Are artificial, synthetic greens the way of the future for country clubs?
It’s easy to forget how hard it can be living in the country in Australia and when it comes to golf, us city folk would have a hard time recognising some of the golf courses.
Port Pirie sits on the Spencer Gulf about two-and-a-half hours north of Adelaide and due to a combination of a lack of water and high salinity, the Port Pirie Golf Club has struggled to keep their course green, let alone playable.
At a cost of $25,000 the club has recently replaced the old 18th sand green with an synthetic grass green and after some initial skepticism, the members are now loving it.
Port Pirie GC club had to drop their grass greens many years ago due to a short supply of water and the cost per litre being too great. Any thoughts of using recycled water were quickly dismissed as half of the town’s pipes are so old they suck in the surrounding salt water.
The remaining 17 greens have a crushed marble surface (like the one below) as the club cannot use black slag/oil greens any more, so it’s not surprising the club would now love to switch all of their greens to a synthetic surface.
You only have to wander down the artificial turf aisle at Bunnings to know that synthetic grass has come a long way in recent years. No longer do they deteriorate to rock hard surfaces within a few months; they now manage to take a bit of spin and form a reasonably true putting surface.
By all reports the new artificial green plays well at Port Perie GC, and while the synthetic greens are expensive it must be a vastly superior playing experience to the marble-top greens and would save loads of money on water and maintenance.
Perhaps this is the way of the future for country clubs across Australia? It might be an option for a few golf clubs in the city too.