Putting with flag in (MERGED)

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  • puttingmattputtingmatt puttingmatt Summer/ Michigan-- Winter/ FloridaMembers Posts: 5,124 ✭✭
    Really do not see what the problem is ,

    Players have to choose. I like the rule,

    I like choices.


    Play Golf.....Play Blades......Play Something Else.....Just Go Play.....

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  • Go_Blue!Go_Blue! HAIL! Members Posts: 1,532 ✭✭
    I, too, like the rule and options it provides for the player.
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  • tannyhobantannyhoban Members Posts: 1,852 ✭✭
    I like it. One less thing.
  • bladehunterbladehunter Rain rain go the hell away ! south carolinaMembers Posts: 26,675 ✭✭
    edited Jan 13, 2019 12:24am #306

    kekoa wrote:


    I've tried it on a few occasions now and my putting has gotten worse. Like way worse.




    Me too man.



    Again yesterday. Just garbage speed. Next round is pin out. We shall see.




    Not that anybody cares. But shot low round of the year ( 2018 makeup tournament) pin out Friday ....lol. And won





    Of course I’m not saying it’s anytiing except my brain not liking a new target. But that’s real enough to me.
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  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,902 ✭✭
    Must have been a pretty cold round
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  • theboypinoytheboypinoy Members Posts: 2,076 ✭✭




    He posted this too, something that came from Edoardo Molinari and his team. Dependent on situation, flagstick in could hurt





  • straightshot7straightshot7 Members Posts: 3,039 ✭✭





    He posted this too, something that came from Edoardo Molinari and his team. Dependent on situation, flagstick in could hurt





    https://www.instagra.../p/BsiZeHEnCmR/




    Yup, agreed. That's been my contention for a while. That it will help and hurt. My original point was that either way, it changed putting. It won't just speed up play or whatever their goal was, it actually changed the game and potentially how a big part of it will be played. It will alter scores this year and I don't think the USGA intended that.
  • KonkliferKonklifer Thinkin' of a master plan... Members Posts: 7,841 ✭✭
    Flagstick in.



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  • mds5062mds5062 Members Posts: 78 ✭✭
    Konklifer wrote:


    Flagstick in.



    #rideordie




    No Ragrets
  • Holy MosesHoly Moses Members Posts: 10,480 ✭✭
    We have seen the **** test and the Molinari report. Someone has still yet to do a test with different types of balls. How does a Chrome Soft compare to a Pro V1? Does Srixon’s Spinskin help sink putts with the flagstick in?
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  • Ignatius ReillyIgnatius Reilly Members Posts: 407 ✭✭
    I'm just guessing, but I'm willing to bet several other rules changes over the years had some impact on scores.



    Why is that a problem?



    Lots of other changes have affected scores too - like the ability to get greens much faster, limits to driver size and COR....



    As noted above, this will help sometimes and hurt others - although all the data supports a net benefit to leaving it in (as most people already knew from Pelz's chipping tests).



    So what?
  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,061 ✭✭
    edited Jan 18, 2019 11:39am #314
    I don't care.



    I play by myself a bunch and leave the stick in. And, gasp, if I get it within a foot I pick up to get moving along to the next hole.



    When I play with others, usually the first person walking up (or person with the shortest putt) will tend if there are others way far away or off the green. If everyone agrees there is no need for it, out it comes.



    Throw your towel, wedge, headcover, etc. down next to the stick and pick it all up and get the heck off the green.





    As an aside, I think we would all be better players if there was no flag stick at all. It probably does our games more harm than good. Aim for the center of the green until you are close enough to actually see where the hole is cut.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • csufmancsufman CaliforniaMembers Posts: 146 ✭✭
    I think a lot of amateurs were leaving the stick in for pace of play anyway so i like the rule change.
  • bobcat88bobcat88 Members Posts: 272 ✭✭
    I always left it in anyways when playing a couple holes late after work, but I don't think I'll be doing it in any tournaments.
  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,411 ✭✭
    edited Feb 7, 2019 9:45am #317
    davep043 wrote:



    But pros? This could alter golf significantly. It could alter scores significantly. And it will make it impossible to compare scores to previous tournaments, etc.


