What is a Stimpmeter?

A Stimpmeter is a device used to measure the speed of a putt. The device is used to test your green speed. Many greenkeepers use a Stimpmeter when mowing greens at the golf clubs they work for.

They are owned by many privateer players and professionals so can be relied upon in PGA tournaments. The USGA Green Section recommends using a stimpmeter or some other measuring device to measure green speeds.

Stimpmeter 101

Here’s all you need to know about the gadget that measures green speeds, stimp ratings, and other metrics.

Stimpmeter’s History

The Stimpmeter was invented in 1935 by Edward Stimpson, a golf course superintendent. He designed it to measure the speed of putts on his golf course. The device became popular and is now used by many golf courses around the world.

In 1970, he designed the first stimpmeter to measure green speed. The winning score in that year was +11, which is unprecedented for a major and due to the hard greenspeed. He had the inspiration to evaluate green speed after that event, and he began developing his first stimpmmeter to measure greens’ speed.

The rules, which had been modified in 1952 and again in 1956, were finally updated by the USGA in 1976 and made available to golf courses and superintendents the following year. The USGA debuted the most recent version of the stimp in 2013, but it has not altered much since its inception more than a century ago. It began as a three-hole test, which it has since expanded to nine holes.

The Stimpmeter isn’t complicated in any way. It’s a little tool that measures three feet and has just one track on which to roll the golf ball from a great position. The stimpmeter is, without a doubt, the most “old school” of all the golf gadgets and golf accessories available.

The Stimpmeter’s Functionality

The stimpmeter is a putter speed measuring tool that was invented. It does so by calculating how far the golf ball rolls in a certain amount of time. This is significant for golf courses since it allows them to verify the speed of their greens and ensure that they are within USGA standards. It has a metal frame with three bars that are three feet long. In between these bars is a black rubber track with a groove in it. The groove must be no more than 1/8 of an inch deep and one-quarter of an inch wide.

The device is then lowered manually to 22 degrees and the golf ball placed at the end of it, after which it is raised manually until it reaches that mark. Gravity will take over at this point and cause the ball to pop out of the notch. The ball will roll down the channel in the middle of the stimpmeter and exit through the ramp end. It is important that the ball’s exit speed be no more than 6 1/4 inches per second, which the USGA recommends should allow it to roll up to 22 feet before coming to a rest. The stimpmeter measures this distance and gives you your green reading.

The stimulation reading is based on how far the golf ball rolls out. The stimp, for example, is an 8.0 if the ball rolls out eight feet. However, if the ball expands by 12 feet, the greens are moving swiftly and would be a 12.

Typically, to account for any slope or texture, the ball is rolled in several directions by whoever is calculating the speed. They may also utilize it on various greens to ensure that the speed across all of them is approximately identical. Then, based on how far the golf ball rolls, an average stimp reading is determined and reported.

The USGA added a function on the back side of the ramp in 2012, when it changed the stimp. Because many courses do not have 10+ feet of flat ground, they allowed you to half-roll the ball and then double it to compute your speed. So, if the ball rolls nine feet and you half it, then add 18 to get your stimp reading.

How to Build a Stimpmeter?

Building a stimpmeter is a fairly easy process, and can be done with materials that are readily available. You will need the following items:

– Metal frame (3 feet long, 3/4 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick)

– Rubber track (3 feet long, 1/4 inch wide, 1/8 inch deep)

– Golf ball

– Ruler or tape measure

– Pen or pencil

Step 1: Cut the metal frame to the desired length. The frame should be three feet long and three-quarters of an inch wide. It should also be one-eighth of an inch thick.

Step 2: Cut the rubber track to the desired length. The track should be three feet long and one-quarter of an inch wide. It should also be one-eighth of an inch deep.

Step 3: Secure the rubber track to the frame with a couple of metal clamps or small nails so that it is flush with the top and doesn’t hang over it.

Step 4: Place your golf ball on the frame at the end of the track and raise it to a 22 degree angle.

Step 5: Allow gravity to pull the ball down and let it roll until it exits through the ramp end.

Step 6: Measure you distance with your ruler or tape measure, and find your stimp speed by multiplying that number by two.

Finding Your Stimpmeter Reading

To find your stimpmeter reading, simply roll the ball down the track. Let it go from a vertical height of 3 feet, which means that it should take .18 seconds for the ball to reach its maximum speed at this height. If it takes less time, then your green is too fast and you must reduce the speed by one stimp. In addition, if the ball takes more time than .18 seconds to reach its maximum speed, then you have a slow green and must increase your stimp by one.

Therefore, if it takes .25 seconds to reach max speed at a 3-foot height, that means that your green is moving at a 2 stimp.

Stimpmeter FAQs

What are the most efficient settings on the stimpmeter?

There is not a definitive answer to this question as the stimpmeter can be adjusted to accommodate different speeds on different greens. That being said, the standard for stimpmeters is to have a reading of 8.0 if the golf ball rolls out 8 feet. To achieve this, the ball should be rolled in several directions and then an average reading should be taken.

Where should a stimpmeter be placed?

A stimpmeter should be located on the practice green so that it is being used for a reason and not just taking up space. Many courses have a fourth hole or a putting green near their clubhouse so players can come out and use the neighboring course’s greens for family members, guests, or employees that are not members of the course.

How should a stimpmeter be calibrated?

Stimpmeters are typically calibrated by rolling out five balls in different directions, recording the readings at each direction, and then taking an average of all five measurements. The owner or greenkeeper should record this number on the device itself for future reference.

Is there a correct way to hold the club when using a stimpmeter?

There is not an ideal way of holding the club as long as you are able to hit out five shots in different directions and take an average reading. There are, however, some general rules that will help you get more accurate readings:  

– Place the club just in front of the golf ball.

– Make sure that you use a stiff and strong grip and that your arms and wrists are not moving during the swing. – Use your normal backswing and follow through.

How high does the Stimpmeter go?

The stimpmeter can reach a height of up to 22 degrees. When the golf ball is raised to this height, it takes .18 seconds for it to reach its maximum speed.

What is the usual green speed?

The average green speed is 8 stimps. In the United States, golf courses are generally faster since to the type of grass and typical weather conditions. Furthermore, historic championship greens like St. Andrews are three to four times larger than American greens on average but are nevertheless quite flat.

Final Thoughts

The stimpmeter is an important tool for measuring the speed of a golf green. It can be used to calibrate greens and ensure that they are running at the correct speed. By using a stimpmeter, you can help make sure that your golf game is as smooth as possible.

Stimpmeters measure the speed of a green and should be checked before and after putting to ensure that the greens are running at their optimal speed. A stimpmeter measures how many feet per second a golf ball travels over one foot of distance, which is also known as miles per hour. It is typically calibrated by rolling out five balls in different directions and taking an average reading. In addition, the stimpmeter can be used as a training aid as players who are unable to reach this speed on their current greens may need to change the speed of their greens or improve their putting skills.

Stimpmeters have been used in professional tournaments since the 1960’s and should be considered an important piece of equipment when it comes to determining the speed of a green.

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