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Flagstick In When on the Green - Effect on Pace of Play


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Flagstick Left In on the Green - Effect on Pace of Play  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Has the option to leave the flagstick in when on the green affected pace of play for you and the group(s) in which you play?

    • The change has had no effect on pace of play
    • The change has had a positive effect on pace of play
    • The change has had a negative effect on pace of play
    • Something else - please explain
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27 minutes ago, Zippo said:

I don't think there's any one thing that magically fixes pace of play but I think having the flagstick in helps. The one detriment I see are those idiots who sink their putts then walk up, grab the flagstick and jerk it up out of the hole instead of reaching down and removing their ball.

I see a lot of this "jerking" the pin to remove the ball. Seems to be a developing bad habit for some people. Over time, it actually damages the top rim of the hole. Even after doing it, the person still has to bend over to pick up their ball. 

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

And I'm under then impression that many people still want it back in, but feel awkward asking.

Yup, also the opposite. Have a frequent playing partner (who I may or may not be related to) who still takes it out from habit and once I told him there’s really no need unless the flag is leaning towards me ... the rest of the round he would say awkwardly “does that flag looks like it’s leaning?  I think it’s leaning.” Before his turn to putt.

So now I know just to take it out for him each time.

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14 hours ago, iacas said:

And I'm under then impression that many people still want it back in, but feel awkward asking.

I agree. I actually want it out on medium and short length putts but usually I'm the only one in the group so I won't say anything.

52 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Yup, also the opposite. Have a frequent playing partner (who I may or may not be related to) who still takes it out from habit and once I told him there’s really no need unless the flag is leaning towards me ... the rest of the round he would say awkwardly “does that flag looks like it’s leaning?  I think it’s leaning.” Before his turn to putt.

So now I know just to take it out for him each time.

I've discovered that most of the flag sticks or the holes in the cup holding them are worn out at my courses because I have seen many balls get wedged as they drop.

Bill

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15 hours ago, iacas said:

And I'm under then impression that many people still want it back in, but feel awkward asking.

Anytime I play with someone new, I try to clarify on the first green. As they get ready to hit their first putt I will approach the flag and ask "Do you like it in or out?" and based on their answer will take that into consideration for the remainder of the round.

To the original question, I would say it's sped things up very slightly. I love not having to worry about the "pin-tend" dance for long putts. 

The only time it might potentially slow things down is if I played with someone that wanted to keep the flag in, even on short putts. 

For me personally, I take the flag out for anything inside of 15 feet. So if someone wanted it in for a 5 footer after I had the flag pulled for my 10 footer, that could potentially be awkward. But so far, I haven't really encountered that scenario. Almost everyone I have played with prefers the flag out, or doesn't care on the medium to short putts.

 

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Honestly?  if this results in more or less time during a round, then you and your group just aren't paying attention to or taking care of each other efficiently.  Tending the pin or putting it in or out for each other is like raking the sand trap, or finding a ball - in a 4 some, there is likely someone that is just plain standing idle - if they just go do it for those that aren't idle, it costs zero extra time.

(however, since we tend to not do that, it's likely a little savings for most)

Edited by rehmwa

Bill - 

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2 minutes ago, Big C said:

The only time it might potentially slow things down is if I played with someone that wanted to keep the flag in, even on short putts. 

Caddied in a group (for 36 holes) of a guy that wanted it in for everything but a tap-in.

He knew it was a bit weird and he'd mostly be ready with the flagstick himself, when we couldn't get to it, but it definitely added time.

I was fine with it - it's perfectly within his rights, and I'm not gonna tell him how to play golf in an actual tournament situation. So we were happy to help out.

But it definitely slowed things down, as before, he wouldn't have had the choice.

So I wrote that it's relatively unchanged, because people like that do slow things down, versus the small number of times it speeds things up. After all, we still mostly take the flagstick out once per hole in the groups I've seen - when everyone is "close enough" it comes out. "Close enough" used to be "on the green." Now it's just "20-25 feet or so."

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

So I wrote that it's relatively unchanged, because people like that do slow things down, versus the small number of times it speeds things up. After all, we still mostly take the flagstick out once per hole in the groups I've seen - when everyone is "close enough" it comes out. "Close enough" used to be "on the green." Now it's just "20-25 feet or so."

Yeah I can see that. From my experience, this guy is in the minority, compared to the people that like the flag out on the short putts. But it definitely slows things down a bit when that is the case.

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1 minute ago, Big C said:

Yeah I can see that. From my experience, this guy is in the minority, compared to the people that like the flag out on the short putts. But it definitely slows things down a bit when that is the case.

Oh, he's in the minority for sure.

But even with the others, it's still basically the same thing. Like I said, the radius just got a little smaller for when everyone is "close enough."

Thus, you could say the only real change is the time it takes someone to walk that extra step or three - the difference in the radius change. It used to be "everyone on the green." Now it's "everyone inside about 23'."

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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4 minutes ago, Big C said:

Yeah I can see that. From my experience, this guy is in the minority, compared to the people that like the flag out on the short putts. But it definitely slows things down a bit when that is the case.

