With Ernie Els winning the Open Championship with his long putter, the club and the anchoring technique are front and center in rules discussions. Both the USGA and R&A apparently considering whether to ban the putter, the anchoring technique, or both.
I don’t think they’ll ban the long putter. Too many top level pros are using them right now: Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and Fred Couples, to name a few. The USGA and R&A are political institutions and I am certain that they will feel pressure from the touring pros that dominate their championships.
It also would create a bit of a conundrum. Three of the last four Major winners have won with a long putter. Are the powers willing to say that those were won with an illegal club?
I was once against the long putters, but as I see more of them on local courses, my attitude has changed. Players I talk to say that it improves what had been the weakest part of their game.
That’s a good thing. The USGA talks a lot about making golf more friendly. Proposals for making things easier for amateurs abound, including such radical changes as making the hole bigger. Definitively permitting the long, anchoring putter would be a relatively innocuous move toward a friendlier game.