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Putting with the Flagstick In? - New 2019 Rules

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https://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/2018/11/01/bryson-dechambeau-putting-pin-2019-rules/

Duh.

Quote

 

DeChambeau was asked whether he would indeed leave the pin in when he putts.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said, grinning. “The USGA’s gonna have to go back on that one. Like, ‘No! We made the hole bigger!'”

 

Yep.

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I must've missed seeing that rule change somehow, that's fantastic! I'll have to remember to start playing that way from January on forwards.

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8 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I must've missed seeing that rule change somehow, that's fantastic! I'll have to remember to start playing that way from January on forwards.

How did you miss this?

Hell, Dave and I ran a site at "flagstickrule.com" for a year trying to persuade them NOT to make this rules change.

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20 minutes ago, iacas said:

How did you miss this?

Hell, Dave and I ran a site at "flagstickrule.com" for a year trying to persuade them NOT to make this rules change.

I remember that website now, as well as some discussion on it. It looks like I was even the first to post results in the flagstick in/out challenge back when all of that was coming about: 

Looks like I even partook in the original discussion, but didn't remember it!

 

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20 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I remember that website now, as well as some discussion on it. It looks like I was even the first to post results in the flagstick in/out challenge back when all of that was coming about: 

Looks like I even partook in the original discussion, but didn't remember it!

 

Must have been your other personality. 😄

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11 hours ago, Pretzel said:

I remember that website now, as well as some discussion on it. It looks like I was even the first to post results in the flagstick in/out challenge back when all of that was coming about: 

Looks like I even partook in the original discussion, but didn't remember it!

 

You're getting old my friend!

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

Oh, absolutely,” he said, grinning. “The USGA’s gonna have to go back on that one. Like, ‘No! We made the hole bigger!'”

I’m sure this has been brought up but they will have to standardize flagsticks if they keep the rule right?  It’s basically part of the hole now. 

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5 minutes ago, Wanzo said:

I’m sure this has been brought up but they will have to standardize flagsticks if they keep the rule right?  It’s basically part of the hole now. 

Flagsticks have pretty much standardized due to market conditions… but you could make a compliant flagstick that still helps people make even more shots. Maybe the surface could be mildly "sticky" like some kinds of plastic coatings? I don't know. hollow, maybe easy to vibrate so a lot of energy is absorbed, without it being "dampening"?

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49 minutes ago, iacas said:

Flagsticks have pretty much standardized due to market conditions… but you could make a compliant flagstick that still helps people make even more shots. Maybe the surface could be mildly "sticky" like some kinds of plastic coatings? I don't know. hollow, maybe easy to vibrate so a lot of energy is absorbed, without it being "dampening"?

Yeah i would assume most are the same.  I play at a course where there is a big uphill approach shot and they have one of those crazy tall flagsticks so you can see it from the approach area.  I know it's a lot heavier, not sure if the diameter is larger, i just assumed so but never really looked that closely.  So i'm sure there are challenges to requiring conformity, but seems like they should.

 

Edited by Wanzo

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Once again, my position is and your position should be if you care about giving yourself the best chances:

  • If you're certain you can control speed to within about 3' or so, do whatever you like with the flagstick. It won't hurt you often here, and it'll help about as often as it hurts, but it is basically a wash. If you like it out, take it out. If it's a tap-in and you feel like being lazy, leave it in.
  • If you're not certain you can control speed to within about 3' or so - many slick downhill or sidehill putts, most every medium or longer length putt - leave the flagstick in, or put it back in. It'll give you a larger advantage the further past the hole you hit the ball.

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Dave Pelz is apparently also going to have an article in Golf Magazine in February. The data will show what I think it will show.

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

Dave Pelz is apparently also going to have an article in Golf Magazine in February. The data will show what I think it will show.

The last couple of rounds I played were by myself. So I looked at this. I feel there is definitely an advantage. On downhill putts, with a lot of slope, it feels like I have a backstop.

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I'm shocked - stunned, really - that the USGA and R&A just seem to have assumed that there was "no advantage or disadvantage." This despite having a rule for decades (except briefly around 1960) that required you to take it out for shots played from the putting green. Despite Dave Pelz conducting research. Despite the common sense that it generally helps, and all that we know about capture speed and such.

Floored. Stunned.

I have no idea what on earth the USGA/R&A were thinking.

That it would speed up the game? Pssshaw. If players realize it's an advantage it might slow down the game. The only way this could really help "speed up the game" is if EVERYONE realizes it's an advantage and just leaves it in all the time.

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Some courses should come up with a local rule and just super glue the flagstick in the hole.  Hmmm... I have some super glue.

That would solve the slow-down problem of some golfers wanting the flagstick in and others wanting it out.

I played 9 holes solo today and left the flagstick in all the time... sort of a warm up for January 1st.  I either shot a 37 or a 55.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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I think it will be interesting to see what the pros do starting in January—how many will want it pulled, how many will want it replaced, how their practice may change over time. And when it comes up, it will be interesting to see what the announcers say about it.

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It's definitely going to slow down time. There are a lot of golfers who like the flagstick out. I know one who said it would bother him, and he quoted saying it feels like it makes the hole look smaller. I told him I would be that one guy who will request it to be put back in all the time. If you are giving me an advantage in league matches I will take it. 

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3 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

If you are giving me an advantage in league matches I will take it. 

I’m with you. DeChambeau has looked at this and said what he’ll do.  But are most pros going to just pull it and leave it out, from habit? Or will they really look at the science (since the usga/r&a evidently didn’t)? If not, will they realize they may be giving up strokes (and earnings)? I wonder if every putt that hits the flagstick and doesn’t go in will be used to demonstrate that “the flagstick kept it from going in” (instead of demonstrating that it made the next putt shorter).

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