Bubba Watson is already confused by the new flagstick rule, and Bryson DeChambeau is here to help

December 31, 2018

The new year is upon us, and with it comes more than 30 changes to the Rules of Golf. Are you ready?

Bubba Watson is ready. Sort of.

Watson is out at Kapalua, where he’ll compete this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. During a sunny, breezy practice round, he took time to post an Instagram video on one of the course’s slopey greens. Watson’s putt runs past the hole, makes a U-turn and drops into the cup. It’s a sweet putt. But along the way, Watson’s caddie pulls the pin, then jams it back in the cup just before the ball drops. Here’s the video.

So, penalty or no? Under the new Rules, our best guess is that this is OK. Bryson DeChambeau has already made it clear that he plans to putt with the pin in more often than not. In his post, Bubba called on the 25-year-old for an answer, and Bryson responded via Tweet:

And so begins a year of new rules, fresh controversies … and Bryson DeChambeau as a locker-room authority. This should be fun.