100% Artificial Turf Course

Lagavulin62Lagavulin62 Members Posts: 1,976 ClubWRX
Maybe not in our lifetime, but can you see this happening? At the very least I can see a day the tee boxes are all fake. Anything to save a buck. We already see it on some par 3’s. Is it that much of a stretch to carry that to full length courses? And with island fairways catching on, it’s not like they have to carpet the whole course.



What do you all think? Would you play such a game? Who knows, one day the two may be as common as grass and turf football fields? You will have your turf game and your grass game. Oooooooweeeeee that sounds fun.



Check these out:



https://swgreens.com/golf-courses/





https://www.tourgreens.com/synthetic-turf-golf-courses.html







Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • EddieEdwardsEddieEdwards Members Posts: 338 ✭✭
    There's a par 3 course with turf greens and tee boxes local to me. I've never played it because the reviews are not good.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,519 ✭✭
    I've seen some really well done artificial turf in places where clubs just couldn't get grass to consistently grow (one tee box was constantly sprayed by salt water from the ocean).



    I'd be fine if tee boxes were all artificial. Putting greens, historically, were often oiled sand - so I'm not sure we *should* be offended by artificial turf...but it wouldn't be ideal IMHO.
  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,390 ✭✭
    Isn’t there a short course at The Bass Pro lodge that’s all turf? Or is it a practice range?
  • sethdavidsdadsethdavidsdad Members Posts: 1,791 ✭✭


    Isn't there a short course at The Bass Pro lodge that's all turf? Or is it a practice range?


    It's just the driving range.
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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭
    edited Sep 30, 2018 #6
    I have often daydreamed or joked that this is what we should do, even though I would be out of a job. But I have two fairly large areas of synthetic turf, and its phenomenal it looks great and takes no effort from me or my crew whatsoever. However I think theres a couple of things to be worked out still, the areas surrounding these artificial areas are 10-15 degrees warmer in the middle of the summer (we are closed during the summer months so it doesn't matter to us but driving by there is like driving across the sun I would imagine), so a whole course would be wicked hot I would imagine unless there is something in the works or already in production that addresses this issue. The second would be playability, I have yet to play a green that reacted similarly to a real course, but maybe that is just an addition of more rubber or sand in the base/foundation? I do not know.



    Although I will say that the best example I have ever seen (my girlfriend just reminded me of this) is Disneys Fantasia Fairways MiniGolf Course outside the Swan and Dolphin resorts. The Fairways course is shrunken down golf hole played with only a putter, and that rolls quite nicely (I know a more than a few PGA professionals have taken the kids around out there during stays; especially during the now defunct Funai/CMN Classics Bubba held the record for the longest time, I don't know about anymore). That being said I still would not want to hit approaches or long irons to those surfaces, obviously extrapolated to regulation length.
  • tobybeartobybear Members, Media Staffer Posts: 1,462 ✭✭
    The Ken Lanning golf learning Center has a course built of turf grass. Part of the reason is that it was built with the intention of being accessible for people with disabilities and affordable. Absolutely fantastic vision for the facility.



    LINK:

    http://www.golfforeall.org/course/
  • BrianMcGBrianMcG Members Posts: 2,226 ✭✭
    edited Sep 30, 2018 #8
    It would just be like Dave Pelzs backyard. I'm not surprised more courses haven't done that to their greens. The cost savings over time would be pretty substantial. I could see in the future people gushing on GolfWRX about playing a course with real grass greens and being amazed. Lol.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Bad9Bad9 Members Posts: 4,179 ✭✭
    The biggest problem areas on our course are the tees. I think artificial turf tees would be a great solution for us but no way we could ever afford to do it.
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  • 2bGood2bGood Members Posts: 4,969 ✭✭
    Not only does this seem possible, but it seems inevitable.



    There is some amazing artificial turf options that will only get better.



    Do I want to play on artificial courses? **** No.
  • jli2636jli2636 Posts: 1,035 ✭✭
    The back tee at my home course is an artificial turf tee. I don’t normally play from that tee though because it’s a hike up a big steep hill so I don’t want to spend the time and energy to get to it. It was essentially set up like a giant range mat with a few places to stick a tee. It’s a relatively short par 4 that the elevation changes make it play longer. It’s a really cool view, just not practical placing especially if you are walking
  • snoilr1snoilr1 Posts: 507 ✭✭
    Seems like a no brainer for tee boxes some day. You could have much smaller teeing areas if you didn’t need to move the markers around as much to avoid wear and tear. They would also stay level longer.



    Greens might also make sense for some courses. Eliminating most of the maintenance costs would probably not take long to pay off. Unless theproduct becomes much cheaper, it would cost a ridiculous amount to do the rest of the course though. You would probably never be able to recover the cost.
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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Posts: 935 ✭✭
    This is interesting. If you have ever played with Japanese folks who like golf you can pick up on the dichotomy of the turf v. real grass.



