On Course News


No matter what course you play, no matter how good or bad golfers will always rate a course to how well the greens putted, even if they couldn't hole out all day or hit a green in regulation they will always have their opinions. Human nature or as we have christened it "golfers nature".
Greens speed is generally measured by the relatively simple device of a Stimp Metre, this must be a v shaped stick that has a ball release notch at a specific place and a tapered end... when its laid flat the Prov ball is placed in the notch and marking the bottom of the stick with a tee you raise the bar to 20 degrees where the ball releases, this is repeated another 2 times and we place a tee peg where the middle ball finished, this process is repeated using the placed tee as the marker and you roll 3 balls the opposite way... Please NOTE.. This must be done on a FLAT surface!!!! We then measure point A to B , note down the feet and inches the ball rolled, measure B to C and take note. These 2 numbers are then added together and divided by 2 and this gives our speed..... FOR THAT AREA! This is very important, I take as many flat area readings as possible , say 4 on one green and divide them all by that number to give an average BUT, the first green for example hasn't many flat areas so when I take the reading at the right hand side but a pin is back left on a slight slope we aren't getting a true reading are we because you're putting away from where we've taken a reading and chances are you're putting UPHILL. So when a Course Manager says a speed don't take that as every putt you will have will be that reading. Give us 20 greenkeepers, the STRI and R&A and we'll have a go ;) Speeds for membership play are...

4ft 6" slow

5ft 6" medium slow

6ft 6" medium

7ft 6" medium fast

8ft 6"fast

for the record we have averaged 9ft 1" this season... ON FLAT GROUND ;)

you may have 32 putts in your round? 10 left to right downhill, 10 right to left uphill and the rest flat... how do you think they will all be the same speed????? Golfers have to adjust to accommodate on a normal club course.

Now , what I do here or what we are trying to achieve here is and I won't name them but we have 4 greens that are inconsistent to the rest for reasons that are irrelevant to this blog, so what we will do if one green is slower we will double cut it then take another reading, if still slow we will cut it again until its more in line with the rest. We can easily put a tru turf roller out there but our speeds this season are coming from mowing and cultural practices and not because they are rolled with a heavy roller, this allows us to try and get better consistency through the day and with using PGR's it gives us better control over the playability.

Its a near impossible task but we feel our approach to turf maintenance is a science and we are getting results by doing good things.

I've never spoke about speeds, I don't release readings but its not a secret... I just don't want our golfers falling into the trap of believing a reading to be gospel as you wont putt where I took readings from so that's where it becomes conflicting. Leave the speed reading to the CM and allow him to use the tool for what it was designed for, go enjoy your golf and if the ball sails past the hole.... don't hit the next one so hard ;)

Richard Mullen
Course Manager.

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