    We can always compare to the scores of tournaments held between 1956 and 1968, when there was no penalty for a ball hitting the flagstick. I honestly don't think it will change much of anything.
    skyking wrote:


    Was listening to Haney's show this morning and he said a source told him the USGA was freakin' out over this leaving the flag in. Somehow, the USGA never considered if the rule change would actually be an advantage to a player. Haney also said Pelz did a video clearly showing an advantage to leaving the flagstick in vs not. Yeah...some pros including Mark O'Meara said they can't putt with the flagstick in. That's FU to me but I've only been playing 10 years or so, started later in life and it's all about scoreboard. Heck, I actually prefer playing golf by myself and have ALWAYS left the flag in. No way I was gonna go through taking it out, laying it down then putting it back in...no way.


    Haney said the same thing a month or so back, when Bryson first said he'd leave it in. But Haney (in my personal opinion) is prone to exaggerating anything, making mountains out of molehills, claiming the sky is falling. He's especially prone to do that with issues involving the USGA. My guess is that he heard that individuals within the USGA were going to continue to monitor the flagstick issue, which Haney presents to us as the entire USGA "freaking out."

    I'm not defending the USGA in this case, I don't think they really evaluated the effect the flagstick could have. Pelz did some work 10 years ago (maybe more) and concluded that the flagstick helps significantly on putts hit too hard, and was statistically neutral on putts with close to the right speed. I hear that Pelz will be publishing new information soon, along with 2 or 3 other people who have done their own studies.




    The USGA didn't think this through all the way that's the problem. Haney could be exaggerating the concern of the USGA but it seems many believe there is an advantage to leaving the flag in. From just a pace of play perspective the rule is a fail. Thanks to Bryson and others we now have to ask each guy in the foursome if they want the flag in or out, which takes more time than just pulling it once. Guys now have to tend the flag (to avoid dropping and picking it up for each shot) on almost every putt which takes time away from them lining up their putt until one of us sinks a putt.



    Just another dumb rule brought to us by the USGA "been ruining golf for the last 10 years"
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  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭
    new2g0lf wrote:

    davep043 wrote:



    But pros? This could alter golf significantly. It could alter scores significantly. And it will make it impossible to compare scores to previous tournaments, etc.


    We can always compare to the scores of tournaments held between 1956 and 1968, when there was no penalty for a ball hitting the flagstick. I honestly don't think it will change much of anything.
    skyking wrote:


    Was listening to Haney's show this morning and he said a source told him the USGA was freakin' out over this leaving the flag in. Somehow, the USGA never considered if the rule change would actually be an advantage to a player. Haney also said Pelz did a video clearly showing an advantage to leaving the flagstick in vs not. Yeah...some pros including Mark O'Meara said they can't putt with the flagstick in. That's FU to me but I've only been playing 10 years or so, started later in life and it's all about scoreboard. Heck, I actually prefer playing golf by myself and have ALWAYS left the flag in. No way I was gonna go through taking it out, laying it down then putting it back in...no way.


    Haney said the same thing a month or so back, when Bryson first said he'd leave it in. But Haney (in my personal opinion) is prone to exaggerating anything, making mountains out of molehills, claiming the sky is falling. He's especially prone to do that with issues involving the USGA. My guess is that he heard that individuals within the USGA were going to continue to monitor the flagstick issue, which Haney presents to us as the entire USGA "freaking out."

    I'm not defending the USGA in this case, I don't think they really evaluated the effect the flagstick could have. Pelz did some work 10 years ago (maybe more) and concluded that the flagstick helps significantly on putts hit too hard, and was statistically neutral on putts with close to the right speed. I hear that Pelz will be publishing new information soon, along with 2 or 3 other people who have done their own studies.




    The USGA didn't think this through all the way that's the problem. Haney could be exaggerating the concern of the USGA but it seems many believe there is an advantage to leaving the flag in. From just a pace of play perspective the rule is a fail. Thanks to Bryson and others we now have to ask each guy in the foursome if they want the flag in or out, which takes more time than just pulling it once. Guys now have to tend the flag (to avoid dropping and picking it up for each shot) on almost every putt which takes time away from them lining up their putt until one of us sinks a putt.



    Just another dumb rule brought to us by the USGA "been ruining golf for the last 10 years"


    Please note that I agree with the underlined bit, I don't believe the USGA actually studied this properly. I agree that there is probably a net advantage to leaving the flagstick in, in many situations. But I've also said that it doesn't HAVE to slow things down, not if you're paying attention. You can remove it for the current putter, hold on to it, and replace it well before the next player is anywhere near ready to putt. You can evaluate your own line while you're holding on to the flag just as well as you can if you had laid it on the ground. Of course a lot of people do NOT pay attention, so some people will go slower. Maybe your group is one of those.



