Next year golfers may choose to putt with the flagstick left in. And Bryson DeChambeau thinks it may be an advantage to do so.
As of January 1, 2019 the new Rules of Golf come into play which includes the option for golfers to putt with the flagstick left in.
As it currently stands the rules of golf prohibit a ball being putted from the green and going into the hole with the flagstick in place. Which is why golfers ask for the flagstick to be tended for sighting the hole and then removed once the golf ball is on its way.
Obviously it doesn’t matter if the golf ball has been hit from anywhere off the green.
But to improve pace of play, the new golf rules allow the flagstick to be left in and the ball enter the hole with it still in place.
Bryson DeChambeau, winner of last week’s PGA Tour Shriners Hospital Open, has hinted that he may be tempted to take advantage of the new rule and putt with the flagstick left in depending on the pin’s “coefficient of restitution”.
“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick,” DeChambeau told Dylan Dethier at Golf.com. “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.”
Essentially it’s how much energy is absorbed during the collision, in this case between the golf ball and the flagstick. The material properties of the flagstick will effect how much the golf ball bounces off – as well as the speed of the ball of course.
In the old days of golf with wooden flagsticks, golf balls would more often drop straight down near the hole iof theyu were struck from off the green. Today a golf ball careering off the flagstick, occasionally off the green is a more common sight due to more spin on the golf ball and fiberglass pins which means very little energy is absorbed during the collision.
Time will tell after January 1 if this becomes a thing or not for DeChambeau – and for golfers around the world.
Perhaps ironically the rule which was brought in to speed of play may make a round longer as golfers take the pin in and out more often.