The PGA Tour might look quite different when it’s scheduled to return in June.
The Tour is scheduled to resume at the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, which will be the first of four straight (at a minimum) events held without fans. The Tour recently told GOLF.com it’s exploring social distancing guidelines for its return, and some of the proposed tweaks call for the possibility of no rakes in sand traps, golfers pulling their own clubs (to limit contact with caddies) and players forced to putt with the flagstick in.
One pro, 32-year-old Adam Hadwin, says that last one could be a deal-breaker.
Interviewed on TSN In Depth with Rick Westhead and Bob Weeks on Tuesday, the Canadian said he’s hopeful for the Tour’s return but added there are a lot of questions still lingering — like putting with the flagstick in.
“Are we not going to be allowed to touch pins, or flags?” Hadwin said. “I putt with the flag out, so if we all of a sudden are going to be forced to putt with it in to not touch a flag, I’m going to have issues with that, and that might make me honestly rethink playing, because it changes everything.”
Pressed on the subject, Hadwin, who ranks 27th in Strokes Gained: Putting this season, said he has tried putting with the flagstick in and doesn’t like it. Putting with the pin in has been allowed since the beginning of 2019.
“Maybe there’s one person wearing gloves walking with every group that pulls flags for us when we need to so caddies or players aren’t touching it,” Hadwin said. “If you force us to play with the flag in it changes everything. It messes me up on the greens and I can promise you I’m thinking about it. Doesn’t matter how well I’m hitting it; when I get on the greens I’ll be thinking about it, how I’m putting with the flag in and I haven’t been able to adjust to it and I shouldn’t have to adjust to it. Maybe I’ll protest, maybe I wouldn’t. If that’s the only possible way for us to play again, I don’t know, maybe. Maybe I’ll play and moan about it every day that I play and just go do it. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.”
Just last week Scott Stallings told GOLF.com that he anticipated many players taking issue with the proposed changes.
“I just don’t think there’s any way guys are going to do that,” he said. “Guys are not going to play for their livelihood with no rakes in the bunker and no caddies. That’s just not going to happen. I’m fully confident that there are going to be guys who choose not to play.”
You can watch Hadwin’s full interview below here.
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