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Intriguing possibilities for impending putter ruling

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The buzz on the PGA Tour continues to build as the self-imposed deadline closes in on golf’s ruling bodies to unveil what action they plan to take regarding long putters and specifically anchoring.

“Wow this is getting close. I just don’t know which way the decision will go. Will they or will they not ban the long putter!” Luke Donald tweeted in a tongue-and-cheek missive on election night.

Two Tour players told GTC this week at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic that one option that has surfaced in Tour circles is to allow players two points of “anchoring.”

For example, players could grip the club, held away from the body, in both hands, which would be two points of anchoring. Or they could hold the club in one hand and anchor the butt of the club in the belly, chest, chin or forearm to constitute two points of anchoring.

Both players said this option would alleviate concerns over a possible rule regarding the length of putters as well as issues with players, like Matt Kuchar, who currently rest the shaft of the putter against the inside of their forearm.

However, during a meeting with the Tour’s Policy Board last month at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis did not offer that option to the player directors.

“They said you couldn’t anchor it. You couldn’t put it under your arm, under your belly, you couldn’t put it against your chest, you couldn’t put it under your chin,” Davis Love III, one of four player directors, said Thursday at Disney. “You could claw it, kind of like (Bernhard) Langer. You could Kuchar-it (with the club held in both hands and braced against the inside of the forearm).”

Davis told GTC last month that an announcement regarding any potential change is expected before the end of the year and that the new rule likely would not go into effect until the end of the current rules cycle in December 2015.