The Unknown Benefits of Synthetic Turf

Posted on in News.

This piece comes from our Northern counterparts with STI Canada about the unknown benefits of synthetic turf

 

Synthetic Turf International SoftLawn Playground

 

We often hear people talk about the usual benefits of synthetic turf; we know that it requires low maintenance, no water and provides a soft, safe, and allergen-free area for children and pets.

What we don’t hear about very often though, is the fact that bacteria can’t survive in synthetic turf products, and the benefits of that. One of our very own sales representatives has a story about that.

This gentleman, much like all of us, likes to spend his summers outdoors and around his home, and with this comes the typical household chores. Last summer this young man (in his mid-30’s) became ill. He began experiencing flu-like symptoms, but they were lasting for far too long.

He then started to go blind in one eye.

The doctors didn’t know what was wrong. He was only in his thirties, kept a typical healthy lifestyle, and they didn’t see any red flags. They then discovered he had contracted Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease which lives in organic materials or on host animals.

Toxoplasmosis can infect most warm-blooded animals, including humans, though the primary host is the cat family. The most significant risks come through contamination of raw meat, hands, and from animals. Up to one third of the world’s population is estimated to be carrying the infection.

For some, they will never even know they are carrying it and it will never make them ill. Those with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of becoming severely ill, and it can occasionally be fatal. This parasite can cause an inflammation of the brain, neurological diseases, and can affect all major organs.

In this gentleman’s case, the infection had spread to his eye, leading to him losing his eye.

The doctor assumed he picked up the infection by cutting his lawn, handling the grass clippings, then touching his mouth, nose or eyes. The infection then quickly spread to his eye and caused him to lose it. Due to his life-changing experience last year, this man decided to make some changes.

Once he learned bacteria can’t survive on synthetic turf, he wanted to make the switch as one of his ways to protect himself and his family from any future harm. He is now a synthetic turf sales representative and promotes all it has to offer. His goal is to educate people to prevent anyone else having this happen to them and get the word out.

As one of his efforts to protect his and all other children, he began promoting the Playground Turf.

Children are much more likely to play in the dirt and pick up bacteria on their hands, which then spreads very quickly through those little bundles of energy. The safe recreation surface is ADA/ABA compliant and consistent with all CPSC requirements. It exceeds national safety standards and is ASTM certified.

The surface is soft and safe for kids with fall zone safety ratings to 12’. Not to mention, this surface provides a lush, grassy, play area which is inviting for children. Facility owners and parents alike, never again have to worry about exposure or contact with harsh chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and an allergen-free play area.

The Ko’olani Luxury Condominium Putting Course

Posted on in News.

 STI Featured Application: Ko’olani Putting Course installed by Rory Otto and the folks at NyLawn in Hawaii

 

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This week’s featured application comes to us all the way from beautiful Hawaii.  Rory Otto and the folks at NyLawn recently completed the Ko’olani Luxury Condominium putting course in Honolulu.

The development is only minutes away from Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu and just across the street from Ala Moana Beach park.  The views of the Pacific Ocean are incredible.

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The putting course has 18 holes spread out over seven greens.   The course is part of a long list of amenities, which include the tennis courts visible above, a swimming pool, a spa, a DVD viewing theater and lots of conference space.  Of course, the surrounding scenery isn’t too shabby, either.

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The script on the installation was installed by Rory’s crew on site using the same turf product as they used for the “water” hazard.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World.

 

The High Maintenance of a Natural Putting Green

Posted on in natural putting green, News, Putting Greens & Golf, Stimpmeter.

Ken Gentile, owner of Executive Putting Greens and the STI licensed dealer in Stamford, Connecticut recently shared with us his thoughts and expertise about what goes into the upkeep and maintenance of a natural putting green, along with a few benefits for a synthetic putting green from Synthetic Turf International.

Augusta 16As an Ex-Golf Course Superintendent, Ken Gentile gets lots of questions about natural putting greens.  Below, he provides his expert insight into what it takes to maintain  a natural putting green

The first thing to consider about golf green turf maintenance is that you are moving away from the low to medium maintenance level to a much higher maintenance level.

What does this mean?

Well, most home lawns are kept at a height of 2 to 3 inches, which means most lawns are cut no more than once a week.  And they are able to survive without fertilizer, pesticides or other cultural practices. That level of maintenance would be on the low end of the maintenance spectrum.

