But don't give up. Don't give up hope, and certainly don't give up the game. Because golf and golfers will adjust: Instructors and golfers will find ways of using long putters that do conform to the proposed rule; and manufacturers will begin offering long putters specifically designed to conform to the new rule.
In fact, one manufacturer already has. Just two days after the draft Rule 14-1b was announced, Odyssey Golf became the first company to offer a new putter specifically marketed as conforming to the new rules on anchoring.
Odyssey announced the Metal-X Arm Lock Putters, a line of putters that "conforms to the anticipated ruling and offers an alternative method of stabilizing the putter through a natural-feeling extension of the golfer's arm."
Said Chris Koske, Odyssey's Global Director: "We have been working toward solutions for the proposed ban on the anchoring technique for some time now, and working with our Tour players, have identified an alternative and Tour-proven putting method."
You can rest assured that other putter manufacturers will be announcing new styles of long putters and belly putters soon, too, designed for conforming strokes.
The Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putters are designed to be used with the longer shaft extending up against the lead forearm of the golfer, creating the sensation of being an extension of the golfer's arm. A way of holding the putter that conforms to the new rules on anchoring, yet still offers stability. Think of it as the Matt Kuchar method. See the R&A's photos of conforming grips/strokes - the "arm lock" method is the second row of photos of conforming strokes.
And note that any belly putter or long putter currently on the market can be used with the conforming "arm lock" method, so long as you have one that is the proper length for your stance. Play around with your existing long putter, experiment with different types of stances and strokes, and you might find a conforming way of using such putters that you like.
But for now, Odyssey Golf is the first putter company to introduce a new putter specifically in response to the anchoring rule.
The Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putters will debut in two models and reach retail outlets in January 2013. The price at introduction will be $189.99.