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Middler

I won’t be leaving the pin in next year, will others?

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I've been leaving the pin in, and I have gotten used to it.  So much so that when I was in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, a guy I was playing with wanted the pin out and I decided to leave it out.  Bad putting round.  Here's my issue; I putt looking at the hole, and I have for 4 years.  Since I have been putting with the pin in, I feel like I have a better focus on the line.  Not sure why; maybe it's the vertical reference provided by the pin.  IDK.  The pin stays in.  If someone wants it out, I'll pull it then put in back in.  If that takes more time because I haven't been reading my putt while I'm holding the pin, so be it.

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Like I posted on page two. I have already left the pin in a couple of times when putting a really fast down-hiller hoping my putt enters the hole dead center on the correct path, is too fast, and the pin stops it dead in its track. However, I believe the concept/theory for leaving the pin and thereby making more putts is flawed. Think about it...

In all you golfing life how many putts have you missed that were entering the cup dead online with the correct path? Now think of how many putts have you missed that were just left or right (or short) of the cup. I know for me  most putts I miss are on one side or the other depending on the situation. Breaking left-right-or straight. Sometimes the putt is just short.  I rarely miss a putt entering the hole on the correct line/path. And, neither do you I'd wager. I also rarely stroke a putt too hard-fast dead at the hole where if the pin were in I'd have made it. Sure there are times when it's too fast and hits the back of the cup, checks and moves past the cup to some extent or sits on the lip. But IMO leaving the pin in assumes all your putts are on the correct path but too fast and the pin will stop the ball and drop in or deflect it slightly leaving a tap in. Again, IMO most missed putts will be missed with or without leaving the pin in. Would they not?

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Coach high school golf.  It has been quite interesting to watch practice and tourneys so far.  Just this week at a tourney, we (coaches) sat and watched group after group come through a few different holes and all the while the pin never came out of the cup even once - that was definitely quite odd to see.

Cannot say it helped but we did notice, and we were watching for it, that no putt was denied entry by the pin.

As with all aspects of putting there is a huge psychological component, and thus it seems that the confidence one has with it in or out is as important as any other benefit or detriment it may have otherwise.

*We thought the MSG data that was posted in a recent article was shockingly in favor of keeping pin in until we looked past initial glance and realized they were talking about putts that would go 3, 6, and 9 feet past (may have been different exact distances) rather than putts of that length.  We really didn't want to base a putting plan partly around data on putts going essentially 10ft past the hole😱

Personally I'll leave it in on longer putts and putt when it is my turn regardless of in or out on all others. 

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Instead of the potential "fire drill" mentioned earlier, with amateur groups would it be quicker to let everyone who wanted it in to putt (regardless of who's away) and then pull the pin and let everyone putt out following who's away? The idea of taking the pin out and putting it back more than once within a foursome seems counterproductive? I really don't know what to expect from the many people I play with in leagues, and won't know until late Spring/early Summer. Regardless I am sure we'll all adapt soon enough.

Edited by Middler
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... I have been very pleasantly surprised at how fast most have embraced leaving the pin in. I have only played with one group out of about 20 that wanted it out. A few started wanting it out but quickly changed because the group wanted it in, and they both liked leaving it in. One guy grumbled about having it in because he couldn't stick his putter in the hole and yank the ball out which often damages the hole. He was a GB Packer fan btw with hat and sweatshirt 🤪 and his 2 friends from Minneapolis refused to let him take the pin out. One whispered to me they hated his putter in the hole routine as well as his habit of tossing the flag when he pulled it. They LOVE the new rule because it stopped him from doing both. 

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21 hours ago, Middler said:

Instead of the potential "fire drill" mentioned earlier, with amateur groups would it be quicker to let everyone who wanted it in to putt (regardless of who's away) and then pull the pin and let everyone putt out following who's away? The idea of taking the pin out and putting it back more than once within a foursome seems counterproductive? I really don't know what to expect from the many people I play with in leagues, and won't know until late Spring/early Summer. Regardless I am sure we'll all adapt soon enough.

That system will definitely work better.  

