Indoor Putting Greens
How to Choose A Putting Green Company
If you do a search for “backyard putting greens,” you will most likely find handfuls of companies making the same promises. Each manufacturer will claim to have the most realistic materials and advanced installation techniques. As there aren’t any comparison resources available on the internet, here are some tips to find exactly what you are looking for in a putting green company.
You can start your shopping by obtaining price quotes from various firms in your area. If you know the dimensions and type of backyard or indoor putting green you are looking for, most companies should be able to offer reliable quotes with materials and installation charges. While you are obtaining price quotes, make sure to ask plenty of questions of your putting green company to determine what your best options are.
After obtaining this initial information, you may want to ask around for recommendations. If your friends or family have installed backyard or indoor putting greens, ask if they are happy with their investment. When you come across a nice synthetic green at a golf course or resort, consider talking to the personnel about their experiences.
At this point, you have probably narrowed down your options a bit more. To directly compare how each manufacturer’s material will hold up, try to obtain some samples of different synthetic turfs. Even a small square will allow you to compare how the individual grass blades will react and how realistic the surface will feel.
Perhaps the most important research you can do is the analysis of existing examples of the company’s work. Many websites will have photos of projects undertaken by each firm, but by visiting an existing installation you will see the product as it would be on your own property (if you are lucky, you will be able to putt on it also).
After talking to different companies, you should be able to determine which companies really know their product. The best of the best will offer a diversity of materials for different uses, i.e. synthetic turfs designed specifically for putting or approach play. They will be able to analyze your needs and develop a putting green that fits your property, blends in with your existing landscaping and performs to your highest expectations. Always remember that if a company’s claims seem too good to be true, they probably are.
If you follow these simple tips when looking for the perfect putting green for your home or business, you definitely won’t be disappointed when it comes time to pull out the putter.
Science On The Putting Green
Most golfers are quick to tell you that a successful round is the product of science as much as luck. However, few players understand this precise science as well as some junior high students. Across the country, students are getting a break from the classroom to learn the basics of physics and geometry on putting greens and golf courses.
One 8th grade pre-algebra class in Michigan designed and constructed putting greens as part of a geometry lesson. Using simple materials like plywood, paint cans and artificial turf, the students put together the 18-hole Emerald Dragon. Students performed calculations for their project and presented their findings as scale drawings for the holes. In addition to teaching students to work together effectively, the project contained essential lessons about area, volume and scale.
The class’ mentor makes an interesting point about standardized testing and how putting greens can serve as learning tools, “It’s always been a struggling point for us on state assessments, so we’re always looking to teach the practical applications of geometry.” Suffice it to say, the students also enjoyed the golf project a lot more than working from a textbook. One student said, “This was my favorite project I’ve ever done. Plus, we get to play on it afterward.”
Down south, a program funded by the USGA and guided by Mississippi State University is teaching kids in that region how to play while offering lessons in physics, math and engineering. Science on the Green, a summer program for 6th to 8th graders, offers students both a unique learning opportunity and a fresh outlook. The director of the program says, “Many students are totally unaware of the many opportunities in science, mathematics, engineering and technology that exist. They do not picture women and minorities as scientists or engineers or think of science and engineering careers in industries such as golf.”
Students spend the mornings learning about the game itself. In the afternoons, the kids gain a greater understanding the game they’ve been practicing by applying more traditional school studies. The topics of study are wide-ranging, covering everything from water conservation to applied mathematics and physics. Laboratory exercises using lasers and other precision tools analyze the ball in motion, off the tee and on the green.
It should be mentioned that applied learning programs of this nature are growing in popularity due to overall student success and relatively low cost. In fact, many of the tests conducted by the students are easy enough to perform that if you and your children are feeling just a little ambitious, you could pull out your old science kit and give it a try on your own backyard putting green.