It is one of those debates that is constantly had on the golf course, so much so that even those who play for the living are undecided on what to do. Bryson Dechambeau says he leaves the pin in whenever he can when Justin Thomas has famously said, “I can't really take myself seriously if I kept the pin in.”
Would you actually believe that keeping the flag means you're more likely to hole more putts! Research has shown that no matter the distance of the putt or wherever it is on the green and the speed at which the ball arrives at the hole will affect the result.
Other tests that have been undertaken have also proved this theory, this has included:
Rolling putts with the pin in and pin-out
Tested both centre and off-centre strikes on the flagstick
Tested with the flag leaning both forward and backwards
Keeping the flag in might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the flag is a great visual aid and will help you focus better on the middle of the hole.
So the findings and the verdict is simple, keep the flag in when you're holing putts. It is always an advantage to keep it in as it'll help you find the middle of the hole, but if you do miss, it will keep the ball closer to the hole. So don't let tradition or professional golfers put you off, next time you're playing a round, keep the flag in and let us know how you get on!
Explore Golf At Goodwood
The Park Course
It may seem less of a challenge, but its tricky switchbacks and devilish bunkers are enough to keep any golfer on their toes.