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Padraig Harrington agrees with proposal to outlaw anchoring of putters in 2016

Last Updated: 28/11/12 8:35pm

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Padraig Harrington says the proposal by the R&A and USGA to ban the anchoring of putters from 2016 onwards is the correct move.

The three-time major winner said: "As a traditionalist I am pleased. It's for the greater good of the game.

"I think if belly putters were invented today, they'd definitely be banned, I think everybody agrees with that.

"I think the issue is should they be banned after 15, 20 years of people using them and I think the the R&A and USGA have come to the conclusion that if they don't move now it's becoming so commonplace in the junior game that people are going to think it's normal.

"The majority of people using the belly putter in professional golf know there's an issue with it. You hear guys using it saying 'well I'm going to use it as long as it's legal'.

"But the kids coming into the game, they don't realise there's an issue.

"The real problem the rules authorities are having is that they're seeing kids at 12 years of age who have never picked up a short putter. They've gone straight to a belly putter because they think that's what's right."

Harrington is also adamant that anchoring the putter does give an advantage in high-pressure situations.

"Guys are going to say it doesn't help, or it does help, or doesn't necessarily improve but under pressure guys who are using an anchor putter are getting a number of perks; the ball position and the top of the putter are going to end up in the same position every time and there are less variables.

"At the end of the day it goes against what is considered to be the normal way of playing golf. It was not the idea of how you were meant to putt."

World number one Rory McIlroy also added his support to the proposed ban.

"Fully agree with the anchoring ban," he said on Twitter. "Better image for the game of golf, skill and nerves are all part of the game. Level playing field in '16."

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