21 hours ago, chisag said:

... I have been very pleasantly surprised at how fast most have embraced leaving the pin in. I have only played with one group out of about 20 that wanted it out. A few started wanting it out but quickly changed because the group wanted it in, and they both liked leaving it in. One guy grumbled about having it in because he couldn't stick his putter in the hole and yank the ball out which often damages the hole. He was a GB Packer fan btw with hat and sweatshirt 🤪 and his 2 friends from Minneapolis refused to let him take the pin out. One whispered to me they hated his putter in the hole routine as well as his habit of tossing the flag when he pulled it. They LOVE the new rule because it stopped him from doing both. 

Sounds like those that prefer the pin in are kind of being soft-scorned for doing so.  My experience thus far is that it's not making a lick of difference in speed of play.  The groups here say the whole rule change has created more confusion than good and are still choosing to take the pin out.  But this is mostly a 60+ crowd - not always so ready to adopt the latest and greatest. 😉  One of the guys I played with yesterday said he just prefers the hole wide open - nice that we have choices.

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My back is shot, so a way afforded by the rules to not have to pick a pin up off the ground? Sign me up.

But I'll play as the group prefers. Just, don't mean to sound rude, I hope nobody expects any in-out-in dance because if that's the case, they can tend to the pin themselves.

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4 hours ago, Will_Mac said:

My back is shot, so a way afforded by the rules to not have to pick a pin up off the ground? Sign me up.

But I'll play as the group prefers. Just, don't mean to sound rude, I hope nobody expects any in-out-in dance because if that's the case, they can tend to the pin themselves.

I've read this before, and I just don't understand the attitude.  When players have different preferences about the flag, in or out, its not difficult to manage in a timely manner, and really doesn't take much effort.  If the closest player pulls the flag for the first putter, and does NOT set it down, he can have the flag back in for the second putter as soon as the first ball stops rolling.  No delay.  A couple of steps extra walking.  Simple.  Now it does take a little communication, let the flag-puller know what you want, but that's not all that tough.  To refuse to participate does seem a little rude to me, even if you don't want to appear that way.

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... Again, this is very simple. Leave the pin in, always. It is more convenient, faster and easier on the green and the players to leave it in. There is only one reason to take it out. You have practiced and played with it out for a long time and it feels weird or different to putt with it in, leaving you at a psychological disadvantage. In the unusual circumstance that you would have 2 that want it in and 2 that want it out, the group will have to figure the best way to accomplish playing that way. But other than the person that just can't putt with it in because it is distracting and hurts their ability to make putts, it is the unique individual that wants to do something different than the group during a casual round of golf. If the majority want it in, leave it in. If the majority want it out, leave it out. It couldn't be more simple. 

Edited by chisag
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15 minutes ago, chisag said:

... Again, this is very simple. Leave the pin in, always. It is more convenient, faster and easier on the green and the players to leave it in. There is only one reason to take it out. You have practiced and played with it out for a long time and it feels weird or different to putt with it in, leaving you at a psychological disadvantage. In the unusual circumstance that you would have 2 that want it in and 2 that want it out, the group will have to figure the best way to accomplish playing that way. But other than the person that just can't putt with it in because it is distracting and hurts their ability to make putts, it is the rude individual that wants to do something different than the group. If the majority want it in, leave it in. If the majority want it out, leave it out. It couldn't be more simple. 

This theory is indeed very simple.  But at least in the US, we live in a country where our laws respect the right of individuals to hold different opinions from the majority, to take different actions (within some limits), and the rights of the minority are protected from being trampled by the will of the majority.  In my mind, things should work the same way on the golf course.  If one guy wants the flag out, 3 want it in all the time, (or the other way around) respect the single guy and handle the flag appropriately when its his turn.  It is very very little effort, causes zero delay if done properly, and is simple good manners.

