You hear it time and again when you’re watching the Masters Tournament, hearing commentators and analysts share that the greens at Augusta National Golf Club are some of the fastest, if not the fastest, greens the best players in the world will see all year.
However, you never hear exactly how fast the greens are for the Masters at Augusta National.
That’s for good reason.
Augusta National publishes their general setup philosophy, including their mowing heights for greens, collars/fringes, teeing grounds, fairways and the second cut. What they don’t publish is how fast the greens are on the Stimpmeter. That’s for good reason.
Augusta National doesn’t want their greens measured using a Stimpmeter. They’re different from hole to hole, and some putting surfaces are intentionally slower or faster than others. That’s because each green at Augusta National is unique. It has its own contours, size, shaping. And Augusta National knows each green needs to be treated unto itself and distinctly from the others on the course because some green speeds need to be slowed to make sure conditions don’t border on unplayable.
For the Masters grounds crew, there are 18 separate greens teams for each hole, dedicated to making sure their assigned surface rolls to the ideal specifications. Some greens are said to run in the range of 12 feet on the Stimpmeter, with others closer to 15 feet, according to a leading agronomist familiar with Augusta National’s course maintenance.
That’s part of the challenge of the Masters, then. Players have to learn how each green plays unto itself and adjust accordingly throughout the round, making sure to consider intended pace when putting on the most pure surfaces in the game.