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Is the Pursuit of Faster Greens a Problem in Golf?


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7 members have voted

  1. 1. Are Faster Green Speeds a Problem? Please elaborate below.

    • Yes
      9
    • No
      46


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I'm a guy with an opinion.  Maybe you're new to the internet and message boards.


Yep, my first day around here. Brand new to the game of golf too.

I'm a guy with an opinion.  Maybe you're new to the internet and message boards.

I've played at scores of private and semi-private clubs.  Lots of them have the members handicaps right there on the locker room wall.  So over time, you develop a sense of how good the average member is.


Except that it's been demonstrated many, many times that putting has less affect on someone's ability to score than just about any other aspect of the game. Your 22 hcp golfer isn't that much worse on the greens than you, me, or the club champion.....and he generally putts better on faster greens, just as we do. Of course, the speed of the greens cannot be inappropriate for their design, but that's not what this discussion is about.

And extremely fast greens absolutely contribute to slow play.  Suggesting otherwise is asinine.

.

Another opinion, though somewhat rudely expressed.

I will certainly agree that there is such a thing as too fast for the set up or design of the greens. But those are individual, unique situations that are far outside the norm, and not what we're talking about here.

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So? I don't think green speeds are out of control. I think greens should be 9-12. Any faster and it requires too much cost and extra effort and pesticides and things. Too much slower and the mi

I just mean that I think everybody overestimated stimp speed.  I was watching a women's event on TV and they said that the greens were 13's, and I saw girls take some pretty reasonable swings at a med

this is very very true. as a superintendent our job is to try our best to set up the course for all the players to enjoy. remember for every player who loves fast greens there is another who hates the

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Wow. I voted before reading any of the responses and was shocked to see I was one of only two total "yes" votes!

OK, so hear me out, guys. I agree with all of your points that argue the "no" side of it. I love fast greens too after all

But the reason I voted "yes" is because of a conversation I had with a former mini-tour pro (now in his 50s) about a nice course that was near us. I asked him what he thought about it and he said, "hate the greens. They're too fast for their design. They were designed in the 1930s, so there's a ton of undulations, but the speeds back then were much slower. Now, they've mown them so fast, that they should have redesigned the green complexes too, but they didn't. So I hate that course. Putting is a joke there." I'm paraphrasing.

He could be totally full of it, but what he said kind of made sense. What do you guys think of what he said? That's why I hip-fire voted "yes." I'm more than willing to change my tune in light of new evidence as golf course architecture and maintenance is not my area of expertise

But if that guy was right, then it is a problem, but only a very rare one. However, if you're a member at a course like this, then yea, I guess it could be a real problem for you.

Courses built in the 1930s are not the norm. Soften the contours at those minority of courses or play them at 9-10. I play a course built in the 1950s with some severe contours, and they get silly at 13, but can play at 10 to 12 every day (the latter excludes a few hole locations, but has enough for a few rounds of tournament play).

It seems silly to me to base an opinion on the, what, 10% of courses built and not renovated since 1940? 1960? 1980?

Haha, points noted. I'm 99.9% on the side of no. No question that this is a very rare situation you can only find at old, private clubs that are in need of some renovations. But, I voted "yes" because I couldn't absolutely say "no." But the "yes" side of it is so rare it's not worth the vast, vast majority of us caring about at all.

So I guess if asked this question again, I would say "no, it's not a problem, but there's this rare situation where..." etc. etc.

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The one thing needed for fast greens is MONEY.  watering by hand,fert and chem, rebuilding,regrassing...... the list goes on.

I voted yes because if one of the issues in the trend of declining golfers and rounds played is cost then I see that as a problem. And if speed is related to pace of play then I see that as a problem as well.

My perception is that in general, golfer I play with take longer to putt on faster greens. I don't think they need to they just seem to. I think because they feel they have a better chance to make putts on faster, smoother greens, they spend more effort and time.

I don't particularly enjoy putting fast greens but I'm not sure how fast 11-12 is. I just know that at some point it starts to become a bit too much but I've only experienced those speeds in tournaments.

