Outdoor Putting Greens

Written by Jacey Harmon
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There are two main types of outdoor putting greens: natural and synthetic. Natural greens are found at every golf course around the world. Yet, each outdoor green is different. Greens in the northern region of the United States will be predominantly bent grass greens. Greens in the southern United States will consist of bermuda grass. Greens in the Pacific Northwest are notorious for being a mix of poa annua and bent grass.

There are varying types of greens construction. The United States Golf Association (USGA) has developed guidelines for modern green construction. The process is intended to provide for quality growing conditions to create a playable surface. Another popular method for building greens is called the "California greens" style. California greens are built basically the same as USGA greens but with less drainages specifications.

Synthetic Putting Greens

Synthetic putting greens are becoming more popular amongst home owners and businesses. The lower maintenance and construction costs are an attractive feature of synthetic greens. Synthetic greens can also be built where natural greens would not function. The year round playability is another benefit to a synthetic green.

Similar to natural greens, there are various materials that synthetic greens can be made out of. The most common material is a plastic turf which requires a high level of sand. The sand is used to help the turf stand up and not get matted down. Nylon turf is heat molded and returns to its original shape after being stepped on. Nylon doesn't require as much sand but will cost more than plastic turf.

Synthetic greens can be built to any specification. Sizes can range from several hundred square feet to several thousand square feet. Undulations can be designed into the green as well as various hole-locations. Sand can also be used to increase the speed of the green. Synthetic greens have made having a personal outdoor green something that is much more attainable than in the past.


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