Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
billchao

Are Golfers Better on Faster or Slower Greens?

billchao

This discussion was moved from another thread because it was off-topic.

Message added by billchao

Note: This thread is 992 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

71 posts / 7153 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

58 minutes ago, lastings said:

I can guarantee you that there is a higher % of 3 putts (and 4 putts) on 12 stimp greens than there is on 8 stimp greens.   without looking at any actual data, I am 100% sure of this based on many experiences. 

I'm not sure I agree. It's differences in green speeds that affects people more.

If your typical muni stimps 8.5, the golfer who is used to that will struggle when they play somewhere where the green stumps 11. But the reverse is true, as well. People used to 11-12 are going to struggle when they play an 8 green. Tour players complain when the greens are slow (sometimes we see this with American players at the British Open, for example).

It's not just Tour players who play fast greens. Most of the private clubs I have played at have faster greens (though my munis are actually pretty good TBH) and the members of those clubs would be used to that speed.

You don't just automatically become a better putter because the green is slower. You'll under-hit your speed and over-read breaks until you adjust.

17 minutes ago, lastings said:

in all actuality, everyone makes the same amount of putts.   18.

False ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

12 minutes ago, billchao said:

I'm not sure I agree. It's differences in green speeds that affects people more.

If your typical muni stimps 8.5, the golfer who is used to that will struggle when they play somewhere where the green stumps 11. But the reverse is true, as well. People used to 11-12 are going to struggle when they play an 8 green. Tour players complain when the greens are slow (sometimes we see this with American players at the British Open, for example).

It's not just Tour players who play fast greens. Most of the private clubs I have played at have faster greens (though my munis are actually pretty good TBH) and the members of those clubs would be used to that speed.

You don't just automatically become a better putter because the green is slower. You'll under-hit your speed and over-read breaks until you adjust.

 

at the average course I play, which has above average greens, I have never seen a ball catch a down-slope and end up 30 ft from where I intended it to go.   I have, however, seen this happen a couple of the private clubs around here.  Faster greens simply present to opportunity to punish mistakes much more severely. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Just now, lastings said:

at the average course I play, which has above average greens, I have never seen a ball catch a down-slope and end up 30 ft from where I intended it to go.   I have, however, seen this happen a couple of the private clubs around here.  Faster greens simply present to opportunity to punish mistakes much more severely. 

Faster greens also present the opportunity to putt the ball at a lower speed which increases the capture size of the hole.

Slower greens require you to putt the ball at a higher speed which decreases the capture size of the hole. 

The ball never has a chance of going in if it doesnt at least reach the hole. I would rather have the putt go 2-3 feet past the hole than leave it 2-3 feet short. 

On slower greens I tend to leave putts short. Tiny sample size and doesnt count for much, but one of my best putting rounds was on a course with probably 2nd fastest greens I've ever putted on. I only needed 28 putts that round.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

ok, so just so I am clear here.    The argument that is being presented is that assuming both are well groomed and roll true, faster greens do not typically cause more putting strokes than slower greens.  

this is what you are suggesting, correct? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

15 minutes ago, klineka said:

Faster greens also present the opportunity to putt the ball at a lower speed which increases the capture size of the hole.

Slower greens require you to putt the ball at a higher speed which decreases the capture size of the hole. 

The ball never has a chance of going in if it doesnt at least reach the hole. I would rather have the putt go 2-3 feet past the hole than leave it 2-3 feet short. 

On slower greens I tend to leave putts short. Tiny sample size and doesnt count for much, but one of my best putting rounds was on a course with probably 2nd fastest greens I've ever putted on. I only needed 28 putts that round.

Faster greens also allow more approaches to roll off and give you less GIR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, lastings said:

ok, so just so I am clear here.    The argument that is being presented is that assuming both are well groomed and roll true, faster greens do not typically cause more putting strokes than slower greens.  

That's not really how that works. Slower greens have longer blades of grass, so they will have more irregularity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 minutes ago, billchao said:

That's not really how that works. Slower greens have longer blades of grass, so they will have more irregularity. 


We're getting OT so I'll probably move a bunch of these posts in a bit.

by well groomed, really I just mean in good shape.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 hours ago, lastings said:

while Tour greens help tour level putters, this would be a severe hindrance to most 10 handicappers.

That's actually incorrect.

Given a period of time to adjust, players of a wide range of abilities putt better on PGA Tour level greens over slower greens.

