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Flagstick In/Out Causing Delays

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It was my understanding that the new rule allowing the flagstick to be left in was intended to speed up play. I don't know about anyone else but I'm finding that it's causing just the opposite effect. One person in the foursome might want it in while others might want it out. Personally, I would prefer to keep it in all the time but some other guys I've been playing with want it in on downhill putts and out on uphill putts. Most everyone is OK with it in on long putts but once closer to the hole opinion varies. Personally, I find those testy 3 and 4 footers easier with the stick in, yet I've heard others say the hole "feels smaller" that way. The end result is there is a constant shuffling of the stick in and out, in and out which is causing more time to be taken on the green than previously. I'm wondering what others are experiencing.

 

 

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I played with our usual foursome last Saturday and our experience was just the opposite.  Everyone commented about how weird it felt to leave the flag in but it increased our round by almost 15 minutes.     I believe if your playing partners had all of the facts regarding the advantages of leaving the flag in the hole, they would agree to leave it in the hole.   Show them the data.

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I think just universally leaving it in saves a bunch of time. But my experience so far with it in the early stages of the season has been its slowing things down. Some people want it in, some dont. Taking it in and out for different people has added a bit of time to the rounds ive played so far. But ive only played 4 rounds in 2019. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine

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I was really of the opinion that it would actually slow things down as individuals decided if they wanted the flagstick in or out.  

I’ve played 36 rounds so far this year and have to say, overall, in my experience, it has sped things up on the greens.  As a player in a very fast group, I’ve noticed it especially in the slower groups that we’re inevitably waiting on to clear the green.  

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9 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

I played with our usual foursome last Saturday and our experience was just the opposite.  Everyone commented about how weird it felt to leave the flag in but it increased our round by almost 15 minutes.     I believe if your playing partners had all of the facts regarding the advantages of leaving the flag in the hole, they would agree to leave it in the hole.   Show them the data.

On weekends I don't play with a "usual foursome." It's a county course so it's mostly people I don't know so people are going to do what comes naturally. Also, I don't usually walk around with the "the data" where it's readily accessable. Finally, if the group 3 holes ahead is going through the same debate, it's slowing play down for everyone.

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Yeah, when I opted to leave it in and others in my group wanted it out, it caused delays, so I just said screw it, we'll do it the old way and that's what I'll do from now on.

One guy said I know you can leave it in and my chances are better but it's just weird, I like it the old way. People don't like change.

In another round, others were fine with leaving it in and it did speed things up.

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I think chronically slow people or groups will just be slow about everything.

If your group takes a 'pace of play' attitude, this wouldn't be an issue as they'd get ready for putts while others are putting, the flag could come in or out as preferred if they just help each other (until they all learn to just keep the damn thing in all the time).

It's a 4-some - there is plenty of people there to just be aware and forward looking - pull and replace the pin for each other, plan and prep in parallel, rake the bunker for each other if you're already out, park the cart where you can just walk off to it, pick up the flag and each other's clubs when it's more efficient to do so, watch where each others' shots land, ready golf - STOP standing around for each shot of the other guys, get to your ball and be ready to hit, or decide you don't need to take turns at all, just play and stay out of each others' line.  it can be calm, it doesn't have to be rushed.  But when you see a foursome drive up to ball one, he takes a minute, then they drive to the ball two, and he takes a minute, .......sigh....

It's literally just being aware and courteous to each other.  Instead of oblivious and self focused.  it takes zero effort.  It doesn't even have to be fast as possible, it just has to be fast enough to keep up with the group in front of you.

there's no discussion - If I'm putted out and this group shows signs of being indecisive, I just grab the pin and ask the next guy - "in or out" while he's lining up.  He's not slowed down.  Ditto for the next guy.  Cripes, caddy for each other a little.

 

Edited by rehmwa

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In my limited experience, it seems like it's starting to come around and speed up play a bit. I think most people are getting used to having the flag in on longer putts. So in groups I've played in, we're not pulling the flag until people are pretty close. It helps if you agree to just leave the flagstick out after the first person takes it out. I have played with multiple groups where we're leaving the flag in the entire time, too. That obviously saves time, too.

Bottom line, I think it hasn't been the time suck that we were worried about when the rule was first finalized. It seems like people are adapting.

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Just now, DeadMan said:

In my limited experience, it seems like it's starting to come around and speed up play a bit. I think most people are getting used to having the flag in on longer putts. So in groups I've played in, we're not pulling the flag until people are pretty close. It helps if you agree to just leave the flagstick out after the first person takes it out. I have played with multiple groups where we're leaving the flag in the entire time, too. That obviously saves time, too.

Bottom line, I think it hasn't been the time suck that we were worried about when the rule was first finalized. It seems like people are adapting.

frankly, I don't think it matters one bit if it's switched around as long as people will pull it or replace it for each other and not spend time talking about it, just "in" or "out"

talking and staging can always happen in parallel with the milliseconds needed to get up to the next putt

the wierdos that think they are at the masters that want the pin and everyone cleared off the green for each 8 inch putt - well, they are an overall 'pace of play' problem on every shot - the pin in/out debate is just one symptom of the problem they create

4 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Bottom line, I think it hasn't been the time suck that we were worried about when the rule was first finalized. It seems like people are adapting.

