Jerry Lemons Non-Conforming Hole Locations

Maximum Slope for Green Speeds

14

• CRITICAL SLOPE No hole locations! No holes any closer

13

......... ....

than 10' to this slope .

12

MARGINAL SLOPE Use caution! More than 8' around hole should be consistent slope.

II

V)

c::

(,:J

10

E c..

I Recommended I

9

E 'p V)

• RECOMMENDED SLOPE

More than 3' around hole should be consistent slope.

8

7

2

2.5

3

4

4.5

I

1.5

3.5

Slope in Degrees

Figure I. It is important to understand the direct relationship between green speed and putting green slope. As green speeds increase, the potential for uncontrollable slopes also increases.

speed your membership desires (stay in the 9' 6" to 10' 6" range, if possible) ."10 In 2007, rated courses in Tennessee had speeds from 8' 1" to 9' 4" on public courses and 9' 5" to 10'4" on private coursesY ASGCA member Rees Jones says green speeds probably will be at 13' for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. 12 Without fail, the Green Section Record articles warned of trying to maintain fast greens, especially for extended periods. Since the introduction of the Stimp- meter, green speeds have inched higher. Putting green speed discussions are not going away and will likely remain part of the conversation on most every round of golf, warranted or not. In my opinion, most clubs have consistently met the goal of providing their golfers with greens at acceptable speeds. Super- intendents now have better tools and knowledge and can provide faster putting surfaces if proper financial resources are available. Will green speeds continue to climb? I doubt that we will ever again see the same significant average increase as in

the last 30 years, although some of the new bentgrass varieties and ultra-dwarf bermudagrasses can be extremely fast when these greens are dormant. Green speeds on these turf grasses can exceed 13' without intention and remain that way until the turf begins to grow. Many golfers find that the faster green putts truer. Faster greens add another level of interest to the game. However, golfers do not like greens that are too fast. Greens should be con- sidered too fast when better players experience anxiety because the ball becomes uncontrollable on a putting surfaceP PUTTING GREEN SLOPES We golf course architects enjoy design- ing and playing greens with character. This character (for which many courses are known) can be any combination of slopes, bumps, swales, and twists of the surface. Putting greens that have too much severity of any of these traits can become unfair at a fast green speed. In short, a putt that misses the hole placed on too steep a slope on a fast putting

green will not come to rest near the hole. The USGA Course Rating System Guide says, "When a downhill roll on the Stimpmeter is 2 times greater in length than uphill, it is considered moderately sloped. When a downhill roll on the Stimpmeter is 3 times greater in length than uphill, it is considered steeply sloped."14 Over the years, the Green Section has suggested: The slope of a major portion of a putting green should usually not be greater than 3 percent (1.7 degrees), although some areas may exceed this for special reasons, such as difficult terrain or dramatic architectural effect. 1s Based on current information, any slope 3% (1.7 degrees) or greater on a 10' Stimpmeter reading is too steep for hole use. 16 For us to understand what is "too sharp or too steep," we need to under- stand the direct relationship between green speed and slopes. We have all watched tournament after tournament on television where greens were so fast that players lost control of the ball

22

G R E ENS E C T ION R E COR D

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online