Bryson DeChambeau’s naysayers can point to his brief sidesaddle putting method and little else in the imaginative arsenal of ideas he’s brought to the PGA Tour. And right on cue, he backed up his claims of seeing benefits to putting with the flagstick in the hole by doing so at Kapalua where the revised Rules of Golf were in effect.
One of the examples from an opening 69 at the Plantation Course to kick off the 2019 campaign:
After the round, DeChambeau was bullish on the idea even though he had done very little practice with flagstick’s in the cup.
From Dan Kilbridge’s Golfweek report on the overall impact, with quotes from playing partner Dustin Johnson.
“I feel like I maximized my potential on that,” DeChambeau said. “Especially on 16 today, where it’s kind of blowing downwind, five percent slope, straight downhill, you want that pin in to help. So that’s what I kind of did and utilized it to my advantage. So I felt like for the most part I needed the pin to be in and it went in and it was a very nice help.”
He was playing with Dustin Johnson, who probably spent less time studying the modern rules than DeChambeau spent picking his shirt this morning. Johnson told him before the round he was cool with the whole flagstick thing and to have DeChambeau’s caddie Tim Tucker just handle the flag all day to avoid confusion.
“It’s definitely weird. Well, not weird, it’s just different watching someone putt with the flag in,” Johnson said. “It actually worked out where it wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t slow us down or anything.”
Brandel Chamblee said after the first round display that players will be compelled to research the concept and will find that they make more putts doing this: