LET’S face the facts: it wasn’t cheating and never will be. In fact, all anchoring the putter to the body achieved was to give golfers a mechanism to fight their nerves and, importantly, maintain their enjoyment of playing golf.

This month’s ridiculous introduction of the anchoring ban should highlight two key points that counter its very existence – firstly, it will have zero bearing on the results around our world tours. If anchoring the putter was such an advantage for professionals, every tour player would have been doing it. Instead, a few decision makers hit the panic button when Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA Championship), Webb Simpson (2012 US Open), Ernie Els (2012 British Open) and Adam Scott (2013 Masters) all secured Major championships wielding the long stick.

Sure, anchoring hit a bit of a purple patch in the ‘W’ column, but this is a technique which has been around for more than 30 years, so it was inevitable that we would see a few victories in the modern era.

As far back as I can remember, it was Sam Torrance in the late ‘80s who was one of the pioneers of anchoring. Our own Peter Senior followed soon after with success in 1989. Fast-forward to today and Senior is still winning at 56. And the game is better for it.

Brett Ogle won two tournaments on the US PGA Tour while anchoring the long putter.

I switched to the long putter in 1993 because I had a bad case of the yips on short putts. Let me tell you, once golfers get the yips, you have them for life. What anchoring the putter did was allow me to at least control these nerves more over the shorter putts. The broomstick helped me win the 1994 Hawaiian Open and then the 1996 West Coast Classic in Canada. Was I cheating? Absolutely not! This stroke was merely a small part of a sport that was going through a huge technological shift in equipment, rendering it almost dummy-proof. If anchoring is cheating, then so too are graphite shafts, titanium heads and the outrageous compression rates of today’s golf balls. The only way I reckon you could be called for cheating with the long putter is if you used it to gain a distance advantage when taking a drop – quite the loophole if you ask me.

The January 1 rule won’t affect me. I’ve been putting with the short stick for a while and do OK because there is no pressure now that I’m retired from the tour. It’s when you’re under pressure that a steady stroke really matters, which is why I really fear for Australian golf clubs.

I’ve spoken to numerous ‘anchorers’ about how this will impact their weekly Saturday competition round. Their answers have been eye opening. Some told me they will play a lot less now that the enjoyment has been taken away from them, while others said they would simply disqualify themselves from the competition just so they can continue playing with their mates. If I put myself in their shoes, knowing I wanted to keep playing with friends but couldn’t because I can’t putt without anchoring a long putter, I’d probably sell my clubs and take up another Saturday activity.

We’ve heard the game’s greatest ever players speak out about the ban on anchoring -– Tiger, Nicklaus and Norman – yet this rule was still imposed with seemingly little regard for the everyday hacker.

Let’s just hope the ramifications of this decision at club level are as short-lived as the thinking behind it.