Putting with the Flagstick In


You look like an absolute squid though. Look good, feel good, play good.


Someone takes it out. Next person wants it put back in. Then the next guy takes it out. Then someone wants it back in.

The former scenario is likely to repeat 18 times per round. The latter happens once every few rounds.


You didn’t read the rest. There is a net advantage, just not for putts that are rolling very slowly (those just go in if they were going to go in, and lip out without even touching the flagstick if they were going to lip out).


I don’t envision nearly as many people keeping the pin in for standard issue putts as you, obviously I guess.


Science and math be damned, I can think of a far greater amount of times having the flagstick out helped me than having the flagstick in did. I second what JT said in that the whole look of it just bothers me. I wouldn’t be able to get used to it. How Bryson can putt with the wind whipping that thing around is startling because I couldn’t do that.


Did anyone catch Golf Central at about 10:18 eastern time? Brandel talked about how he can’t conceive of why anyone would not putt with the flagstick in most of the time because it’s an advantage. These guys scratch and claw and are so finely separated that he finds it strange that any of them would willingly turn down an advantage.

Oh, you’re perception is probably wrong. The flagstick probably helped you - if the ball stayed out with the flagstick in, it probably was going to be much, much further away without the flagstick in the hole. Balls can only be moving about 10 revolutions per second to fall in even the center of the cup. That’s about 3 MPH. Not that fast.


God bless the thread title was changed


The thing that baffled me on that article was that it said the pin leaning towards you is actually an advantage. For as long as I can remember, I’ve pulled the flag on shorter putts from the fringe if the flag is leaning towards me thinking it was basically goal tending me.

Now, I can definitely see how unless it’s insanely strong wind a forward lean is going to force something with forward roll down into the hole.


It is, yeah - it deflects the ball down.


Yes from 1956-1968 there was no penalty for striking an unattended flagstick regardless of where the ball was played from.


I don’t see any problem with it. I have never been the type of guy to take the pin out on the practice green and I can putt just fine with it in. I play more rounds than not by myself as of late so I don’t think it will do anything but speed up my game.

As for looking weird, I could care less about that.


Science proving stuff

Folks, if you are still a non believer or think it ‘looks strange’ to leave the flag in. Have a look at this video.

Summary is that anything played at the right pace will drop regardless of the pin being in or out.
For putts played with too much pace, they are more likely to drop or be much closer to the hole by leaving the pin in.

So if you want to play at a disadvantage then keep removing the flag, just to look cool? Also, play with some bladed irons, persimmon woods and an old flat putter… because they all look good.

Just don’t moan about your score too much.


exactly…this isn’t an opinion type point. It’s a fact that the pin being in helps. It’s the reason it was banned before.

Leave the pin in. But if you’re freaked out about it, do whatever you want, but know it’s the tiniest of disadvantages, regardless of your smaller data set of examples.


The science is clear that it helps to leave the pin in the hole, so it will be interesting to see if the next season to two seasons on tour if more players follow Byson’s lead and leave the pin in the hole.

It might only help you 3-5 strokes over the course of the season, but on a tour with razor thin margins that could be the difference in winning a tournament or keeping your tour card.

Also makes Tour Saucing by tending the pin when the player is off the green chipping even more laughable. Just out there saucing it up giving myself a disadvantage.


In fairness, for the pros - they are going to be much better with pace and so probably the advantage to be gained by likes of Bryson is close to nothing.

However for amateurs who may often race a putt past, it will probably help most rounds.

Personally, for shorter putts of 4 feet or so, I have already been practising hitting these firmly at the flag. To my eye, it gives me something to aim at and I know the chances are if I hit a fast putt, it will still drop and I can eliminate some / all of the break. Obviously makes a lot more sense to err on the side of hitting it too fast than too slow. As we all know, 100% of short putts don’t go in.

I would be surprised if some Pros don’t adopt this tactic with slipper sidehill lies, where they can eliminate the break on a snakey 4 footer.


So you feel hitting your 4 footers with heavy speed, that can only go in by hitting a target maybe an inch wide, will lead to you making more 4 footers than if you focused on perfect speed that allows for a target of 3 inches or so?

Curious to hear you report back in a few months on how this works out for you.


I would shit my pants if I tried to take the break out of a slippery four-footer, especially on Tour greens. If you missed, that ball is going to end up 30 feet from the hole. However, I can see pros taking that approach for a two-footer.


I’m not saying that at all.

I’m saying hitting a firm putt, rather than an even paced putt is going to yield better result with a greater margin for error.

If I hit my putt too hard it still has a decent chance of going in, likewise too softly. A perfect speed putt hit too hard will still go in with the flag there, but hit too weakly it won’t go in, unless it is dead straight.

I’m not saying ram it at the hole so hard that it has to hit the dead centre of the flag to go in.

It’s something I tried when I was out hitting myself and it felt good and worked.

It’s not as if I’m playing at Augusta, so this tactic may be revised on speedier / slopey surfaces.


ok, so I was playing in Scotland in December.

As I said in reply to Warbird, I’m not playing at Augusta, I’ll keep trying this as the warmer weather and slicker greens comes in.


I am playing today and will be putting with it in all day and I will report back! LOL