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My Flagstick In vs. Out Data


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20 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I didn't have one putt this year were I thought the pin cost me. 

I’ve had several.  I began this as a 100% advocate for keeping the flag in all the time.  I still do on long putts, but now pull it for anything under about 15’.  

Interestingly, most of the pros who began experimenting with leaving it in seem to have reverted back to pulling it again, especially for shorter putts. 

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I take any reports of the flagstick costing someone with a grain of salt. Not that it's impossible, but I just don't think our eyes/brains can really know when the flagstick stopped a ball from going in the hole. The speed and contact with the flag have to be just right for the flagstick to reject a ball.

That said, I think @David in FL's approach to taking the flagstick out within 15 feet is totally defensible. That's my preferred way to do it, too. I won't go as far as to say that it's the correct way, statistically, but I think it might be.

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Ive left it in for longer putts just so i dont have to ask anyone to tend or when im playing alone. But I've taken it out it all situations otherwise. I dont like having the flagstick in my field of view. Its f'ing distracting. It creates a mental image of the hole being smaller and i dont like that, either.  I like to imagine the ball dropping into the bottom of the cup, not clanging off a flagstick. 

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1 minute ago, Groucho Valentine said:

IIts f'ing distracting. It creates a mental image of the hole being smaller and i dont like that, either.

^^^This for me as well.

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"Statistically Speaking" became the quote on the greens this season.  

Always on the first hole the question would come up or I would flat out state, leave the pin in and then the quote "statistically speaking" would come up.  One of my friends is an absolute brain with statistics and he at first would go nuts with this.  Then he researched it and the pin never came out for him.

Personally I know that keeping the pin in really helped me to narrow my focus when putting.  My putting improved from 5' to 20' dramatically.  My misses stayed consistently in tap in range and I made more putts in the 5' to 10' range. 

But, on the last hole I would take the pin out.  There is just something so satisfying about hearing the ball drop into the cup and I like leaving the green with that sound.

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Earlier this summer, I had a chance to use a live caddy for 4 rounds of golf. 

When asked if I wanted the pin in, or out, I would ask for their suggestion. I have not paid much attention to this new rule as it is. I usually left the pin in all the time, soley for the sake of convience. If someone wanted it pulled, while we all finished up our putts that was fine too. 

The caddy would leave the pin in, and tended, for putts over 10-15 feet. For shorter putts they would pull the pin. Apparently, and just guessing here, that was their professional approach. 

Now there were other caddies, for other players in our 3-4 somes groups. Different players wanted different scenarios. 

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10 minutes ago, djake said:

"Statistically Speaking" became the quote on the greens this season.  

Always on the first hole the question would come up or I would flat out state, leave the pin in and then the quote "statistically speaking" would come up.  One of my friends is an absolute brain with statistics and he at first would go nuts with this.  Then he researched it and the pin never came out for him.

 

A little additional research...

My decision to leave the flag in for longer putts is simply because I understand that my ability to control the speed of the ball at the hole is poorer from long range than it is from short.  At closer distances, I don’t expect to be blowing the putt 9 or 10 feet past the hole...

It’s also worth mentioning that I have no doubt that we tend to putt a little bit quicker without anyone worrying about tending the pin for longer putts.   From that perspective I love the new rule.

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33 minutes ago, David in FL said:

I’ve had several.

It's highly unlikely that even the majority of the putts you think would have dropped would have dropped - people are very poor judges of distance/speed, particularly when the ball is rolling away from you.

33 minutes ago, David in FL said:

I still do on long putts, but now pull it for anything under about 15’.

And that's all we recommend:

  • If you're very confident that you can control distance/speed of the ball to within about 3' of the hole, take the flag out if you wish.
  • If you're not confident, leave it in.

Generally this is at about 20' for a lot of players, but there are some 10' putts where I've left the flagstick in (slick downhill putts).

21 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

I take any reports of the flagstick costing someone with a grain of salt. Not that it's impossible, but I just don't think our eyes/brains can really know when the flagstick stopped a ball from going in the hole. The speed and contact with the flag have to be just right for the flagstick to reject a ball.

Yep.

1 minute ago, David in FL said:

A little additional research...

That "study" was bullshit and was discussed and debunked several times on this site (and elsewhere). The charts didn't even make sense.

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14 minutes ago, David in FL said:

A little additional research...

