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Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
Bit of a math nerd here, so I thought I'd ask if there is a hard and fast rule about stimp, slope, elevation change, and the slope-to-flat area that designers must considered when making pinnable locations.

I was just thinking about "what happened" (to put it politely) to High hole IN at St Andrews, and, well, my current very nervousness about what might happen to #16 at Pasatiempo with their renovation.

I think most here would agree that wild greens like these are unique and exciting, and that green speeds are... a bit fast, but I just wonder if there's a rule of thumb where I can know what number stimp goals to start being worried some of my favorite greens.
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Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Jerry Lemons, ASGCA did a nice graphic on this that you can Google and find a copy.  I always found it to be accurate based on my experience.  I'm not sure how the graphic will show up, but I include it.  I tended to make sure my steepest slope was somewhere in the yellow range.  Being in the south, with overseeding slowly losing acceptance, I made sure there were at least a few pin areas in the green because winter green speeds can get to 14+ easily.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Jeff will not be surprised to hear me say I believe there is more art than science to building a green with strong contours.  The slope numbers are a good guide, but if you are creative with counterslopes, it's possible to reward the player who finds the less obvious line for his putt.


But it's harder to be an artist when people talk about 14 on the Stimpmeter.  Will the lust for faster speeds never end?

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
Jerry Lemons, ASGCA did a nice graphic on this that you can Google and find a copy.  I always found it to be accurate based on my experience.  I'm not sure how the graphic will show up, but I include it.  I tended to make sure my steepest slope was somewhere in the yellow range.  Being in the south, with overseeding slowly losing acceptance, I made sure there were at least a few pin areas in the green because winter green speeds can get to 14+ easily.

I'm assuming this is the graphic? Interesting, yes, this does seem to be a pretty basic rule of thumb.

if you are creative with counterslopes, it's possible to reward the player who finds the less obvious line for his putt.
Yes, it seems like the graph doesn't fully show the relationship between acceleration and friction. I would assume that you could create local minima on the greens that allow for extremely high speed puts to still remain in play. I guess the main issue would be how to drain the local minima... and working out the math to make sure that all the directions of putting are reasonable. Putting across multiple swales is an obvious use case for roller coaster putts. I definitely feel those types of greens could feel gimmicky, but I think something like a short par 3 into a wide, Himalayas-style putting surfaces could be a fun way to make an easy par 3 very challenging.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Matt:


Counter-slopes are easy . . . the problem is, you also have to putt over them when you've left your approach a bit too far below the hole.

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
Counter-slopes are easy . . . the problem is, you also have to putt over them when you've left your approach a bit too far below the hole.
Yes, I suppose many folks wouldn't be as excited as I would be about trying and putt it passed the hole to have it roll back against the counter slope while it slows to approach the hole itself.

I just think some surreal greens putting over 3+ foot high contours would be a great way to make an sub-90 yard par 3 really worth while. Could definitely be a fun way to use less real estate.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
I don't know a precise rule of thumb but find that the best speed for a green depends heavily on the slopes.  My course has subtle slopes that come alive with very high green speeds.  At slower speeds they are relatively boring.  My prior course became silly at anything above a ten or so.  At the right speed both courses provide very interesting putting and short game challenges. 


I would love to see courses find an ideal speed for their greens and manage for that rather than making them fast and eventually flattening slopes.   

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Jerry Lemons, ASGCA did a nice graphic on this that you can Google and find a copy.  I always found it to be accurate based on my experience.  I'm not sure how the graphic will show up, but I include it.  I tended to make sure my steepest slope was somewhere in the yellow range.  Being in the south, with overseeding slowly losing acceptance, I made sure there were at least a few pin areas in the green because winter green speeds can get to 14+ easily.

I'm assuming this is the graphic? Interesting, yes, this does seem to be a pretty basic rule of thumb.

if you are creative with counterslopes, it's possible to reward the player who finds the less obvious line for his putt.
Yes, it seems like the graph doesn't fully show the relationship between acceleration and friction. I would assume that you could create local minima on the greens that allow for extremely high speed puts to still remain in play. I guess the main issue would be how to drain the local minima... and working out the math to make sure that all the directions of putting are reasonable. Putting across multiple swales is an obvious use case for roller coaster putts. I definitely feel those types of greens could feel gimmicky, but I think something like a short par 3 into a wide, Himalayas-style putting surfaces could be a fun way to make an easy par 3 very challenging.


Matt,


That is the chart, but it's in degrees.  If you use it, make sure everyone knows that.  There is also one in % of slope, which I found easier to use.


As to the friction and acceleration, you guys kill me, just like when someone thought Lou Stagner's 33,000 shot sample size was too small.  I suppose it doesn't measure that, but it does measure at what green speed putts just don't stop.


