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Putting with the flagstick in or out – Should they at Augusta?

Putting with the flag stick in or out has been at the top of the list of controversies with the new rules of golf.

The new rules of golf were released January 1st, 2019 and ever since we’ve seen one controversy after another.

Putting with the flag stick in or out has been at the top of the list of controversies. Should I leave it in or take it out?

Now that we’re 16 events deep into the 2019 portion of the PGA Tour season seeing players putt with the flagstick in is no longer a shock or at least as uncomfortable as it was to watch it back during its debut in Hawaii at Kapalua.

Most players are leaving it in on lag putts and some players like Adam Scott and Bryson Dechambeau are full time “leave it in guys.” DeChambeau and short game teaching guru Dave Pelz will both build you a scientific case based on a set number of rules and conditions that leaving it in is the always the way to go.

But therein lies the conundrum. Golf is not played on a standard field with a set number of variables. It’s actually the complete opposite because it’s played on a living breathing field with constant changing conditions.

Regardless on where you stand on this topic or how the best players in the world feel about it perhaps this week at Augusta maybe we were missing the mark.

Perhaps the question should’ve been different this week and instead of asking “Is it better to putt with it in or out?” Maybe we needed to ask “Should we?” 

Should we here at Augusta which is such a cherished place that its lore is built on tradition? Should we here at these legendary grounds known for its speed and respected for it’s requirement of touch in an era of power?

Earlier this year when there were voices from the world of golf suggesting that Augusta go their own way, Masters chairman Fred Ridley quickly put an end to that noise by saying, “There is a history of working with the governing bodies here at The Masters and an importance to keeping championship golf consistent.”

Its hard to argue with the opinion of Mr. Ridley. However, one can only wonder how golf fans, media and even past champions will feel late on a Sunday when a player has a downhill putt on 18 to win the green jacket and we hear Jim Nantz say, “He rings it off the post!”

Instead of, “Is it his time?”

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