Anonymous Pro: You can start by passing out asterisks to Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els, who won majors by doing something that won't be allowed. If I were them, I'd be unhappy not only about the ban but also about how it reflects on the biggest win of my career.
Shipnuck: The most ridiculous part is the three-year limbo. You're Ernie Els, you're 43, and the belly putter rejuvenated your career. You have a short window to win a few more majors. Do you switch back to a short putter or do you keep using the belly? And if Ernie completes the career Grand Slam, is it tainted? If the USGA and R&A had any backbone, they would've made this effective for 2013. Now we have to talk about this for three more years. Kill me now.
Anonymous Pro: I guarantee this rule will have a big impact. Keegan and Webb can say what they want, but every player using a belly or a long putter uses it for a reason. Some guys, when they pull their short putter out of the bag again, are going to feel as if they're grabbing a cobra. I see sleepless nights ahead.
Van Sickle: This rule may or may not end careers, but it will turn some regular winners into middle-of-the-pack players. Golf, after all, is about making putts.
Garrity: This ruling won't destroy Keegan or Webb or Ernie or Adam Scott. These guys have three years to transition back. There are players on the Champions tour, however, who can't play without a broomstick. It will be a real setback for that tour, which can't afford to lose any of its stars.
Bamberger: We're being too harsh on the USGA. Yes, they blew it on metal heads, big heads, graphite shafts, grooves and balls. Now they're overcompensating. But I agree that you should hold a golf club with your hands, and I respect the USGA as the game's governing body. This is what they don't get paid to do—tell us what's O.K. and what's not.
Shipnuck: No data was presented, only anecdotal evidence. This comes down to a handful of tweedy old guys who run the game not liking the look of anchoring.
Van Sickle: If the game went down the wrong path, and I'm not saying it did, it's because the USGA led us there. It put its stamp of approval on all these putters knowing full well exactly how they were going to be used. Some players have invested 10 or 20 years using approved putting styles that now are suddenly disallowed because—wait—the USGA doesn't like the way it looks? That's not a good enough reason.
Garrity: I've been an agnostic on long putters from the start, maybe because I'm 6'7" and too tall to be an effective ball roller. I see no evidence that anchored putters have an advantage, and I don't care how anchored putting looks. Even if it does help, so what? Do I really want to chase Ernie Els and Adam Scott out of the game?
Shipnuck: I have a hard time buying what the USGA and R&A are selling. Both have lost so much credibility as stewards of the game at the professional level. They'll take on fringe issues like anchoring or grooves, but are afraid to tackle equipment, which is having a profound impact on golf. It's ironic, in a sad way, that the anchoring decision was handed down just as it was announced that the Old Course would be desecrated for the 2015 Open.