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