Jerry Tarde's editor's letter in the February Golf Digest features an image of Paul Runyan displaying an anchoring technique in October 1966, which gives some context to Tarde's provocative view that the governing bodies may be setting us up for a fight over distance.
Or a backdoor rollback.
In the meantime, we will watch as everyday golfers react to the USGA and R&A's harder line. In an ongoing survey, almost 40 percent of respondents are indicating that golfers who use the anchored method will continue putting that way past the 2016 rules change, and almost half favor a different set of rules for amateurs than for pros. We saw this ambivalence in a statement from the PGA of America that uncharacteristically pushed back and questioned how the ban would affect enjoyment and growth of golf. Even purists like Tom Watson have "mixed emotions," hinting that bifurcation--two sets of rules--might be acceptable.
I don't hit it far enough to want my ball rolled back, and my pals who anchor say they'll give up the game before giving up the long putter. Bifurcation is the imperfect answer we're looking for, and 2013 might be the year we decide.
The Golf Club Atlas gang has begun a discussion on the column worth checking out.