^^this

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I'm fine with in or out, will just do whatever is conducive to keeping partners comfortable while speeding things up. But it's nice when the flag is in, it's just one less thing to do.

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I really see it when no one is particularly close to the hole.  Those who are away no longer wait for someone to tend the pin.  Additionally, whoever might have otherwise been tending the pin is focused on preparing for their turn to putt.

I haven’t seen anyone who wanted the pin tended in months… The only time I notice any difference in opinion is when someone is within a relatively short distance from the hole.  Then occasionally one will want the pin out and another will want it in. But at that point everyone is so close to the hole it doesn’t slow anything down to pull or replace it as necessary.

Edited by David in FL

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It's caused us to speed up a bit in league play.  We rarely take it out.  Usually, it only comes out if the wind is strong and the flag leans in the direction the putt is coming from.

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Well I did not support this change when I first heard about.  Putting is a strong part of my game. I felt this rule change might give my poorer competition a leg up as they would sink more putts (per the data you should) and I would loose my advantage. I also had concerns with player A wanting in and player B wants it out. I could just image pulling and placing it back.  Well so far I have played 2 rounds with the new rules.  With this rather limited sample it seems like this is how it is going to work out for us regular Joe's.  Every one will leave it in for the longer lag putts but once you get somewhat close (say inside 15-20 feet) it gets pulled and remains out the rest of the hole. I have also enjoyed having the flag in longer when the group ahead is on the green and I am waiting for my approach shot.  I can Laser the flag and get club selection outta the way while they finish putts and am ready to go as soon as they clear.  

Also full disclosure I did have the pin pulled on 1 long putt due to the wind blowing the flag stick so that it appeared to be at an angle the would have prevented the ball from dropping.  So far no issues with this one. 

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6 hours ago, rehmwa said:

I think chronically slow people or groups will just be slow about everything.

If your group takes a 'pace of play' attitude, this wouldn't be an issue as they'd get ready for putts while others are putting, the flag could come in or out as preferred if they just help each other (until they all learn to just keep the damn thing in all the time).

It's a 4-some - there is plenty of people there to just be aware and forward looking - pull and replace the pin for each other, plan and prep in parallel, rake the bunker for each other if you're already out, park the cart where you can just walk off to it, pick up the flag and each other's clubs when it's more efficient to do so, watch where each others' shots land, ready golf - STOP standing around for each shot of the other guys, get to your ball and be ready to hit, or decide you don't need to take turns at all, just play and stay out of each others' line.  it can be calm, it doesn't have to be rushed.  But when you see a foursome drive up to ball one, he takes a minute, then they drive to the ball two, and he takes a minute, .......sigh....

It's literally just being aware and courteous to each other.  Instead of oblivious and self focused.  it takes zero effort.  It doesn't even have to be fast as possible, it just has to be fast enough to keep up with the group in front of you.

there's no discussion - If I'm putted out and this group shows signs of being indecisive, I just grab the pin and ask the next guy - "in or out" while he's lining up.  He's not slowed down.  Ditto for the next guy.  Cripes, caddy for each other a little.

 

I love this post, it says exactly what I would say.  If everyone actually communicates with each other, its really simple.  Any required movement of the pin can take place without any delay at all.  I've played a dozen rounds or more, some with my regular playing partners, some with strangers, and its worked out fine every time.   

We can have a legitimate issue with the rule change, whether it was the right thing to do, whether it will change scoring, whether it will change putting strategy, but there's absolutely no reason that it should cause slower play.  I think it CAN speed up play, but I wouldn't necessarily expect a whole lot of improvement.

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

If everyone actually communicates with each other, its really simple.

Stupid example -

So I catch up to 3 guys and we play a couple holes together.  Player 1 hits his to the right.  Player 2 hits his to the left.  They are sharing a cart.  Mine was on the left and long.  So they go over to P1's ball.  As I drive to my ball, I see P2's balls just out and in a hard to spot position.  I throw down my head cover and keep on up to my ball and wait for them. 

The sad part here is I've done this dozens of times in the last season and now this one and EVERY SINGLE TIME, the other players are a surprised.  Why should they be surprised?  It costs me no time, it speeds up play, it's on the way to my ball anyway. 

Why isn't this and stuff like it just normal?  I've got tons of examples...

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I've noticed it helping. It's a huge time saver when people are moving to their balls on the green and you don't have to wait when you're away. I was surprised when behind a group recently how quickly they were on and off the green and people were making there initial putts with the flag in.

It doesn't seem like most people care enough to take the pin in and out depending on the shot.

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If everyone just used continuous putting it will speed up play.  Putt until the ball is holed and do whatever you want with the flag..  Then the next player can do the same.  If the next player wants it out the first person who holed out can get the flag.  You can fix spike marks now so stand where ever you want. Most people I have played with are leaving it in if the flag is standing straight up like it should.  Our rounds have been faster then before.  The only time it should really be an issue is in a real match play situation where continuous putting isn't really allowed.

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