I am proud of the position the PGA of Canada has taken on Rule 14-1b (anchored putting). I continue to have the position that I will be anchored putting beyond 2016 as it makes the game more enjoyable for me. If it also does for you, then you should continue with that method too. This is far from over and it will be interesting to see what move the PGA Tour takes. You can read my previous blog on the subject here.

Dear Fellow PGA of Canada Professionals,

As PGA of Canada President and Chair of the National Board of Directors, I feel it is important to keep you updated to the proposed change to Rule 14-1b by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient (R&A), with regards to the elimination of the anchor stroke. 

As of Tuesday May 21, 2013, the USGA and R&A formally adopted the proposed rule as first proposed in November of last year.

Simply put, we are disappointed with this decision. Along with the PGA of America and the PGA Tour, the PGA of Canada expressed its concerns to the USGA and the R&A over the possible impact to the enjoyment and growth of the game such a ban may have.

Earlier this year, the PGA of Canada conducted an online poll, with results clearly indicating members did not support the ban (nearly 66 per cent were opposed to the proposed rule change).

Additionally, we heard from golfers not only from across Canada, but also from around the world thanking us for the position we took, as they were concerned about their continued enjoyment of the game if the proposed rule change went forward. This message is consistent with what we have heard from our members who are on the front lines every day working with Canadian golfers. 

Even though we are still concerned about the final decision and its potential ramifications moving forward, we see the process taken by the USGA and R&A as a positive step for the golf industry as a whole. The decision to ask for input on such a potentially divisive issue illustrates a willingness to collaborate on big picture challenges facing the golf industry and we hope that all governing bodies within the industry take the opportunity to continue this type of dialogue. One body alone can not create solutions for the various challenges facing the industry-it requires our leaders to remove the boundaries of their associations and groups, and seek ideas and solutions for the growth and sustainability of the game. 

The PGA of Canada may have a difference in opinion with the amateur bodies regarding Rule 14-1b, but I can safely say our relationship with Golf Canada remains strong and vibrant. Over the past number of years, our two storied associations have worked closely together in the research, development and implementation of many initiatives such as: CN Future Links, the National Golf in Schools program, Special Olympics, Patriot Golf Day Canada, the Long Term Player Development Guide, and the teaching and coaching programs. This cooperation illustrates the depth and strength of the working relationship with Golf Canada. Out of this, I will say that the proposal has helped bring the leadership of both associations closer together than ever before. There are times when opinions will differ, but the willingness of both associations to constructively share ideas and opinions will only lead to bigger and better things for the golfers of Canada. 

The PGA of Canada and the national staff will take some time to thoroughly review the change to Rule 14-1b and fully discuss the matter with the Board of Directors, Zones, our nearly 4,000 members and the Canadian golfer. We will also continue to monitor the entire golf landscape, including the PGA of America and the PGA Tour as they digest the ruling. 

The PGA of Canada member will continue to do what he or she does best: teach, coach and promote this great game at his or her facility. Our members are some of the best and brightest in the game and I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas and solutions our professionals create and implement into teaching programs, ultimately helping golfers transition away from an anchored stroke.

The PGA of Canada National Board of Directors will continue to keep members updated on this issue. I would like to thank all of the PGA of Canada members and golfers who took the time to express an opinion, as it is important for the PGA of Canada to have a strong voice in the world of golf.

The PGA of Canada golf professional is the lifeblood of the game of golf and this 101-year old association will continue to take responsibility of growing golf across the country.

Gregg Schubert
PGA of Canada President