The Old Rule: Hitting the flagstick with your ball from on the green resulted in a two-stroke penalty.
The New Rule: According to the USGA, under Rule 13.2a(2), “There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.”
Can you putt with the flag in 2019?
As of the start of the 2019 calendar year, golfers of all levels can now putt with the flagstick left in the hole. Caddies can also take the flag out or have it attended – previously the only two options.
Do you have to take the flag out when putting?
If you take the flag out of the hole while a ball is in motion on the green, it’s a penalty on you if you were not attending the flag to begin with. But again, a very important update to the Rules of Golf as of 2019: You now have the option to leave the flagstick in when putting.
What happens if you hit the flag in golf?
If you hit the flag it’s 2 stroke penalty in stroke play or loss of hole if you are in match play. If you are off of the green there is no penalty if you hit the flag unless you ask someone to tend it and then they don’t pull it out. They would incur a penalty for doing so.
Can I hold the flagstick while putting?
Rule 13.2b(1) allows a player to make a one-handed stroke while holding the flagstick with the other hand. However, the player may not use the flagstick to steady himself or herself while making a stroke (Rule 4.3a).