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Chew on this for a bit

Stimpmeter Readings - USGA 1977, 581 Courses measured;

Augusta National 7'-11”
Congressional 6'-4
Cypress Point 7'-8
Harbortown 5'-1
Medinah 7'-8
Merion 6'-4
Oakland Hills 8'-5
Oakmont 9'-8
Pine Valley 7'-4
Pinehurst #2 6'-10
San Francisco Golf Club 7'-2
Shinnecock Hills 7'-2
Winged Foot 7'-5

Todays PGA Tour 11'-6 to 13'-0 0.010” Greens 0.25-.375” Fairways
USGA U.S. Open 12'-0 to 14'-0 0.008” Greens 0.25” Fairways
Merion 2013 0.008” Greens 0.46” Fairways

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Its my opinion that a golfer should be rewarded by hitting a green in regulation with a reasonable expectation of making par if the golfer has a decent putting stroke. Faster green speeds oftentimes are conducive to developing the Yips whereas slower green speeds allow one to develop a good putting stroke (not a putting tap) and allow a golfer to be aggressive and not have to be overly concerned about three putting...putting in my opinion should not be a game within a game but an extension of one's tee to green performance...if this makes any sense.

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Its my opinion that a golfer should be rewarded by hitting a green in regulation with a reasonable expectation of making par if the golfer has a decent putting stroke. Faster green speeds oftentimes are conducive to developing the Yips whereas slower green speeds allow one to develop a good putting stroke (not a putting tap) and allow a golfer to be aggressive and not have to be overly concerned about three putting...putting in my opinion should not be a game within a game but an extension of one's tee to green performance...if this makes any sense.

Hi welcome to the site. As was mentioned earlier, golfers generally putt better on faster greens. Obviously we're not talking about super fast greens like Augusta or something. Faster greens will allow golfers to develop a better putting stroke, a smoother stroke.

Just look at the difference in the tour players stroke now from the "pop" strokes of Palmer, Hogan, Player. Those golfers were forced to "hit" their putts and had to contend with the ball bouncing/bobbling around. On smoother, faster greens, the putting stroke has evolved to where golfers can make a more "pendulum" stroke in order to roll the ball.

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What does it say about my putting if I find it easier to putt on slower greens?

Nothing bad.  You maybe are more used to playing on them.

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I voted no.  I played at a course that posted their stimp on a white board in the pro shop, and they said it was 11.  They were definitely the fastest greens I've played on, so I believe it.  But it wasn't unfairly fast and I don't think it slowed play or hurt our scores much.  I suppose there were one or two puts early on that flew by the hole, but once we adjusted the putts rolled so smooth that I actually really liked it.

My home course is normally 9 (measured via the aimpoint estimate method).  Its played closer to a 10 before, which I think was too much given the slopes on the greens.  Other munis in the area are 8 or 9.

I don't think I've ever played a course and wished the greens were slower.

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I voted no, but more importantly for me, I want them to be consistent hole to hole.  In Myrtle Beach we played one course where the green speeds were so varied you couldn't be sure if you were going to leave a putt short or blow the ball passed the hole.  It made for a really frustrating day.

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I voted no simply because I agree with the observation that faster greens tend to help me putt better, with there being a limit once the greens become too fast. In my opinion, a too fast green doesn't have a specific stimp rating attached to it just because it depends on the course. Some courses have greens with multiple hills or that slope severely in places should have their greens a bit slower than those that are more flat and run of the mill. This is my opinion though, so take it for what you will.

On the subject of actual stimp ratings, I don't think many people realize how fast a green with a rating of 13 really is. In one of my high school tournaments that was played at a private club, the head pro came out onto the practice green proudly with his stimpmeter to show everyone how fast the greens were. They rolled a 12.9 and 12.6 if I remember correctly, and that day wasn't as much fun compared to others. If you hit the ball above the hole, you can pretty much forget about trying to sink the putt and worry more about trying to keep the ball within a few feet. Speed becomes so critical on the greens that it affects how you play all of your shots on a given hole. If a driver would leave you with a less than full shot into the green, pull the 3-wood because you'll need the spin (this applies more to firm greens specifically).