I guess it's odd for me.  if he's playing alone, he's fine to just leave it in.  once you're in a group......I kind of just blend in and don't ask for special treatment.  (I'd personally just leave it in all the time.  makes little sense to me to pull it for any normal reason.  But silly to put it back in for putts once it's out if the rest of the group are all dinosaurs on the subject)  My philosophy is to not touch the stick (in or out) when it's my turn.  Only to assist others with their preferences if it matters so much to them.

Edited by rehmwa

Bill - 

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I voted no effect, I haven't seen a real difference either way.  There are certain putt's that I leave it in, but for the majority I prefer it out, I think having it in messes with my head.

Gus
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10 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

I guess it's odd for me.  if he's playing alone, he's fine to just leave it in.  once you're in a group......I kind of just blend in and don't ask for special treatment.  (I'd personally just leave it in all the time.  makes little sense to me to pull it for any normal reason.  But silly to put it back in for putts once it's out if the rest of the group are all dinosaurs on the subject)  My philosophy is to not touch the stick (in or out) when it's my turn.  Only to assist others with their preferences if it matters so much to them.

I wouldn't call it special treatment - I don't begrudge anyone their right to leave or pull the flag, regardless of the situation. If the roles were reversed and everyone in my group liked to leave it in, I would still politely ask for the flag out on the shorties. It just feels "weird" to me to putt with it in. I've tried and I don't like it. 

This guy feels the opposite way apparently. It's bit annoying logistically, but he's totally within his right.

Edited by Big C
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3 minutes ago, Big C said:

I wouldn't call it special treatment - I don't begrudge anyone their right to leave or pull the flag, regardless of the situation. If the roles were reversed and everyone in my group liked to leave it in, I would still politely ask for the flag out on the shorties. It just feels "weird" to me to putt with it in. I've tried and I don't like it. 

This guy feels the opposite way apparently. It's bit annoying logistically, but he's totally within his right.

"special treatment" < > begrudging

it's just words, I don't ask for it in or out because it doesn't matter to me.  if it matters for someone else, that's special treatment vs my default.  And it's polite to be kind and accommodate them because golf is fun and unique for everyone.  nothing more sinister there in my comments than that.

If I was playing with you, you'd ask once, and most likely I'd be there on the rest of the holes and take the pin out for you.  If you asked my preference I'd just say "thanks, leave it there" (whether in or out - unless I can't see the hole for any weird scenario, then I'd ask it in if was already pulled - there's one exception I can think of.....)

Edited by rehmwa
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Bill - 

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4 hours ago, David in FL said:

Interestingly, I’m finding that most better players have landed on removing the pin for most shorter putts.  I’ve had enough short putts not go that I now pull it too.  That doesn’t seem to have affected POP either though…

It isn't just good players;  I have found I am a bit more comfortable when it's removed on short putts, even though I'm pretty sure the math isn't in my favor here.  But I also never ask for it to be removed, but only on longer putts do I really ask for it to be in.

4 hours ago, David in FL said:

Hopefully he’s not asking for the pin to be tended on short putts...

It's been almost a year since I asked someone to tend the pin on a tap-in. 

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6 minutes ago, Shindig said:

It isn't just good players;  I have found I am a bit more comfortable when it's removed on short putts, even though I'm pretty sure the math isn't in my favor here.  But I also never ask for it to be removed, but only on longer putts do I really ask for it to be in.

It's been almost a year since I asked someone to tend the pin on a tap-in. 

I'm pretty sure the impact on short putts is negligible. The benefit to having the flagstick in comes from when the ball approaches the cup at high speeds.

Dave Pelz did the most widely referenced study that concluded in favor of leaving the flag in. But his methodology was to roll putts at speeds that would typically go 3 feet, 6 feet and then 9 feet past the hole. 

You shouldn't be missing too many short putts 3 feet long. And you will almost never miss them 6 or 9 feet long, unless you are truly a terrible putter.

So for short putts, my hunch is that there is no real benefit statistically, and it comes down to personal preference and what makes you comfortable visually.

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4 hours ago, Patch said:

I see a lot of this "jerking" the pin to remove the ball. Seems to be a developing bad habit for some people. Over time, it actually damages the top rim of the hole. Even after doing it, the person still has to bend over to pick up their ball. 

(Off topic for the thread, but)

Spoiler

I don’t want to defend the practice of jerking the pin.  But if the ball is on the green but not in the hole, many of us don’t bend over to pick it up. Catch it on the back of the putter, flip it up, and catch it on the way off the green.

 

Craig
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2 hours ago, Big C said:

The only time it might potentially slow things down is if I played with someone that wanted to keep the flag in, even on short putts. 

For me personally, I take the flag out for anything inside of 15 feet. So if someone wanted it in for a 5 footer after I had the flag pulled for my 10 footer, that could potentially be awkward. But so far, I haven't really encountered that scenario. Almost everyone I have played with prefers the flag out, or doesn't care on the medium to short putts.

 

Yeah, but I have a hunch that the majority of players are probably more like me in that they just don't care.  I enjoyed leaving it in the entire time while playing last weekend, but next time I play with you, I'd answer "either way is fine" to you question on the first hole and we'd both know from there on out that we're gonna remove it when we're within reasonable distance.  Not going to affect the pace much either way.

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2 hours ago, Big C said:

So for short putts, my hunch is that there is no real benefit statistically, and it comes down to personal preference and what makes you comfortable visually.

Some people (like the guy in my group yesterday) liked that he had more precise things to aim at.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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