I’m still fascinated by the Golf.com exclusive reporting that Bryson DeChambeau’s plans to start leaving the flagstick in for most putts when the 2019 Rules of Golf kick in.
Given that he just won his fourth tournament in five starts, DeChambeau’s methodology and madness is bound to have some copycats if he proves it to be a useful way to putt.
But some have predicted it will be a visual mess for pro golf, as Hank Haney did. He sees the USGA and R&A having to back off the rule, or face PGA Tour intervention of some kind in the form of a local rule.
I certainly can see where the sight of some players wanting the flag tended and others leaving it in could turn greens into a weird game of Twister as caddies navigate through lines and wait to hear from the player if they want the stick in or out.
There will also be others who test things out with regulation flags in the green and undoubtedly many opinions what works. The Forecaddie has info on the actual PGA Tour stock flagstick, in case you have COR testing to do.
The Golf.com gang batted around the flagstick matter too and scores some points worthy of consideration. This from Luke Kerr-Dineen was spot on:
Kerr-Dineen: If the anchor ban provides the precedent, we can deduce that golf’s rules are decided — at least in part — by how the powers that be want the game to look. It’s not something that’s specific to golf. The NFL is a classic example of legislating the game in a way that makes it more marketable. If the bosses upstairs see Bryson putting with the flagstick in and don’t love the look of it, don’t be surprised to see them “revisit” this rule.
Personally, I can’t comprehend the advantage being worth the visual distraction that is so different from what players are used to. But I also can’t fathom anchoring a putter
This trend could go a few ways and I’d would love to hear what you think. I voted for the top one. Especially if Dave Pelz or others do more testing with putts and see no harm in the practice.