    Oh, and this isn't thanks to Bryson, its thanks to Dave Pelz, and others who have published studies in the month since I wrote that post. Not allowed because of spam, LowestScoreWins, Molinari, the Cal-Poly professor, lots of data out there for anyone who wants to be informed. But if you simply hate the USGA, you're going to hate this change, I get it.
  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,411 ✭✭
    davep043 wrote:

    new2g0lf wrote:

    davep043 wrote:



    But pros? This could alter golf significantly. It could alter scores significantly. And it will make it impossible to compare scores to previous tournaments, etc.


    We can always compare to the scores of tournaments held between 1956 and 1968, when there was no penalty for a ball hitting the flagstick. I honestly don't think it will change much of anything.
    skyking wrote:


    Was listening to Haney's show this morning and he said a source told him the USGA was freakin' out over this leaving the flag in. Somehow, the USGA never considered if the rule change would actually be an advantage to a player. Haney also said Pelz did a video clearly showing an advantage to leaving the flagstick in vs not. Yeah...some pros including Mark O'Meara said they can't putt with the flagstick in. That's FU to me but I've only been playing 10 years or so, started later in life and it's all about scoreboard. Heck, I actually prefer playing golf by myself and have ALWAYS left the flag in. No way I was gonna go through taking it out, laying it down then putting it back in...no way.


    Haney said the same thing a month or so back, when Bryson first said he'd leave it in. But Haney (in my personal opinion) is prone to exaggerating anything, making mountains out of molehills, claiming the sky is falling. He's especially prone to do that with issues involving the USGA. My guess is that he heard that individuals within the USGA were going to continue to monitor the flagstick issue, which Haney presents to us as the entire USGA "freaking out."

    I'm not defending the USGA in this case, I don't think they really evaluated the effect the flagstick could have. Pelz did some work 10 years ago (maybe more) and concluded that the flagstick helps significantly on putts hit too hard, and was statistically neutral on putts with close to the right speed. I hear that Pelz will be publishing new information soon, along with 2 or 3 other people who have done their own studies.




    The USGA didn't think this through all the way that's the problem. Haney could be exaggerating the concern of the USGA but it seems many believe there is an advantage to leaving the flag in. From just a pace of play perspective the rule is a fail. Thanks to Bryson and others we now have to ask each guy in the foursome if they want the flag in or out, which takes more time than just pulling it once. Guys now have to tend the flag (to avoid dropping and picking it up for each shot) on almost every putt which takes time away from them lining up their putt until one of us sinks a putt.



    Just another dumb rule brought to us by the USGA "been ruining golf for the last 10 years"


    Please note that I agree with the underlined bit, I don't believe the USGA actually studied this properly. I agree that there is probably a net advantage to leaving the flagstick in, in many situations. But I've also said that it doesn't HAVE to slow things down, not if you're paying attention. You can remove it for the current putter, hold on to it, and replace it well before the next player is anywhere near ready to putt. You can evaluate your own line while you're holding on to the flag just as well as you can if you had laid it on the ground. Of course a lot of people do NOT pay attention, so some people will go slower. Maybe your group is one of those.



    Oh, and this isn't thanks to Bryson, its thanks to Dave Pelz, and others who have published studies in the month since I wrote that post. Not allowed because of spam, LowestScoreWins, Molinari, the Cal-Poly professor, lots of data out there for anyone who wants to be informed. But if you simply hate the USGA, you're going to hate this change, I get it.




    I credited Bryson because most people don't know who Pelz is but I agree he published the study but commentators are crediting Bryson.



    As for pace of play, I agree with you, if you pay attention it may not slow things down but I don't see how it speeds things up, not if you hole out your putts. Guys that putt with the stick in and have trouble bending over to pick up their ball have to remove the flag to get their ball out using the gadget at end of putter. One of the new Ping putters designed to aid in removing the ball from the hole requires the flag out, so in many instances the flag needs to pulled and put back in multiple times. Under the old rule, you pull it once and put your wedges on it, it really doesn't take any additional time to grab your clubs and flag.



