And in a mixed group when there's a hiccup in communication, it will slow things down (or people will be putting without their preferred situation).
Of course. This isn't going to average out to happening multiple times per round.
Highly, highly, highly unlikely. Like thousands to one odds. It was far, far more likely to hit the back of the hole and pop up and out.
Player perception is powerful, even though it's often wrong. 🙂 So yes, that matters, and is why we didn't give the advice (I'll link to it below) to just leave the flagstick in all the time.
That doesn't account for the times from shorter range when the flagstick could help you aim or let you hit a tricky putt a bit more firmly to "take some break out" or something.