2 hours ago, lastings said:

I will agree that players will make more putts from further distances on faster greens.   But they will also miss more putts, and by larger margins.  I can guarantee you that there is a higher % of 3 putts (and 4 putts) on 12 stimp greens than there is on 8 stimp greens.   without looking at any actual data, I am 100% sure of this based on many experiences.  

You should almost never base things on your experience(s).

54 minutes ago, lastings said:

The argument that is being presented is that assuming both are well groomed and roll true

Slower greens are not as "well groomed and roll true." That's part of it. Not to mention the same putt distance requires a bigger stroke more prone to errors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

9 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's actually incorrect.

Given a period of time to adjust, players of a wide range of abilities putt better on PGA Tour level greens over slower greens.

You should almost never base things on your experience(s).

Slower greens are not as "well groomed and roll true." That's part of it. Not to mention the same putt distance requires a bigger stroke more prone to errors.

I think this would be a pretty good test for an avid game golf user (or, group of users).   note green speeds for every round played and see what the average strokes gained is at different speeds.   

I would love to see actual data on this.  

 

 

 

Edited by lastings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 minutes ago, lastings said:

I think this would be a pretty good test for an avid game golf user (or, group of users).   note green speeds for every round played and see what the average strokes gained is at different speeds.   

I would love to see actual data on this.  

a quick google search and I found some data.   data from 17,000 rounds and appears to be as I expected.   

slower greens are slightly easier than fast greens.   But, on fast greens the instances of 3-putts and, especially, 4-putts go up pretty dramatically. 
Thought the writer only summarizes the data rather than actually presenting the data. 

 

http://www.golfwrx.com/391488/does-the-average-golfer-putt-better-or-worse-on-fast-greens/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

25 minutes ago, lastings said:

a quick google search and I found some data.   data from 17,000 rounds and appears to be as I expected.

I suggest you do more than "a quick google search." That quickie statistical thing Pete Sanders did is not the studies I've referred to. That study is basically what happens when you show up and your course has faster greens that day, often because of a tournament. I won't even say that data is junk, but it certainly includes rounds where guys concede second or third putts in casual play that they have to putt out in tournament play (which also often has faster greens).

The studies I've seen, and I'd look for them if I had the time, left a big impression on me at the time so I've not needed to go back and find them again, simply say that golfers, given a brief period of time to acclimate themselves, putt better overall on faster greens (stimp 11/12) than they do on slower greens (stimp 8/9).

The conclusions made sense too: truer lines, flatter slopes, and shorter strokes.

P.S. You may not find the studies I saw. It was maybe a decade or so ago. Initially I'd say it was five or six years ago, but it was either before or right before I began instructing, and that was more than six years ago…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

10 minutes ago, lastings said:

a quick google search and I found some data.   data from 17,000 rounds and appears to be as I expected.   

slower greens are slightly easier than fast greens.   But, on fast greens the instances of 3-putts and, especially, 4-putts go up pretty dramatically. 
Thought the writer only summarizes the data rather than actually presenting the data. 

 

http://www.golfwrx.com/391488/does-the-average-golfer-putt-better-or-worse-on-fast-greens/

The biggest issue I have with this is that it doesnt define what fast medium and slow greens are.

From the author of the article:

"Aren’t one man’s fast greens another’s medium or even slow? Absolutely! But as we have no way of knowing, I decided to ignore this variable and accept the indicated speed at face value."

How can you just ignore the most important variable that affects your results??

23 minutes ago, lastings said:

But, on fast greens the instances of 3-putts and, especially, 4-putts go up pretty dramatically. 

Thats not what the article states: 

"3 putt percentages were a bit more interesting. A low of 12.5 percent on medium greens vs. a high of 14.3 on fast greens. Again, not a great difference."

So if 12.5 % is the low for medium and 14.3 % is the high for fast, that means that the slow green percentage is above 12.5% and lower than 14.3%. Even if the slow green percentage was 12.6%, its only 1.7% worse than the fast percentage.

I wouldnt consider 2 additional three putt instances out of every 100 holes to be "pretty dramatic" and clearly the author doesnt either.

 

 

He also uses 1 putt and 3 putt percentages but then uses 1 for every X number of rounds for the 4 putt. 

One 4 putt every 20 rounds (380 holes) on medium greens in non tournament play (.0026%).

Logic would think you would then compare frequency of 4 putts on fast and slow greens for non tournament rounds as well.

