Adam Scott’s decision to return to an unanchored long putter has reignited debate around the anchoring rule that came into effect in 2016. We look at how Scott’s stroke has changed, whether it’s working and if you should try it.
SHOULD YOU TRY IT?
If, like Scott, you haven’t found a comfortable way to putt since the anchoring ban, unanchored putting might be worth a try, but there are a few things to consider before putting the long putter back in play.
As Scott himself discovered, there is no right or wrong in regards to technique and club. But as a rule of thumb, former anchored putters will adapt best to a putter of the same length as used previously. However, some will find a shorter putter easier to get comfortable with, and others will benefit from a slightly more upright lie angle due to the handle being held further away from the body.
The right hand position, despite being very passive during the stroke, is a case of trial and error. With the pencil grip, Scott’s thumb and forefinger hold and Bernhard Langer’s modified claw among the most popular options.
RIGHT: An unanchored long putter gripped with the pencil grip. PHOTO: Brendan James.
While at first unanchored putting might seem an awkward option, the stroke should feel extremely similar to when the club is anchored. And making practice strokes with the putter anchored will ensure the body is moving the putter rather than the hands.
Like Scott however, an adjustment in body positons on the follow through is required to make sure the putter never anchors and doesn’t run out of room and hit the ground.
As Adam’s stats prove, unanchored putting isn’t a faultless option. But the familiarity for former users and the consistency the long putter encourages, make it worth a try for anyone who struggles on the greens.