The day will come when we see a golf course built entirely from synthetic grass.
At least this is the opinion of Bruce Warwick and myself. I have seen the quality of the grass that’s available, and there’s no reason why an entire golf course can’t be built from synthetic.
Here’s the upside:
Reduced maintenance costs: One of the biggest expenses for a golf course is keeping the thing in good order.
– People costs. Wages, time etc
– Water (especially in arid conditions)
All cost money. Bigger courses can have over 20 groundsmen to keep the course in perfect condition. And with these costs getting more and more expensive I’m sure investors/golf clubs are shy about starting a new project.
With a synthetic grass option there’s no grass to mow, no grass to water, no grass to maintain. This huge cost is all but eliminated. Yes, you’ll still have a crew, but it will be greatly reduced and the equipment needed is miniscule in comparison. Some blowers, brooms, rakes and only a few tractors.
In all possibility, one person could maintain an 18 hole golf course.
Unique: A 100% synthetic golf course would stand out. It would be a novelty factor and I think in an age where it’s hard to differentiate from your competitors, a synthetic course would attract a lot of attention. If for no other reason, the course would attract clients for novelty alone. It would be fun to try and if the course betters golfer’s expectations (I’m sure it would) they’d be likely to come back again.
Better playing conditions: In wet, cold, hot, dry climates, synthetic grass comes into it’s own. It is virtually playable all year round so there’s less downtime. Lots of courses here in Australia become wet and boggy during winter and dry and hard in summer. With a synthetic option these issues are completely minimised.
It’s already happening here in Australia. Croydon Golf Club in Queensland have installed synthetic grass tees and greens and from all reports the locals love it. They were lucky enough to get some funding and they now have a playable golf course all year round. And I do know that local councils are making inquiries in other areas. It’s just a matter of time.
For a fan of synthetic golf grass I can see the day where a courageous investor/entrepreneur builds an entire course from synthetic. The perfect location would be in the oil rich location of the Middle East and just maybe they could build a course great enough to hold a professional golf event. I think it will happen and it will probably be sooner rather than later.