Now that you know the very basics of putting greens, it’s time to dig into the details. There are a few technical aspects of turf, such as face weight and material, that can affect its performance as a putting green.
Putting Green Turf Material
What is artificial turf made of? That depends. There are a few synthetic fibers that are popular for putting green turf, and they all have distinct traits that make them suited to different applications.
- Nylon: This material is durable and can withstand high-traction applications. It’s fire-resistant as well, making it great for safety in indoor spaces. However, nylon fades and discolors when exposed to too much sunlight, so it shouldn’t be used outside.
- Polypropylene: Unlike nylon, Polypropylene won’t fade in the sun. It’s softer and less abrasive than nylon as well, and it can be fire-resistant, though this isn’t always the case.
- Polyethylene: A soft fiber made from recycled plastics, Polyethylene is non-abrasive and doesn’t fade in direct sunlight. It’s affordable and ideal for outdoor use in putting greens.
Putting Green Turf Stimp Reading
A stimp reading tells you how fast the ball will roll on putting green. The higher the stimp reading, the faster the ball will roll.
Stimp readings can vary depending on the infill and the material that is used. The turf material itself and how it tufts will affect how fast the ball will roll. Infill also helps to add a little more speed. Most of the stimp readings on our putting green turf is a 9 to 11.
If you want the ball to roll slower or faster, there’s ways to manipulate your putting green. For example, you could add more infill to increase the speed, or remove it to make the ball go a little bit slower.
Putting Green Turf Face Weight
Face weight measures the weight of the turf per square yard. The higher the face weight, the more material has been used.
Typically, more material means a more dense and durable product that can last longer. Putting greens perform best with a face weight between 40 and 60 ounces.
Putting Green Turf Pile Height
One of the most important qualities of your putting green is the pile height. Pile height is the thickness of your turf.
For lawns, a thicker pile high is good, because it’s more comfortable and lush, but that’s the opposite of what you want here. Putting greens should have a low pile height to ensure your ball rolls true. Imagine hacking away in tall grass. No thanks.
Most putting green surfaces are ½” thick to ¾” thick.
Indoor Putting Green vs. Outdoor Putting Green
Before you purchase your putting green, make sure it is suitable for the environment it’ll be in. You’ll be able to tell if a product is suited for indoor or outdoor use by determining the material.
Indoor putting green turf is typically going to be made from nylon, which can withstand high traction, and also offers some safety benefits with a Class 1 fire rating.
The only big downside is that it fades in direct sunlight, so the bright, beautiful green won’t last long outside.
Outdoor putting green turf is designed to withstand the elements, and won’t fade in the sun. Putting greens made from polypropylene or polyethylene can be installed both indoors and outdoors. While these products aren’t always as fire-resistant as nylon, they’re just as durable.