    For the record I don't hate the USGA but I do question some of their decisions and rule changes. Overall I'm pretty happy with the new rules they introduced this year but the flag rule needed some more thought.
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  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭
    new2g0lf wrote:

    davep043 wrote:

    new2g0lf wrote:




    The USGA didn't think this through all the way that's the problem. Haney could be exaggerating the concern of the USGA but it seems many believe there is an advantage to leaving the flag in. From just a pace of play perspective the rule is a fail. Thanks to Bryson and others we now have to ask each guy in the foursome if they want the flag in or out, which takes more time than just pulling it once. Guys now have to tend the flag (to avoid dropping and picking it up for each shot) on almost every putt which takes time away from them lining up their putt until one of us sinks a putt.



    Just another dumb rule brought to us by the USGA "been ruining golf for the last 10 years"


    Please note that I agree with the underlined bit, I don't believe the USGA actually studied this properly. I agree that there is probably a net advantage to leaving the flagstick in, in many situations. But I've also said that it doesn't HAVE to slow things down, not if you're paying attention. You can remove it for the current putter, hold on to it, and replace it well before the next player is anywhere near ready to putt. You can evaluate your own line while you're holding on to the flag just as well as you can if you had laid it on the ground. Of course a lot of people do NOT pay attention, so some people will go slower. Maybe your group is one of those.



    Oh, and this isn't thanks to Bryson, its thanks to Dave Pelz, and others who have published studies in the month since I wrote that post. Not allowed because of spam, LowestScoreWins, Molinari, the Cal-Poly professor, lots of data out there for anyone who wants to be informed. But if you simply hate the USGA, you're going to hate this change, I get it.




    I credited Bryson because most people don't know who Pelz is but I agree he published the study but commentators are crediting Bryson.



    As for pace of play, I agree with you, if you pay attention it may not slow things down but I don't see how it speeds things up, not if you hole out your putts. Guys that putt with the stick in and have trouble bending over to pick up their ball have to remove the flag to get their ball out using the gadget at end of putter. One of the new Ping putters designed to aid in removing the ball from the hole requires the flag out, so in many instances the flag needs to pulled and put back in multiple times. Under the old rule, you pull it once and put your wedges on it, it really doesn't take any additional time to grab your clubs and flag.



    For the record I don't hate the USGA but I do question some of their decisions and rule changes. Overall I'm pretty happy with the new rules they introduced this year but the flag rule needed some more thought.


    As much as I may sound like it a lot of the time, I'm not crazy about the flag rule. I'll take advantage of it when it makes sense to me, but I've never said it would speed things up, and didn't think it was necessary. It doesn't HAVE to slow things down, but it has the potential to do just that if people don't handle it appropriately. What I object to, I think pretty consistently, are unreasoning condemnations of this rule, or the USGA. In your post, the one thing I really disliked was "ruining golf for the last 10 years". That seems out of character with your last line here, that you're pretty happy with most of the new rules. I'm happy to discuss reasons that the rule was or wasn't a good idea, but there's no way to discuss anything with someone (not you) who says simply "This is the worst rule ever, and the USGA sucks".
  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,411 ✭✭
    edited Feb 7, 2019 2:31pm #321
    davep043 wrote:

    new2g0lf wrote:

    davep043 wrote:

    new2g0lf wrote:


    The USGA didn't think this through all the way that's the problem. Haney could be exaggerating the concern of the USGA but it seems many believe there is an advantage to leaving the flag in. From just a pace of play perspective the rule is a fail. Thanks to Bryson and others we now have to ask each guy in the foursome if they want the flag in or out, which takes more time than just pulling it once. Guys now have to tend the flag (to avoid dropping and picking it up for each shot) on almost every putt which takes time away from them lining up their putt until one of us sinks a putt.



    Just another dumb rule brought to us by the USGA "been ruining golf for the last 10 years"


    Please note that I agree with the underlined bit, I don't believe the USGA actually studied this properly. I agree that there is probably a net advantage to leaving the flagstick in, in many situations. But I've also said that it doesn't HAVE to slow things down, not if you're paying attention. You can remove it for the current putter, hold on to it, and replace it well before the next player is anywhere near ready to putt. You can evaluate your own line while you're holding on to the flag just as well as you can if you had laid it on the ground. Of course a lot of people do NOT pay attention, so some people will go slower. Maybe your group is one of those.



