Optimize Green Speed

Tips on how to optimize green speed.

February 16, 2022
2 mins
  1. Fast greens are sometimes perceived to be good greens, but this is not necessarily the case.
  2. Trueness and consistency across all greens are more important than speed.
  3. Average mowing heights in the summer months are between 3 mm and 5 mm, and slightly higher in the winter months.
  4. Cutting the greens lower or rolling can increase green speed. However, in the long term these practices can encourage undesirable coarse grass species such as Poa annua, moss, and algae.

Green speed is measured with a device known as a stimpmeter.

Tips on how to optimize green speed

  1. Greens can be managed to produce firm, true putting surfaces without the need to cut them down to excessively low heights. Treatments include light/frequent top dressing, regular verti-cutting treatments, and balanced nutrient input.
  2. Occasional light rolling can help to increase green speed without the need to lower cutting heights (treatments should be used in conjunction with an appropriate aeration program).
  3. Use low-nitrogen inputs to harden turf growth.
  4. Slow-release nutrients will not give surge growth and will therefore improve green speed consistency between mowing.
  5. Calcium fertilisers strengthen cell walls and improve green speed.
  6. Use plant growth regulators to increase green speed and improve consistency during the day.
  7. Adopt double mowing, especially prior to tournaments.
  8. Irrigation should be kept to minimum required for healthy turf growth.
  9. Remove surface dew with H2Pro DewSmart.