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Watching The Pros Putt With the Pin In…

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A little odd. I’m more about the effect it has that I don’t think the USGA put any thought into. Even Faldo said, ‘ They should have asterisks placed by course records now indicating flag stick/no flag stick.’

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It will be interesting to see if it really has any measurable effect on scoring.  I'm sure it will be analyzed to death over the next few years and there should be plenty of data at the pro level.

My guess is that it will benefit ams more than pros.

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Most of the golfers that I (90%+?) have watched are leaving the flag in. I am going to guess over the past week or so, that number might be in the 60s.  Not a very scientific sampling I'm sure. Just my observation. 

At the course, I don't even hear folks talking much about this rule, or the other changes very much. Everyone knows about them. The bulletin board in the club house has a large poster board of the changes. I just think they just don't care that much. Just playing as usual. 

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

Most of the golfers that I (90%+?) have watched are leaving the flag in.

I've observed the opposite, less than 10% leaving it in.

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Honestly, I find it more I’ve been watching them drop from knee height!

Although, I took my first drop from casual water inside a bunker today, and really appreciated dropping from the shorter height!

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Watching the pros putt with the flagstick in doesn't faze me at all. We've been doing that for years. Whether playing alone, or with others. My buddies will ask me if I want the pin tended. I'll tell them no, just leave it in, and go look at their putt. I figure this saves time. I'll do this on longer putts where I might be putting up over a rise, and don't have a real good look at the hole. On shorter putts, where i have a good look at the hole, I'll just have them take the flag out. 

As far as any "advantage" gained by putting with the flagstick in, I have a hard enough time hitting a 4 1/4" wide target, let alone one about 1/2" wide! 

Edited by Buckeyebowman

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2 hours ago, colin007 said:

I've observed the opposite, less than 10% leaving it in.

Yeah, that's the way my first observation a while back when quite a few pulled it, but lately,  hardly anyone is pulling their flags. I watched 5 foursomes on the 18th green today. The flag never left the cup. 

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9 hours ago, Patch said:

Yeah, that's the way my first observation a while back when quite a few pulled it, but lately,  hardly anyone is pulling their flags. I watched 5 foursomes on the 18th green today. The flag never left the cup. 

Wait, are you talking about pros on tv or amateurs at your local courses? I was referring to pros since this is the Tour Talk forum

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I think after DeChambeau's win (record low score) and Adam Scott's second, people will  be taking notice.

Particularly given the shots gained by Scott and his known problems with the flatstick. It's been a long time Adam has averaged 28 putts!

All the testing I've seen/ read, indicates in most circumstances you're better with it in. I guess if you can live with it and it doesn't freak you out

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It is hard enough to hit the hole from distance let alone the flag stick! And the closer you are to the hole the more likely you are to putt at a slow enough speed that the flag in or out doesn't matter. If you are rattling the flag from close distance then you have bigger problems to address like speed / distance control !! 

30 minutes ago, Mozgolf said:

I think after DeChambeau's win (record low score) and Adam Scott's second, people will  be taking notice.

Particularly given the shots gained by Scott and his known problems with the flag stick. It's been a long time Adam has averaged 28 putts!

All the testing I've seen/ read, indicates in most circumstances you're better with it in. I guess if you can live with it and it doesn't freak you out

Dechambeau played really well  and that's why he won. The flag stick did help him big time on an approach shot but it isn't saving them as much as you think as they are already have great distance control and so the putts they are making would be going in regardless of the flag being in or out.  No one is going to be dropping a significant amount of shots from leaving the flag stick in. Adam Scott just putted better in this particular tournament!

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It´s odd yes. But this month i played every putt with the pin in and I easily get used to putt with it. 
I think it gave me better distance perseption and another reference to aim in shorter putts. 
Nevertheless the flag didn´t help me at all in any putt. Shorter ones fell nice in the hole with good speed, mid/long ones as spected where all offline, no chance of hitting the flag.

Does the pin helped a pro in any putt at torrey pines this weekend?

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3 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

And the closer you are to the hole the more likely you are to putt at a slow enough speed that the flag in or out doesn't matter. If you are rattling the flag from close distance then you have bigger problems to address like speed / distance control !!

"More likely" isn't 100%, and you seem to be giving no weight to the idea that the flagstick helps people align or changes their perception in a positive way, like Adam Scott demonstrated this weekend at Torrey Pines.

My recommendations don't include "leave the flagstick in for short putts," but they do allow for the possibility that they can help with alignment or a "take the break out of it" type situation.

3 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

The flag stick did help him big time on an approach shot but it isn't saving them as much as you think as they are already have great distance control and so the putts they are making would be going in regardless of the flag being in or out.