I have seen Fazio and others do counterslopes and flatter cup areas where other contours are steeper.  Most architects will put a small rise on the front of a green that has two tiers to prevent or eliminate de-greening from the upper level.


In the end, most situations don't call for a counterslope.  So what if they stop putts somewhere past the hole?  Most golfers would prefer a contour that allows them to stop their first putt near the hole, not having to putt 20 feet back, i.e., they are good as an exception, but maybe not the general rule.  Course managers probably prefer it to, rather than a design that rewards 0.1% of players who can "find a creative line" anywhere other than a course designed for tournaments or an out of the way resort experience.


I did find the chart to be reliable.  At a club with daily green speeds of 13, I asked what the problem cup areas were.  In that case, every one the members complained about exceeded the yellow area on the chart.  What it does show, IMHO, is that cup area slopes can be up to about 3.75%, not the standard quoted 3%, although 3% does give you a safety factor.



Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Blake Conant

  • Karma: +0/-0
According to the chart, a 200 square foot area stimping at 10.5 with a 5.25% slope is acceptable.... May want to avoid following that chart to the letter. Or maybe I need to grow a pair!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2023, 12:36:55 PM by Blake Conant »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
According to the chart, a 200 square foot area stimping at 10.5 with a 5.25% slope is acceptable.... May want to avoid following that chart to the letter. Or maybe I need to grow a pair!


Just come to Crystal Downs this summer !

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Jeff:


Im pretty good at math, too, but math as sculpture can be pretty ugly to look at.


Also, you might want to think about how counter slopes can be used between the ball and the hole, rather than just behind it.  Im often told Ive left someone an impossible putt, and often I can show them a much different line to play that is indeed possible.


However, there is less and less scope for such creativity when clubs insist on pushing green speeds into the teens.

Jim_Coleman

  • Karma: +0/-0
   I once had a long putt from back left to middle right on the second green at Pine Valley. I asked my caddy, 20 feet left to  right? He answered, You can make the putt that way, but if you miss youll go 20 past. Play it 5 right to left. Of course he was right. Little did I know there was a counter slope.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2023, 07:36:25 AM by Jim_Coleman »

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Jeff:


Im pretty good at math, too, but math as sculpture can be pretty ugly to look at.


Also, you might want to think about how counter slopes can be used between the ball and the hole, rather than just behind it.  Im often told Ive left someone an impossible putt, and often I can show them a much different line to play that is indeed possible.


However, there is less and less scope for such creativity when clubs insist on pushing green speeds into the teens.


And eventually the slopes are neutered to the point where such speeds are required and of course expected for (some, but not the same) interest.


I can't tell you how oftenI now hear the word "fast" substituted for good, when often the greens are pure(seasonally) shite (recently aerified, bumpy with poa)conditions which would have have been barely noticeble and or highly tolerable at old school lower speeds you could aggressively roll the putt through.(now fear of the 5 foot bumpy comebacker requires mandatory plinko play as even imperfect surfaces are praised if they are "merely" fast)
HINT:aerified greens didn't used to run at 13, and shouldn't.


Voluntarily telling me how fast the greens are at your club, or praising any course based SOLELY on greens speed(without mentioning any other feature) is so 1980's,(when you were praising a 9 vs. a 7) and is about the same as wearing a two foot tall dunce hat to me as far as your GCA IQ. ;)



"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
According to the chart, a 200 square foot area stimping at 10.5 with a 5.25% slope is acceptable.... May want to avoid following that chart to the letter. Or maybe I need to grow a pair!


Just come to Crystal Downs this summer !

That is not a good ad Tom!

One excellent result of recent high profile new courses in GB&I is the willingness to put some contour in the greens. There has long been an incorrect belief that wind means greens can't be interesting. I know some rebel against contour and there have been a few instances of things getting out of control. But I think the pro contour case has been highly supported.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Portpatrick & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'd be interested in knowing the difference in cost terms between 'fast' putting surfaces and 'slower' putting surfaces and how this impacts subscriptions and greenfees. Both for everyday play and for occasional 'quick'.
Inputs, disease prevention/recovery, non-play time, labour, machinery etc etc.
atb

archie_struthers

  • Karma: +0/-0
   I once had a long putt from back left to middle right on the second green at Pine Valley. I asked my caddy, 20 feet left to  right? He answered, You can make the putt that way, but if you miss youll go 20 past. Play it 5 right to left. Of course he was right. Little did I know there was a counter slope.


Jim, in the 1981 caddie tournament legendary superintendent Dick Bator gave us the royal treatment and vowed none of us would break eighty...on two the pin was front right (extreme) on the little ledge that is there if you know the course well . No figuring that one out LOL


One of the reasons the greens at PV are great is that there is almost always a way to two putt with proper information and skill. Those big contours can be used to slow putts also as you aptly described.

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