My decision to leave the flag in for longer putts is simply because I understand that my ability to control the speed of the ball at the hole is poorer from long range than it is from short.  At closer distances, I don’t expect to be blowing the putt 9 or 10 feet past the hole...

It’s also worth mentioning that I have no doubt that we tend to putt a little bit quicker without anyone worrying about tending the pin for longer putts.   From that perspective I love the new rule.


Should golfers leave the flagstick in or take the flagstick out? {VIEW RESULTS}

My daughter is a M.E.  I have learned the hard way to never debate with her.  Once she get's going my eyes roll back into my head and i am now an official zombie.

I tried to link in My Golf Spy's testing on this subject as well, they differ from the M.E that Golf Digest used.

Personally, i like the pin in as it speeds up play and it really does help me to focus when putting.  Wearing trifocals can tend to really screw with putting and the pin in helps stop that.

I do like it pulled inside of 5'.

And yes, it has really helped me from not blowing by the hole on putts from 20' and in.  As the article you quoted at the end state, it can help reduce 3 putts.  

I did like reading the article that you quoted though, well except for the M.E. math notes section, I just blew by that. 

Thank you for sharing another perspective regarding this.

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I’ve had two memorable situations with the pin and they were on adjacent holes. The first one par 3, i had 15ft for birdie. Left pin in, putt is tracking all the way, wasn’t hit hard at all, pin knocked it sideways. All of us stared. It would’ve 100% gone in. Oh well, it happens. Next hole I’m short of green with 40ft or so and skulled my chip shot. It hits the pin and drops. Would’ve gone another 20ft by if not more. Lose some and win some  

I leave pin in on long putts but pull on anything inside 30ft or so. 

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I believe that in is "better" for sure.  But, for me, inside of 8 feet or so (when the hole is in my field of view as I putt), I like it out.  I find that my hands seem to try to hit the parts of the hole not guarded by the stick, which makes the holes two little slivers!  so the issue for me isn't that the stick rejects my putt, so much as my stupid hands won't let me hit it.  I'm sure I could practice my wa out of that, eventually.  Also needs to be out when the shadow is on the line and the wind is making it move around.  

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I'm pretty sure I've left it in all the time since the rule went into effect... affect... hmm... faster to guess or look that up...???

Anyway, there are 2 exceptions for me. If somebody I'm playing with wants it out. Fine, I just leave it out. 

The other exception was when I was playing on a windy day and had about a 2 footer left. As I took my stance the flag was literally hitting me in the head because of the wind... I pulled it out and knocked in the short putt. 

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On 9/25/2019 at 7:08 AM, David in FL said:

A little additional research...

My decision to leave the flag in for longer putts is simply because I understand that my ability to control the speed of the ball at the hole is poorer from long range than it is from short.  At closer distances, I don’t expect to be blowing the putt 9 or 10 feet past the hole...

It’s also worth mentioning that I have no doubt that we tend to putt a little bit quicker without anyone worrying about tending the pin for longer putts.   From that perspective I love the new rule.

Off topic, but relevant to this link you posted...

Clicked on the link and the page was covered with this...

logo.svg

The world's first personalized golf fitting engine.

Interesting stuff considering mine and my company’s entire RD strategy is geared towards ML. It’s really a cool way to use it. I’d bet it could be almost as good as a decent fitter?

What’s even better is this type of ML can easily be applied to putting with flag in or out. I’d guess it would end up drawing the OP conclusions though... But big data needs big machines to fully process...😁

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  • 1 year later...

It seems to me that for the sum of all we do on the putting green (tap ins, long putts touch the hole only rarely, etc.) our overall results won't differ much whether we leave it in or take it out. I leave it in in situations where I think there is the best chance it will help me, both in making it, and decreasing the length of the next putt if it doesn't go in. Downhill fast putts are one example. I also have wondered whether leaving it in could increase confidence somehow on short putts...like really short ones, the 2.5 footers that are eminently yippable...

For me, if I am not confident standing over the putt - of the line I have chosen, the strength of stroke I am planning - I will almost always miss. If in a certain circumstance, for whatever reason, even if it conflicts with someone's research, I feel more confident with it in (or out), I will go with what makes me feel most confident. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I leave it in if it required tending back in the day because I had a hard time seeing the hole. Anything else, out.

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