Of course one of the new rule changes is being able to putt with the pin in. Bryson DeChambeau ‘scientifically prove’ that there is a benefit and as such was the first pro to consistently leave the pin while on the green. I decided to test this new approach early in my season and have concluded that it may not be for everyone; especially me; sort of; well, kind of actually!
At first the controversy of the pin in or out while putting is a red herring to me. It was a bunch of ‘white noise’ and much to do about nothing. Being skeptical and wanting to gain the most benefit from this new rule, I decided to test it and I think most amateurs will be interested in my results.
Here is what I found:
- It made no difference in my ability to line up or sink a putt from over 30 feet. I have made a couple from that distance and the pin both helped and prevent the ball from dropping.
- Between 30 and 15 feet, I found that the pin in did help a little with alignment, however depending on other factors, it was a distraction.
- Inside 15 feet, I actually felt crowded by the pin and that the ball did not have enough room to drop unless I hit the perfect putt.
- The pin was not always straight in the hole. I have tried to reset the pin about 25% of the time because it was leaning in one direction or another. I was able to right the pin most of the time, but a few times the flag was not straight.
- I found the flag very distracting within 15 feet when the wind was blowing. The pin would rock back and forth and I did not like that at all. However, from outside 30 feet, this did not seem to bother me.
- The shadow of the pin and flag was a distraction within 15 feet. There was only one instance where the shadow was perfectly aligned with my putt and that helped, but other than that the pin and flag shadow was not helpful.
- Lastly, I found myself focused on the pin more than my line within 15 feet. Not sure why, but it attracted my attention and definitely did not like that because missing my line, means missing the putt.
Putting with the pin in is a definitely a personal thing. I know some of my friends really like it for all their putts, however I am not convinced. I understand that I might be mentally fighting this issue because of my ingrained habit of putting with the pin out all my golfing life, but I am not sure I want to change because I do not see the overall benefit. Of course, there are some scenarios, like uphill / downhill putts, where leaving the pin in might help and in those instances I will let the situation dictate a deviation from my approach.
Therefore, I have decided that putts outside 30 feet, I will leave the pin in. Inside 30 feet, I will remove the pin except for tap ins. I feel this is the best approach to my putting game and will garner the greatest benefit from the new rule change.
What is your pin in or out approach to putting?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.