Optometrist Farnsworth Says Leave Pin In The Hole
LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA | Everyone in the game has seen it by now and everyone likely has an opinion. Whether it’s Adam Scott putting at the flagstick from 6 feet, Bryson DeChambeau leaving the flagstick in the hole from all manner of distances, players pledging to never leave it in, always leave it in, or some mixture depending on the distance of the putt, Rule 13.2a (2), which eliminates the penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits the flagstick, has created a lot of conversation.
But very little of that discussion is scientific. For that, we turn to an expert.
Call it the Farnsworth Flagstick Fandango. With golfers debating the new rule, it took an optometrist by trade, Dr. Craig Farnsworth, to explain what’s really happening here.
Golfers now have three choices while putting: (1) Leave the flagstick unattended in the hole; (2) take it out; (3) have a caddie tend the flagstick and then pull it once the ball is in motion. Each golfer makes a personal choice. In a single foursome, it is possible to have a mixture of putting methods.
But the question everyone wants answered is: While putting, is it advantageous to leave the stick in the hole or take it out?
Farnsworth does not hesitate at all. “Leave it in the hole,” he says. “Leave it in the hole on long putts. Leave it in the hole on short putts. For average players, it can be a very helpful rule if they know how to use it.”
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