Why green speed is not important

By: BIGGA | Mon 12 Jun 2017


Faster greens are taken as a sign of the quality of a course. The faster the greens, the better the course, right?

This is why Augusta National runs up to 14 on the stimpmeter, and tour events often work so hard to achieve that level of speed that they kill their greens in the aftermath of the tournament.

But Augusta’s greenspeeds only improved when they switched the grass species in the 80s. Prior to that, they would stimp at around 9 – a speed achievable by most modern golf clubs.

At first it may seem counter-productive, but for the everyday golfer, slower greens actually make for a more enjoyable golfing experience.

Approach shots are more likely to hold on the putting surface, and you will see far less three putts as it’s easier to get the ball closer to the hole.

Allowing the grass to grow slightly longer on greens also helps to keep it stronger and increases disease resistance.

Angus Macleod, Director of Golf Courses at The Belfry, said: “If we have a big tournament we can go quicker. But if we get too fast I am probably limiting myself to only two pin positions on each hole.

“The other positions we might use would become far too difficult, which means golfers would be three and four putting and that would seriously slow play down.”

When it comes to an enjoyable golf experience, speed may not be everything.

For more more videos in this series visit: www.golfshake.com/improve/tag/BIGGA/


This video was filmed in association with Golfshake and BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association) at the Belfry in March 2017. 

BIGGA represents the Nation's greenkeepers and works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession. To find out more about the work BIGGA do visit: www.bigga.org.uk


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British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association

BIGGA is dedicated to the continuing professional development of its 5,700 members, BIGGA works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession.

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