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What's Happening? Flagstick In or Out?

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  • Originally posted by rollin View Post
    I don't get the logic to leave it in for long but then pull it for shorter ones. if it's ok for a long one it should also be ok for a short one. The flag stick doesn't know your lag putting or not.
    And so I guess....from afar your put isn't important but from 7 feet your putting for the win at the Open?
    Many of us once had the flag tended on longer putts so we could see our target easier. Leaving it in on the long ones is the same for me. I'm not going to rehash the Golf Digest Tom Mase study, but I find the evidence that leaving the flagstick in will reduce the chances of making putts that don't strike center flagstick(most putts) very compelling. This year I have now had 7 or 8 long putts or chips deflect off the flagstick and finish less than 18" away from the hole. In my judgment, all but one of those would have gone in had the flagstick been pulled. That has happened to me hundreds of times over my golfing career while I have only holed maybe ten shots ever that struck center flagstick that were moving way too fast to go in without the flagstick. We also have a lot of windy days here and the flag flapping in the wind is distracting inside of 20 feet for me. The shadow in my line is also a distraction.

    If leaving it in offered any advantage the vast majority of PGA Tour players would leave it in for all putts. Very few do.

    The other argument that speed of play is faster with the flagstick holds no merit. We played as a fivesome yesterday with everyone walking and finished in under 4 hours. The flagstick was pulled on 17 of 18 holes.
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    • Originally posted by wubears71 View Post
      This rule needs to change. I am getting tired of screwing with the flagstick when golfers have different preferences. It has the complete opposite effect and slows down the game. It was especially annoying in my amateur tournament last Friday. I felt like we were doing a dance all day on the green. Instead of focusing on putting we were focused on the flagstick.


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      I could see that getting annoying very quick.

      We had this happen yesterday, not nearly as tedious as your scenario, and by the 3rd green I just pulled the flag for the remainder of the 9.

      We got paired up at the turn with a father-son. None of us cared if the flag was in or out except the kid wanted the flag pulled each time. No problem. It would be nice if the group can just agree on the 1st green whether to leave the pin in or out for the round so we don't have to keep asking.
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      • Originally posted by rollin View Post
        I don't get the logic to leave it in for long but then pull it for shorter ones. if its ok for a long one it should also be ok for a short one. The flag stick doesn't know your lag putting or not.
        And so I guess....from afar your put isn't important but from 7 feet your putting for the win at the Open?
        No - once you're outside of 20 feet, it's really less than a 1/10 chance that you'll make the putt. Even more unlikely that you would hit the hole on that putt, and also be deflected. People are asking for the flag out on putts that they expect to make, and don't want any potential interference.

        I don't think anyone thinks they're putting for the US Open, but especially for low handicaps, the margin between good and bad rounds is very slim. It doesn't make sense to be careless with strokes on the green.
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        • Originally posted by CobraX51 View Post
          I could see that getting annoying very quick.

          We had this happen yesterday, not nearly as tedious as your scenario, and by the 3rd green I just pulled the flag for the remainder of the 9.

          We got paired up at the turn with a father-son. None of us cared if the flag was in or out except the kid wanted the flag pulled each time. No problem. It would be nice if the group can just agree on the 1st green whether to leave the pin in or out for the round so we don't have to keep asking.
          My regular playing partners know I will be pulling the flag inside of 20 feet and if I'm with strangers I'll announce on the first green that I'll be taking it out for any putts inside that distance.
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          • Originally posted by tahoebum View Post
            My regular playing partners know I will be pulling the flag inside of 20 feet and if I'm with strangers I'll announce on the first green that I'll be taking it out for any putts inside that distance.
            Serious suggestion. Revisit this thread a year from now (July, 2020) and let us know if you're still pulling the flag for putts inside 20 feet.

            You may well still be doing it. But I predict 90% or more of people doing that in July, 2019 will have stopped doing it by July, 2020.

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            • Originally posted by tahoebum View Post
              My regular playing partners know I will be pulling the flag inside of 20 feet and if I'm with strangers I'll announce on the first green that I'll be taking it out for any putts inside that distance.
              Fair game, that's appreciated, and again, I didn't care that the kid wanted the flag out each putt. On the 3rd hole is when I just yanked it each time all of us were on the green.
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              • The one place we don't play ready golf is on the green. The guy farthest from the hole putts first, then the next farthest, etc. As that progression of putting closer to the hole continues, once somebody wants it out it stays out and I've yet to see someone request that it be put back in. Among our foursome we have seen enough putts hit the pin and NOT go in with the consensus that they probably would have gone in that leaving the flagstick in for all putts is not an option for us. Plus, we play in North Texas where it can get pretty windy and all of our greens have enough slope to the point that usually every pin is leaning in one direction or another. That being another reason to take it out.

                Et Tu Brute? said:

                "Serious suggestion. Revisit this thread a year from now (July, 2020) and let us know if you're still pulling the flag for putts inside 20 feet.

                You may well still be doing it. But I predict 90% or more of people doing that in July, 2019 will have stopped doing it by July, 2020."

                I think it is going to be just the opposite. As more people experience putts bouncing off the flagstick as opposed to the perception of being helped it is going to be fewer requesting that the flagstick be left in.
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                • This is my experience... with group of friends, it's no real issue leaving it in or taking it out.
                  Yesterday, I played as a single with 3 other singles... two were my level players and one was a serious scratch college player.
                  I really don't care if it's in or not, 2nd person was like me; didn't care, the 3rd person HAD to have it in at all time, and the college kid wanted it out all the time.
                  It felt like the pin was going in and out too many times yesterday. Not sure if more time was wasted or not but it was annoying tending the flag AND trying to read my own putt/go through my routine.
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                  • Originally posted by Phil75070 View Post
                    I think it is going to be just the opposite. As more people experience putts bouncing off the flagstick as opposed to the perception of being helped it is going to be fewer requesting that the flagstick be left in.
                    Well I guess nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of golfers.

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                    • I had a putt on Sunday that hit dead center and bounced out/off the stick and rolled about 6 inches away. Wasn't happy at all, however if the stick wasn't there I can't say with certainty that it would have dropped.
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                      • Originally posted by Et Tu Brute? View Post
                        Well I guess nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of golfers.
                        Are you implying that those who choose to take the flagstick out are less intelligent?
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                        • One other issue Im seeing with the flagstick in is the hole getting really beat up around the edges. The holes at my course dont have those crisp edges like they use to and when I asked about it the superintendent said its from people constantly retrieving their ball with the flagstick in. They look great first thing in the morning and then get worn as the day goes on.


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                          • Originally posted by Phil75070 View Post
                            Are you implying that those who choose to take the flagstick out are less intelligent?
                            No, I am saying the belief that the flagstick is going to frequently cause good putts to be knocked out of the hole while never causing bad putts to stay in the hole is ludicrous. But I've met golfers with all sorts of ludicrous belief systems.

                            If you think the flagstick in or out makes more than a tenth of a stroke per round difference to your long-term scoring, that's unintelligent. Now if you believe that it makes a tiny fraction of a stroke difference and you want it pulled every time anyway, that's not stupid it's just silly.

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                            • 7 months in a clear trend has emerged with the groups I play with in both my league and amongst my buddies. It's left in till the putts are inside of 10ish feet and then it is pulled out for the rest of the putts.
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                              • I actually had a putt knocked out by the flagstick during my last round. It was around a 4 footer. I dont know exactly how or why it happened but needless to say I took the flagstick out for all the shorter putts after that.
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