Does the author do that? Nope, he compared that to fast greens in tournaments to get his figure of 1 four putt in every 9 rounds, 162 holes. (.0061%). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 minutes ago, iacas said:

I suggest you do more than "a quick google search." That quickie statistical thing Pete Sanders did is not the studies I've referred to. That study is basically what happens when you show up and your course has faster greens that day, often because of a tournament. I won't even say that data is junk, but it certainly includes rounds where guys concede second or third putts in casual play that they have to putt out in tournament play (which also often has faster greens).

The studies I've seen, and I'd look for them if I had the time, left a big impression on me at the time so I've not needed to go back and find them again, simply say that golfers, given a brief period of time to acclimate themselves, putt better overall on faster greens (stimp 11/12) than they do on slower greens (stimp 8/9).

The conclusions made sense too: truer lines, flatter slopes, and shorter strokes.

P.S. You may not find the studies I saw. It was maybe a decade or so ago. Initially I'd say it was five or six years ago, but it was either before or right before I began instructing, and that was more than six years ago…

Fair enough.   It may not be perfect, but it is something.   I'll dig around some more if I have some time.  

 

3 minutes ago, klineka said:

The biggest issue I have with this is that it doesnt define what fast medium and slow greens are.

From the author of the article:

"Aren’t one man’s fast greens another’s medium or even slow? Absolutely! But as we have no way of knowing, I decided to ignore this variable and accept the indicated speed at face value."

How can you just ignore the most important variable that affects your results??

Thats not what the article states: 

"3 putt percentages were a bit more interesting. A low of 12.5 percent on medium greens vs. a high of 14.3 on fast greens. Again, not a great difference."

So if 12.5 % is the low for medium and 14.3 % is the high for fast, that means that the slow green percentage is above 12.5% and lower than 14.3%. Even if the slow green percentage was 12.6%, its only 1.7% worse than the fast percentage.

I wouldnt consider 2 additional three putt instances out of every 100 holes to be "pretty dramatic" and clearly the author doesnt either.

 

 

He also uses 1 putt and 3 putt percentages but then uses 1 for every X number of rounds for the 4 putt. 

One 4 putt every 20 rounds (380 holes) on medium greens in non tournament play (.0026%).

Logic would think you would then compare frequency of 4 putts on fast and slow greens for non tournament rounds as well.

Does the author do that? Nope, he compared that to fast greens in tournaments to get his figure of 1 four putt in every 9 rounds, 162 holes. (.0061%). 

 

fair as well. but note the fist thing I said when I pointed out the article was "slower greens are slightly easier than fast greens."

 

at the same time, there is certainly nothing in this article that would suggest that anyone putts better on fast greens.  

it just points out subjective differences on the varying degrees to which slower greens are easier to putt on.   

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, lastings said:

at the average course I play, which has above average greens, I have never seen a ball catch a down-slope and end up 30 ft from where I intended it to go.   I have, however, seen this happen a couple of the private clubs around here.  Faster greens simply present to opportunity to punish mistakes much more severely. 

That is definitely one strike against fast greens.  I have missed putts by 40 feet, I have putt the ball 30 yards off the green.  That certainly never happens on slow greens.  And those are not incredibly rare.  I play several course with several holes where you are in danger of those misses.

That being said, I prefer fast greens and the trueness of roll counts for a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I will agree that article I posted is quite flawed.   I will look for something better.   

I really would be interested in seeing some actual data on this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

With modern greenskeeping the greenskeepers take pride in fast green speeds and the golf culture has moved in that direction over the decades.  The problem is that many courses that were built decades ago have to much slope to their greens to handle the faster green speeds.  The greenskeepers like to take it to the edge and sometimes go too fast in my opinion.  Torrey Pines North was remodeled in 2016 and they previously had general front to back slopes up to 4%, after the remodel, per Weiskopf who did the redesign, there is no more than a general slope of 2% (there are areas on the greens that do have more slope though).

Faster greens result in more putts for most courses I play, they are a little too fast for the old time slopes of the greens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

A distinction ought to be made between "fast" and "lost".  A green that won't hold a putt, of any sort, is not fast...its absurd.  Generally speaking, I think faster is better; but only up to a point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Given the choice between two extremes, I'd take the faster putting surface. That said, there are definitely challenges that are unique to fast greens. And particularly if you happen to be playing a course with a lot of slopes or ridges, they can make putting nightmarish on any given day. 

I would say that some of my worst putting rounds have come on very fast greens, but so have some of my better putting rounds. On the other hand, when I play slow green, I feel like my putting is consistently poor.

Ideally, I would love to play all my golf in that middle "sweet spot," with stimps of 9-11. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Note: This thread is 992 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...