Golf Australia

VIDEO: Flagstick can remain in when putting (0.50min)

2019 Rule: Under Rule 13.2a(2):                  

  • There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
  • Players will not be required to putt with the flagstick in the hole; rather, they will continue to have the choice to have it removed (which includes having someone attend the flagstick and remove it after the ball is played).

Reasons for Change:

Allowing a player to putt with the flagstick in the hole without fear of penalty should generally help speed up play.

When the players do not have caddies, the current Rule can result in considerable delay.

On balance it is expected that there should be no advantage in being able to putt with the unattended flagstick in the hole:

  • In some cases, the ball may strike the flagstick and bounce out of the hole when it might otherwise have been holed, and
  • In other cases, the ball may hit the flagstick and finish in the hole when it might otherwise have missed. 


Posted by Peter Smith at
08/09/2018 10:20 AM
Weighing up the pros and cons it really makes o difference.To help in judging the distance from over 6 mts I have found this helpful.
Posted by Tony at
19/08/2018 05:39 PM
My view is that this rule change will impact adversely on the skill levels required to sink a putt with the person close to the hole being able to virtually eliminate the break from the putt by simply banging it towards the flagstick
Posted by Brad at
17/08/2018 07:25 AM
Can't have one without the other, or we would need the captain to adjudicate on what level of laziness is permissable.
Posted by greg at
29/07/2018 09:09 PM
I thought the idea was to speed up play by allowing a player to play a" long "putt without waiting for one or more of your playing partners to reach the green. The idea of putting with the flag in because you are too lazy to walk say 2 mtrs to remove the flag is ridiculous.

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