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      Visit FlagstickRule.com   03/13/2017

      Visit the site flagstickrule.com to read about and sign a petition for the USGA/R&A regarding the one terrible rule in the proposed "modernized" rules for 2019.

Fourputt

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Fourputt last won the day on March 8

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870 Legend of the Game

About Fourputt

  • Rank
    Major Winner
  • Birthday 12/12/1946

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    Logan County, CO

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  • Handicap Index
    17.1
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    Righty
  1. That would be yet another imprecise measuring device. I've seen flagsticks 10 feet tall. Since they are proposing the elimination of "clublengths", it would be inconsistent to then bring in another variable measurement.
  2. Wow! If I needed convincing, I'd be a convert just from reading the mass of data in the first post. However, I've been a believer for almost 3 decades. My second hole-in-one showed me the advantage of flagstick in. In May of 1990 I skulled a 6I off the tee, ricocheted it off a grass and hardpan bank left of the green, and somehow as it careened across the putting surface at something like 30 mph, it hit the flagstick dead center and dropped straight down for a one. Since that day I only remove the flagstick for a chip or pitch if I'm playing into the wind pushing the stick toward me and I can't get it to stand straight up in the hole. I certainly can't enumerate the times that the ball has hit the flagstick on a chip and fallen in the hole, but I can definitively state that I have hit it quite often with too much speed and had it either hole out or just a kick a few inches away. I tend to play chips firmly with good pace, basing my play on the guaranteed theory that a ball left short of the hole will almost never fall. When I hole out a chip, it has almost always hit the flagstick before disappearing. Another thing that hasn't been part of the discussion as far as I've seen yet is that more than a couple of times I've had a ball hit the hole with excess speed, but hit off center and get "pinched" between the stick and side of the hole. Just straighten the flagstick and they drop to be legally holed. Without the flagstick in the hole, those balls would have been almost certain to lip out.
  3. I'm not posting this in the other thread because it isn't from any actual testing (there is no grass growing anywhere around here to try and run a real experiment yet). I pretty much do this every time on the practice green when warming up for a round. I start fairly focused on my comeback putts to set my feel for the round. But after 10 minutes or so, I will start just banging the missed putts into the flagstick, and when I do that, I rarely miss from 5 feet and in. Like Erik says, when I take the read out of the equation and hit straight or almost straight at the pin, my make ratio goes way up. It's not scientific, but my anecdotal results from years of doing this would certainly bear out the validity of the theory.
  4. I think it would be more informative to also record how far the misses are ending up from the hole. I can't tell from what I've read here so far if the putts hit with the flagstick in the hole are actually being hit that much harder, enough to be a significant statistic. Part of the theory is that those which hit the stick and don't drop will leave a shorter second putt, but if they miss the stick, the comebacker would be a fair amount longer. My question is, are the return putts more difficult and longer because the player is missing the flagstick altogether? Does that mean that the theory fails for the average amateur because he isn't able to stroke that return putt with enough accuracy to be able to risk trying to use the pin for assistance? In essence, banging a 5 footer straight at the flagstick with pace is a losing proposition if you can't hit what you are aiming at.
  5. I agree. That's why I wasn't all that concerned by it. If they did this on a course where it significantly affected the play on certain holes, then I might have an issue with them jumping the gun, but with only a few areas to be affected, and none that have a significant effect on the play of the hole, it's not really an issue. I was just interested in other opinions on it.
  6. But this will be for tournament play, and the club has always prided itself on playing by the rule book. I don't have any real issue with it, and as I said above, it will have minimal impact on how the course plays, but I was just surprised. They have also adopted the new local rule for ball moving on the green which, for a bunch of clumsy amateurs, is a good thing.
  7. I received an email from the Men's Club yesterday that stated that the course was instituting the "red stake" portion of the proposed rule. We only have 3 areas now with yellow marked hazards, and the course and Men's Club has decided to simply eliminate those areas as they don't really have a large impact on the way that the course plays. I will have to ask at the spring banquet next week if they are still allowing the current rule for dropping on the opposite side equidistant from the hole, as there are several places where this has been a common practice. We have an 8 foot wide irrigation ditch that provides most of the hazard issues on the course, and it is often preferred to cross over the ditch one way or the other before dropping because of patchy rough and hardpan in many locations near but outside of the hazard margin. This causes some very weird and usually unfavorable bounces, resulting in some terrible lies on top of the one stroke penalty for taking relief from the hazard. In any event I just thought I'd throw this out for discussion. Is it premature to start putting rules in place that haven't actually been adopted yet? Is 2 years early a bit too soon to be jumping the gun?
  8. Frost is bad to play on - frozen ground doesn't really hurt them. My home course has pretty good greens for the amount of play they receive, and they are open year round, weather permitting. They do have frost delays during the shoulder seasons so that the live and growing greens don't get damaged, but playing on frozen greens isn't a problem because the grass is dormant then.
  9. If you play frozen very much, you have to learn shots like the half swing punch 5I replacing your normal 8I or 9I. Run up shots rule the day. Courses that don't allow you to run the ball on to the green aren't much fun in frozen winter.
  10. That clearance is minimal. The ball would have to track perfectly in order to not hit the stick.
  11. Another observation - we have all seen that heartbreaking putt that does a full 180 or more and ends up a few inches from the hole. With the flagstick in the hole, that result would be almost impossible. As the ball circles the back of the hole, it can't help but hit the stick and fall in. I can't really envision any scenario where that wouldn't be true. Maybe some would be in favor of that, but I would not.
  12. That information has been available for a long time, yet still about half the guys I play with will always have the flagstick removed when putting from the fringe. You just can't convince some folks, and that is what will happen if they keep that new rule. At least until it's proven that it takes less precision if you leave the stick in the hole. And by then it will be too late - the genie will be out of the bottle and changing back will create a storm of protest.
  13. But I'll be a lot more likely to make a longer, 4-5 foot 2nd putt.
  14. I've never done any testing using scientific method, but just from many years of playing, and particularly warming up on various practice putting greens, leaving the peg in the hole is a significant benefit. When I'm warming up before a round, I usually leave those little baby flagsticks in the hole and I can play 2 or 3 longish putts, miss, then walk up and just slap the ball in the hole without consideration for break or speed. I can whack 3 or 4 balls into the hole from 4 feet and all I do is aim at the middle of the hole, hitting hard enough to remove any break. If I practice or warm up a little more seriously and take the stick out, more of those short putts will lip out or miss the hole entirely because I have to consider the breaks and reduce the speed so that the hole will accept the ball as it would if I was putting on course. Even though I use less speed, I still have more putts lip out, and for me that is the significant factor. If the flagstick was not helping, then hitting the putts harder should result in more, not fewer, lip outs.
  15. Maybe mention that one of the principles of the game is that the player must play the ball all the way into the hole without assistance. Leaving the flagstick in the hole for putting seems to me to assist the player considerably. I can't help but think that the original prohibition was instituted at least in part because of that factor.