Professional golfer Bryson DeChambeau has decided to make use of a new rule change for 2019 from the USGA and R&A that will allow players to leave the flagstick in while putting on the green.
Photo Credit: Bryson / Getty
PGA Pro Bryson DeChambeau's Thoughts
Bryson seems to think that this rule change will be an advantage to players on the PGA TOUR circuit, using the flagstick as a backstop, allowing the ball to hit the pin and then hopefully drop in the hole. According to Bryson, this makes the hole bigger;
“The USGA’s going to have to go back on that one. Like, no we made the hole bigger!” - Bryson DeChambeau
Actually, leaving the flagstick in just reduces the size of the hole, that is obvious. Relying on the ball hitting the pin and dropping in really depends on the speed the ball is traveling at. Too fast and the ball will simply just bounce off the stick and roll away. The ball would also have to rolling at the center of the hole/pin on the initial putt to get it to stop, and drop in the hole. Anything off center will hit the stick and rebound away.
Bryson has done some research on the composition of flagsticks and as the U.S. Open uses a much thicker flagstick than is the normal case on Tour, Bryson will not be attempting to hit that stick and drop the ball in the hole.
“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick. In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”
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This will be an interesting experiment, and only time will tell if this is really a game-changing rule to be exploited by the professionals. Speaking to average club players, they all disagree with the assessment that it is easy to hit the pin and drop the ball in the hole.
I have been on the putting green experimenting myself, and out of ten putts that hit the flagstick only two actually dropped in. The other eight veered off to the side, albeit leaving an easy tap in. The other equation is the distance of the putt, the greater the distance away, the greater the chance of the ball striking the pin with more impact velocity. Bryson has not made a statement on what distance putt he will be leaving the flagstick in. On shorter putts, it would be easier to control the speed.
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