Friday, April 9, 2010

Ask Linda #193-Flagstick attended for ball off green

Dear Linda,

In a recent tournament I offered to tend the flagstick for a fellow competitor who was off the green. He told me that it was against the rules and we made a “glass of wine” bet. I checked with our head pro after the round and he agreed with the other guy that you could only have the flagstick attended when on the green. They both claim that this was a rule that they’ve known about for years and years. When I read 17-1, I still don’t see why this is illegal.

“17-1. Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up

Before making a stroke from anywhere on the course, the player may have the flagstick attended, removed or held up to indicate the position of the hole.”

Can you weigh in on this question please?

Regards, Lulu

Dear Lulu,

The rule is perfectly clear on this one, Lulu. Regardless of where your ball may lie, you are entitled to have the flagstick attended, removed, or held up.

There are many instances where a player may want the flagstick attended when he is putting or chipping near the green. Under the rules, he is entitled to that courtesy.

Here’s a related situation you might find interesting. There is a hole at my home course where the drop-off behind the green is so severe that a player is unable to see the position of the hole for a chip back onto the green. Not only may that player ask that the flagstick be attended for his ensuing chip, but he may ask that the player attending the flagstick hold it high up in the air so that he can see where to aim it.

It’s always disappointing to be misinformed about the rules by your own club pro. Your fellow competitor and your club professional both owe you a glass of wine and an apology!


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