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Nordic golfers vote for reliability over speed

Survey reveals clear differences of opinion on green and fairway performance issues.


A total of 1,949 Nordic golfers, representing 310 different golf clubs, give their opinion on the performance of golf courses in a survey published by the Scandinavian Turf and Environment Research Foundation (STERF). 

The key findings are:

  • green speed is not the number one priority for the majority of golfers. The most important playing quality factor among those surveyed is green evenness/trueness in combination with uniformity.  Only players with a low handicap focus more on speed than trueness
  • older and higher handicap golfers want more grass under their ball on fairways
  • no one likes weeds on fairways
  • no one likes penal rough
  • there is a lack of knowledge among golfers regarding the potential impact of environmental regulation on playing quality and there is a clear need to inform them of the possible consequences.

STERF’s research programme is producing evidence to support the guidance on this website.  In terms of playing performance, the R&A Holing Out Test is an excellent way to measure the reliability of putting surfaces.  Analysing information on playing performance should also take into account economic, environment and social issues and the range of issues worthy of consideration are outlined in the R&A Evidence Fields.