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1 hour ago, chisag said:

... Again, this is very simple. Leave the pin in, always. It is more convenient, faster and easier on the green and the players to leave it in. There is only one reason to take it out. You have practiced and played with it out for a long time and it feels weird or different to putt with it in, leaving you at a psychological disadvantage. In the unusual circumstance that you would have 2 that want it in and 2 that want it out, the group will have to figure the best way to accomplish playing that way. But other than the person that just can't putt with it in because it is distracting and hurts their ability to make putts, it is the rude individual that wants to do something different than the group. If the majority want it in, leave it in. If the majority want it out, leave it out. It couldn't be more simple. 

Under the new rule it’s a very simple individual choice, but it’s a choice nonetheless. Until the USGA dictates that I leave all flagsticks in the hole, I’ll continue to exercise my agency on a case by case basis. If you insist that I’m “rude” for simply choosing to remove the flagstick on some putts when the rest of the group has “voted” to leave it in, well... smh

The USGA hasn’t outlined any procedures for 1st tee flagstick voting, and I’d venture that’s because they have correctly framed it as a personal choice. And it’s additionally a choice that I’m free to change on a whim, from day to day, hole to hole, putt to putt. Pace of play is a major issue but I take much greater issue with another golfer overlaying their own democratic system that precludes my personal decisions within the rules _or_ otherwise maligns me for not following the herd.

I’ve been holding my tongue on this particular subject to give others an opportunity to bring up some points that may not have been addressed by MGS testing and this seems like a good time to introduce one that might bring the discussion back where it belongs.

Hole conditions: How many of you play at a course where they cut new holes everyday? How many of you play courses where hole locations stay the same all winter? (DLK raises hand) Yes, I play at facilities of both sorts. And having experienced both I can tell you with certainty that golf holes aren’t exactly the same size everywhere you go. In the middle of the growing season, a hole cut 2 days ago is appreciably smaller than it started. There are also plenty of individuals working within superintendent staffs that don’t understand the steps to ensure a properly cut hole, but that doesn’t stop them from taking awful plugs. If you have a situation where low COR flagsticks are in use and older “grown in” hole locations, it’s probably going to change some of the MGS testing numbers. Has anyone else considered any of the points in the preceding paragraph when making their decision re: impregnated holes vs pulling out?

Flagstick IN-vs-OUT requires very nuanced consideration to truly take advantage of the situational variables. And I don’t at all think a group vote on the 1st tee is the right tool for this particular job.

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... "Rude" was a poor choice of words. I think "Unique" would be more apropos. And fwiw, I am talking about casual rounds of golf with friends or strangers, not league or tournament play which is a very different animal imo. I am an easy going guy that is very serious for the few seconds it takes to think about and execute my shot, but find communing with "the herd" the rest of the time makes for a more enjoyable round of casual golf for all. I am in Phoenix playing with strangers almost every day so I am in much more of a social situation when it comes to pin preference. Clearly YMV's and I do not malign you or your opinion. 

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I've read this before, and I just don't understand the attitude.  When players have different preferences about the flag, in or out, its not difficult to manage in a timely manner, and really doesn't take much effort.  If the closest player pulls the flag for the first putter, and does NOT set it down, he can have the flag back in for the second putter as soon as the first ball stops rolling.  No delay.  A couple of steps extra walking.  Simple.  Now it does take a little communication, let the flag-puller know what you want, but that's not all that tough.  To refuse to participate does seem a little rude to me, even if you don't want to appear that way.


Of course it's very simple and it shouldn't be an issue, my statement doesn't mean that I expect it to be.

Your response is if to take exception based on an assumption that I'd be incapable or unwilling to communicate. That's silly.

Of course there shouldn't be an issue and my statement doesn't at all mean that I anticipate any (presently dealing with another herniation so haven't yet played with the new rules in effect). I have and will continue to be as accommodating as I possibly can be on the golf course. It was a very general statement meant to address the unexpected. In the event that another's indecision makes for a flag having to be retrieved, thus leading to the possibility of it being twice, I'll do it once.

I've never expected others to spare my back to get the pin, I'm always eager to do my share. My comment is not against any players, it's against a rule that could possibly, at times however remote, necessitate the pin being placed down and picked up more than once. And I won't be doing that.

