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Anchors Away!

The anchored putting ban is now in effect. But don’t worry, you’ve got options

The original patent for the long or “belly” putter dates back to the early- to mid-’60s. And now some 50-plus years later the era of the long putter may be officially dead.

Or at the very least it’s on life support.

That’s because as of January 1, the powers that be at the United States Golf Association have ruled that you will no longer be able to putt with any putter that is anchored in any way, shape, or form to your body. It’s a curious ruling to be sure, seeing as four major champions on the PGA Tour in recent years employed the long or belly putter en route to their victories.

It does bear mentioning here that this rule is strictly for tournament play where USGA rules govern the event – including state and city championships as well as many club championships – but not for recreational play.

So if you tend to sweat over 4-foot putts in competition, you are going to have to find a different instrument to get that little dimpled ball into that little round hole in the ground.

One solution may be the new, longer counterbalanced putters on the market that have been popping up ever since the USGA’s announcement.

The original idea behind the longer putter – whether anchored to your chest or stomach – was to help steady your stroke and facilitate a pendulum swinging action. By doing so, you would be swinging straight back and straight through to the hole.

“The concept behind the longer counterbalanced putters, which are around 38 inches long, is the same,” said Rick Grewe, a club-fitting expert specializing in putters at the Roger Dunn Golf Shops Superstore in Santa Ana, Calif. “More length and more weight at each end of the putter give it more overall weight, which can help steady the stroke.”

There are many counterbalanced putter options to choose from, including models from Odyssey, Scotty Cameron, and TaylorMade.

“Whether it’s a counterbalanced putter or simply not anchoring a long putter, a lot of people are going to have to figure out a different method of putting,” Grewe said. “Golfers are still deciding what they’re going to do, but we expect to see counterbalanced putter activity pick up after the ban officially goes into effect.”

If you’re looking for an alternative to the anchored putting style, here are three counterbalanced putters to consider:

Odyssey Works Tank Cruiser putter
Odyssey Works Tank Cruiser putter

Feel meet roll. Roll meet feel. The new Odyssey Works Tank Cruiser putters marry these two putting keys in Odyssey’s most Tour-proven head shapes. The “Tank” puts added counterbalance weight in the head and adjustable weight in the grip to help achieve consistent feel and stability. For a quicker roll, the White Hot insert is paired with an ultra-thin stainless steel mesh to reduce skidding and get the ball into a “pure roll” faster. Click here to buy online.

TaylorMade's Daddy Long Legs 2.0 putter
TaylorMade’s Daddy Long Legs 2.0 putter

At over 8,500 MOI, this Daddy Long Legs is without question the most stable putter ever created by TaylorMade. Why does this matter? Because high MOI gives you better distance control and direction on off-center hits. The stable 395-gram head paired with a longer counterbalanced grip helps you swing smoothly and on path, while a surlyn insert promotes soft-yet-solid feel. Click here to buy online.

Scotty Cameron Futura X Putter
Scotty Cameron Futura X Putter


Scotty Cameron is leading the charge beyond long putters with the Futura X Dual Balance putters. Offering performance and feel, these putters are for players seeking the ultimate in easy alignment, stability, and forgiveness.

Sporting 50 grams of extra weight inside the face and 50 more in the grip, this additional weight counterbalances the putter for a stable, repeatable stroke. Click here to buy online.