Post by Richard Kaplan
A Stimpmeter is a 3 foot long piece of steel or plastic with a groove in the middle for the ball to run down. It also has a notch about 2/3 of the way up that the ball sits in. Measuring starts by placing the ball in the notch and holding the stimp low, but then very slowly lifting up the top end until the ball falls out of the notch (at roughly 20° above the ground) and runs down the groove and onto the green.
The distance – in feet – of how far the ball rolls out is then measured, using the length of the stimp, and if the ball rolls say 3 stimp lengths, then that speed is 9 feet.
The person measuring the green must then do an average of at least 2 opposite directions to take slope into account. (Sometimes even an average of the 4 major directions around a hole is taken). This way of measuring then takes slope almost completely out of the equation, and gives an average speed of the green.
Readings are generally taken on a relatively flat piece of green where there shouldn’t be too much variation in slope, so if you say got a reading of 9 in one direction and 11 the other way round, then that green’s speed is 10. If there’s a bit more slope involved, then you might get speeds of 8 and 12 recorded, to also average out at 10. Multiple readings are also normally done on a particular green, and obviously at totally different areas on that green, and then those are averaged out as well.