When signing into the proshop of a new golf course, I usually ask what the greens are running. This simple question refers to how fast the greens are playing. In my opinion, a reasonable speed for amateurs is between ten and eleven on the stimpmeter. The stimpmeter is a device used to measure the speed of a golf course putting green by applying a known velocity to a golf ball and measuring the distance traveled in feet. It is not a very scientific device, but is very important if golfers understand what this means. The intent of the article is to demystify a stimpmeter so we can better prepare ourselves for a great round of golf.
First things first:
As I said earlier, I think greens running between 10 and eleven are great for the amateur/weekend golfer. This is a fast enough speed to ensure that most players feel comfortable putting. This is not the case for elite or professional golfers.
“Most weeks on the PGA Tour, however, the green speeds are in the range of a 12 on the Stimpmeter. For the Masters, US Open, The Players and PGA Championship, the green speeds usually get anywhere from 13 to 14 on the Stimpmeter. Of course, that can change based on weather conditions, both forecast and unanticipated, but major championships often feature faster greens to place a greater emphasis on speed control and approach-shot accuracy. The British Open Championship is an outlier compared to its major peers, primarily because its host rota features links courses susceptible to wind gusts, like at Kapalua. Green speeds are closer to a 10 on the Stimpmeter there.” (GNN)
The stimpmete is a very important and simple tool to use. It is designed to accurately measure the speed of the greens. This information is very important to most golfers if they plan to play their best golf. Not all courses will have this information handy at the proshop, but if they do, it is great information to know before teeing it up.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Demystifying A Stimpmeter”
I love fast greens and the equipment today allows greenskeepers to get the greens running at 12, 13, etc… This was not the case 100 years ago when many of America’s best courses were built. Then, couse designers relied upon other tactics to boost a green’s defense such as building in undulation, elevating greens, false fronts, etc… When these greens are brought up to a level of 12, for instance, they can become unpayable.
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That is a very good observation about golf ball architecture. I think many golfers forget how old the great courses really are.