So, what is the stimpmeter reading of the world famous bentgrass during The Masters at Augusta National? Do they really run 12, 13 or even 14 on the stimp? Before letting your buddies at your country club convince you that your greens are just as fast as Augusta National, you must understand how Augusta is unique and has created the best greens in the world for the second week in April.
Augusta National is the most exclusive country club in America; even the world. That means it does not get as much play as any other country club. So, with the humid temperatures in Georgia, how does Augusta have the best greens in the world? Augusta National is not available to play for members during the summer months. Shortly after The Masters tournament, Augusta National shuts down play and lets the course grow out during the hot and humid Georgia summers. Some people have seen photos and videos of the course grown out during the summer months.
While they don’t let the bentgrass greens grow to ankle high, they also don’t have to cut and roll every single day for member play. Also, greens are not being hit by golf balls over the tough summer months. Anyone that has played bentgrass greens in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia in the summer months knows they can get beat up quickly due to the amount of watering that needs to be applied during the middle of the day in the summer.
So, Augusta National has the money to tell members to go elsewhere during the summer and they have a great fall and spring growing season. Members allow the superintendent(s) to prepare the course for the Masters for up to a few months. This means the greens are in perfect condition to be cut short and rolled before each round of The Masters.
That said, with the undulation of the greens and the pressure of The Masters, the greens cannot roll over a 13. It may seem like they are but that is simply because they are so undulated. PGA Tour Pros have actually said they “lay up” putt because there is no way they can putt directly at the hole and keep the ball on the green.
Those four and five footers at Augusta National would be impossible for the mere mortal. To the common amateur, Augusta National’s greens would feel like a 15 or a 16 during The Masters. They are not, they simply roll true and have many humps and bumps that make speed impossible for anyone that is not a PGA Tour Pro.