Rule 13.2 states that now you can hit the unattended flagstick that’s in the hole from the the putting green (or anywhere else) without penalty. The decision to remove the flagstick, have it attended or keep it in the hole must be made before making a stroke. If you decide to remove the flagstick for one stroke, you can leave it in for the next stroke. Your choice!
The R & A and USGA believe that this rule will help in the pace of play. Some experts estimated that a foursome of amateurs could save 40 seconds per hole if they left the flagstick in the cup. That’s 12 minutes per round. It will be a little challenging at first to get used to this new rule but I think after about 3 holes, you will have a fairly good idea of your playing partners preferences.
The first video I have included is in the GWGA video library under “Rules”. It is a USGA video explaining the rule regarding the flagstick. The second video is one that Kathy Rath sent to me from YouTube. If you were wondering if you should leave the stick in or take it out, this video might give you the answer. Thank you, Kathy!
In the words of Cosmo Kramer, “Without rules, there’s chaos”!!!
Rules of Golf Explained: Flagstick