Nearly three months into the new year and new set of rules the questions continue on whether to leave the flagstick in the hole while putting or remove it as traditionally held.
The new rules say one can leave it in, as their is no penalty for hitting the pin while putting as with the prior rules. However, some golfers are saying leaving the pin in the hole will cause putts to deflect or rebound out.
For me, starting with several days in Florida in January, I've not removed the pin prior to any putt in 2018. In my experience, having the flagstick in the hole allows me to better view the putt. Now in the old days I'd have my caddie or a competitor "tend" the flagstick. But now I merely ask to leave it in.
Not once have I regretted it. And, it speeds play. Nothing wrong with that.
Of course, there are those who believe leaving it in will deflect balls. Only once this year, in 27 rounds, have I seen such a deflection. I have seen several times when a ball thought to have enough stream to speed past the hole - maybe even off the green - was slowed by the flagstick. Several have fallen into the cup.
Point it, there is no scientifically proven do or don't here. And I often side with speeding up play. So leave it in it is.