    Guys would come over for extended assignments to work at our factory. They would bring their clubs and just be tickled that the golf here is "cheap" and available. You could tell these guys could swing a club but it took them quite a while to understand how to play on real grass. Most of them had honed their golf games only hitting balls at driving ranges in Japan. They had never had to contend with rough or fliers or grain in fairways. Their chipping and putting for the most part was not great either.



    After a while though they got a feel for the real grass and were pretty good players for guys that didn't really hit it that far.
  • dcmidnightdcmidnight Marshals, BST Volunteer Mods Posts: 11,539 mod
    Bad9 wrote:


    The biggest problem areas on our course are the tees. I think artificial turf tees would be a great solution for us but no way we could ever afford to do it.




    I think its the biggest problem on a lot of courses.



    I dont know how many years you'd have to go out for the ROI to run positive - but I have to think it would eventually. We spend a lot of maintenence time and money on our tee boxes. Whether its dealing with the grass not growing in areas, mowing and edging, treating the grass at certain times of year etc.



    There's definitely an up front cost and a maintenence tail for artificial tees too but I have to believe its smaller.
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  • me05501me05501 Posts: 412
    The maintenance would be less expensive, but it would require more skill.



    If you have real grass growing right up to the edge of the artificial stuff, you'll have to be very careful when mowing/turning. You'll have to blow or vac all the clippings off the turf. If you don't have a very firm base you'll be working to keep the boxes firm and level-ish (they have to drain, so they can't be perfectly flat).



    In short, you'd better be dedicated to keeping those fake boxes pristine or players won't accept them as a legitimate option.



    Then again, I can think of a handful of shady teeboxes that are usually dirt and sand and very little turf. I'd rather have a good artificial tee box than play from that junk.
  • Bad9Bad9 Members Posts: 4,179 ✭✭
    me05501 wrote:




    Then again, I can think of a handful of shady teeboxes that are usually dirt and sand and very little turf. I'd rather have a good artificial tee box than play from that junk.




    This is exactly the issue we have on a number of tee boxes.
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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Posts: 935 ✭✭
    Sounds like a chainsaw may be the remedy to 90% of the tee box issues you guys are talking about. Maybe the other 10% is having adequate square footage to rotate wear.



    In my experience places get in a rut of where they move the tee markers to. If you have a 10-15 yard wide tee box, the tee markers will be on the far side of both sides instead of maybe only being 7-10 yards apart to concentrate wear and divots and move them not only front to back but also side to side.



    If you tuck a "Tiger tee" way back in some trees just to add some distance to a hole you get what you have coming to you, thin grass.
  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,606 ✭✭
    as artificial stuff gets better and water get scarcer .. this will happen well down the road



    I have an artificial grass walkway in the backyard to my pool equipment. Looks new 5 years later. Does get hot at times though
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  • Bad9Bad9 Members Posts: 4,179 ✭✭
    smashdn wrote:


    Sounds like a chainsaw may be the remedy to 90% of the tee box issues you guys are talking about. Maybe the other 10% is having adequate square footage to rotate wear.



    In my experience places get in a rut of where they move the tee markers to. If you have a 10-15 yard wide tee box, the tee markers will be on the far side of both sides instead of maybe only being 7-10 yards apart to concentrate wear and divots and move them not only front to back but also side to side.



    If you tuck a "Tiger tee" way back in some trees just to add some distance to a hole you get what you have coming to you, thin grass.




    Cutting trees on our golf course will bring our the lynch mob. We have trees blocking half the green on a 150yd par 3 that they won't allow to be touched. Trees around a tee box, not an issue. Even when you can see the tree roots breaking through the surface of the green "trees aren't a problem so you can't cut them down". Its crazy.
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  • cheesercheeser Members Posts: 908 ✭✭
    I can see a future where we have artificial turf tee boxes and fairways but I don't see artificial turf greens. Think of the cost savings if courses only had to mow and water greens?



    My previous house had a putting green and a separate section of artificial turf and I will confirm that it does get pretty hot in the summer. It is essentially plastic, after all. It would awesome to have a course build a test regulation hole to see if the concept would work.
  • Lagavulin62Lagavulin62 Members Posts: 1,976 ClubWRX
    cheeser wrote:


    I can see a future where we have artificial turf tee boxes and fairways but I don't see artificial turf greens. Think of the cost savings if courses only had to mow and water greens?



    My previous house had a putting green and a separate section of artificial turf and I will confirm that it does get pretty hot in the summer. It is essentially plastic, after all. It would awesome to have a course build a test regulation hole to see if the concept would work.








    I have always felt like increased water on the new designs was to cut down on maintanence costs. There are many courses in this area where easily a third to almost a half of the holes have water hazards. So I think once they can see turf is a cost saver, we will start seeing it. I had a hard time imagining the greens too because how would you get the ball to stop? It would sure favor the bomb and wedge style but no idea how you would stop a long iron into fake greens.



    One thing is for sure. The public will accept it. Sad to say.
  • BVIChesterBVIChester Posts: 185 ✭✭
    One of the local courses here in Auckland has a number of par 3 tees set back in the trees and use artificial tees. One of them is angled like an athletics starting block for about a 110y shot which is a bit disconcerting, the greenkeeper must like playing a punched SW.



