Anchors away as PGA Tour players adapt to change

Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:16pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Just two weeks remain before PGA Tour players have to adapt to a ban by golf's rulemakers on long putters being anchored to the body and Tim Clark is among those who expect "some challenges along the way".

South African Clark, one of the leading critics of the rule change along with former major winners Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, has been using the anchored technique for 18 years and the same putter for more than a decade.

Clark was publicly vocal in his opposition to the proposal when it was first suggested in December 2012 but says he "will be just fine" with a revamped putting method when the 2015-16 PGA Tour resumes early next month.

"Nearly two decades of putting one way, I don't think many guys out here that have putted with a short one for that long would like to switch to something else that they haven't used," the 40-year-old told Reuters.

"There's going to be some challenges along the way but I feel what I'm going to do will be just fine, though you're only going to really know when you start in competition.

"The major switch for me to the short putter is a lot of muscle memory and retraining of how you use a putter. I'm going to try and do something that's not vastly different to what I've been doing in the past."

Clark, who has landed two career victories on the PGA Tour, has not qualified for the opening event of 2016 -- the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions to be played at Kapalua on the Hawaiian island of Maui from Jan. 7-10.

The South African's first opportunity to test out his new putting technique in competition will come the following week, at the Sony Open in Honolulu.   Continued...