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GS3: What Is the USGA’s New Technology Tool All About?

Paul Jacobs | Published on 2/20/2023
By: Paul Jacobs, agronomist, Central Region

The new GS3 measures green speed, firmness, trueness and smoothness – all with one device.

When you think of the USGA Green Section, new product development may not be the first thing that comes to mind. The Green Section has been supporting golf courses through research, course consulting and education for over 100 years, but has developed only a limited number of physical tools or products – most notably the TruFirm and Stimpmeter. Throughout its history, the Green Section has worked hard to provide golf facilities with information and solutions to promote better golf conditions for all to enjoy. The GS3 is an innovative new tool that will help do exactly that. The purpose of the GS3 is to provide data on key putting green performance metrics to help superintendents and decision-makers at a facility better understand how various maintenance practices affect surface performance. To get a better sense of the GS3’s capabilities, here are a few key points as to what it is, and what it is not.

The GS3 is:

  • A device intended for use by golf facilities to quickly gather key putting green performance metrics.
  • Rolled off a Stimpmeter as you normally would when measuring green speed. Three rolls in each direction and the ball will provide green speed, trueness and smoothness values. No more tape measure needed!
  • Placed into a drop fixture to measure putting green firmness. A minimum of three readings are recommended for any given green, but more readings, taken in a grid pattern, provide a more accurate average.
  • Used in conjunction with the DEACON app, which contains several other features such as surface management data logging and analysis, an application log, hole location sheets and weather insights.

The GS3 is not:

  • Going to be used by individual golfers to compare their course to others. The product will not be sold to golfers.
  • Designed to be hit with a golf club.
  • Meant to promote the pursuit of the fastest green speed possible. Instead, facilities can objectively measure key putting green metrics besides speed and provide benchmarks that tell them how their greens are performing over time.

The Green Section is excited about the release of the GS3 and anticipate phased distribution starting this spring. We are excited to get the GS3 in the hands of superintendents so they can better understand what impact maintenance practices have on putting green performance and use that information to provide the best conditions in the most efficient manner. Our goal has always been to help golf facilities produce better conditions for better golf, and we feel that this tool falls in line with that mission. If you are interested or would like to learn more, fill out this short form or contact your regional USGA agronomist.

Central Region Agronomists:

Zach Nicoludis, senior consulting agronomist –

Paul Jacobs, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

Contact the Green Section Staff


(616) 834-0450