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Measuring ball lie on golf course fairways

Cella, L., Voigt, T.B., Fermanian, T.W.
Crop science 2004 v.44 no.1 pp. 214-217
Poa pratensis, Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris, Agrostis capillaris, turf grasses, cultivars, canopy, height, measuring devices, sports
Ball lie on a golf course fairway can impact a golfer's ability to control a shot. At present, there is no quantitative method to accurately measure golf ball lie (the amount of the ball exposed above the turfgrass canopy) on short-cut fairway turf. The objective of this work was to develop an instrument capable of accurately and quantitatively measuring golf ball lie on short-cut (1.27 cm) fairway turf. In previous work, a device (Lie-N-Eye) that measured golf ball lie on high-cut fairway turf (1.6-2.5 cm) was developed and tested on 25 Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars. That device lacked the sensitivity required to make measurements on short-cut turf. An improved device (Lie-N-Eye II) was developed to measure golf ball lie on short-cut (1.27 cm) bentgrass (Agrostis spp.) fairway turfgrasses. In October 2000, Lie-N-Eye II was tested on three creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.] and three colonial bentgrass (A. capillaris L.) cultivars and adequately measured ball lie differences among bentgrass cultivars and species. Ball lies ranged from 38.7 mm to 40.7 mm of the ball exposed above the canopy (90.7 to 95.4% of the golf ball). Power curves generated from 18 measurements on each of six bentgrass cultivars indicate Lie-N-Eye II was able to detect a 1.65-mm difference between ball lies with a probability of approximately 90%.