Correction for Slope in Green Speed Measurement of Golf Course Putting Greens
Green speed of golf course putting greens (an inverse function of the surface friction) is assessed by use of a stimpmeter, a widely used tool distributed by the United States Golf Association. However, green speed of sloped surfaces cannot be measured satisfactorily due to the distorting effects of downslope gravitational acceleration of the ball. The purpose of this study was (i) to develop a simple equation that could be used to correct for the effects of gravitational acceleration on sloped greens, and (ii) to verify the new equation: Corrected green speed = 2S↑S↓ (S↑S↓)−1, where S↑ = distance of ball roll directly uphill and S↓ = distance of ball roll downhill. A laboratory carpet-covered runway apparatus and two field putting greens were used for validation. Laboratory green speed readings corrected with the equation were equal, regardless of slope from 0 to 5.6%. By using the equation, a golf course superintendent can check green speed of sloped areas that previously would have been impossible to assess.
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