How Greenstester Works
An alternative to the stimpmeter, Greenstester ensures golf putting greens give consistent and accurate roll. 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.
Golf Course Grass
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.
Golf Putting Greens
Demonstrating this surface variability,in a way that is meaningful to golfers, can be as illuminating as Payne-Gallwey’s ‘curveball’ putts.