DALLAS -- Hall-of-fame golfer Lanny Wadkins has never been a huge fan of the long putter, but it’s been legal for nearly three decades.
"I wasn't a fan of it, but I understood why they guys did it," Wadkins said. "Probably the disappointing thing from a player’s perspective is that it’s been approved twice in the last 15 years by the USGA."
Six weeks ago, the USGA and golf's governing body, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A), made a change. Effective January 1, 2016, the long putter can no longer be anchored to the body.
"The traditional stroke involves swinging the club, with both the club and the gripping hands held away from the body," said USGA President Glen Nager at the time.
The PGA has now followed suit, by adopting the same rule, and will start enforcing it the same day.
"Yeah, I think it was a matter of time," Wadkins said. "It would have only left one major that you could have used that long putter - the anchoring ban - in and that would have been the PGA championship."
"The board was of the opinion that having a single set of rules worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.
Players who recently had success with an anchored putter include Keegan Bradley, who won the PGA Championship in 2011 using a belly anchor, and earlier this year, Adam Scott used the method to win the Masters.
After the ban, the long putter can still be used, but golfers will not be allowed to anchor it to the body at any time. Wadkins has a theory why the R&A started the movement.
"In my estimation - in my opinion - I think [The Royal and Ancient Golf Club] came forward and I think [R&A Chief] Peter Dawson is a very arrogant person, and he really just didn't like the way it looked with Ernie Els and Adam Scott using that method of putting at last year’s British Open," Wadkins said. "That's where it all kind of started."
So in 18 months, anchoring the putter against any part of your body will be illegal.