Knowing how Executive Director Mike Davis feels about the negative influence of faster green speeds on cost, pace of play and even in driving people to anchor putters, today's announcement of a USGA-logoed. $110 Stimpmeter won't go down as one of the best days in the organization's history. While they advocate the Stimpmeter for consistency, superintendents will tell you that the Stimp ends up encouraging faster greens.
Especially when they say this:
While different layouts present distinct challenges, each course needs to offer competitors consistent conditions in order to provide a fair test. And one of the most important aspects of course maintenance is uniform putting surfaces.
Not only do variations in speed from green to green negate a player’s skill, they also greatly decrease enjoyment of a round.
Remember when it was a skill to scout out a course and note the slight variations in speed?
Even for golfers playing a recreational round, a course with greens of varying speeds can be a bewildering, frustrating experience.
Millions of golfers, from U.S. Open contestants to beginners, have benefited from the Stimpmeter, a simple tool offered by the United States Golf Association that allows superintendents, agronomists and course officials to accurately measure the speed of greens and provide consistent playing conditions.
You can order it for $110 according to this link, but get this slab of plastic for just $75 if you trade in your old Stimpmeter. While supplies last! And let's hope for the sake of the superintendents of the world, they last and last and last.
**John Paul Newport reports on the new Stimpmeter and the history of the device. He says they are not for sale to anyone who wants one. I'm still looking for that fine print here:
As exciting as this new Stimpmeter is, you and I won't be able to get our hands on one, even if we come up with the USGA's $110 asking price. That's because the rules-making body won't sell Stimpmeters to ordinary golfers, only to clubs, golf-course superintendents and tournament setup officials.
I'm not seeing that restriction here: