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Chamblee: Every player should leave flagstick in


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#31 stiftlandpro

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 03:47 PM

I deeply believe it would be best if half of the players in a group insist on leaving the flag in, the others should take it out. That would really make me look forward to playing a quick fourball next year.

Seriously though, you definitely gain an advantage on some putts. How many putts do you hit that go straight over the hole and don't go in because they had too much pace. Or those really firm lip-outs. 5 a year maybe? On 1000 holes or so? Well, that's .005 strokes gained on every hole or .09 strokes per round using simple mathematics. Looking at what people do when buying any product to save the tiniest bit of money I'm surprised why not everyone starts saving putts now...

Start saving your putts today and you'll get a 0.1 off your handicap. For FREE!

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I could buy new / different clubs every day... couldn't you?

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#32 GLF4EVR

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 03:55 PM

View Postdavep043, on 04 January 2019 - 03:37 PM, said:

View PostGLF4EVR, on 04 January 2019 - 03:19 PM, said:

All I can say is there is 1 hole at my home course that this rule can help.  Last 70 yards is all uphill to a two-tiered green.  At times during the summer if the hole is on the lower tier & you are on the upper tier.......you might be looking at a 70 yard second putt :russian_roulette:
I'm waiting for the rule change that allows you to lay the flagstick flat on the ground behind the hole, that's what will REALLY help those putts.
Either that or adding some fishing line to your ball.  At least you always have sympathy for someone else when it happens to them.

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#33 KrazyTrain18

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 04:13 PM

Sure, as long as that 5 footer to win a major let alone a tournament the flag is long gone.
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#34 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

i don't think leaving the pin in will hurt anyones score. i do think its debateable on how much it will help....especially when it comes to putting. i get leaving it in on chips.

i'm predicting that in 3 years there will be only a few if any guys still removing the pins to putt. there just isn't any reason to take it out other than you think it looks weird.
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#35 Swisstrader98

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 04:56 PM

View PostObee, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

I have only one comment on the flag in thing:

I agree with DeChambeau 100% on the "heavy stick" thing. I have seen so, so many balls over the years that would have easily gone in be knocked out by the heavy sticks. The flimsy fiberglass(?) ones are perfect. No worries. They "absorb" the impact of the ball. But the heavy ones that they use on some courses that get very high winds? Not so much.

I flat out do not believe Pelz's research on this at all. Far too much anecdotal evidence for me to the contrary, and I bet I could design an experiment that would prove my hypothesis. I'm not going to, of course, I'm just not going to leave the heavy sticks in. LOL

As an analogy, my buddy and I used to play basketball in the street on one of those "roll out" basket/rim things. Over the years, the backboard got looser and looser until it was just this amazingly receptive "thing" that you could toss the ball up to and make shots. It was nothing like a real backboard, and made shots around the rim so, so easy.

The pin thing is like that.

Science. LOL

Obee: yes, this is what they were referring to on The Golf Channel, meaning most flags on tour were made of fiberglass and fiberglass would tend to absorb the shock and thereby more likely the ball drops in the hole when it hits the flagstick.


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#36 Gautama

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:05 PM

Help or not I can't say, wind is the big variable in my mind.  Regardless, though, personally I hate the way it looks after thirty-plus years of pulling pins, and I'm sticking to my shallow and subjective opinion, lol.  Anyone else find it just ugly to see a putt made with the pin in the hole?

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#37 sbjinx

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:19 PM

Played today with my group and we decided to keep the flag in for all our putts. It was weird at first but by the 3rd hole we all agreed that weíll play with the flag in from now on. We didnít have any instance where having the flag in helped or damaged a putt, but itís nice not to have to walk to the hole and pull the flag once weíre on the green. We would just walk to our balls, hit our putts and move on to the next tee. I agree with the above poster that in a few years most people will be playing with the flag in.

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#38 Swisstrader98

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM

Such a stupid rule and such a bad look. Besides the fact that it will make the game easier and it will slow down, not speed play. What were they thinking??

Do these USGA officials and rule makers even play golf?

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#39 LeoLeo99

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM

Does anyone have a link to Pelz' data and statistical analysis?  Does his methodology state the model of flag stick that was used?

