Latest technology from Sports Turf Research Institute robs golfers of 'bad greens' excuse for poor performances

The first truly objective system for measuring golf green performance was launched by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) at BTME this week.

The STRI programme incorporates latest technology to record and assess the performance and quality of golf greens.

By looking at key measures of playability and agronomic factors, it aims to provide a comprehensive insight into the performance of golf greens in more depth than before.

STRI head of agronomy Stuart Ormondroyd said: "It is going to be the biggest step forward in our industry in the 30 years I have been at the institute. It's really exciting."

The STRI developed the programme in 2009 with the help of more than 100 golf clubs.

In an independent survey of 73 greenkeepers, 67 per cent said it was excellent with the remaining 33 per cent rating it very good.

STRI agronomist Henry Bechelet said: "Client feedback was exceptional because it's easy to understand. Everything that is important to measure, we measure. The reason it's happening now is because of technological developments."

Using a trueness metre (to judge smoothness), an impact hammer (firmness) and a stimp metre (green speed), together with soil analysis tools, the programme will allow greenkeepers to scientifically prove the performance of greens.

STRI agronomist Richard Windows said: "It has been made possible by significant advances in technology - none more so than the smoothness metre. It's the only accurate measure in the world."

The measurements are analysed by STRI consultants in partnership with greenkeepers and committees to provide an insight into green management programmes, allowing clubs to set measurable targets for performance and consistency.

A web-based data entry system will allow clubs to record and access measurements.

Ormondroyd said the data will be ideal for eliminating subjective complaints from players who blamed bad greens their for poor performances.


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