The proposed rule will make short putts easier and may actually slow the pace of play.
We support almost all of the proposed rules in the Modernized Rules initiative.
But… one proposed rule does not sit right with us. Under current rules, players are penalized two strokes if they strike the flagstick with a ball that originated on the putting green.
The proposed rules do away with this penalty, allow golfers to putt with the flagstick in the hole. The USGA/R&A say that this will not affect how difficult putting is, but they've seemingly done no testing of this! We feel that putting with the flagstick in will make putting easier, particularly from 3 to 6 feet.
Worse yet, it may actually slow the pace of play: if somehow the USGA/R&A are correct that there's no net advantage, some players will want the flagstick in and others will want it out, and you'll find players taking the flagstick in and out several times per hole.
To voice our opinion against this proposed rule, we've created this website.
Join us in voicing our opposition to the proposed rules change in this petition.
The USGA/R&A seem to believe that this rule will not affect scoring and will only have a positive effect on pace of play.
Studies and evidence all point at the same conclusion: putting will become significantly easier if this rule is implemented and players learn to putt with the flagstick in.
And pace of play will be largely unaffected.