The USGA and The R&A have prepared a detailed report to explain the reasons for the decision to adopt Rule 14-1b. It explains why freely swinging the entire club is the essence of the traditional method of stroke, and why anchoring is a substantially different form of stroke that may alter and diminish the fundamental challenges of the game.
It points out that the Rule 14-1b still allows for the continued use of all conforming golf clubs, including belly-length and long putters, provided such clubs are not anchored during a stroke.
The report concludes that the new Rule should not adversely affect participation in the game, and that it will remove concerns about any potential advantage that anchoring provides.
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point.”
Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.
Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.