The U.S. Golf Association has a brewing revolt on its hands. When it announced in November a proposal to ban anchored putting, effective in 2016, there was predictably a lot of grumbling. "Over my dead body!" was the sentiment of many practitioners, among them former yippers and golfers with bad backs, who have grown dependent on the anchored stroke and the long belly or broomstick putters that go with it.
In the last few weeks, as the USGA's three-month comment period about the proposal winds toward its Feb. 28 conclusion, that grumbling has become more full-throated. Mark King, the chief executive of equipment maker TaylorMade, called the ban "idiotic" and predicted that the USGA could be "obsolete" within five years. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has talked openly for the first time about the possibility of bifurcation, or two sets of rules in golf, one for recreational players and another for the pros.