And to be clear, I don't care about the actual change in the rule. Again, wrt to my back, I'll appreciate the rule especially on solo rounds. Not having to touch it at all? I'm in.

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9 hours ago, Will_Mac said:

My back is shot, so a way afforded by the rules to not have to pick a pin up off the ground? Sign me up.

But I'll play as the group prefers. Just, don't mean to sound rude, I hope nobody expects any in-out-in dance because if that's the case, they can tend to the pin themselves.

 

9 minutes ago, Will_Mac said:

Your response is if to take exception based on an assumption that I'd be incapable or unwilling to communicate. That's silly.

Of course there shouldn't be an issue and my statement doesn't at all mean that I anticipate any (presently dealing with another herniation so haven't yet played with the new rules in effect). I have and will continue to be as accommodating as I possibly can be on the golf course. It was a very general statement meant to address the unexpected. In the event that another's indecision makes for a flag having to be retrieved, thus leading to the possibility of it being twice, I'll do it once.

I've never expected others to spare my back to get the pin, I'm always eager to do my share. My comment is not against any players, it's against a rule that could possibly, at times however remote, necessitate the pin being placed down and picked up more than once. And I won't be doing that.

And to be clear, I don't care about the actual change in the rule. Again, wrt to my back, I'll appreciate the rule especially on solo rounds. Not having to touch it at all? I'm in. emoji4.png

 

I think you can understand how I got the impression (I'm glad I was mistaken) that you weren't going to help anyone whose choices differed from yours, or from the majority of the group.  I have actually read (in other less considerate forums) where people have said exactly that, they were going to leave the pin in, and not touch it no matter what someone else wanted.  THAT is rude, without exception, at least to me.

But I agree with the bit I underlined in your more recent post, its also rude if you don't communicate your preferences, and then expect someone to jump to handle the flag when it could have been handled smoothly with just a few words.

And for solo rounds, you've been allowed for several years to play with the flag in the hole, or use any other rules (or non-rules) you want, you haven't been able to post those for your handicap anyway.

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I think you can understand how I got the impression (I'm glad I was mistaken) that you weren't going to help anyone whose choices differed from yours, or from the majority of the group.  I have actually read (in other less considerate forums) where people have said exactly that, they were going to leave the pin in, and not touch it no matter what someone else wanted.  THAT is rude, without exception, at least to me.
But I agree with the bit I underlined in your more recent post, its also rude if you don't communicate your preferences, and then expect someone to jump to handle the flag when it could have been handled smoothly with just a few words.
And for solo rounds, you've been allowed for several years to play with the flag in the hole, or use any other rules (or non-rules) you want, you haven't been able to post those for your handicap anyway.
You simply read beyond my words. I said if anyone would expect any in and out dance, they can tend to it themselves. That's not an unreasonable statement. It addresses the off chance that another would expect something unreasonable from me.

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Heck yea! That pin will be staying in longer than a sow in a corn bin! 🐷   All of my senior buddies are thrilled with this option.  No bending over getting goosed by your fellow golfer any more.   It's a win/win for all us old coots!

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The other potential benefit is it might stop the 'putter diggers', you know, the ones who won't take the ball out the cup with anything other than their putter😡 while damaging the hole edge!!

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50 minutes ago, PlaidJacket said:

Why is the "Scientist" not making any putts? He's leaving the pin.

Why is Spieth not making any putts?  He's taking it out.

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Why is this rule change (option) creating such polarization?  There is no right, no wrong answer....but it seems some are viewing it that way 😞 .  Want it in, leave it in.  Want it out, take it out.  Playing with others not using your preferred method, figure out a workable system.  I tried leaving it in on a few long, downhill putts on Monday, but still like the open look for closer putts.  Also, it was windy and hearing the flag flapping and seeing the stick moving was distracting.

On 2/14/2019 at 7:21 AM, perseveringgolfer said:

The other potential benefit is it might stop the 'putter diggers', you know, the ones who won't take the ball out the cup with anything other than their putter😡 while damaging the hole edge!!

Just as bad are those who try and pop their ball out using a quick pull of the pin.  

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