Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, USGA respond to anchoring controversy

July 8, 2017

Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee ignited a controversy last weekend when he posted a series of tweets criticizing the enforcement of the anchoring ban on the Champions Tour, which he deemed “appalling.”

His comments caused such a stir on social media that Langer met with USGA officials to respond to the complaints, and when he failed in his bid to win his third senior major in a row at the U.S. Senior Open, he was asked if the scrutiny of his putting technique contributed to his stumble in the final round, when he shot a four-over-par 74.

Scott McCarron is another player whose putting technique with a long putter has been called into question.

On Friday, Langer, McCarron and the USGA issued a joint statement in an attempt to put the issue to rest.

“I’m certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf,” Langer said in the statement. “On several occasions, I have been in contact with the USGA and rules officials on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, and each time I have been assured that my putting stroke is within the Rules of Golf.”

McCarron concurred. “I’d like to emphatically say that I do not anchor my hand, arm or club against my body during my putting stroke,” he said in the statement. “I have worked with the USGA and PGA Tour Champions rules officials to ensure that I am within the Rules of Golf, and I have extended many invitations to demonstrate and teach people how to use a long putter without anchoring. I have never competed dishonestly because I have the utmost respect for the game of golf, and I will continue to represent myself and the sport to the best of my ability.”

The USGA cleared both McCarron and Langer of any rules violations. “We are confident that Rule [14-1b] has been applied fairly and consistently and have seen no evidence of a player breaching the Rule, which does not prohibit a hand or club to touch a player’s clothing in making a stroke,” the organization said in the statement. “Integrity is at the heart of the Rules and how the game is played worldwide, and this essential value has made the game enjoyable for all golfers.”