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#40 sbjinx

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:02 PM

View PostSwisstrader98, on 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:

Such a stupid rule and such a bad look. Besides the fact that it will make the game easier and it will slow down, not speed play. What were they thinking??

Do these USGA officials and rule makers even play golf?

Agreed that if half the group wanted to keep the flag in and the others out, it would slow down play. However, today when the entire group decided to keep the flag in, I think it sped up play.  We just walked over to our balls after hitting the green, made our putts and walked off. No one had to leak over to the hole to grab the flag, or tend it on long putts, or wait to put the flag back in after the last person made their putt.

I also donít know if it makes the game easier. You maybe a better putter than I but trying to use the flag on anything past 5 feet isnít as easy as it looks. A few times I tried to use the flag, missed the hole completely and had a another 5 + footer on the way back. I mean I doubt anyone is saving 3 strokes per round because they are putting with the flag in.

Edited by sbjinx, 04 January 2019 - 06:05 PM.


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#41 Railroading13

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:35 PM

I'm def looking forward to trying this approach. I only plan on taking the pin out if it's a windy day and the stick is blowing.
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#42 bladehunter

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:38 PM

View Postrawdog, on 04 January 2019 - 11:08 AM, said:

View PostGMR, on 04 January 2019 - 11:03 AM, said:

The last point you have crossed out above--the flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim--would be my #1 motivating factor in doing this.  I find that on the practice putting green my make % is significantly higher on shorter putts when I'm too lazy to take the flag out, and I attribute that largely to having a better more precise aiming point.  That said I have no intention of being the annoying guy in the group who always asks for the flag to be put back in, but if the group I was playing in wanted to leave it in all the time I'm more than OK with that.

Interesting point.

So you're really willing to play worse to avoid a perceived annoyance? Dang, dude.

The default for a pin is in... I'd say those who want it out are being annoying :D

Come on ! Tune going to change when the pin spits one out.

View Postsbjinx, on 04 January 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

View PostSwisstrader98, on 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:

Such a stupid rule and such a bad look. Besides the fact that it will make the game easier and it will slow down, not speed play. What were they thinking??

Do these USGA officials and rule makers even play golf?

Agreed that if half the group wanted to keep the flag in and the others out, it would slow down play. However, today when the entire group decided to keep the flag in, I think it sped up play.  We just walked over to our balls after hitting the green, made our putts and walked off. No one had to leak over to the hole to grab the flag, or tend it on long putts, or wait to put the flag back in after the last person made their putt.

I also donít know if it makes the game easier. You maybe a better putter than I but trying to use the flag on anything past 5 feet isnít as easy as it looks. A few times I tried to use the flag, missed the hole completely and had a another 5 + footer on the way back. I mean I doubt anyone is saving 3 strokes per round because they are putting with the flag in.

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#43 ode1

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:53 PM

I'm imagining BD's reaction the first time the pin knocks the ball out😱

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#44 ode1

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:58 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 04 January 2019 - 06:38 PM, said:

View Postrawdog, on 04 January 2019 - 11:08 AM, said:

View PostGMR, on 04 January 2019 - 11:03 AM, said:

The last point you have crossed out above--the flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim--would be my #1 motivating factor in doing this.  I find that on the practice putting green my make % is significantly higher on shorter putts when I'm too lazy to take the flag out, and I attribute that largely to having a better more precise aiming point.  That said I have no intention of being the annoying guy in the group who always asks for the flag to be put back in, but if the group I was playing in wanted to leave it in all the time I'm more than OK with that.

Interesting point.

So you're really willing to play worse to avoid a perceived annoyance? Dang, dude.

The default for a pin is in... I'd say those who want it out are being annoying :D

Come on ! Tune going to change when the pin spits one out.

View Postsbjinx, on 04 January 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

View PostSwisstrader98, on 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:

Such a stupid rule and such a bad look. Besides the fact that it will make the game easier and it will slow down, not speed play. What were they thinking??

Do these USGA officials and rule makers even play golf?

Agreed that if half the group wanted to keep the flag in and the others out, it would slow down play. However, today when the entire group decided to keep the flag in, I think it sped up play.  We just walked over to our balls after hitting the green, made our putts and walked off. No one had to leak over to the hole to grab the flag, or tend it on long putts, or wait to put the flag back in after the last person made their putt.

