April 30, 2021

Your guide to understanding how roll works on artificial turf.


The Physics of Golf

Physics. It has influence over everything around us, and also the popular game of golf.

Physics, defined as the nature and properties of matter and energy: the hitting of the ball, the ball’s flight in the air, the initial bounce, and its roll out.

Ideally, the ground in the direction of the shot would be perfectly flat, perfectly uphill, or perfectly downhill would be perfectly flat, perfectly uphill, or perfectly downhill in the direction of the shot. This would make hitting the ball into the hole an easy matter and hitting it along a straight line.

At times, however, you’ll see that the ground is sloped. Now the ball trajectory can’t be a straight path to the hole, therefore it’s a more challenging task. In this case, the ball now must follow a precise curved path to enter the hole. Whether the ball has to curve to the right or left is contingent on the degree of the slope and undulation of the putting green.

Whether or not artificial turf or natural turf is chosen to construct your ideal backyard putting green, the physical characteristics of the turf impact the performance. Southwest Greens of Tucson uses a mix of common golf course tests and our proprietary playability testing.

A standard test to test ball roll is the stimpmeter test. Stimp testing gives the calculated distance a ball rolls on artificial turf in meters when released from a one-meter height. The ball-to-surface interaction of the grass is directly correlated to the distance of the ball roll.

Our proprietary playability testing for roll analyzes the consistency of outputs with a standard putting stroke. Our test analyzes the initial bounce of the club face and the spin to roll transition.

Now we’ll take a closer analysis at the items that influence how a golf ball reacts and rolls on a turf.


Green Characteristics

Product Construction: Plastics that are extruded and recycled and available in a mix of constructions, colors, and lengths. Proper construction is critical to enable key putting green installation practices; construction allows turf to be infilled and rolled. Properly rolled fibers will look and play like natural greens.

Pile Height: The thickness and height of the grass blades will provide differences in friction; impacting the speed and smoothness of your putt.

Fiber: The composition of the fibers will have a substantial effect on how a golf ball will move throughout the putt. Fiber composition will affect friction and pile lay. How the ball interacts with the surface is impacted by how the turf lays.

Infill: Essential to the turf system, infill is made of rounded washed silica. Infill provides ballast and aids drainage. The shape of the infill is vital to performance; angles and edges disrupt roll.

Aggregate Base: Stone is compacted to create challenging slopes and undulations; the result performs and drains like a championship golf course.

The recipe to creating a Backyard Putting Green that performs like a Championship Golf Green requires the best raw materials with elite-proven-tested installation techniques. This is especially important when you’re on the putting green attempting to gently get your ball into the hole.


The Southwest Greens Difference

Southwest Greens have quantified key performance indicators. By understanding which variables influence performance, we’ve been able to mimic natural greens.

With Golden Bear Turf, you will have smoother rolls that feel like playing on your favorite championship course. Scientifically tested and developed to reproduce natural grass, from the initial bounce off the clubface... to the spin transition… to the smooth ball roll into the cup...

Golden Bear represents only the best! It’s the ideal backyard practice putting green offering the most realistic putting surfaces on the market.


Take a look at our Gold Bear Turf, and discover why golfers around the world love Southwest Greens.


See The Greens

5x Golf Digest Award Winner
Golf Digest Editors Choice Award
Best Synthetic Putting Green