Friday, July 23, 2010

Green Speed

Recently, I was able to watch a little bit of the U.S. Open. Pebble Beach was the host this year and one of the topics mentioned quite a bit from the newscasters was green speed. The greens were rolling 13 at Pebble Beach during the week. Of course, pretty much every golfer in America knows that “13” is fast. Did you know that that number is measured with a tool called a Stimp meter? The Stimp meter was originally designed to give the superintendent a way to measure consistency among all eighteen greens. It wasn’t until recently in golf’s history that the tool was used for speed.

There is no doubt the Stimp meter has changed the way we manage greens and green speed. Rolling the greens has become a management tool rather than a cultural practice. We roll on average two to three times per week to give the greens a break from cutting and maintain speed. The greens are being cut higher than past years, but our speeds have remained similar. With a higher cut, more plant is available for photosynthesis, resulting in healthier root structure.

So, next time you hear the number that so many people use to describe greens, you will know that the Stimp meter was originally intended to achieve consistency over all the greens on the course, not necessarily speed.

If you have any questions about green speed or other course issues please feel free to contact me.

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