This year’s Open Championship will see new technology being used to ensure the greens at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club are in great condition.
The new technology known as The Trueness Meter has been developed by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).
It was first trialed at St Andrews two years ago and now plays a pivotal role in ensuring all 18 greens are consistent and have optimal smoothness and trueness.
The trolley device works by being pushed across the surface at a pace that reflects the speed of the ball, starting at a 10ft putt.
With the aid of electronics and a metal wheel that has the same footprint and down pressure of a golf ball, the Trueness Meter measures the amount of vertical displacement (smoothness) and lateral deviation (trueness) in terms of millimetres.
The daily results will assist head greenkeeper Paul Smith with his decision making and will ensure that the greens are presented in optimum condition.
Testing will continue throughout the tournament with the team out on the course at as early as 4am in the morning and as late as 10pm at night.
The new technology will allow greenkeepers to pick up minute textural differences in the turf, including the influence of Poa annua seedheads, the impact of maintenance treatments, wear and tear, pest and disease activity and pitch marks.
Grant Moir, Director – Rules of The R&A, said: “The green testing that is now underway will greatly assist in ensuring that the greens are presented to the highest standards possible.”