    One of the issues is that the course is set in a National Park and the Club are unable to trim and any of the trees on the property so ive heard. This has led to them having to build a new green on one of the par 3s as the branches by the tee now block out the angle to the old green. A real shame as the old one was a great hole and the new one is just a 100y crappy dink. (Old in orange and new in blue)



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  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 8,929 ✭✭
    This would be a course I would avoid and I’m sure my joints would thank me later. BB
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  • SixcatSixcat SWVAPosts: 1,416 ✭✭
    It wouldn't be as low-cost as one might think. While it's a permeable surface, runoff would still pass through various chemical materials before seeping into the water table. We all know about the materials used as infill inside these fields. The most commonly used infill material is thousands of pounds of ground-up tires. It's not common knowledge but turf athletic fields also get coated a few times per year with chemicals to keep wind-swept organic material from taking root. Depending on the state such a course would be located, environmental and stormwater regulations would be pretty severe as a result.



    Golf already gets a bad rap from the environmentalists. This would send them off the rails!
  • Lagavulin62Lagavulin62 Members Posts: 1,976 ClubWRX
    edited Oct 3, 2018 #25
    Just saw this. Here they are really promoting it.



    One thing I will agree on. I don’t feel the courses have to be immaculate. I would prefer they stick to as much natural grass as possible and cut down on pesticides. I guess I should say native grasses.



    https://www.ozy.com/immodest-proposal/the-great-golf-debate-to-turf-or-not-to-turf/79283
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭


    Just saw this. Here they are really promoting it.



    One thing I will agree on. I don't feel the courses have to be immaculate. I would prefer they stick to as much natural grass as possible and cut down on pesticides. I guess I should say native grasses.



    https://www.ozy.com/...t-to-turf/79283




    Just browsed the highlights of that article, I would like to say that it is slightly misleading when giving numbers in regards to water usage. Yes on average I would say 300k is accurate, ill use 485-500k if I run absolutely everything full, BUT we are not using the same water that people are using for drinking water, a majority (over 90 percent I would bet) of golf courses are on some sort of reclaimed water supply OR have methods in place to reclaim, recycle, and reuse from their own property. Furthermore there are some courses that are run totally organically, and those "research labs" (I call them that I am sure others do as well) are test beds for some great ideas that are effective and even more eco friendly. Look up Applewood GC in Golden CO, (Heres a hint think Coors...the course sits right on top of the aquifer that supplies Coors Brewing Co. Also Streamsong has taken an organic approach as well).



    While yes some fertilizers and pesticides were/are still dangerous, no one is putting these out "just because" we will lose our licenses and jobs if we did. Furthermore, the turf stand acts as a giant filter, cleaning the water and absorbing the nutrients, or actives before they reach the water table (actively growing turf that is, dormant turf lets everything slide right through although some wetting agents may increase retention of certain products in the soil profiles for longer periods).



    An all turf golf course would increase the temperature of the surrounding area by a couple degrees in the summer, it just would I don't know how much but it would be significantly hotter. Golf courses provide a clean green space for everyone to enjoy. The shoot density on a golf course is absolutely ridiculous too by the way, 30 million shoots per acre, that high shoot density prevents erosion of surrounding surfaces.



    I do see the benefits of this, mostly lower costs, you would not need to water anything, or spend money on fert/chem and it could be something that could be lighted and open all day, a cool place to grab dinner play a quick nine or whatever, an easier game for more people to enjoy (you always have a perfect lie and could putt from basically anywhere). But no championship golf club is ever going to convert to astroturf no matter how great and playable it gets in the future. I know that is not the main premise of the first post, and I admit I may be taking it too seriously but it is my job that would be at stake if that were the case lol.
  • NaptimeNaptime Members Posts: 599 ✭✭
    Thinking that may be more expensive than natural grass except on tee boxes.
  • whynotgolfwhynotgolf Members Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Bad9 wrote:


    The biggest problem areas on our course are the tees. I think artificial turf tees would be a great solution for us but no way we could ever afford to do it.




    The upfront cost might be fairly steep, but it could pay for itself with a couple of seasons or less with reduced maintenance costs...same concept as the champions Bermuda greens for these course in the south....upfront cost vs lower maintenance cost, gotta spend it to save it.



    I think my home course got a loan to convert their greens from bent to Bermuda.
  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,121 ✭✭
    Over here in KSA we have several sand courses on our compounds. As stated the entire course is sand with the greens being oil based sand mixture for weight. Gets broomed in between groups by a very underpaid worker, tee boxes are driving range mats. Been that way since the 1940's here. No watering needed.
  • ascottwaddellascottwaddell Members Posts: 20 ✭✭
    Blackwolf Run has had at least one artificial tee box for years. Was interesting for a $300.00 per round course.
  • b.heltsb.helts Members Posts: 2,824 ✭✭
    If you did have artificial greens, how would they move the holes around?



    Maybe just have a dozen holes and plug the ones you don’t use or something?
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