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USGA plans to make long-putter ruling in 2012

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Late Monday, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis confirmed to GTC that an announcement regarding long putters and the anchoring of clubs would be made before the end of the year, but hours earlier, he seemed to suggest to the PGA Tour Policy Board a final decision has not been made.

“(Davis) made a big presentation. It was informative,” said Davis Love III, one of four player directors on the Policy Board who attended Monday’s meeting.

According to Love, Davis outlined the data collected by the USGA and explained that afinal vote will be made by the executive committee in March.

“I don’t know what (the Tour) would do,” Love said. “I told Mike Davis, ‘We are going to have 10 guys who are vehemently against, and then 10 guys who are vehemently for you and then the rest of them are just going to go play.’ That’s the way it is on any issue.”

Love’s only concern was whatever the USGA and Royal & Ancient do, they should move quickly and avoid dragging a potential rule change out.

“If they said today, ‘We met with the Tour, we’re going to change putters,’” Love said. “Keegan Bradley is going to get himself a different (conforming) putter, and he’s still going to be a really good putter. He’s just going to have to make a change, but you’d rather not talk about it for three years and have it be a distraction.”

In July, Davis said any potential change would likely wait until the end of the current rules cycle which runs through December 2015.

The USGA issued a release on Wednesday saying, “It would be inappropriate to comment while our internal review is ongoing. The USGA and the R&A are being very deliberate in their review, and the topic of anchoring remains very much under discussion. As Mike Davis and (R&A chief executive) Peter Dawson have stated publicly, we are still hoping to have an announcement of some kind before the end of the year.”