Rules Guy: Can I use the flagstick’s shadow as an alignment aid?
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.)
Got a rules question? Of course you do! Whatever it may be, send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org and the question may be answered in an upcoming issue of GOLF. Until then, play by the Rules!