The use of an inclined plane to measure golf green performance is not new. A device to replicate 'putts' was first successfully demonstrated by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey in 1908. His experiments showed in fact that the rubber cored balls of the time had inconsistent centres of gravity. Sideways deviation of 2 feet along the line of an 8 foot putt was not uncommon.
These tests were carried out indoors, on a full size billiard table, and showed that a ball with a true centre of gravity would consistently hold its line during an 8 foot putt. The surface was, of course, very true and very smooth. In effect, it was a constant, not a variable, in the experiments.
The ball was the variable and Payne-Gallwey added further evidence with in vivo ballistic tests. The entire set of results were published in the London Times during March 1909 and ensured that golf ball makers rapidly improved their products.
In 2011, this idea was adapted by two UK golfers, Nick Park and Malcolm Peake, who successfully showed that an inclined plane could be used to test the reliability of a putting surface. In this modern version - the 'Holing Out' Test - the roles are reversed.
Modern golf balls generally have a reliable centre of gravity and can act as a constant, whereas outdoor putting surfaces are often much more variable than is desirable. Demonstrating this surface variability, in a way that is meaningful to golfers, can be as illuminating as Payne-Gallwey's 'curveball' putts.
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"The Greenstester is a significant improvement over the Stimpmeter than not only provides an accurate assessment of green speed, but also can be used to assess putting trueness."Stars A. J. Turgeon, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Turfgrass Management.
"The Greenstester offers Greenkeepers and golf professionals the ability to measure the consistency of putting surfaces quickly and easily. For too long the focus of greens assessment has been solely on green speed; the Greenstester will provide an indication on how true the greens are actually putting. This will be useful for both greens management and golf teaching purposes."Stars Megan Cushnahan, Agronomist New Zealand Sport Turf Institute
"The greens tester is a much more accurate way of defining both uniformity in green speed and also how true the surface is than any other tool available at an affordable price. The way it works in my opinion is more dependable than the traditional methods and is far more precise with less room for Human error.Stars Chris Haspell, Course Manager Castle Stuart Golf Links.
The ball release has far less room for bounce at the bottom of the slope thus giving a more consistent reading, it will be good to have in the armory for anyone endeavoring to produce quality putting surfaces."
"Having been a fascinated observer during the process which saw the Greenstester conceived, tested and manufactured, I can see nothing but benefit from its use. A simple and cost effective measuring tool that if used on a regular basis, will create a bank of meaningful and, more importantly, useful, statistical information relating to the performance of putting surfaces. From where I sit the golf industry is onto a winner and what's more golfers seem to be genuinely interested in finding out more when they have come across the Greenstester in use on the course.Stars Keith Adderley, Secretary, Temple Golf Club
Without doubt all golf clubs should have access to one of these very affordable tools which will benefit Course Managers, Secretary/Managers, Green Committees and golfers. One of the most exciting and affordable developments to hit the course maintenance market for many years."
Walton Heath Golf ClubStars Greenstester Clubs
The Berkshire Golf Club
St Andrews Bay
Royal Copenhagen Golf Club
Queenswood Golf Club
Spa Golf Club
Royal County Down Golf Club
University of Arkansas
Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links
The Castle Golf Club
Silver Lakes Golf Estate
Grange Golf Club
R & A Competition Committee
Portmarnock Golf Club
The Island Golf Club
The Rosslare Golf Club
Moray Golf Club