The proposed ban would create Rule 14-1b, which would prohibit a player from anchoring any golf club against the body to make a stroke, either directly or by creating an anchoring point. The ban would go into effect in 2016, when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the USGA and its international peer organization, the R&A, have received very public push back on anchoring from the world of professional golf.

The PGA Tour came out in opposition of the ban in February, offering their thoughts to the governing bodies as part of a 90-day comment period announced along with the proposal.

The PGA of America, headed by president Ted Bishop, immediately announced their displeasure with the idea and has remained vocal about it.

Across the Atlantic, however, the European Tour expressed their support of the ban.

Current USGA executive director Mike Davis has said the final decision on anchoring will be announced soon, but with no specific date attached. He has merely said spring will be the timetable, which leaves him until June 20.

PGA Tour veteran Joe Ogilvie, however, tweeted April 26 that all will be revealed on Tues., May 21, just before the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

On Tuesday at The Players Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he has not decided how to respond to the governing bodies if the anchored ban is implemented as proposed.

"When they complete it, then we'll turn around and have a conversation with our players and our board about the position we should take at that point," Finchem said. "Until we get there, we're not going to speculate on it."

Four of the last six majors have been won by players using an anchored stroke coupled with a belly or long putter. Bubba Watson at the 2012 Masters and Rory McIlroy at last summer's PGA Championship are the exceptions to the trend.

Reigning Masters champion Adam Scott, however, offered a surprise solution to the problem if the proposed ban does go into effect in 2016.

"I don't see myself putting any different looks wise," Scott said at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday. "My hand will be slightly off my chest, probably."

Ryan Ballengee is a Washington, D.C.-based golf writer. His work has appeared on multiple digital outlets, including NBC Sports and Golf Channel. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBallengee.

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