Many golfers wonder whether or not to remove the flag stick when they’re setting up just off the edge of the green to chip. There are lots of opinions on this, so here are my thoughts…
Most professional golfers prefer to leave the flag stick in place because it can act as a backstop which helps keep the ball from running past the hole. I tend to agree with this.
Leaving the flag stick in place has helped sink more chip shots than not. By removing it, your speed on the ball needs to be more accurate for it to go into the cup… so… it’s better to have the protection of the stick.
The stick can also act as a backstop and bounce the ball back, leaving you a short make-able putt. I’d rather see you attempting a short putt in lieu of chipping back on the green from the other side, or worse, taking a penalty stroke for chipping over into the lake.