Ban on Belly Putters Begins Jan. 1

The PGA and European Tours will officially begin banning the anchor putter on January 1, 2016.

It’s one of three big rules changes that were announced Monday by the two professional bodies, although the putter has been a well-known one for nearly a year.

The official name is Rule 14-1b, banning an anchored stroke used primarily for long putters.

In addition, golfers will no longer face automatic disqualification for two violations that formerly were the case, one being signing an incorrect scorecard if the error comes from unknown penalty strokes.

Players will still be disqualified if they sign off on a score lower than what they made on the hole, but if a penalty is involved, there is leeway now.

Also changed to benefit players is Rule 18-2b, which now states a player is innocent until proven guilty when it comes to a ball moving after the player has addressed it.



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