Then there are those who fertilize, apply pesticides and perhaps aerate or overseed.  This is more of a medium maintenance level.

Now, if you want to maintain a natural putting green, you will need to get into the high maintenance level.   Before I scare you away from the idea, high maintenance is not necessarily more work than medium maintenance.

What you need to move up to this level is more of a dedication to follow a strict golf course turf maintenance program and closely monitor what the turf requires. For example, you may well put down less fertilizer than some of your neighbors, but you will be moving to a more expensive type of fertilizer, or you will be fertilizing extremely small quantities every two weeks.

At this level, golf course turf maintenance costs more money and requires more labor and dedication to the turf.

The most important things that affect turf health are sunlight, air movement, irrigation and drainage. Keeping in mind that the grasses used for putting greens are plants that need full light, you need to make sure the green location will have a minimum of 6 hours of full sunlight every day; and that the most important sunlight is morning sunlight.

Shady Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, keep in mind that during the year the hours and angles of sunlight per day change significantly, but you can get a good average by observing the light on the first day of spring or fall.

A simple way to determine the hours of sunlight is to take pictures of your site every hour from sunrise to sunset. Finally, even if you do have enough light presently, consider the potential future conditions of the site, such as young trees that may block sunlight in the future.

After light, wind is the next crucial ingredient.

Air movement is very important, particularly during hot summer days when the turf’s only methods of cooling itself is by evaporating water from its leaves which is known as evapotranspiration.You don’t need a gale force wind.  Enough of a breeze to move the flag on the pin is adequate.

Sometimes the reason for a lack of air movement is the surrounding terrain such as greens built in protected valleys, or at the bottom of severe slopes.  The most common reason, however, is that there are too many trees too close to the green.

A typical part of a golf green management program is monitoring the growth of trees over years to be sure they do not block good light and air movement.

Once you have determined that your site is suitable, you have to consider the most important element the turf needs for its survival. No, it’s not fertilizer, but water.  And to paraphrase an old superintendent’s proverb, “it is as important to be able to put water on the green quickly as it is to get it off.”

A good golf green management program will always have a good watering system that will give good, even coverage throughout the green. Then, when Mother Nature sends you too much water, you need a way of removing it.

This is done through drainage, using either good surface movement or subsurface drainage pipes.

Finally, the last thing your green management program needs is a good agronomic plan.

Fertilizer needs should be based on soil test results. Aerating and topdressing are two other important practices. A home green will usually get less wear and tear than a green at a golf course, so these methods are your principle ways of controlling the natural organic layer that will develop (better known as thatch).

Oh, and don’t forget to cut the turf on a daily basis, which requires sharpening the blades of your $20,000 mower on a weekly basis.

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Probably the next most important part of golf course turf maintenance is cutting. Greens really should be cut at least 5 times a week. The main reason for this is that the less leaf blade we remove from the turf each cut, the less we stress the turf. A rule of thumb is that we should never cut the turf down by more than ⅓ of its height.

You can get away with cutting less often, but in the growing season it will be mostly the playability of the surface that will suffer first. The advantage of all this cutting is that we have very few weed problems as most weeds become much weaker under this type of regime.

Of course not any old mower will work.  At this height you need to cut with a reel mower.

Greens: from 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch (3 to 3.5mm)

Another aspect to consider is irrigation.

There is no golf green turf maintenance program that doesn’t call for at least some supplemental irrigation as needed. At short heights of cut the turf is much more vulnerable and needs the right amount of water to remain healthy.

It is essential to have supplemental irrigation around a green and it’s recommended to use separate heads for lawn areas.

The irrigation can be a simple as a hose nearby that is used to water the green by hand when needed. While that may be inexpensive, you will need to be there when the turf needs irrigating, and it is preferable to do it just before sunrise to minimize disease pressures during hot humid weather.

On the other end of the spectrum would be a fully automatic, programmable irrigation system with weather station to monitor evapotranspiration. On average, turf needs 1 inch (25mm) of water a week during summer, which includes any water received through rainfall. It’s important to keep in mind that too much irrigation is just as dangerous as too little.

Now we get into the things that golf courses do that makes all the difference.

One of the most important aspects of golf green turf maintenance is aeration. By forcing the turf to grow through regular fertilization, you start to build up organic matter at the surface which becomes thatch. This is an ideal place for disease to grow.

