The new golf rule change allows putting with the flag in: What are the advantages?


Golf is a game of rules that must be observed by all players’ failure to which you attract penalties. The objective of the game is to complete a hole by playing a golf ball from the teeing ground into the hole on the putting green in the least number of strokes.

There are rules such as a player should not carry more than 14 golf clubs in their top golf bags. Nonetheless, there have been new rules effective from 1st January 2019. This article explores the change in the rules of the flagstick and other major changes in golf rules.

Rules 17 (Rules of the Flagstick)

A flagstick is placed at the far end of each hole so that it acts as a visual aid for a player who is a distance away. Once you get close to the hole there are rules that prohibit you from putting on the green with the flagstick in the hole. Nonetheless, you were allowed to hit the ball as long as the golf ball doesn’t strike it.

The rule was that if you hit the flagstick with the ball, you incur a two-stroke penalty or you lose the hole in the match play. Then, you need to play the golf ball as it lies in the stroke play. If the ball ends up in the hole, you should add 2 strokes to your score.

New Golf Rules

The new golf rules that started working on 1st January 2019 allows a player to putt while the flagstick is on the hole. The reason for the new rules is to make the golf game slightly simpler and to speed up play. Perhaps making the game simpler will encourage more people to continue playing the game or learn to play golf.

One of the most vital rules that give a player the liberty to putt while on the flagstick has been abolished and there will be no penalty if you hit the flagstick. However, if you like, you can take it out and play without the flagstick inside the hole.

Advantages of Putting with your Flagstick on the hole

There numerous merits of putting with your flagstick in the hole. It saves time as you will not be required to pull the flag so that you can put and then return it for a partner off the green but he is closer to the hole. In fact, most of the new changes are supposed to speed up play in the course.

It helps to stop the golf ball if you hit the ball faster. The physical impediment can redirect or stop the ball if it is stuck hard for the line. However, the ball can hit the flagstick and it goes off the green. Do you know how depressing it is to watch the ball elsewhere after kissing the flag?

It makes the hole visible and offers reference to assist the player is able to drive the ball to the hole. This is particularly important when less experienced, elderly, and learners are playing the game. If a person is able to see the target well, they will be able to play efficiently and improve on their game.

Other Major Changes in the Rules effective from 1st Jan 2019

  1. Dropping Procedure

The proposal that a player could drop from any height that is above an inch was rejected but it has been changed to knee height. The golfers can now drop from knee height and they no longer have to drop from shoulder height.

2. Double-hitting a Shot

The new rules provide no penalty for a double-hitting shot. It allows a golfer to count a single stroke that they took to strike a ball as opposed to counting two shots for hitting the ball twice.

3. Change in Out of Bounds Rule

In a bid to speed up play, there will be a huge change in out of bounds rule. The golf clubs will now be permitted to install a local regulation that golfers can drop a new golf ball in a place where the ball has moved out of bounds with a to stroke penalty and the will be no more walking back to the tee.

4. Moving the Golf Ball

The new rules will not allow any penalty for unintentionally moving your golf ball on the putting green or when checking for it in the rough. The player is not answerable for causing the ball to move unless it is virtually certain that they caused the ball to move.


There are advantages of putting while the flagstick is on the hole. The overall benefit is that player’s saves time if they play when the flagstick is on the hole. It also helps to increase visibility when playing as you can know where the hole is. Grab a waterproof golf bag and let’s get to the course and experience the sweetness of the sport.

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Pedro Ndagi first started playing golf when he was 10 years old, playing with his dad and big brother. He was an accomplished junior player at the Wisconsin State Golf Association Junior Tour and assisted his high school win the state contest his senior year. At the age of 26, Peter went back to university to get a degree in Golf Enterprise Management from the University of Wisconsin. He wanted to pursue a golf career and he has achieved his ambition of becoming a certified instructor. Peter enjoys coaching and reviewing golf accessories to help players buy the right products for their game.