If you’re a golf lover with the space, budget, and passion to spare, you’ve probably considered having a small artificial grass course installed in your backyard. No matter how many clubs there are around Phoenix, you see the appeal in having your personal putting green. With it, you can unwind anytime and entertain visiting buddies – not to mention enjoy customizing the green to suit your outdoor landscaping.
But have you considered what having your own artificial grass putting green can do for your game? There are varying viewpoints on the matter.
Putting a criticism in perspective
A oft-mentioned criticism of artificial golf turfs – whether these are practice mats at a driving range or larger playing areas – is that they could damage a player’s swing. That’s because a ball could jump off artificial grass even if the player mistimes the moment of hitting it. On natural grass, a player probably wouldn’t get the same result, since the club would whack dirt first if he made that mistake.
As World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino declared, “You can hit six inches behind the ball and not even know it, because the ball still gets airborne.”
That said, you probably wouldn’t be driving balls in your backyard. And while you could construct a course large enough for a few approach shots, your putting green is designed to serve one obvious thing: your putting.
The perfect practice venue
The DIY Golfer points out that you can effectively use a synthetic putting green to do three things:
- Train your stroke. As you may know, it’s the putt that can send you under par or over it. You could get to the green on one or two fantastic drives, yet waste them by not immediately getting the ball into the hole. Learning your best grip, experimenting with different motions, and mastering a sure and steady stroke on a consistent surface will prepare you for a proper game.
- Improve your aim. A sound stroke won’t get you anywhere if your aim is off. The benefit to having a putting green out back is that you will have to putt towards the same one or two holes repeatedly. As DIY Golfer shares, doing that “trains my eyes to see the correct face alignment, and allows me to check my eye alignment over the ball at the same time.” This will help your visual perception and enable you to start sending the ball on the right paths.
- Hone your pre-shot routine. Putting is a multi-part process, of which aiming and stroking are just two steps. By training in those two areas, you can also improve other skills like reading the green, visualizing your shot, focusing, and following through.
Obviously, you can practice in more varied conditions and surfaces if you visited golf courses around Phoenix. But don’t feel like you’re selling yourself short just because you practice on a patch of artificial grass.
According to the journal Golf Course Architecture, many top professionals started practicing in their homes using synthetic surfaces years ago. There’s some reassurance bound to this detail: if artificial grass continues to prove useful to top-level golfers, the technology behind them may continue to improve – benefiting you.
The dedicated golfer plays everywhere and practices anywhere. Not everyone can regularly play the full 18 holes on a course with natural grass, much less spend countless hours training on that traditional surface. The convenience of having your personal putting green can help your game more than you think.
Switching from natural to artificial grass may cause some adjustments in your swing. Still, at the end of the day, it only matters that you can strike the ball as you should – a skill you can ensure by practicing, even just at home.
Is Hitting Golf Balls Off Mats Bad for Your Game?, TheDIYGolfer.com
Can Artificial Turf Mats Impede Your Practice?, GolfGurls.com
Golf’s artificial future, GolfCourseArchitecture.net