St Andrews to see STRI's trueness meter greenkeeping tool

Next week's open golf venue St Andrews golf course (July 15-18) will see the official debut of STRI's (Sports Turf Research Institute) Trueness Meter, which measures greens' speed, smoothness, firmness, consistency and year round performance.

The new technology is part of the wider STRI programme and has been developed in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University following funding from the R&A.

STRI turfgrass agronomist Richard Windows said:

"In the eyes of the true professional the ideal putting surface comprises of optimal speed, smoothness and trueness. The perfect putting surface tests the player but also gives reward for skilful play. STRI’s Trueness Meter allows greenkeepers for the first time to forensically analyse the greens during an event and refine operations to help them implement 18 greens of the highest order."
The trolley device works by being pushed across the surface at a pace that reflects the speed of the ball. With the aid of electronics and a metal wheel that has the same footprint and down pressure of a golf ball, the Trueness Meter measures the amount of vertical displacement (smoothness) and lateral deviation (trueness) in terms of millimetres. This allows greenkeepers to pick up textural differences in the turf, the influence of Poa annua seedheads, the impact of maintenance treatments, wear and tear, pest and disease activity and pitch marks.
The Trueness Meter was first trialled at the 2009 Scottish Open.
St Andrews Links Trust greenkeepers director Gordon Moir said: "The STRI Programme, which includes the STRI’s Trueness Meter is a significant advancement in ensuring one of the world’s greatest golf tournaments will provide greens of the highest standard. I believe the information course manager Gordon McKie and I will obtain will enable us to produce a golf course that offers players an enhanced level of performance both now and in the future."

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