Greens SpeedReader: Learning the Enviromental Factors


The Goal: Understanding the enviromental factors

Enviromental factors affect both the speed of the green and the break of a putt. By learning how much these factors change the short game, golfers not only know what to expect, but how much they need to adjust their putting game to compensate effectively.

There is one enviromental factor that affects the green speed more than any other: moisture. Dew, rain, recently watered greens, slow drainage, or any moisture can significantly slow the greens. The more moisture there is the slower the greens become.

Another very important effect of moisture is how it affects the break of a putt. More moisture will straighten out the break of a putt. This is because the ball slides (as opposed to roll) more along a wet surface and cannot get the "bite" it normally needs to break.

The general rule to remember for moisture is slower speeds and less break.


How to do it: Tracking the variables

Below is a list of dynamic enviromental conditions that affect golf green speeds on a daily basis. Understanding these factors is important, but each affects the greens by a different amount.

The following free download is provided so you can measure and track these enviromental variables on different days and under different conditions. Each graph allows the user to compare trends and ultimately determine which variables have the most profound effects on the green speed.

Students and instructors are encouraged to use the table and graphs any way they wish to fully understand the enviromental variables and compliment their learning process.  

Golf instructors or students can
download the file or open it from this website.

Click filename below to access file


Common variables affecting moisture on the green:

Shadows (over all or part of the green)- can prevent some parts from drying faster than other areas

Time of day- morning hours usually mean slower greens and less breaking putts due to dew on the greens

Weather- Did it rain yesterday or earlier today? If so, expect slower greens and straighter putts.

Cloud cover- Direct hot sun dries out the greens very quickly. Expect faster greens when it is hot and greens are exposed to direct sunlight.

Irrigation- Troughs on the green can hold water longer than the top of slopes. Expect troughs to be slower and with less break on the putt if it rained recently.

Grass Type- Bermuda, Kentucky Bluegrass, Zoysia, Bahiagrass, and Bentgrass all affect green speeds differently. Creeping Bentgrass is ideal for any climate, but some of the hybrid Bermuda grasses, such as TifEagle, can create extremely fast green speeds. 

Click to return to common questions

Copyright 2002-2011. Greens SpeedReader is a registered trademark of Hughes Innovations, Inc. All rights reserved. USGA and the term Stimpmeter are both registered trademarks of the United States Golf Association. All cited articles are from outside sources and are not associated to this web site except for reference purposes for the reader.
Hughes Innovations, Inc.  P.O. Box 73037  Marietta, GA  30007
Articles | Games | Golf Tips | F.A.Q. | Testimonials | Contact Us | Feedback | Links | Purchase