I also donít know if it makes the game easier. You maybe a better putter than I but trying to use the flag on anything past 5 feet isnít as easy as it looks. A few times I tried to use the flag, missed the hole completely and had a another 5 + footer on the way back. I mean I doubt anyone is saving 3 strokes per round because they are putting with the flag in.

Whatís your procedure for getting balls out of the hole ?

Two fingers, scissors motion!

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#45 sbjinx

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:10 PM

^^ yep two fingers to grab the ball out of the cup


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#46 BIG STU

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:15 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 04 January 2019 - 06:38 PM, said:

View Postrawdog, on 04 January 2019 - 11:08 AM, said:

View PostGMR, on 04 January 2019 - 11:03 AM, said:

The last point you have crossed out above--the flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim--would be my #1 motivating factor in doing this.  I find that on the practice putting green my make % is significantly higher on shorter putts when I'm too lazy to take the flag out, and I attribute that largely to having a better more precise aiming point.  That said I have no intention of being the annoying guy in the group who always asks for the flag to be put back in, but if the group I was playing in wanted to leave it in all the time I'm more than OK with that.

Interesting point.

So you're really willing to play worse to avoid a perceived annoyance? Dang, dude.

The default for a pin is in... I'd say those who want it out are being annoying :D

Come on ! Tune going to change when the pin spits one out.

View Postsbjinx, on 04 January 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

View PostSwisstrader98, on 04 January 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:

Such a stupid rule and such a bad look. Besides the fact that it will make the game easier and it will slow down, not speed play. What were they thinking??

Do these USGA officials and rule makers even play golf?

Agreed that if half the group wanted to keep the flag in and the others out, it would slow down play. However, today when the entire group decided to keep the flag in, I think it sped up play.  We just walked over to our balls after hitting the green, made our putts and walked off. No one had to leak over to the hole to grab the flag, or tend it on long putts, or wait to put the flag back in after the last person made their putt.

I also don't know if it makes the game easier. You maybe a better putter than I but trying to use the flag on anything past 5 feet isn't as easy as it looks. A few times I tried to use the flag, missed the hole completely and had a another 5 + footer on the way back. I mean I doubt anyone is saving 3 strokes per round because they are putting with the flag in.

What's your procedure for getting balls out of the hole ?
That is an interesting question Blade--- I can see it now cups being jerked out of the ground by the getting the ball out of the hole with a putter crowd
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#47 fairways4life

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:20 PM

View Postsbjinx, on 04 January 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

Played today with my group and we decided to keep the flag in for all our putts. It was weird at first but by the 3rd hole we all agreed that weíll play with the flag in from now on. We didnít have any instance where having the flag in helped or damaged a putt, but itís nice not to have to walk to the hole and pull the flag once weíre on the green. We would just walk to our balls, hit our putts and move on to the next tee. I agree with the above poster that in a few years most people will be playing with the flag in.

In all honesty, how much time did this shave off your round?

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#48 golfgirlrobin

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:45 PM

Here’s my question, at the professional level, is there anything that prohibits a caddie from standing near the flag and pulling it, or leaving it, based on his determination of what’s most advantageous to his player?  

Seems like you’d be giving the caddie an actual role in the holing of the ball.
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#49 rawdog

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:45 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 04 January 2019 - 06:38 PM, said:

View Postrawdog, on 04 January 2019 - 11:08 AM, said:

View PostGMR, on 04 January 2019 - 11:03 AM, said:

The last point you have crossed out above--the flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim--would be my #1 motivating factor in doing this.  I find that on the practice putting green my make % is significantly higher on shorter putts when I'm too lazy to take the flag out, and I attribute that largely to having a better more precise aiming point.  That said I have no intention of being the annoying guy in the group who always asks for the flag to be put back in, but if the group I was playing in wanted to leave it in all the time I'm more than OK with that.

Interesting point.

So you're really willing to play worse to avoid a perceived annoyance? Dang, dude.

The default for a pin is in... I'd say those who want it out are being annoying :D

Come on ! Tune going to change when the pin spits one out.


Nah, if it hits the pin and doesn't go in, odds are fairly certain it wasn't going in anyway. We've covered this before in the other thread in November.

The main exception being if the pin is oddly angled toward me or to one side. In those freak instances, reset the pin or pull it out.

Edited by rawdog, 04 January 2019 - 07:47 PM.

