Golf's governing bodies announced on Tuesday (May 21) that they will ban the anchoring of putters from 2016 in a move which will please traditionalists but could lead to a split in the game among the professional ranks.

The ban was first proposed by the Royal and Ancient (R&A) and the United States Golf Association(USGA) in November. Players and the golfing community were then given 90 days in which to discuss the proposal.

The European Tour expressed its support for the idea but both the U.S. PGA Tour and PGA of America voiced opposition.

While anchoring will be banned from 2016, long putters can still be used as long as players freely swing the club away from their bodies.

November's announcement by the rulemakers came after three of the previous five major champions had used 'belly' putters - Keegan Bradley (2011 U.S. PGA Championship), Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (2012 British Open).

Australian Adam Scott then followed suit when he won last month's U.S. Masters while using a long putter anchored to his chest.

Dawson said the recent successes in majors by players using anchored putters had not been a factor.

Many of the game's leading players, including world number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Rory McIlroy, have backed the ban.

Presented by Adam Justice