Golf rules changes: Coping with that pesky flagstick!

With the new golf rules in effect, here’s how my LGA reacted to leaving the flagstick in the cup – it’s not as easy as it might seem!

The golf rules have changed and so must we who play the game! For some players, in some situations, that’s going to be easier said than done.

I’ve played my first LGA round at my home course under the the rules and I can report to you that no matter how much we’ve read about and written about leaving the flagstick in the cup, no matter now many times I’ve complained about waiting for the flag to be tended before I’ve rolled my putt, compliance to this new rule (really the removal of an old rule) did not come readily.

Every woman in my foursome had the same knee-jerk reaction to putting with the stick in the cup. Over 18 holes, on 10 different greens (I actually counted!) someone ASKED that the flag be tended. On seven occasions, someone else complied with the request by walking across the green and tending the flag.

We’re going to have to help each other with this one.

A rule relaxation that should be relatively easy to embrace caused my foursome no small amout of discomfort.

Then, after my own Thursday round I settled down in front of the television to watch the PGA TOUR’s first round at Kapalua and got so focused on DeChambeau putting with the flagstick in the cup that I missed some of DJ’s heart-stopping tee shots.

Perhaps I’ll get better adjusted to the golf rules changes once the LPGA’s 2019 season gets started and I see more women rolling putts toward flagsticks. This may just be a matter of desensitization.

I’m not resistant to the golf rules changes. To the contrary, I think they’re going to speed up play, simplify course management for recreational players like myself, and generally make an already pleasurable game just a bit more enjoyable.

But if my first round of 2019 is a barometer, whether we embrace or decry the golf rules changes, learning to play by the new rules is going to take a bit of time. Some of us need to rewire our synapses!

Seminars on golf rules changes will help, but to make the changes real we’re going to have to put them to work in our own games.

Let’s hear from you! How are you and your golfing partners coping with the rules changes? What’s working for you? Where are you hitting snags? Leave your comments on the ForeGals Facebook page so we can form a support group!