Green condition information boards at Japanese golf courses

You won’t find these at every golf course in Japan, but it is common to see a green condition (グリーンコンディション) information board prominently displayed at the clubhouse.

The Facebook page for Monthly Golf Management magazine (月刊ゴルフマネジメント) shared a beautiful photo gallery with representative examples of these green condition boards. I’m sharing the photos (with permission from 月刊ゴルフマネジメント) in this gallery. Click any image thumbnail to enlarge and scroll through them all.

You may notice that almost every board is showing the stimpmeter measurement in feet, along with the mowing height in mm. Many of the boards are showing the green firmness, labeled as compaction (コンパクション), and measured by the Yamanaka tester. You can see a photo of a Yamanaka tester in this post. A few mention the grass variety used on the greens.

I summarized the data in these charts.

I counted 45 unique stimpmeter measurements reported on those photos. The median stimpmeter measurement was 9.5 feet and the mean was 9.6 feet.

I counted 39 unique mowing heights reported on those photos. The mean and the median were 3.6 mm (0.14 inches).

I’ve been to hundreds of golf courses in Japan, and I like to look at the green condition boards myself. I wish I had such a grand collection as this one, and I’m grateful to Kotaro Tanzawa for letting me share these.

I like these boards for selfish reasons, because I’m curious about the information being shared. I don’t expect golf players to take much note of it. However, this does seem to me a good service to provide, in the context of Japanese golf. It’s common to find detailed local weather updates, the latest train schedules and flight schedules, luggage transportation services, and gift shops with local delicacies packaged in gift boxes, all readily available as a convenience for the customers. The green condition information boards fit within that ethic.

These green speeds and mowing heights are on mostly profitable courses that are probably doing an average of about 40,000 rounds per year. Most of these courses have creeping bentgrass greens, and most have temperatures somewhat like the state of Georgia in the USA.