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Mike McGuire

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Pinable slope
« on: September 18, 2009, 09:44:03 AM »
Is there a number (degrees or percentage) one could say is too steep to put a pin for a certain green speed (say 10.5)?

JESII

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 10:06:25 AM »
I've heard 3% or less at 12 feet.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 10:19:07 AM »
Mike I am sure some super will have the formula, but when you get up around 12 it is not much of a slope to keep the ball going forever. Ours were probably 10.5 yesterday but with a strong wind i would say the course was somewhere between unenjoyable and unplayable.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Greg Chambers

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 11:08:02 AM »
3% should be the maximum slope for a pin position for greens running over 10.
"It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.

Dale Jackson

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 11:25:43 AM »
The USGA has developed a table of grades and green speeds.  I cannot find it on their website but it may be there somewhere.  At my course, especially if we think a hole location is close to the edge in terms of playability, we will use a long digital level which gives the grade in the area measured.  It really helps.
I've seen an architecture, something new, that has been in my mind for years and I am glad to see a man with A.V. Macan's ability to bring it out. - Gene Sarazen

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 11:43:48 AM »
The USGA has developed a table of grades and green speeds.  I cannot find it on their website but it may be there somewhere.  At my course, especially if we think a hole location is close to the edge in terms of playability, we will use a long digital level which gives the grade in the area measured.  It really helps.
I can remember that table, when the speeds get to 12, 13 and 14 any slope is a problem. I think at a 15 stimp the ball will continue to roll until it is level, whilst you could have an effective stimp of 20, 30 or 40 it can only be a natural 12,13,14 amplifed by the continued slope.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 12:10:18 PM »
To answer the specific question, at 10.5 speed, the chart says you can cup up to 2.4 degrees reasonably, and up to 3.2 degrees, if you have that slope well around the cup.  Past 3.4 degrees, it gets too steep.  Multiply degrees by 1.75 to get % slope. So the max (according to this chart) is 4.2%, with up to 5.6% possible, but dangerous depending on all the other factors.

That chart was developed by ASGCA member Jerry Lemons (who contributes here) and was in the June 2008 USGA Green Section record.  He did a fantastic chart showing max slope for different green speeds, and generally, they came in about the Masters/US Open range I describe below and more than most would call for in a "typical" recommendation.  This reflects my personal experience that many are going too far in flattening greens.

At their tournaments the USGA has a system of measuring with a digital level over the cup in two directions. If the combined percent of those two was over 5, it was too steep if in the front of the green, and if in the back of the green, the combo measurements are 5.5 max, figuring not many players will be behind the pin and have a tougher downhill putt.  BTW, the Pinehurst super told me that for the last Open there, with small greens they did not cup when those conditions were over 4.5 combined.

BTW, while you would think that these would come out at 2.75% and 2.25% slopes, they actually come out closer to 3.75% max and 3.2%.  In fact, the USGA allows cups on slopes up to 4%, if there is 0% slope the other way.

Of course, this is for the national championship and for the best putters in the world. It makes sense that something less would be the max.  

For "regular" courses, the USGA has never changed their recommendations of 3% max in cupping areas, despite increases in green speed since that recommendation was written.  Ask a few green section reps privately and they nod in agreement that it could perhaps be revised downward. This suggests that drainage swales of 2-2.1% (a 2% swale with an additonal 2% side slopecomes out to about 2.8%,although I think its rare to have both slope components that steep) giving a max close to 3%) could still be acceptable.

I asked many gca's and most still seem to grade swales around 2% swales , with a steep green having swale slopes of perhaps 2.25%.

I know Hurdzan wrote of a range of 1.5-1.5%!  Pete Dye once opined on this, and after converting from Dye to English, I concluded that his cup spaces areas max out at 2.25%.  JN seems to be pretty flat, although I think TD has influenced him back up after Sebonic.  Fazio seems to put real care in the slopes. I find that if he has some big rolls you need to putt over, the flat areas are really flat, even close to 0%. If a green doesn't have pronounced splines that you have to putt over, then the slopes can get over 4%.  Really, his greens typically rock and roll!

I have recently reduced my base swales to under 2% based on complaints from golfers that my greens are just too d#*&*^ steep.  When I play my courses at green speeds under 10, I think they play fine with swales at 2.25% and total slopes at under 3%, but it seems some golfers now dislike even having to aim way outside the hole on a long putt. I disagree, but I ain't the King!

Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Mike McGuire

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 11:27:14 PM »
Great responses. Thanks much.

As usual GCA.com comes thru. You guys are great.

TEPaul

Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 01:08:15 PM »
I don't know about the degree of pinnable slope but Jeff Brauer sure did provide a ton of valuable information that way.

I'll tell you this though; this last weekend at our annual member/guest better ball tournament we ran some speeds I have most definitely never seen at my course (Gulph Mills GC). They apparently did a couple of regulation stimp readings and the greens were just about a foot faster than the greenspeed goal at the US Open.