    Oh, and this isn't thanks to Bryson, its thanks to Dave Pelz, and others who have published studies in the month since I wrote that post. Not allowed because of spam, LowestScoreWins, Molinari, the Cal-Poly professor, lots of data out there for anyone who wants to be informed. But if you simply hate the USGA, you're going to hate this change, I get it.




    I credited Bryson because most people don't know who Pelz is but I agree he published the study but commentators are crediting Bryson.



    As for pace of play, I agree with you, if you pay attention it may not slow things down but I don't see how it speeds things up, not if you hole out your putts. Guys that putt with the stick in and have trouble bending over to pick up their ball have to remove the flag to get their ball out using the gadget at end of putter. One of the new Ping putters designed to aid in removing the ball from the hole requires the flag out, so in many instances the flag needs to pulled and put back in multiple times. Under the old rule, you pull it once and put your wedges on it, it really doesn't take any additional time to grab your clubs and flag.



    For the record I don't hate the USGA but I do question some of their decisions and rule changes. Overall I'm pretty happy with the new rules they introduced this year but the flag rule needed some more thought.


    As much as I may sound like it a lot of the time, I'm not crazy about the flag rule. I'll take advantage of it when it makes sense to me, but I've never said it would speed things up, and didn't think it was necessary. It doesn't HAVE to slow things down, but it has the potential to do just that if people don't handle it appropriately. What I object to, I think pretty consistently, are unreasoning condemnations of this rule, or the USGA. In your post, the one thing I really disliked was "ruining golf for the last 10 years". That seems out of character with your last line here, that you're pretty happy with most of the new rules. I'm happy to discuss reasons that the rule was or wasn't a good idea, but there's no way to discuss anything with someone (not you) who says simply "This is the worst rule ever, and the USGA sucks".




    That was a tongue in cheek comment that really isn't representative of my feelings towards the new rule changes or the USGA as a whole. There are some rules from the past and rulings during tournaments (that are off topic here) that I really feel the USGA swung and missed big on but the new rule changes are good enhancements to the game. I overall like the new rules, most were a common sense approach to incorporate how most play the game so the impact is minimal and many will overall feel better about their adherence to the rules.



    I can fully appreciate how the committee thought the flag rule would help speed up the game. Problem is they just didn't anticipate golfers attempting to use the rule to lower their score and that individual preference would increase the number of times a flag was handled per green.
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  • CaymanSCaymanS Members Posts: 45 ✭✭
    I like the explanation from Dave Pelz, "no matter how the ball hits the stick, it will slow it down and give gravity a better chance to pull it down into the cup."



    I noticed a problem the other day that could have caused a missed putt. The flag pole was tilted which made the gap between the stick and side of the cup smaller than the ball. The ball hit the stick and bounced off. Had the stick not been in the way, the ball seemed like it would have fallen in the hole. I do not know what caused the stick to be off-center, but it clearly was. Maybe the stick was not a tight enough fit in the cup and the wind pushed it to the side. This is something to watch out for.
  • gioreekogioreeko Members Posts: 326 ✭✭
    Watched a lot of golf last weekend, and could only shake my head at all the lip outs that would've dropped had they kept the flag in. Also saw Langley lip out from a foot, so to anyone thinking that even pro golfers can hit the stick on purpose, and add pace to their putt for some reason is just ludicrous.
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  • Frankensteins MonsterFrankensteins Monster Members Posts: 6,683 ✭✭







    No player on the planet would hit a putt that short that hard.
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭





    No player on the planet would hit a putt that short that hard.


    Of course not. But I've seen plenty of 20-footers going that fast at the hole.
  • Frankensteins MonsterFrankensteins Monster Members Posts: 6,683 ✭✭
    davep043 wrote:




    [url="





    No player on the planet would hit a putt that short that hard.


    Of course not. But I've seen plenty of 20-footers going that fast at the hole.


    At that speed, the only thing a stick will do is prevent a 15ft rollout. It would have to be hit the flag absolutely perfect to drop. A millimeter off of a perfect hit and you’re looking at a 8 footer.
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭

    davep043 wrote:






    No player on the planet would hit a putt that short that hard.


    Of course not. But I've seen plenty of 20-footers going that fast at the hole.


    At that speed, the only thing a stick will do is prevent a 15ft rollout. It would have to be hit the flag absolutely perfect to drop. A millimeter off of a perfect hit and you’re looking at a 8 footer.


