I agree golf participation will not shrivel up and die if the anchored stroke ban remains in place but... From a marketing perspective this rule change has been a major lose for the USGA and golf in general. The rules of the game should never be in the forefront of a sport, nothing good ever comes from it.
I also agree the number of golfers that use an anchored stroke represent a small minority of golfers but an even smaller minority (at least in the US) are the number of golfers that would quit the sport if the USGA continued to allow golfers to use an anchored stroke.
This is a rule change that targeted a specific group of fellow golfers that have been doing something that's been allowed for over 40 years and telling them they can't do it any longer basically because too many people were joining them in doing it. I've never heard (except on this site) anyone complain or question the anchored stroke or relate it to cheating prior to the USGA proposed ban. Most people think the anchored stroke looks stupid and lose interest quickly after they give it a try and realize they don't sink any more putts using one. The majority of people I speak to and even on here don't really care, maybe we agree that it's not a traditional stroke, maybe we support the ban, but no one has threatened to quit golf or organize a protest if they don't ban anchoring.
This is completely different from the wedge rule because 1) the rule applied to everyone, 2) the effect on the pro's was almost zero, 3) amateurs don't have to worry about it for years by which time we will have likely replaced all our wedges 2 or 3 times anyway.
What the USGA and this rule change have done is create a group of martyrs (anchored stroke golfers, club manufacturers) that have focused the spotlight completely on the USGA and asked the question, "Who are these guys and why do they have the ultimate power to decide how we and the pro's play the game?" From the outside it doesn't appear there's any vote, minimal input from the pro's who's careers are affected most, or the amateurs that pay to keep the game alive. It's never good for an organization like the USGA to have these questions asked.
The trends seem to indicate the support is with the PGA Tour, PGA and based on recent interviews even the pro's like Tiger and Stricker are backing off their hard line positions against it. People I speak to are more concerned with the USGA "abusing" their power to make the game more difficult, the slippery slope argument - first anchoring then equipment and golf ball rollbacks than they are watching Keegan Bradley win a Major anchoring his putter.
Put your seatbelts on, it's going to be a rough ride.