Rules Guy: Is using the shadow of the flag for putting alignment illegal?
I had a four-foot putt exactly on the line of the flagstick’s shadow, so I left the pin in and made the putt. My playing partner called foul. I know the USGA changed the rule so that it’s the player’s choice whether to leave the stick in or out, but does that still hold when using its shadow as a beacon? —GUY SYKES, VIA E-MAIL
As Rules Guy often reminds people at cocktail parties, cotillions and bar mitzvahs, the Rules are there to guide us, not hinder us. They are, indeed, a beacon themselves. The sun is out, and a shadow leads the way? To mix a metaphor, the stars have aligned! It’s perfectly legal! (And lucky for you it was a straight putt.)
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