It has long been the conventional wisdom in golf to take out the flagstick from the hole when you’re putting on the green. Bryson DeChambeau, however, is going to buck that trend heading into 2019.
Prior to 2019 there has a rule in place that required that the flagstick is taken out of the hole for putts from the green, leaving a choice to leave it in for players putting or chipping from the fringe or rough around the green. That rule is changing in 2019, however, allowing players to make the choice no matter where they are putting from.
Obviously DeChambeau would be the player that would embrace this rule change and utilize it at all points because of his innovative approach to the game. This technique would be just the next in a long line of creative approaches he takes to the game.
Bryson de Chambeau of the United States on the 18th green in his match against Alex Noren during the final day singles matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 30, 2018 in… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Explaining if he would utilize this rule change, DeChambeau said absolutely. “It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick,” he said. “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.”
His reasoning for taking out the pin at the U.S. Open will be because those flag sticks are often much thicker.
DeChambeau isn’t alone in this thought either. Teacher David Polz concluded that it is much more beneficial to leave the stick in the hole whenever the rules allow after conducting a study on the topic. If you hit the ball harder to keep a more straight line, the pin will obviously help to stop the ball’s momentum and drop into the cup rather than role over it.
There are PGA TOUR players that take the opposite approach too, most notably Phil Mickelson who almost never leaves the pin in, even hitting from the fairway sometimes. But with this new rule change, it will be interesting to see the success players have and if any others will pick up the strategy that DeChambeau plans to implement.
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