The best way to deal with thatch is to physically remove it through core aeration. Golfers hate this practice, but it is absolutely essential twice a year. This reduces compaction and promotes better root growth.

Aerated Putting Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another practice is sand topdressing. This dilutes the organic matter at the surface, creates a firmer surface, keeps the surface true and rolling nicely and may even help to modify the upper rootzone.

Verticutting is the practice of vertically cutting the turf, which also removes thatch, promotes better turf vigor and give a better ball roll across the surface.

Finally, rolling is a good way to get a smoother surface, and more importantly, to create faster green speeds and a truer ball roll.

However, too much rolling creates compaction problems and poor rooting, so rolling should be limited to once or twice per week and never when the surface is very wet.

These are the general practices needed in a golf green turf maintenance program, there may be other things you need to do, and the frequency will change depending on climactic conditions where you live.

Notice I haven’t mentioned pesticide applications, in many instances you may not need to apply any pesticides if your growing conditions are perfect for turf.

In other areas you may need only fungicides when diseases start to appear. In difficult areas you may find a need to apply fungicides or insecticides on a regular basis because you know you will encounter certain problems.

Having a person on the property that can manage these types of conditions is extremely important. Hand water when needed, spray pesticides at moment’s notice, identify when disease conditions maybe at a high and choose the correct product and apply it at the correct rate.

Being an ex-golf course superintendent with over twenty five years in the industry, I highly recommend against natural greens and would truly consider synthetic green surfaces. Being in the synthetic turf industry for the past twelve years and distributor for Synthetic Turf International, I have yet to come across a turf product that compares STI.

STI offers several different putting green options, from sand filled to nylon greens.  We also offer options for which type of infill product to use so that you can replicate the speed of your favorite course.

Our nylon products roll at a speed of 11.5 on the Stimp Meter without infill.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a putting green in your back yard that didn’t require all the maintenance and cost of a natural green, but performed and looked like one 365 days?

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a better golf game.

Back to School Playground Ideas from STI

Posted on in News, Playground Surfaces, Press.

As millions of American kids go Back to School, Synthetic Turf International offers advice on playground systems

 

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It’s the time of year that kids loathe and parents love.  A time when the students of America get reacquainted with their pencils and their books.

And for some, their teacher’s dirty looks.

It’s the time when kids across America go Back to School. Many schools across America started weeks ago, but a majority of American school children start the day after Labor Day.

It goes without saying that school has changed a great deal over the last twenty years.  Those pencils are traded in for computer keyboards.  And the books for laptops and tablets.

The dirty looks will never change, only the people giving them.

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But seriously, education is changing. Debates over standards are never ending. Technology is an integral part of almost every classroom in America.  Going to school and sitting in a classroom isn’t like it used to be.

Neither is recess on the playground.

Over the last few years, there has been a serious push to install synthetic turf in more playgrounds than ever before.  A synthetic turf playground is a very low maintenance alternative to natural grass, where someone has to mow and weed.  And if schools don’t stay on top of the maintenance of their natural grass play space, the grass gets worn down and is gone in a matter of weeks.

A synthetic turf playground system eliminates the need to worry about maintenance.

Syntethic Turf International SoftLawn Playground Safety Surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synthetic Turf International offers numerous playground turf systems that are certified by the International Playground Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and can meet critical fall height requirements up to 12 feet. Imagine a green playground that looks like natural grass, performs better than natural grass, is much safer than a mulch system and simply looks better than a poured-in-place system.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a safe, maintenance free playground.

STI Goes to the College Football Hall of Fame

Posted on in News.

Synthetic Turf International is honored to be a part of the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience Grand Opening in Atlanta

 

The gang from Synthetic Turf International was on hand for the Grand Opening of the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience on August 23 in Downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed was on hand for the event, which featured a huge outdoor tailgate party and several vendor booths set up along Marietta Street, with a few Hall of Famers scattered throughout.

STI was invited by Sporturf, our sister company, who supplied the turf field that is an integral part of the Chick-fil-A Fan Experience.

CFHOIF and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guests to the hall enter through an entry tunnel into the Quad, where they are greeted by the Helmet Wall.  The Wall features helmets from all 768 college football teams.

The hall is filled with interactive multimedia stations where college football fans can find a wealth of knowledge about their favorite teams, and the sport in general.  There are booths designed to show fans what it feels and looks like on the field at their home stadiums.