    Please do your own testing, and post the video. Try it a millimeter off, and see what happens. Until you, or someone else, does that, its all conjecture. But really, doesn't your conjecture line up with what many people have claimed? For a putt that's hit too hard, the flagstick WILL help.. Using your guesses, I'd rather have an 8-footer than a 15-footer. I'd rather get lucky and hit the flagstick dead center, and make it, instead of hitting the back of the cup and putting again.
  • Frankensteins MonsterFrankensteins Monster Members Posts: 6,683 ✭✭
    edited Feb 13, 2019 11:02am #328
    davep043 wrote:


    davep043 wrote:




    [url="





    No player on the planet would hit a putt that short that hard.


    Of course not. But I've seen plenty of 20-footers going that fast at the hole.


    At that speed, the only thing a stick will do is prevent a 15ft rollout. It would have to be hit the flag absolutely perfect to drop. A millimeter off of a perfect hit and you’re looking at a 8 footer.


    Please do your own testing, and post the video. Try it a millimeter off, and see what happens. Until you, or someone else, does that, its all conjecture. But really, doesn't your conjecture line up with what many people have claimed? For a putt that's hit too hard, the flagstick WILL help.. Using your guesses, I'd rather have an 8-footer than a 15-footer. I'd rather get lucky and hit the flagstick dead center, and make it, instead of hitting the back of the cup and putting again.


    No denying that and I agree, the flag helps most of the time, but the video posted recreates a perfect set of parameters. Does the flag in help, absolutely. Will the flag make putts that would go in miss, absolutely. Will I be putting with the flag in, yes and no. Is keeping the flag in against the tradition of the game of golf, absolutely not. Does taking the flag out to against the tradition of golf, absolutely.
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭


    Is keeping the flag in against the tradition of the game of golf, absolutely not. Does taking the flag out to against the tradition of golf, absolutely.


    Are you saying that the tradition is to leave the flag in most or all of the time? I'd say that's not really the way I read the history. Except for a 12 year stretch from 1956 to 1968, there has been a penalty associated with a ball played from the putting green hitting the flagstick. Before there was a definition of "putting green", there was a penalty for any shot played from within 20 yards that struck the flagstick in the hole.
  • Frankensteins MonsterFrankensteins Monster Members Posts: 6,683 ✭✭
    davep043 wrote:



    Is keeping the flag in against the tradition of the game of golf, absolutely not. Does taking the flag out to against the tradition of golf, absolutely.


    Are you saying that the tradition is to leave the flag in most or all of the time? I'd say that's not really the way I read the history. Except for a 12 year stretch from 1956 to 1968, there has been a penalty associated with a ball played from the putting green hitting the flagstick. Before there was a definition of "putting green", there was a penalty for any shot played from within 20 yards that struck the flagstick in the hole.




    Unless I’m mistaken, when golf became a thing, leaving the flag in was the norm. My recollection of what I’ve taken as verified history, and have believed for many years, is that when the game started the flag was always in. The same way a stymie is an original part of the game. If you can give me some links to where I can read about that not being the case, link me. Not saying you’re wrong, but that my understing, over many years, is that the flag was originally in. I could easily be incorrect.
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭

    davep043 wrote:



    Is keeping the flag in against the tradition of the game of golf, absolutely not. Does taking the flag out to against the tradition of golf, absolutely.


    Are you saying that the tradition is to leave the flag in most or all of the time? I'd say that's not really the way I read the history. Except for a 12 year stretch from 1956 to 1968, there has been a penalty associated with a ball played from the putting green hitting the flagstick. Before there was a definition of "putting green", there was a penalty for any shot played from within 20 yards that struck the flagstick in the hole.




    Unless I’m mistaken, when golf became a thing, leaving the flag in was the norm. My recollection of what I’ve taken as verified history, and have believed for many years, is that when the game started the flag was always in. The same way a stymie is an original part of the game. If you can give me some links to where I can read about that not being the case, link me. Not saying you’re wrong, but that my understing, over many years, is that the flag was originally in. I could easily be incorrect.


    This site has good summaries of the rule changes over the years, as well as copies of the R&A Rules for quite a long time.

    http://www.ruleshistory.com/green.html

    According to them, the first time a flagstick was mentioned was 1875. Most golf in the early ways was done as match play, and the 1875 Rules say that either party may have the flagstick removed. I take this to mean that I can remove the stick prior to YOU putting.
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