Now that I've become a better player than I was then, I do find faster greens to be an interesting challenge. However, they still are not something I would want to regularly putt on. It's different during a tournament when you need to incorporate more strategy into your approach shots, but it's not fun in that it is forced. I try regardless of the greens to pick a specific target, just because it helps me focus better during my routine, but the punishment for a small error is just too severe sometimes on the really fast greens.

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I voted no simply because I agree with the observation that faster greens tend to help me putt better, with there being a limit once the greens become too fast. In my opinion, a too fast green doesn't have a specific stimp rating attached to it just because it depends on the course. Some courses have greens with multiple hills or that slope severely in places should have their greens a bit slower than those that are more flat and run of the mill. This is my opinion though, so take it for what you will.

On the subject of actual stimp ratings, I don't think many people realize how fast a green with a rating of 13 really is. In one of my high school tournaments that was played at a private club, the head pro came out onto the practice green proudly with his stimpmeter to show everyone how fast the greens were. They rolled a 12.9 and 12.6 if I remember correctly, and that day wasn't as much fun compared to others. If you hit the ball above the hole, you can pretty much forget about trying to sink the putt and worry more about trying to keep the ball within a few feet. Speed becomes so critical on the greens that it affects how you play all of your shots on a given hole. If a driver would leave you with a less than full shot into the green, pull the 3-wood because you'll need the spin (this applies more to firm greens specifically).

Now that I've become a better player than I was then, I do find faster greens to be an interesting challenge. However, they still are not something I would want to regularly putt on. It's different during a tournament when you need to incorporate more strategy into your approach shots, but it's not fun in that it is forced. I try regardless of the greens to pick a specific target, just because it helps me focus better during my routine, but the punishment for a small error is just too severe sometimes on the really fast greens.

Ever since taking Aimpoint its been fun finding out the Stimp before a round. When I was in Pinehurst, I think one set of greens got up to 9.5 Most of them were 8's or 9's. The greens this evening were just above 9, and Monday's greens were 9's.

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Hi welcome to the site. As was mentioned earlier, golfers generally putt better on faster greens. Obviously we're not talking about super fast greens like Augusta or something. Faster greens will allow golfers to develop a better putting stroke, a smoother stroke.

Just look at the difference in the tour players stroke now from the "pop" strokes of Palmer, Hogan, Player. Those golfers were forced to "hit" their putts and had to contend with the ball bouncing/bobbling around. On smoother, faster greens, the putting stroke has evolved to where golfers can make a more "pendulum" stroke in order to roll the ball.


Thanks...nice to be here !

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As a former caddie, I worry about the effect of supershort greens on course maintenance. Some turf grasses can be trimmed shorter than others. Also, grasses with finer blades will increase green speeds without cutting them to injury.

Here's a Purdue University report summary from 2007. It talks about how three factors interact to influence green speed: turf grass strain, soil and climate, and mowing technique.

http://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2007a/070607BigelowGolfspeed.html

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As a former caddie, I worry about the effect of supershort greens on course maintenance. Some turf grasses can be trimmed shorter than others. Also, grasses with finer blades will increase green speeds without cutting them to injury.

Here's a Purdue University report summary from 2007. It talks about how three factors interact to influence green speed: turf grass strain, soil and climate, and mowing technique.

http://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2007a/070607BigelowGolfspeed.html

I know I wish my course ran them a bit slower sadly, because they are cheap as hell on the watering. The grass is already browning on some of the greens.

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My club consistently is know for some of the fastest best maintained greens in Arizona.  Nearly all of my practice putting comes on these greens, and they run an easy 10-11 every day.  During tournaments and other times as the greens firm up a bit they can ocassionally run 12 or 13, and I have been out rarely when they seemed to run an 8 or 9.  For me this is why I dont see it as a problem to have faster greens:  I played a course called longbow on monday, walked on as a single.  The buzz was that there was a big tournament over the weekend and rumor had it the greens were running a 13 hard as rock.  Two putts on the practice green I felt right at home, had one of my best putting days shot a low score.  The thresome I played with from out of state struggled like crazy.  Every putt was a comment about how fast the greens were and mentally they never got into a groove.  As it has been pointed out it is IMHO far easier to score well on fast greens, but also putting on slower greens when you are used to fast is also much easier, as you feel much more agressive in your lines and speeds.

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