Research pokes holes in golfer perception of putting green trueness

Published online: Aug 12, 2017 Maintenance

It wasn't intentional, but recent research on putting green trueness might have pulled the rug out from underneath every golfer irritated by greens aerification.

According to recent research by Doug Linde, Ph.D., of Delaware Valley University, core aerification had little if any effect on putting green trueness.

The goal of the research project, which Linde presented at the recent International Turfgrass Research Conference in New Jersey, was to establish a standard for measuring putting green trueness.

"It depends on how you define trueness," Linde said.

"Is it staying on a predictable line? Is the ball bouncing a lot? If it is, it's not true. Does the ball snake left or right if it hits something?"

The research, conducted by Linde in 2015, measured how many balls holed out when rolled off a ramp from 8 feet, how far balls that didn't hole out went left or right of the cup and the spread dispersion when they came to rest.

The results showed that more often than not putts rolled off a ramp at a speed that simulated a golfer putting went ended up in the cup.

"Even if a green is core aerated, the data shows you can make most putts," Linde said. "It's baffling that at 8 feet you should be able to make most putts on a core aerated green."