From 25-40 feet last year on the PGA Tour, there were 35,465 putts. Of those, 18,758 finished long. But again, of the 35,465, 17.9% finished more than 29" past and 8.3% (almost 3,000 putts just from 25-40') finished outside of 59 inches past the hole.

In fact, in 2018, on all putts outside of 10', roughly 11,000 finished 4' or further past the hole.

Would you care to revise your statements?

3 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

No one is going to be dropping a significant amount of shots from leaving the flag stick in. Adam Scott just putted better in this particular tournament!

Hmmmmm.

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5 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

The flag stick did help him big time on an approach shot but it isn't saving them as much as you think as they are already have great distance control and so the putts they are making would be going in regardless of the flag being in or out.  No one is going to be dropping a significant amount of shots from leaving the flag stick in. Adam Scott just putted better in this particular tournament!

At the PGA Tour level, 1 stroke is huge. If they get lucky enough to drain that super long putt, then it could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars. What if that one stroke lets a golfer make the cut over another? That means they got a benefit from hitting a bad putt.

 

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On 1/24/2019 at 6:10 PM, turtleback said:

It will be interesting to see if it really has any measurable effect on scoring.  I'm sure it will be analyzed to death over the next few years and there should be plenty of data at the pro level.

My guess is that it will benefit ams more than pros.

I cant imagine it will. The only time i leave the flagstick in on a putt or greenside chip is when i cant see the hole or when im playing alone and dont feel like going to get it.  Its a crap shoot whether or not the stick helps you. Its not like you can predict how the ball is going to react. Just out of habit i think most players will just have it out, anyway. In some way i think it might actually slow down rec play a little because youre going to have people asking whether or not they want the flag in on 10 footers and such. We dont have caddies like the pros do. 

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3 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Its a crap shoot whether or not the stick helps you. 

The data based on multiple different studies that have been done so far disagree with your statement.

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8 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Its a crap shoot whether or not the stick helps you.

Data does not align with your "take" here.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

"More likely" isn't 100%, and you seem to be giving no weight to the idea that the flag stick helps people align or changes their perception in a positive way, like Adam Scott demonstrated this weekend at Torrey Pines.

My recommendations don't include "leave the flagstick in for short putts," but they do allow for the possibility that they can help with alignment or a "take the break out of it" type situation.

From 25-40 feet last year on the PGA Tour, there were 35,465 putts. Of those, 18,758 finished long. But again, of the 35,465, 17.9% finished more than 29" past and 8.3% (almost 3,000 putts just from 25-40') finished outside of 59 inches past the hole.

In fact, in 2018, on all putts outside of 10', roughly 11,000 finished 4' or further past the hole.

Would you care to revise your statements?

Hmmmmm.

No I don't care to revise my statements. If you want the best depth perception and alignment stand a human next to the flag and make them tend it. The flag shouldn't sway a golfer one way or the other because what are the chances that you even hit it from anything outside probably about 10 feet....slim to none.  In order for you to even hit the flag your putt had to be online to begin with and if you hit the putt with so much speed that it needed the flag stick to go in the hole in the first place then it was a bad putt to begin with.  Taking the break out of a putt reduces the capture rate of an already small hole to begin with and I don't agree with doing it. 

You brought up some great stats but how many of those putts would have hit the flag stick and gone in?  Probably not gonna provide that stat and if you did it would be minuscule? Most putts don't touch the hole at all when missed let alone hit the middle of the cup with enough speed that they roll over the top of the hole. You then used Adams Scott's good putting week to try and prove your point and I am frankly shocked. You just used his " one off " putting performance to act like he is magically a better putter because he leaves the flag in when I would bet the house that he regresses back to the mean in terms of his putting performance throughout the upcoming season. He had ONE good putting week and you used that as proof?  The nerve !! The greens at Torrey Pines are fantastic, are not very undulating, and roll very well...that is more of a reason why he putted well than the flag stick being in while he putted. The golfers are also allowed to fix ANYTHING on the putting green now so they aren't losing shots to spike marks or any imperfection on the putting surface. That is a much bigger deal than putting with the flag in.  

Care to revise your statements? 

1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

At the PGA Tour level, 1 stroke is huge. If they get lucky enough to drain that super long putt, then it could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars. What if that one stroke lets a golfer make the cut over another? That means they got a benefit from hitting a bad putt.

 

I agree that their margins are slim but hitting the flag stick is pretty damn hard to do to begin with.  Golfers being allowed to fix any imperfections on the green without worry is a much bigger deal than putting with the flag in.  What is more likely...a Pro slams a putt into the flag stick or in the past a Pro wonders if a mark on the green was a spike mark but is unsure, doesn't fix it...then rolls the ball right over the mark that they couldn't fix and then watches the ball roll offline and miss?  Being able to fix any imperfection on the green is far more important than putting with the flag in.  

Edited by Righty to Lefty

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