Golf Course Management Book from C.H.I.P.S.

The Superintendent's Guide to Controlling Putting Green Speed

by Thomas A. Nikolai

This reference is a valuable tool for successfully caring for golf course green speed. In accessible, nontechnical language, this insightful guide addresses every factor affecting green performance, complete with guidance for analyzing and solving problems commonly found on a broad range of golf courses.

The Superintendent's Guide to Controlling Putting Green Speed covers such green speed maintenance areas as playability, environmental considerations, mowing and pest management. It also provides practical decision-making advice relative to financial and budgeting issues.

  • This book is designed to help superintendents find the ideal green speed for their courses

  • It analyses existing research on the common problems associated with green speed

  • Non-technical language makes the text accessible to the student and golf course superintendent alike

The Superintendent's Guide to Controlling Putting Green Speed is a complete resource for golf course superintendents, architects, owners, green committee members, and students who want to successfully manage green speed.


  1. Problems Associated with Green Speed.
    • What Is Green Speed?
    • The Best Laid Plans.
    • Researcher–Superintendent Communication Problems.
    • Whose Golf Course Is It Anyway?

  2. The History of Measuring Green Speed.
    • The Development of the Stimpmeter.
    • New Technology.

  3. Using the Stimpmeter for Its Intended Purpose: Creating the Ideal Green Speed.
    • Twenty-Five-Year Anniversary.
    • Uniformity.
    • Uniformity 1.
    • Uniformity 2.
    • The Two Directives.
    • Directive 1.
    • Directive 2.
    • The Morris Method.
    • An Ideal Green Speed: What’s in It for You?
    • Putting It All Together.

  4. The Weather: The Known Unknown in the Quest for the Ideal Green Speed.
    • Controlling the Weather.
    • Seasonal Variability.
    • Diurnal Variability.
    • Rain, Wind, Temperature, and Humidity.
    • Conclusions about Weather and Green Speed.

  5. Putting Green Root Zones.
    • Putting Green Root Zone History.
    • The Effects of Root Zone on Green Speed.
    • Root Zones and Management Practices.

  6. Turfgrass Species and Green Speed.
    • The Birth of Golf Turf Research.
    • Early Perceptions of Green Speed on Various Turfgrass Species.
    • Current Research with Putting Green Turf Species.
    • Conclusions about Turfgrass Species.

  7. Mowing Height.
    • History of Putting Green Mowing Height.
    • The Law of Diminishing Returns.
    • Mower Height versus Height of Cut.
    • Mower Types.
    • Mower Type–Green Speed Study.
    • Double Cutting.
    • Conclusions about Mowing and Green Speed.

  8. Fertilization and Green Speed.
    • The Importance of Fertilizing.
    • Nitrogen as a Fertilizer.
    • Recent History of Nitrogen Fertilization on Greens.
    • Nitrogen and Green Speed.
    • Annual Nitrogen Rate and the “4-inch Theory”.
    • Root Zone–Nitrogen Rate Interactions.
    • Nitrogen Frequency and Its Effect on Green Speed.
    • Fast-Release versus Slow-Release Nitrogen Carriers.
    • Monthly Applications of Nitrogen and Plant Growth Regulators.
    • A Comparison of Liquid Nitrogen Programs.
    • Monthly Applications versus Granular Spoon-Feeding.
    • Ultralow Nitrogen Rates to Enhance Green Speed.
    • Conclusions about Nitrogen and Green Speed.
    • Potassium Fertilization on the Golf Course.
    • Potassium and Green Speed.
    • Phosphorous.
    • Micronutrients.
    • Conclusions Regarding Fertilization and Green Speed.

  9. Lightweight Rolling: A Most Vexing Practice for Many Superintendents.
    • History of Rolling.
    • In Search of a Safe Frequency for Lightweight Rolling.
    • Lightweight Rollers and Green Speed.
    • Research on Various Types of Lightweight Rollers.
    • Lightweight Rolling and Turfgrass Pests.
    • Dollar Spot.
    • Moss and Broadleaf Weeds.
    • Cutworms.
    • Localized Dry Spot.
    • Snow Mold.
    • Conclusions about Lightweight Rolling.

  10. An Integrated Approach to Green Speed Management and Tournament Preparation.
    • The Scenario.
    • Cultivation.
    • Topdressing.
    • Vertical Mowing and Grooming.
    • Water and Air Injection Cultivation.
    • Plant Growth Regulators.
    • Irrigation.
    • Tournament Preparation.
    • Sand Topdressing.
    • Nitrogen Fertilization.
    • Mowing Height Reduction.
    • Double Cutting.
    • Rolling.
    • Rolling and Double Cutting.
    • Silica.
    • Pin Placement.

  11. Filling in the Missing Pieces.
    • To Green Committee and Owners.
    • To the Superintendent.


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The Superintendent's Guide to
Controlling Putting Green Speed

by Thomas A. Nikolai
2005 • 148 pages • $69.00 + shipping

Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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