Rules Guy: Can you lean a club against the flagstick while putting?

flag in green

You can leave the flagstick in wile you putt — but is it permissible to lean a club against it too?

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The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

I was playing in an early-morning match and there was a lot of dew on the green. After chipping up, I leaned my wedge against the flagstick to keep the grip dry and putted out with the flag in the hole. My nerd opponent told me this was a violation. Was it?
—Ryan Cox, Panama City Beach, Fla. 

My slang dictionary — Rules Guy is the keeper of many, many dictionaries — defines nerd as “one whose IQ exceeds his weight.” Now, Ryan, a desire to play by the Rules should be lauded, not roundly mocked.

Bryson DeChambeau putting

Rules Guy: Is it a penalty to accidentally hit the flagstick with your putter?

By: Rules Guy

That said, your opponent is a nincompoop! Kidding … but he or she is incorrect. While your move might seem dodgy and not exactly a recommended procedure, it’s not a Rules violation.

Rules Guy might add that as a general rule, accusers should know precisely what they’re accusing someone of before hurling said accusations, lest they be branded a dunderhead. 

Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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