April 30, 2021

Your guide to understanding how roll works on artificial turf.

The Physics of Golf

Physics. It has influence over everything in life, and, notably, the popular game of golf.

Physics, the nature and properties of matter and energy: how the ball is hit, the ball’s trajectory when airborne, the ball’s initial bounce, and its concluding roll out.

In a perfect world, the ground in the direction of the shot would be perfectly flat, perfectly uphill, or perfectly downhill would be perfectly flat, perfectly uphill, or perfectly downhill in the direction of the shot. This would make hitting the ball into the hole an easy matter and hitting it in a straight line.

Oftentimes you’ll observe that the ground is sloped. When this happens, the ball trajectory cannot be a straight path to the hole, meaning it is a more challenging task. When this happens, the ball must now follow a particular curved path to get into the hole. Whether the ball is required to curve to the right or left relies on the amount of the putting green’s slope and undulation.

Whether synthetic turf or natural grass is chosen to build your dream backyard putting green, the physical characteristics of the surface impact the performance. We utilize a blend of commonly used golf course tests and our proprietary playability testing.

A common test for ball roll is the stimpmeter test. Stimp testing gives the calculated distance a ball rolls on artificial turf in meters when released from a height of one meter. The ball-to-surface interaction of the grass is directly related to the distance of the ball roll.

The proprietary playability testing for roll analyzes the consistency of outputs with a standard putting stroke. This test analyzes the initial bounce of the club face and the spin to roll transition.

Now let’s take a harder look into the elements that impact how a golf ball reacts and rolls on a turf.

Green Characteristics

Product Construction: Plastics that are extruded and recycled and available in a mixture of constructions, colors, and lengths. Proper construction is vital to allow key putting green installation practices; construction will enable turf to be infilled and rolled. Properly rolled fibers appear and play like natural greens.

Pile Height: How thick and tall the grass blades are will provide varied frictions; affecting the velocity and smoothness of the putt.

Fiber: The fiber composition will have a notable effect on how a golf ball will roll throughout the putt. Fiber composition will impact friction and pile lay. How the turf lays affects how the ball interacts with the surface.

Infill: Integral to the turf system, infill is composed of rounded washed silica. Infill gives ballast and helps drainage. The shape of the infill is directly related to performance; angles and edges disrupt roll.

Aggregate Base: Stone is compacted to create challenging slopes and undulations; one that performs and drains like a championship golf course.

The recipe to creating a Backyard Putting Green that performs like a Championship Golf Green requires the optimal raw materials with elite-proven-tested installation techniques. Especially important when you’re on the putting green attempting to gently hit the ball into the hole.

The Southwest Greens Difference

Southwest Greens have been able to quantify key performance indicators. Because we understand which variables affect performance, we’ve been able to mimic natural greens.

With Golden Bear Turf, you’ll experience smoother rolls comparable to playing on your favorite championship course. Scientifically tested and developed to mimic natural grass, from the initial bounce off the clubface... to the spin transition… to the smooth ball roll into the cup...

Golden Bear represents only the best! It’s the best backyard practice putting green that will offer the most realistic putting surfaces you can find on the market.

Take a look at our Gold Bear Turf, and discover why golfers around the world love Southwest Greens.

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