Bryson DeChambeau is hell-bent on using the rules of golf to his advantage. After(which followed the USGA disallowing a sidesaddle putting style), DeChambeau has explained why he will putt with the pin in the hole during the 2018-19 PGA Tour season.
"It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick," he told Golf.com. "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."
Apparently the U.S. Open flagsticks are thicker than others, which is why he'll remove those. Otherwise, we're about to see somebody use the pin as a sort of backboard for his efforts in putting in 2019. The reason this is allowed at all is because of a rule change by the USGA to Rule 13.2a(2).
- There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
- Players will not be required to putt with the flagstick in the hole; rather, they will continue to have the choice to have it removed (which includes having someone attend the flagstick and remove it after the ball is played).
The USGA notes a few reasons for the change including sped-up play. It also says, "On balance it is expected that there should be no advantage in being able to putt with the unattended flagstick in the hole" for the following reasons:
- In some cases, the ball may strike the flagstick and bounce out of the hole when it might otherwise have been holed, and in other cases, the ball may hit the flagstick and finish in the hole when it might otherwise have missed.
They apparently didn't consult with DeChambeau or his people or the effects of COR.
DeChambeau's brand awareness here is at a level I'm not sure any other athlete will ever achieve. You want to leave the pin in because of the coefficient of restitution of the stick. I am weak!
We'll see how much it helps. DeChambeau rose to No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings last season after finishing 41st in putting. He was 146th the year before that.