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Putting green speed and its variability

C62291821dac0dd5b7ef3b72a30cd137?s=47 Micah Woods
November 29, 2018

Putting green speed and its variability

I spoke about within-green and between-green variability in putting green speed using the standard deviation of multiple measurements as a statistic. The median standard deviation for both within- and between-green variation is about 0.3 feet. That's approximately 4 inches. I suggest that greenkeepers continue to report a single number as the green speed. I also suggest that greenkeepers occasionally take multiple measures of green speed, on the same green and on multiple greens, and then calculate the standard deviation. If the standard deviation is more than 4 inches, and if resources are available to do the work, I suggest doing some maintenance that may reduce the variation. That could include measuring the #ClipVol of putting surfaces, verticutting, topdressing, rolling, applying a growth regulator, adjusting mowing height, etc. The measurement can be made again to evaluate the results of the changed maintenance practices.


Micah Woods

November 29, 2018


  1. Putting green speed and its variability Micah Woods Chief Scientist

    | Asian Turfgrass Center www.asianturfgrass.com 29 November 2018
  2. Fuji Classic GC

  3. Today’s outline 1. Green speed as explained and as reported

    2. Measurements I’ve made of green speed 3. Measurements under tournament conditions 4. Dispersion of ball roll
  4. The Stimpmeter instruction booklet

  5. First sentence: “One of the most significant aspects of a

    golf course is the uniformity of its putting greens.”
  6. Second sentence: “Variations in speed, whether from one green to

    the next or on different parts of the same green, can do more to negate a player’s skill than can ragged fairways or unkempt bunkers.”
  7. Orchard Golf & CC

  8. PGA Catalunya

  9. Keilir GC

  10. Yufuin Kogen GC

  11. 2. Measurements I’ve made of green speed

  12. Brooks GC, Japan

  13. None
  14. Koshigaya GC with Dr. Eric Reasor & Dr. Jim Brosnan

  15. None
  16. “The average golfer seems unable to detect a 6-inch variation

    in green speed … Therefore, a 6-inch variation among greens is probably a fair definition of consistency on a golf course.”
  17. What is normal standard deviation within greens?

  18. None
  19. What is normal standard deviation between greens?

  20. None
  21. What does a standard deviation of 0.3 feet look like?

  22. None
  23. 3. Measurements under tournament conditions

  24. Keya GC

  25. Keya GC

  26. Measuring tools at Keya GC

  27. None
  28. None
  29. None
  30. 4. Dispersion of ball roll

  31. Balls rolled by “Perfect Putter”

  32. Balls marked and measured

  33. Dispersion measured

  34. Dispersion measured

  35. None
  36. None
  37. None
  38. None
  39. What happens when greens get really fast?

  40. Hazeltine GC, 2016

  41. Hazeltine GC, 2016

  42. None
  43. None
  44. None
  45. None
  46. More information at www.asianturfgrass.com