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#50 Gautama

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:25 PM

View PostBIG STU, on 04 January 2019 - 07:15 PM, said:

That is an interesting question Blade--- I can see it now cups being jerked out of the ground by the getting the ball out of the hole with a putter crowd

That's a really good point, happens already when people get careless...people start pulling on it all day, and they absolutely will, the cups are going to get pretty sloppy I think.


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#51 sbjinx

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:43 PM

View Postfairways4life, on 04 January 2019 - 07:20 PM, said:

View Postsbjinx, on 04 January 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

Played today with my group and we decided to keep the flag in for all our putts. It was weird at first but by the 3rd hole we all agreed that weíll play with the flag in from now on. We didnít have any instance where having the flag in helped or damaged a putt, but itís nice not to have to walk to the hole and pull the flag once weíre on the green. We would just walk to our balls, hit our putts and move on to the next tee. I agree with the above poster that in a few years most people will be playing with the flag in.

In all honesty, how much time did this shave off your round?

Not a lot but it felt like we were spending less time BSíing on the green. Especially since we play ready golf.

There was few times when some of us were on the green and the other(s) was off. Instead of one of us taking out the flag so another can putt, and putting the flag back in so the player off the green can chip, we just all walked over to our balls and did our thing. Like I said, weíll be doing this with our regular group for the foreseeable future.

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#52 Augustok

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 09:10 PM

I really wish it wasn’t winter.  My regular group plan to leave it in.  Some of them who are down south have already tried it and like it.  Last year i played about 100 times and kept track of the putt stats.  I’m not changing my putter or golf course so it will be interesting to see if any difference.  Plus we won’t have to get annoyed at the one who is never inclined to pick up the flag to put back in.

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#53 burritos4breakfast

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 09:17 PM

i think it helps with depth perception more than anything. dont buy the hit the stick and go in argument as I dont think that happens very often. i find im better on lags when its tended. ill be leaving it in

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#54 ArtMBgolf

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:04 PM

Think about the number of times you actually hit a putt too hard and it actually runs directly over the hole in a season.  
Not lip outs, because lip outs are not going in with pin in or out.    

So if your handicap index is 10.5 and the pin in stops a 3 putt a few times and holes you out a couple times, the index can improve to 10.49

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#55 Darth Putter

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:13 PM

I wish they had done this forty years ago.

Unless the rule is changed, I won't be pulling the flag out for the rest of my life.

swing is irrelevant, score is everything

just say NO.... to practice swings

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#56 Tate

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:19 PM

I tried it today....thereís two points to this. Speed of play and is it beneficial.

We played as a twosome so in some cases it did help speed things up. However, if playing as a foursome I donít see it being that big of a deal.

With regards to it actually helping us....I had about a 15 footer that clanged off the pin. This putt was for sure going in....I noticed the pin was slightly tilted to one side, taking off about half of that side of the cup. There was no wind today so this has to do with how the pin sits in the cup. The pins might fit properly on tour so it wonít be an issue but it definitely shrinked the hole at my course.

Edited by Tate, 04 January 2019 - 11:23 PM.

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#57 fairways4life

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:46 PM

View PostTate, on 04 January 2019 - 11:19 PM, said:

I tried it today....there's two points to this. Speed of play and is it beneficial.

We played as a twosome so in some cases it did help speed things up. However, if playing as a foursome I don't see it being that big of a deal.

With regards to it actually helping us....I had about a 15 footer that clanged off the pin. This putt was for sure going in....I noticed the pin was slightly tilted to one side, taking off about half of that side of the cup. There was no wind today so this has to do with how the pin sits in the cup. The pins might fit properly on tour so it won't be an issue but it definitely shrinked the hole at my course.

This ^^

I can see it helping a little bit for a twosome. One person is on the green with a long putt and the other person is off the green chipping. The person on the green doesn't have to wait for the other person to chip and then get to the green and attend the flag. You can just go. That's all fine and dandy.

But for anything more than a twosome, it shouldn't save a single second as long as the people playing have good "golf awareness."

Golf awareness means that the person who will be last to putt is on flag duty and they recognize that before they even get to the green. They mark, then go to the flag while the first person to putt is reading their putt (or while someone is chipping). Attend it if anyone needs it and then pull it and set it down once everyone can see the hole. While that person is at the hole getting the flag, they can sneak a read on their putt from the hole side. After setting the pin down, they can make their way back to their mark.

