It looks like 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the flagstick. At least so far. Bryson DeChambeau made his first start of the new year in Hawaii and, true to his word, kept the flagstick in several times during his opening round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
He led the field in Strokes Gained: putting for Round 1, which immediately kicked off a discussion about how widespread his technique would become in the future.
For context, GOLF magazine columnist Dave Pelz wrote a fascinating piece in the February 2019 issue explaining the science behind DeChambeau’s theory:
The test results were conclusive: You will hole a higher percentage of putts when you leave the flagstick in.
The reason for this effect is that a significant amount of energy is lost from a putt’s speed when the ball hits a fiberglass flagstick. The speed-loss enables gravity to pull the slower moving ball down into the hole more often. Even though balls have changed since my testing, holes and flagsticks have not, and the “energy-loss” effect will still win the day.
It’s a matter of science which will ultimately win over other professional golfers, says Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, who predicts that almost every player will be keeping the flagstick in by season’s end.
Check out the full segment below: