The Nylon Advantage

Dave Pelz tests polypropylene vs. nylon greens

dave pelz research home imageWhy purchase a SYNLawn putting green made with nylon? Because only a SYNLawn nylon putting green looks like, acts like, reacts like, and performs like a real golf green. How do we know this? We put our products up against competing products and real natural golf greens, then asked golf guru and physicist Dave Pelz to analyze the comparison.

In the artificial turf putting green industry there are generally two types of turf putting greens available: polypropylene greens and nylon greens. Polypropylene greens are sold by many companies and are often used in driving ranges for target greens. For the driving ranges this may not be a bad choice for accepting shots from several distances. However, polypropylene greens eventually harden and the ability to hold shots hit from several yards becomes impossible. But what about the putting surface? How well does a polypropylene putting green perform for putting? Let’s ask Mr. Pelz.

Dave Pelz research on polypropylene golf greens

To determine the characteristics of golf performance on a polypropylene green, SYNLawn professional installed one at the Pelz Golf Institute in Austin, Texas for testing. A properly installed polypropylene green is infilled with enough sand to lift the fibers to keep them upright so that just the tips of the fibers are exposed. When finished, the putting green consists of 80% sand and 20% fibers. Because of the way these greens are designed, the sand is an integral part of the performance characteristics. Dave Pelz and his team of professionals put the green through it’s paces and here are some of the conclusions:

  • Approach shot acceptance – The polypropylene green accepted shots from distance well. However, compared to natural greens the ball reacted more like a sand trap then a golf green. The ball hit the green and stopped quickly, unlike the bounce and roll out of a natural green.
  • Chip shots – Balls chipped to a polypropylene green slow abruptly and roll to the hole was inconsistent (off-line) compared to a natural golf green.
  • Putting performance – Ball roll for long putts was better than the roll for short putts. Balls deviate off-line and there is very little consistency from one putt to the next. As the putt slows the ball oscillates (wobbles) off-line making controlling putts very difficult.
  • Maintenance – Due to the large amount of sand used for polypropylene greens, it is necessary to maintain proper infill levels and must be replenished. The longer a polypropylene green is in use the harder the sand will become. Periodic maintenance will be required to maintain proper performance levels.

Dave Pelz research on SYNLawn nylon golf greens

To determine the characteristics of golf performance and nylon advantage of our putting greens, SYNLawn professionally installed several types of nylon greens at the Pelz Golf Institute in Austin, TX for testing. Unlike polypropylene putting greens, nylon putting greens require very little sand in order to perform. In contrast to the installation methods of a polypropylene green, a nylon green is approximately made up of 90% fiber and 10% sand utilizing the turf fibers for performance. Dave Pelz and his team of professionals worked the nylon greens over to determine the closest to natural performance:

  • Approach shot acceptance – Installation is the key for nylon putting greens and accepting approach shots. With the right installation method, nylon putting greens can be dialed in to perform like natural greens without the excessive use of sand.
  • Chip shots – Balls chipped to a nylon putting green check and roll much closer to the performance of natural putting greens. Depending on the product chosen, SYNLawn precision installation techniques can achieve a very realistic golf performance.
  • Putting performance – The ball roll on a nylon putting green is far superior to the same roll on a polypropylene green. There is a significant reduction of off-line deviation and oscillation (ball wobble) on a nylon green compared to a polypropylene green. In all the testing, only the nylon putting greens were capable of behaving like a natural green.
  • Maintenance – Because the nylon putting greens do not employ massive amounts of sand in order to perform, the maintenance required of a nylon putting green is reduced greatly.

Conclusion: golfers should choose nylon greens for golf improvement.

The polypropylene green performed more like a sand trap than a putting green. The putting green is mostly sand which makes it very difficult to maintain consistent performance. Approach shots will hold on a polypropylene green, however the ball dies on impact and does not match the performance of a natural putting green. Nylon putting greens offer a great deal of flexibility during installation because they are mostly fiber with very little use of sand. Only a nylon putting green designed by Dave Pelz and SYNLawn offer golfers a true to life golf experience in their backyards. The Nylon Advantage.

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