FAQ: When do PGA Tour golfers keep the flag stick in (or take it out)?

Beginning in 2019, the Rules of Golf changed to allow golfers to either keep the flag stick in — or remove it — when their ball was on the green. Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Through our readers and social media followers here at The Caddie Network, we often receive questions related to the caddie profession. We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions from our readers and followers and tasked actual PGA Tour caddies to serve up the answers based on their experiences. Here are the answers — from PGA Tour caddies — to the questions we most often receive from you.

Up until 2019, PGA Tour players didn’t have an option: If their respective golf ball was touching any part of the green, the flag stick had to be removed from the hole.

However, the rule changed, allowing players to leave the flag stick in — or remove it — based on their preference.

When a reader asked us when PGA Tour golfers keep the flag stick in or take it out, we turned to Eric Meller, longtime caddie for Jerry Kelly on both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions for the answer.

When do PGA Tour golfers keep the flag stick in (or take it out)?

Flag in or out… ahh, the modern golf question.

I see players sometimes choose to leave the flag in if the putt is very fast, especially if it involves a steep downslope. Anything to help if the speed is hard to control, even for guys with their skills.

I see lots of guys leave it in if they have long putts, say 35 feet or more.

In my experience, I’d still say more guys want it old school, the flag out, for most of their putts though.

Do you have more caddie questions? We have more caddie answers. From “Are PGA Tour caddies good golfers?” to “Do PGA Tour golfers talk to each other during rounds?,” our pros have you covered with loads of answers to these FAQs – just click here.

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