When Cam Shaw wrote with a question about measuring smoothness and trueness, he mentioned that he’d searched my blog and didn’t find anything. “Wow,” I thought, “have I really written nothing about this?
The Brede equation is essential to my work. I often use the stimpmeter to measure the ball roll distance (green speed) of putting greens. But there's a problem. It can take a long time to find an area flat enough to make the measurement. On some greens, there is so much slope that one cannot make an official measurement.
This story by Chris Tritabaugh starts with ambivalence about the stimpmeter, then goes on to explain what changed. These are the key results, with emphasis mine:
Since I started stimping our greens every day, I cannot remember a complaint about greenspeed.
I get to see a lot of bermudagrass and zoysiagrass putting greens. In fact, most of my golf is played on one of those two surfaces. Sometimes people ask me about the ball roll on zoysia compared with roll on bermudagrass.
I was honored to speak at the 40th Congress of the Asociación Española de Greenkeepers in Seville.
Organic matter In the 2016 article “Managing Organic Matter in Putting Greens," Adam Moeller and Todd Lowe wrote this:
Here are data from 903 measurements I’ve made from 2011 to early 2021 excluding all tournament measurements.
Table 1: Number of measurements and median green speed in feet, by species. Data from 867 stimpmeter readings by Micah Woods excluding tournament measurements.
Golf course putting greens are covered with many types of grasses. I’ve written about my skepticism that adding Si will increase green speed in 3 posts on the blog (post 1, post 2, post 3), and I’ve done so in reference to Zoysia matrella greens which are known for the high silica content of the leaves.