STRI programme measures performance of golf greens

Last month's BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) saw the launch of a new Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) programme designed to measure green performance.

The programme uses a Trueness Meter to evaluate how smooth and true greens are, taking into account both vertical and lateral movement of the ball across the turf.

Taking away any subjective part of a green's performance, data includes firmness, moisture content and speed, together with an analysis of organic matter and the chemical properties of the turf. Information is presented to the club in an easy-to-understand format using graphs and charts.

STRI head of sales and marketing Carolyn Beadsmoore said: "This helps clubs to share with members and committees the current greens assessment."

The technology was developed and assessed by working with 130 golf clubs to ensure that it was appropriate. The scheme was initially launched on a small scale in 2010, predominantly in Scotland. This year sees the programme rolled out across the UK.

Beadsmoore added: "We recommend tests on at least three greens, which takes a couple of hours to complete on site. Clubs are encouraged to get involved so they can fully understand what the measurements mean."

The STRI is also organising regional environmental events in March and April. "Golf clubs are keen to highlight their interest in biodiversity," said Beadsmoore. "They are trying to correct the misconception that courses are damaging to the environment."

These events will also look at legislation around the Water Framework Directive and fertiliser use. Clubs will be advised on how they can be compliant and how to make the best use of resources.

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