The rules of golf giveth and the rules of golf taketh away. Reverse that, and you have the recent experience of Adam Scott.
We somehow missed some rules changes made, but Scott was well aware.
In January of 2016, the powers that decide the rules banned the anchored putting stroke. Scott, long one of the game’s best strikers of the ball, relied on the anchored stroke to manage his putting yips.
He went back to the conventional putter and run two consecutive tournaments in early 2016, but he has been winless since and seemed to be going through the motions, showing up and doing okay, as only someone with his amount of talent could, but it almost felt as though he were being forced to play with one hand tied behind his back.
Scott had his karma restored when it was decided that in order to speed up play, pros had the option of putting with the flag in.
That sounds rather benign to those of us who routinely left the flag in, defying the rules, in order to squeeze in a fast nine before the light vanished.
The record keepers of golf, however, are going to need to find a reliable source of asterisks, as permitting the pros to play with the flag in the hole is going to lower scores to a degree that is difficult to imagine.
One enterprising individual conducted a test over 2,000 putts and discovered that having the flag in resulted in a 30 percent increase in putts made. The test did not address the issue of putts missed that ricocheted off the pin and remained much closer than they would have without the pin in the way.
Scott nearly won the Farmers Insurance Open but for Justin Rose. Scott’s aggregate for the tournament was 19 under par, a score that would have won the Farmers in many years past.
As for speeding up the game, our suggestion would be to keep Bryson DeChambleau away. He is still sizing up a two-foot par putt for his double bogey on the 12th hole at Augusta for the 2018 Masters.