From The Inbox

Readers offer their versions of the hole truth

At least these ‘volcanoes’ won’t erupt

The flagstick rule (Rule 13.2a: “Leaving Flagstick in Hole”) has slowed down amateur tournament golf and has created a big cup-damage problem (“Flagstick in or out? Hawk & Rude jostle for pole position,” Nov. 14).

The back and forth of pin in, pin out slows things down, for sure. Different types of pins cause different problems, especially the hollow metal shafts. Balls often bounce off of those pins as opposed to skinny fiberglass pins.

The biggest problem we see, however, is big hands going down in the cup to get a ball with the pin in. Players’ hands pull up lips of cups and damage lips. Late in the day, cups become little volcanoes.

This is a huge problem in tournaments.

Ronnie Tumlin
St. Augustine, Fla.
(Tumlin is the tournament director of the Florida Senior Azalea Amateur at Palatka [Fla.] Golf Club.)

Providing a lift to round times
I am on the greens committee at The Farms Country Club in Wallingford, Conn. During the past season, we added a device, the Get Out Lifting Fixture, to the bottom of the flagsticks that is similar to what is found on the pins on many practice putting greens.

The practice of leaving the pin in until everyone putts and then removing the pin with all of the balls has sped up our playing time.

Brian Nelson
North Haven, Conn.

Consider flag thickness
Leaving the flagstick in or out depends on the thickness and material of the stick. I contend that metal sticks tend to deflect the ball and cause missed putts, as do thicker flagsticks.

Scott Bayman
Vero Beach, Fla.

Early groups set pace, for better or worse
It's great that reader Garen Eggleston’s group plays 15 minutes faster by keeping the flagstick in the hole (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 18). I think we all wish that Eggleston’s group were playing in front of us.

However, unless you're playing at non-peak times with the course empty, all the time-saving measures you use are probably meaningless, because you're at the mercy of the pace of play of the groups ahead of you. Personally, I'd rather spend an extra minute on the green we're playing than rush to the next tee and have to wait for the group ahead to clear.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

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