As a person that doesn’t get technical with golf, does the flag stick help putting? I think the flag stick helps putting from 15 feet and out. It gives the golfer an added target compared to just using the cup. It also helps individuals who have limited eyesight which is an added plus. I coach a college team and I’ve also been asked if keeping the flag stick in speeds up play? It does and then it doesn’t. Some individuals walk up to the green and just putt with out it having to be tended which is awesome. Then there are others who putt the flag in put the flag out which takes some time, but that is pretty rare.
In the long run, it is personal preference on what you want to do on the putting green. If you like putting to a bigger target or something that comes out of the ground, go for it. If you are looking to speed up play at a course, agree that the flag stays in the hole. In the long run, it is something that the golfer won’t have to worry about the flag being pulled on a long lag putt. That’s pretty much it, but I like the move the USGA has made but like I said it is all personal preference on what you like to see when you are putting.