Bryson DeChambeau doesn’t intend to waste any time when it comes to putting his latest innovative strategy into play. Golf’s new rules take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Two days later, DeChambeau intends to change his putting strategy accordingly.
On Thursday, GOLF.com reported that DeChambeau intends to leave the pin in when he putts in 2019 as permitted under the new Rules of Golf. “It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick,” he said. “In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”
DeChambeau’s first chance to use the stick from on the green will come at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui. The event begins Jan. 3, and DeChambeau acknowledged that’s when he plans to use his new method in competition.
He cited the ball’s greater propensity to fall in the hole if it hits the pin as evidence for his claim. After the news broke, DeChambeau spoke to Ben Everill of the PGA Tour on Thursday after his opening round at the Shriners and expanded on the idea.
“All I try to do is use every aspect of the game of golf to my advantage. I try to use the rules to my advantage in the most positive way possible. Not trying to skirt around anything, just use them.”
But DeChambeau also acknowledged the potential for strange new scenarios with the rule’s incorporation.
“There are going to be weird instances where I want it in because I know it is a benefit. If it’s a 20 to 30-footer I’ll just put it in and it might add a little time taking it in and out.
“So I don’t know how I am going to deal with that yet (with playing partners) … it is certainly going to be interesting,” he told Everill.
The rule change was intended to simplify play so that golfers could putt in without incurring what was formerly a two-stroke penalty. It makes particular sense for an amateur playing without a caddie, who could tap in a putt without going through the trouble of removing the pin. But on Tour, it could have the opposite effect, potentially slowing play.
“It may be what pushes us towards bifurcation,” DeChambeau said, referring to separate sets of rules for Tour players and amateurs. He insisted that he does not think the rule will last.
“I think absolutely they will rethink this one,” he said.