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golf flagstick rule

Flagstick in or flagstick out? It doesn’t matter – just make a decision!

Leave it in or take it out but stop the song and dance about it. The Angry Club Golfer's back on his soapbox and this time it's the flag that's got him all riled up
 

I put the flag back in. I take the flag right out. In, out, In, out, I hurl it all about.

Four years on – four years, people – and we still haven’t got past this. We’re still doing the hokey cokey with the flagstick.

It’s on you. No, I want the flag out. Well, you go then. No, he wants it back in. Will someone please just putt!

We’ve done the most incredible things as a species. Cured diseases. Sent people to the Moon. You’d think orchestrating a simple flag ceremony would be within most of our capabilities.

Apparently not. I can’t go first because you’re bricking it that I might stand on your line. But you want the flag out, and the guy a foot to the right of you wants to keep it right where it is.

Well, why can’t he go first then? Because you’re further away?

Have you been under a rock since 2019? Don’t you know anything about Ready Golf? Honour is for match play now.

how is a golf flagstick made

And so we troop back and forth, taking it out, replacing it, and doing nothing but adding to the decaying wreckage around the hole from a tragedy repeated by 100 other golfers. If I was a greenkeeper, I would weep.

I reckon we could trim 20 minutes off a round straight away if we just stopped messing around on the putting green.

Want the flagstick in? Putt first. Want the flagstick out? Wait your turn. Easy. It didn’t take Einstein did it?

But, but, but… spike marks, footprints, any other excuse you can muster. Just tap them down and get on with it.

I’d do anything, give anything, to avoid this painful rigmarole on too many dance floors. Besides, I hate dancing.

Is golf flagstick misery still real or is it only in the Angry Club Golfer’s disturbed mind? You can give him a piece of yours by tweeting him.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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