College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are exhibits featuring the evolution of football uniforms over the past 150 years, the history of tailgating and the most intense rivalries in college football history.

There is also the state-of-the-art Game Day Theater, with an ultra high-definition 4K film, “The Game of Your Life,” which shows visitors to the hall a glimpse behind the scenes of big time college football through the eyes of Hall of Fame players and coaches.

CFHOF Chick-fil-A Fan Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The indoor field has a number of football related games, running through the tackling dummies, pushing the sled, kicking a field goal and passing accuracy.  The turf on the field is a short pile height product with a foam pad backing.

The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is a must see for any college football fan, and it’s a place where you can learn more about the game than just about anywhere else.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a maintenance free lawn and landscape.

 

 

Carmel High School Amphitheatre

Posted on in Environmental Stewardship, Lawn & Landscape, News, STI Featured Application, Synthetic Turf International.

 STI Featured Application: STI Monterey Bay completes Carmel High School Amphitheatre in Carmel, California

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Ian Paton and the folks at STI Monterey Bay recently completed this stunning application, the Carmel High School Amphitheatre in Carmel, California, near Monterey Bay.

Carmel High School Amphitheatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The school uses the space as a place where students can congregate during lunch and between classes.  School dances are also held there from time to time, in addition to any public performances that will scheduled for the amphitheatre.

It’s a great way to help maintain a green space for social activities for the students, while remaining committed to water conservation.  And, there’s no maintenance required for the difficult to mow area.

It’s a win-win for Carmel High School.

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Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a maintenance free lawn and landscape.

Beautiful Synthetic Turf Paver Driveway Idea

Posted on in Lawn & Landscape, News, Synthetic Turf International, Water Conservation.

STI Featured Application: Pioneer Synthetic Turf’s La Fontaine in Thousand Oaks, California

 

Synthetic Turf Paver Driveway (Southern Oaks, California)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Thykeson and the folks at Pioneer Synthetic Turf recently wrapped up this installation synthetic turf paver driveway for Sherwood Construction Development in Thousand Oaks, California.

The driveway project, which was 2600 linear feet, required pouring concrete between each of the paver stone joints, one half inch below top grade.  The crew then glued the turf to the concrete and infilled with sand.  Of course all that work came after hundreds of cuts.

Because of severe water restrictions in California, this is a great way to add some green to the landscape, while helping to conserve water.  And since it’s synthetic turf, it will never need maintenance.

Synthetic Turf Paver Driveway (Southern Oaks, California)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 7470 square feet French Colonial home is located in the Sherwood Country Club Community and boasts views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Sherwood Country Club golf course.  It has five bedrooms and bathrooms and has an asking price of $4.75 million as a brand new construction.

As beautiful as this home is, the synthetic turf paver driveway adds an element to this property that is unique for this community.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a maintenance free lawn and landscape.

STI Debuts New Hybrid Plus Product

Posted on in EZTee, News, Synthetic Turf International, Tee Lines & Hitting Mats.

Last month Synthetic Turf International announced the launch of their new and improved EZTee® Hybrid Plus Tee Line product

 

Synthetic Turf International is extremely excited to announce the launch of their new and improved EZTee® Hybrid Plus tee line product.  After numerous requests for a new Hybrid product, we are happy to be able to offer the Hybrid+ as a replacement for the old Hybrid.  The new features of this product offer vast improvements over the previous Hybrid product.

The Hybrid+ is manufactured with a true 50/50 blend of nylon and polypropylene yarns, which have been specifically designed for our tee line products.

The Hybrid+ features additional nylon, which helps to offer a more natural feel and increased softness through club impact.

The Hybrid+ is also cross-stitched now to provide increased stability, producing a firmer feel under foot.

Bear in mind that the Hybrid+ is launching in conjunction with the phasing out of the previous Hybrid product.  Once supplies of the old Hybrid are gone, the Hybrid+ will be the only EZTee® product we will offer with a nylon/polypropylene blend.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a better golf game.

STI of Atlanta a Part of Blue Giraffe Golf Institute Upgrades

Posted on in EZTee, News, Putting Greens & Golf, Synthetic Turf International, Tee Lines & Hitting Mats.