There is no time being "wasted" by this person getting the flag because they can't be making a stroke during that time anyway. They have to wait for the other 2 or 3 people to play first. So whether they are getting the flag or standing at their ball picking their nose, either way they are not making a stroke. Since no time is being "wasted," no time can be "saved" by having that person not get the flag.

When the first person in the group holes out, they are now on flag duty for replacing it. That means as soon as you get your ball out of the cup, you go and pick up the flag. You wait for the others to finish out and then you are right there to replace it as soon as the last person pulls their ball out of the cup. Again, no time being wasted. And therefore, no time being saved.

The reason some groups take forever on the greens has nothing to do with the flagstick. It has everything to do with a lack of awareness. I see people who will be last to putt not go get the flag from the hole. I see people who hole out first not go get the flag off the ground. I get paired up a lot with random strangers and they will often not have a clue and I will have to go pull the flag even when I'm the first one to putt because they are all just standing around staring off into the clouds. This lack of awareness is what slows down putting, and is what slows down golf in general.

I suppose you could make the argument that if the pin is in the back of the green and all four people are near the front, then nobody has to walk back there to grab it. You can just fire away. But how often is that the case and how many seconds does it take for someone to walk back there? The answer to both of those questions is not many.

There is a certain flow and rhythm to a round of golf that requires good awareness by all players in the group in order to achieve. When you play with this awareness, you can take your time but still play fast. Everyone can mark their balls and read their putts and get proper yardages and play with honors off the tee and everything and still play in under 3 hours for a foursome. It means knowing who is next to hit off the tee and as soon as the previous person puts their ball in the air you are getting right in there and pegging it. Knowing whose turn it is to play at all times and using your "off" time to decide on your shot so that you are ready to go as soon as it's your turn. If you're playing honors, it means knowing that you have the honors so when the cart pulls up to the tee box you are jumping out, grabbing your driver and pegging it right away. Knowing how to share a cart with another person (dropping them off and going to your ball or dropping yourself out and having them take the cart or parking the cart in the middle of the two balls and both getting out). Unfortunately, so many people just have no sense of this awareness.  

I guess in the end, the new flagstick rule might speed things up for the players who lack this awareness. But it feels like a dumbing down of golf or a "no child left behind" kind of thing. Like the rules have to be changed to accommodate the people that lack this good awareness.

Rant over. Have a great weekend of golf everyone :golfer:

Edited by fairways4life, 05 January 2019 - 12:03 AM.


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#58 Mudguard

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 01:14 AM

We've played three rounds now. I think there is an incremental speed increase as pointed out, someone nearer and chipping wants it in, vs someone further wanting it out. Just go.
However we have the large aluminium pins, and the odd sloppy cup, so a few will lean. None of use putted towards any pin that wouldn't stay centred but pulled the pin for everything inside 30 feet. Probably out of habit more than anything.

I do wonder if there will be a move towards a standardized pin or whether you could make the part at cup level thinner, and have a rubber cone, or rubber section just above ground level to deaden it even more.

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#59 SixtySomePing

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:57 AM

View PostDr. Block, on 04 January 2019 - 01:39 PM, said:

If leaving the flag stick in really catches on, the condition of the edges of the hole should be a lot better.  Sometimes I think people try to toss the damn thing back in from the fringe with the amount of gashes and dents I repair while pulling my ball out.
That could be true Doc, the other reason for the gashes I think is those who have to use their putter to retrieve their ball from back out of the hole, and don't do it cleanly. With some guys it just looks like they're cutting into an apple pie with a big dremel tool or something...

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#60 TerpFangolfer

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:35 AM

View Postgolfgirlrobin, on 04 January 2019 - 07:45 PM, said:

Here’s my question, at the professional level, is there anything that prohibits a caddie from standing near the flag and pulling it, or leaving it, based on his determination of what’s most advantageous to his player?  

Seems like you’d be giving the caddie an actual role in the holing of the ball.

Someone can correct if wrong, but I'm pretty sure that part of the rule didn't change - the flag can either be attended (i.e. held) in which case it MUST be removed, or if it is not attended, then it cannot be moved once the ball is in motion

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