There’s no doubt that the updated Rules of Golf have been the biggest headline of the young 2019 golf season, and it’s likely that they will continue to be as pros and amateurs alike adjust to the tweaks made by the USGA and R&A.
Given the skepticism surrounding some of the new rules — most notably, the ability to the putt with the flagstick — there has been speculation that some of the game’s most prestigious and traditional events will operate under their own rules, however, that notion was shot down on Thursday.
Speaking in the Dominican Republic, the site of the Latin America Amateur, Masters chairman Fred Ridley intimated that the first major championship of the year wouldn’t be messing further with the Rules of Golf.
“We will, as we always do, collaborate with the governing bodies and talk about those rules, those local rules and conditions that will be implemented,” Ridley said via GolfDigest.com. “We think it’s important that there be some consistency in top championship golf, and so you can expect that the Masters tournament will look very much, if not the same, as what you’re seeing in the major championships and professional tours.”
As more and more data comes out, it stands to reason that most, if not all, putts are aided by having the flagstick in.
Bryson DeChambeau has been the most outspoken about keeping the flagstick in for every putt, although even he has not followed through with it 100% of the time.
Other pros, including Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, have said that they will continue to pull the flag with Thomas saying he “couldn’t take (himself) seriously” keeping the flagstick in to make a putt to win a tournament.
On the other side of the argument, 2013 Masters champion has given up the optics of what has been deemed “conventional.”
Adam Scott says he will leave the flagstick in on every putt, even if it’s a six-footer to win the Masters.
“As you know, I’m not a person who cares how things look…I was a 30-year old man putting with a broomstick.”
— RonGreenJr (@RonGreenJr) January 9, 2019
“As you know, I’m not a person who cares how things look,” Scott said during last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii. “I’m a 30-year-old man putting with a broomstick.”