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 Mark Krusic at
06/06/2019 06:40 PM
Hi just wondering what is rule if ball rest's against flag shaft and doesn't go in hole or only half the ball is below the lip Thanks Mark
Posted by Mark at
02/05/2019 01:51 PM
I have found that the edges of the hole become damaged from hands removing the ball from the hole with the flag in. This can help the ball to fall into the hole giving an unfair advantage to players later in a round.
Posted by Colin at
06/01/2019 10:21 PM
Sorry but I’ll always be taking the flag out, whether a tap in or 30’
Posted by Nick at
29/11/2018 06:12 PM
A good change at first sight, but I can foresee delays if each player on the green ponders whether they want the flag in or out. Can you ask for the flag to be replaced in the hole, eg when you have a short downhill putt?
Posted by Michael B at
10/11/2018 10:41 PM
This rule is designed to speed up play. I have been in situations where I am on the green but with a very long putt and my playing partners are off the green. To walk to the flag, remove it, walk back and putt does not allow the others to fairly get the ball onto the green by knowing where the pin is located. I can now putt knowing I'm not going to be penalised if I hit the flag.
Posted by phil at
01/11/2018 09:45 AM
I find the rule changes very sensible and remove some of the ridiculous penalties in golf. My only criticism is the quiet lilting irish voice on the videos. I wonder what she's saying.
Posted by Ian McBryde at
28/10/2018 09:25 AM
I find a 2-point penalty for an accidental, minor misdemeanour to be draconian & unfair, causing undue stress. All such penalties should be 1 point. I remember Karrie Webb wiping sand off the fringe, just off the green. One poor PGA player grounded his club in some loose sand in the rough, only to be told it was a 'bunker'; many other example, like hitting another ball on the green. I am NOT talking about deliberate actions like Mickelson stopping a ball with his foot on a rogue green.
Posted by Ian McBryde at
24/10/2018 09:38 AM
These new rule changes are great, with virtually no downside. The benefit in speeding up play could be doubled if you eliminated the penalty for hitting a ball on the green, when hit from on the green; the penalty, 2 is draconian as there is minimal benefit.
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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