MODERNIZING GOLF'S RULES
Proposed Change: Ball Played from the Putting Green Hits Unattended Flagstick in Hole
March 1, 2017
Proposed Rule: Under new Rule 13.2b(3):
There would no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole.
Players would not be required to putt with the unattended flagstick in the hole; rather, they would continue to have the choice to remove the flagstick before playing or to have it attended.
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.