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“Flagstick in the hole – yes or no?”

10.00am 23rd August 2019 - Media - This story was updated on Friday, August 23rd, 2019

New golf rules came into force at the beginning of this year. One of the changes affects putting – the flag may now be left in the hole when putting. However, this has led to controversy as to whether the flagstick is a help or a hindrance to holing the ball.

In a short video, the international rules official Yves C. Ton-That (author of the global bestseller “Golf Rules Quick Reference”) provides the answer to what is currently golf’s most debated topic. His answer is based on an empirical study of 1,000 standardized putts; 500 with and 500 without the flagstick. And the findings were clear-cut. Leaving the flag in the hole almost always helps to hole the ball. Furthermore, a positive side effect has also been identified – balls that are not holed come to rest significantly nearer to the hole if the flag has not been removed.

More information on the new golf rules is also available at

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