Interesting facts about flagsticks that you never knew

Think about the flagstick. Most golfers approach it as a target rather than a conversational subject. It appears there is a lot more to say.

Terry Buchen is a former superintendent and a consultant who has been a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for 51 years.

We enlisted Buchen’s help in coming up with interesting facts about flagsticks that we could share at the clubhouse bar. Here are 11.

1. The origin story

When flagsticks were initially used is difficult to pinpoint. However, the R&A code from 1875 has the first reference to “flagstick” in the Rules of Golf. Flagsticks had been mentioned in the popular press for a number of years earlier, such as in the Fifeshire Journal in 1857, which mentioned a two-flag-per-green configuration at the Old Course in St. Andrews. In Famous Golf Links, a book published in 1891, there is mention of flags being used to show not just hole location but also direction on blind shots. The out-going hole is equipped with a white flag, while its neighbor sports a red one, that being the color of all the return holes.

2. Big orders

Flagsticks don’t have a minimum or maximum height requirement as amusement park attractions do. Historically, the USGA advised that flagsticks be at least seven feet tall. However, the rules of the governing body no longer contain such terminology.

3. A level below

Flagsticks were more prone to tilt or even topple in severe gusts when Buchen was a young superintendent. The invention of the ferrule caused a shift in that. The base of the stick has a notched end called a ferrule, which fits snugly into the cup’s grooved hole. According to Buchen, it reached industry standard status in the late 1990s.

4. Yellow world

Examine the fan clothing the next time you’re watching a tournament broadcast. Yellow will be worn by very few people. Thus, according to Buchen, yellow is a fantastic color for flagsticks. Works well in Augusta, where they truly show out against the gallery’s and the trees’ green surroundings. And the Presidents Cup is looking excellent this week.

5. Common practices

Even if there are no laws governing height, there are nonetheless customs. Eight-foot tall flagsticks are required per event specifications on the PGA Tour. According to Buchen, depth perception is made simpler by the height of the flag. The 12-foot flagpole at Seven Canyons Golf Club in Sedona, Arizona, was the biggest flagstick he had ever seen.

6. Short end of the stick

When the Open Championship was held at very windy locales in the past, the R&A would utilize flagsticks that were just a hair under Ian Woosnam’s 5-foot-4 height.

7. Material concerns

Fiberglass flagsticks are used by both the USGA and the PGA Tour. A lot of flagpoles are built of both wood and plastic. But according to Buchen, fiberglass works best for muzzling gunfire.

8. Letting freak flags fly

Baskets. Windsocks. nautical bunting There is no requirement in the regulations that a flagstick have a flag on top. Additionally, there are no restrictions on the size of a flag, however the regulations do say that it should be “reasonably” sized. You don’t want too many bullets to become lodged in them. The flag is often fastened to the top of the flagstick with a bolt. According to Buchen, caddies whose players are in contention frequently carry pliers during the final round of PGA Tour tournaments so they may remove the flag as a keepsake should their player win.

9. Added material concerns

The majority of flags are made of cotton or nylon. According to Buchen, the drawback of cotton is that it retains moisture for a longer period of time, increasing the likelihood that a ball may tangle with a cotton flag in a wet situation.

10. Lifespans of flags

According to Buchen, the majority of flagsticks last an entire season. Although their lifetime much relies on the weather, the flags themselves deteriorate more quickly. Buchen claims that they are frequently changed out multiple times a year in upscale clubs.

11. Flagstick width

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t strike many flagsticks. The maximum diameter allowed by golf regulations is two inches from the top of the stick to a point that is at least three inches above the putting green. The diameter is three-quarters of an inch at its maximum from a position three inches above the green downward.

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