STI’s First Featured Application: STI of Atlanta installs putting surface and hitting mats for Blue Giraffe Golf Institute

 

Synthetic Turf International will be showcasing the fine work of our dealers each week in this space.  Our first featured application shows off some of the great work from STI of Atlanta at the Blue Giraffe Golf Institute.

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Bobby Baughn and the folks from STI of Atlanta recently completed their part of the renovation of the Blue Giraffe Golf Institute training facility in Tucker, Georgia.  The facility, which is part of Heritage Golf Links, features 27 holes of championship golf, a lighted practice range and the area featured here, the dedicated instruction house complete with seven active hitting bays.  Heritage was named one of Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses” in 1996.

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The Institute is part of a larger effort to provide golfers across all skill levels the opportunity to learn the game from some of the best teaching professionals in the world through their expertise and access to the latest technology.

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“The team at Synthetic Turf International of Atlanta has helped the Blue Giraffe Golf Institute create a state of the art golf and training facility in Tucker, Georgia.   The flooring system that STI has installed makes the BGGI one of the top golf Institutes in the country and allows us to provide players of all skill levels with a TOUR like experience,” said Kevin McDonough, VP Sales & Marketing for Blue Giraffe.  “Whether you are a beginner or a member of the PGA TOUR, players will be able to experience the ultimate in TOUR level instruction.”

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Blue Giraffe will also utilize the Institute to host Junior Golf Programs, as well as to foster the development of current and future TOUR caliber players.  The Institute will also be the headquarters for the 40 professional golfers Blue Giraffe Sports Management represents, including such PGA Tour professionals as Stuart Appleby, Heath Slocum, Billy Hurley III, Paul Goydos, Jhonattan Vegas and LPGA Tour pros Lexi Thompson and Julieta Granada.

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Blue Giraffe Golf Institute has several corporate partners, including Heritage Golf Links, Cool Clubs, Cobra Puma Golf and Bridgestone Golf.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a better golf game.

Expect Another Thrilling Finish as the PGA Championship Returns to Valhalla

Posted on in News, Putting Greens & Golf, Stimp Speeds, Stimpmeter, Synthetic Turf International.

 Past PGA Championships at Valhalla have produced dramatic finishes and this year’s Championship looks to be no different

The view of the clubhouse from Valhalla's first green.

This week the PGA Championship returns to Valhalla Golf Club.

As Rory McIlroy chases his third straight tournament victory (and second straight major) this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, one can’t help but think about all the thrilling finishes that have transpired over the years.

Valhalla hosted the PGA Championship in 1996 for the first time where Mark Brooks won the Wanamaker Trophy in a sudden-death playoff over Kenny Perry.

The second time Valhalla hosted the PGA Championship it was Tiger Woods winning a three hole playoff over Bob May.  That was during Woods’ run of four straight major championships, known as the Tiger Slam.

But Vahalla has also hosted the Senior PGA Championship twice.

In 2004, Hale Irwin won by one shot over Jay Haas by making birdie on the 72nd hole. 2011 saw Tom Watson raise the trophy after defeating David Eager in a one hole playoff.

Even the 2002 PGA Professional National Championship had an exciting finish before Barry Evans hoisted the trophy at Valhalla.

So it should come as no surprise that this year’s tournament, which includes 20 PGA Club Professionals in the 156 player field, has the makings of another classic.

Valhalla will be a different course from the one played at the Senior PGA in 2011.  Course designer Jack Nicklaus overhauled the entire course in order to update the obsolete irrigation systems.  Along the way, several bunkers were removed and a few other structural changes were made to allow for better drainage on the greens and in other spots around the course.

The fairways, tees and greens are comprised of a combination of T1 and Penway Bent grasses.  The first cut of rough is Kentucky Bluegrass, while the second cut is tall Fescue.

This will be the longest PGA Championship course ever, measuring 7458 yards.  And the greens will be slick, and in typical Nicklaus fashion, protected by several of the 62 bunkers in play this week.  Stimp speeds from previous tournaments at Valhalla have measured between 11 and 12 feet on the Stimp Meter, which is close to where they were believed to be at Augusta in April.

The NP Series of putting surfaces from Synthetic Turf International can replicate those same green speeds to help golfers improve their putting under the same conditions as tour players.  Our highly skilled network of dealers can help design and create the same putting conditions as your local golf club.

Visit our application page for more information, browse our gallery for ideas and contact Synthetic Turf International to Experience A Greener World and a better short game.