Bryson DeChambeau is taking advantage of the new Rules of Golf, and he's putting with the flagstick in from now on.
The four-time PGA Tour winner has long held the belief it's better to leave the flagstick in whenever allowed by the Rules of Golf. Until 2019, however, a player couldn't leave the stick in when a putt started on the putting surface. If the ball struck the stick, it would result in a penalty. With the newest edition of the Rules of Golf, the USGA and R&A have eliminated the penalty for hitting the flagstick with a putt starting on the green. That means the flagstick can always be in, and DeChambeau is all about it.
“Oh, absolutely,” he said to Golf.com, indicating he'll putt with the flagstick in whenever possible. “The USGA’s gonna have to go back on that one. Like, ‘No! We made the hole bigger!'”
Thinking about it logically, it makes sense to leave the flagstick in the cup in almost every situation. The only time when it's a bad idea to leave the flagstick in is in a situation where the flagstick is leaning forward or toward the player, taking away space for the ball to go in the hole. However, in most every other situation, the flagstick can really only help the ball go in the hole. The flagstick is particularly helpful with quick, downhill putts and chips. So why not use it?
DeChamebeau told Golf.com it made less sense for him to keep the flagstick in at USGA championships because they tend to use a wider, metal flagstick. However, at PGA Tour stops, the flagstick is smaller and made of fiberglass, so there's less energy transferred back to the ball in the collision, meaning it helps more to get the ball in the hole.