I don't really agree with running speeds that excessive on greens like ours but to my amazement it seems like the entire field enjoyed it even though it created challenges like I have never seen before on that course.

At those speeds I also saw some things with break and rollout on most all the greens I have definitely never seen before. There was one example on our 17th hole I still just cannot believe looking at that green but I saw it with my own eyes.

When some say that kind of excessive speed just brings up the Kleig Lights on the contours of putting greens and the nuances of them with playablility they are most definitely not kidding.

JESII

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 01:52:42 PM »
TEP,

I would think Gulph Mills at 14 feet would result in many, many uphill chips and putts.

What happened on #17? I would imagine at that speed, the back left apron would act as a sort of ultra powerful, yet low speed, vacuum...

Feel free to change names to protect the inoocent...

Rob_Waldron

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 02:17:29 PM »
Jeff

I thought I heard Pete Dye say that he used to use as much as 4% but had backed down to 2% max due to the cutting heights.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 02:26:20 PM »
I don't have very good feel for slope in degrees. Help me out here. Take some greens at ANGC with lots of slope - 9, 10 and 11 for example. Don't they have more than 3 degrees of slope? And they are rolling at 12+ for The Masters?

Bob


JESII

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 02:29:37 PM »
Bob,

I don't know those greens, but the measurement is specific to the few feet around the hole, not across the entire length of a green...surely even those greens have small pockets of <3% even if the total average is greater.

Jim Franklin

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 02:33:42 PM »
How can you determine the degree slope of a green? I mean can a layman do this?
Mr Hurricane

tlavin

Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 02:36:18 PM »
How can you determine the degree slope of a green? I mean can a layman do this?

If you have an I-phone, get the BreakMeter app.  It works quite well.

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 02:39:44 PM »
Elevation change / distance = percentage change   




TEPaul

Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2009, 02:40:31 PM »
"What happened on #17? I would imagine at that speed, the back left apron would act as a sort of ultra powerful, yet low speed, vacuum..."



Sully:

Wow, you really ARE GOOD at this stuff!

Are you aware of that way back left greenspace tongue on #17 we restored in the last 6-7 years? I think that back left tongue was about 27 feet deep.

Anyway, on Saturday the pin was just past middle and way over on the right side. There could not have been more than 6-10 feet on the right of the pin before the ball would just fall off the green on the right. This ball's pitch mark was about ten feet short of the pin and actually ON THE RIGHT of the pin (which would almost fall off the green on the right) and somehow that ball ended up at the end of that expanded far back left tongue leaving the guy about a 65 foot putt back to that right pin.

I looked behind that pitch mark and I still can't really figure out how that ball could've gotten to where it ended up but we all saw it. That's the kind of thing a 14 greenspeed can do at GMGC.

In every group at least one or two balls were falling off the 18th and running about 70 yards back down that fairway.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 02:44:07 PM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2009, 02:46:39 PM »
"How can you determine the degree slope of a green? I mean can a layman do this?"


Jim:

Yeah, you just get yourself one of those digital things and lay it on the green and it gives you the degree of slope up to tenths-----eg 3.10% etc.

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2009, 02:49:35 PM »
I wouldn't have thought a ball along the right edge of the 17th green would have gotten back to that corner but there are a couple cool little humps and bumps that become really signiicant when you have to tip-toe over tham as opposed to just plowing over them...

HVCC has a few greens like your 18th that can have really annoying effects at those speeds, have you thought about mowing the fairway grass just a shade higher to reduce the problem?

Mike McGuire

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2009, 06:36:04 PM »
Screenshoot of breakmeter app for iphone . Supers gotta hate this. Like everyone walking around with a stimp meter in their pocket.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 06:47:22 PM by Mike McGuire »

Chris Flamion

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2009, 09:27:52 PM »
I am at a loss for words about that app.  That is simultaneously one of the coolest things I have ever seen and one of the most infuriating.

If I get stuck behind some clown who pulls that thing out every green so help me.....

 

TEPaul

Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2009, 10:45:21 PM »
"have you thought about mowing the fairway grass just a shade higher to reduce the problem?"


Sully:

Good point! Why don't you talk to our super about taking the mower back to the maintenance shop and re-setting the mow height every day to mow that particular area that probably takes about ten minutes?

Personally, I would prefer to just tell golfers they might want to think more strategically if they think that 14 on the stimpmeter is fun!  ;)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 10:47:37 PM by TEPaul »

JESII

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2009, 09:56:06 AM »
Tom,

Whether that green is 11 or 12 or 13 feet, there is a real risk of the ball running off the front and once it does there's not much to stop it...is it your position that strategic play can resolve that?


Jim Franklin

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Re: Pinable slope
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2009, 10:10:28 AM »
So if you do not have an iPhone, what can I get?
Mr Hurricane

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