Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 769 - Wednesday June 21, 2023
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Master The Motion Before You Master The Shot.
"15 Minutes of Body Action Drills Are More
Important Than Hitting 200 Balls"

Tom's Featured Tip: Flagstick In or Out? This Research Changed My Mind

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
Game of Throws Indoor Simulator
The Divot Board
The Impact Snap
The Rypstick
Club Champion

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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2021 BCC Junior Golf Camp

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Flagstick In or Out? This Research Changed My Mind

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
Don't have one yet What's holding you back
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Click here to buy now. Start using the ImpactSnap training aid indoors or outdoors to make you instantly aware of proper hand and wrist action, which is second only to low point awareness for great ball striking.

Flagstick In or Out? This Research Changed My Mind

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Thanks To Lynn O. for sending me a link to some research on this subject that I had not seen before.

In 2019, the USGA decided to allow leaving the flagstick in the hole when putting if the player opted for that. At the time, I read a lot of research on the subject, and the vast majority of it pointed to leaving the pin in all the time as the best option.

Thanks to Lynn, I read an article entitled "The science behind why the flagstick should be pulled 99.9 percent of the time", an updated version of a report that originally appeared in Golf Digest in 2019.

I like to follow the science in golf, and the science in this report was enough to make me reconsider the advice I give my students and the advice that I follow myself re: leaving the pin in for every putt. I'm switching gears to taking it out for every putt now, except for very long putts where I will have the flagstick attended.

Among the findings were:
  1. Except for putts that hit the exact center of the flagstick , which is a very tiny percentage of all putts, a putt that strikes the flagstick off-center is twice as likely to go in with the flagstick out as it is with the flagstick in.

  2. Leaving the flagstick in may have some benefits, depth perception being one. But from a physics standpoint, there is zero evidence to suggest that the flagstick helps in any but the rarest of situations. What the flagstick may do is occasionally reduce the length of a second putt and therefore possibly help reduce three-putts. Of course, it also will clearly and substantially reduce the number of one-putts.

  3. Itís also clear from our research that the fiberglass type of flagstick is the least detrimental (but still nowhere near as good as taking the flagstick out).

  4. Finally, there is some evidence that tour players putting on really fast greens may benefit slightly because the ball may be rolling slower as it comes in contact with the pin. This benefit however remains miniscule compared to the benefit of pulling out the flagstick completely.

  5. Perhaps the best benefits to leaving the flagstick in are the optics and distance perception. Several sports vision experts we contacted suggested there would be such benefits especially from longer distances. There is research that suggests that players read greens better because the flagstick acts as a plumb line. So the obvious solution might be to do what was done before the rule was changed - have the flagstick attended.
As I said before, this information was compelling enough to make me change my mind. If you currently leave the pin in, you may want to do the same.

Here's a link to the full article with more detailed information and statistics: The science behind why the flagstick should be pulled 99.9 percent of the time.

Try it, you'll like it.

Email Comments: to

"Clear Intentions Simplify Execution"
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, The Stack and Tilt Swing

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health, and remember that golf is a game of discovery. Dont be afraid to experiment when you practice, it's good for your golfing brain.


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Indoor Lessons Details and Rates


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
Great rates, the best greens in WNY.
Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State.
Tee times online or by phone in season.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

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BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($50 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Train with the Impact Snap training aid to improve your hand and wrist coordination for a powerful strike. A Golf Digest 2021 Editors Choice Training Aid

Click here to buy now and start using a great training aid that can be used indoors or outdoors.

Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. Buy now and get to work on increasing your swing speed now.

Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Professional, Batavia Country Club
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan