How Golf Courses Measure Green Speeds

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

Have you ever wondered how golf courses measure the speed of the greens, or what professional golf broadcasters mean when they reference a Stimpmeter? 

The Stimpmeter is the universally accepted tool that golf course superintendents and maintenance crews use to measure the speed of a certain golf course’s greens on a daily basis. Using the three-foot-long aluminum bar with slots on the top designed to hold a golf ball until gravity takes over.

When measuring the green speeds, superintendents will find a relatively flat portion of a green and roll three balls down the Stimpmeter, taking the average rollout of the balls from the end of the Stimpmeter. From there, they will perform the same process in the opposite direction, again taking the average of the three balls’ rollout.

The staff will then take the average of the two readings and determine the green speed, assigning it a number, typically between 6 and 15 depending on the course.

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