SAN DIEGO – The golf world has now had three weeks to get accustomed to the new Rules of Golf.
But for Tiger Woods, who is making his 2019 debut this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, there remains a learning curve.
“I've seen a couple guys do it so far early this year as I watched some golf and they've had to re-drop," Woods said Tuesday, referring to the the game's knee-high drops. "Hopefully, I won't be one of those guys that does it. Hopefully, I won't have to do it, period.
The ability to putt with the flagstick in the hole is a more interesting development for Woods, who conceded he’s been practicing at home with pin in to get a feel for the new look.
“On some of the longer putts, I like having [caddie Joey LaCava] there as a reference point, so the flag will be there,” Woods said. “Some of the putts where the hole is kind of visible, you know, as it comes up over a rise, I can see it but it would be nice to have a reference point. So I'll probably leave it in for those kind of putts.”
On this, Woods appears to be in a popular camp, with most players opting to keep the flag in for longer putts but pulling it for anything inside 15 to 20 feet. There are those, like Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott, who have committed to rolling nearly every putt with the flag in.
“It might be more advantageous when we get on faster greens, a little bit more slope, i.e., Augusta, to have that sense of security on a 3 or 4-footer down the hill; you can just take a cut at it,” he said.