A new method to measure bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) golf course putting green ball roll uniformity


The golf industry has a 70 billion economic impact in the United States, and a vital aspect of the sport is golf course putting green performance. The goal of putting green management is to provide a surface on which a golf ball is rolled uniformly while maintaining acceptable yearlong turfgrass quality. Several devices have been developed to quantify golf ball roll dynamics on putting greens; however, there are limited methods to measure putting green ball roll uniformity. The objective of this research was to assess putting green ball roll uniformity by measuring the dispersion of golf balls released from a modified Perfect Putter device. The Perfect Putter is a lightweight and portable ramped device that was modified to include a fixed hinge to minimize human error associated with golf ball release and a wider base for increased stability. Our method for quantifying ball roll uniformity was as follows: 20 golf balls were released from the device and marked individually. Dispersion length was quantified by measuring the maximum linear distance between two marks parallel to the roll line, whereas dispersion width was quantified by measuring the maximum linear distance between two marks perpendicular to the roll line. These two values were multiplied together to calculate the area of golf ball dispersion. This method measured a range of dispersion areas among geographic locations, turfgrass cultivars, and turfgrass canopy heights. This rapid test of putting surface ball roll uniformity has potential to aid bermudagrass turfgrass managers in maximizing putting green playability.

Journal of Testing and Evaluation