April 30, 2021

Your guide to understanding how roll works on artificial turf.


The Physics of Golf

Physics. It affects everything around us, including the wonderful game of golf.

Physics, the nature and properties of matter and energy: the striking of the ball, the ball’s flight in flight, the initial bounce, and the ball’s roll out.

In an ideal situation, 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 targeting the ball into the hole a simple task by hitting it in a straight line.

That said, you will learn that the ground is sloped. In this case, the ball’s roll cannot be a straight path to enter the hole, meaning it’s a more difficult task. The ball now must follow a particular curved path to make it into the hole. How much the ball is required to curve depends on the amount of the slope and undulation of the putting green.

Regardless of if artificial turf or natural grass is chosen to your perfect backyard putting green, the physical properties of the ground factor into the performance. We utilize a combination of commonly used golf course tests and proprietary playability testing.

One common test to measure ball roll is the stimpmeter test. Stimp testing calculates the distance a ball rolls on artificial turf in meters when it’s released from a one-meter height. The ball-to-surface interaction of the grass is directly correlated to the ball roll distance.

Our proprietary playability testing for roll provides an analysis of the consistency of outputs from 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 deeper look at the items that impact how a golf ball reacts and rolls on a turf.


Green Characteristics

Product Construction: Plastics that are extruded and recycled and available in an assortment of constructions, colors, and lengths. Proper construction is vital in enabling key putting green installation practices; construction enables 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 varied frictions; having an effect on the velocity and smoothness of your putt.

Fiber: The fiber composition has a substantial effect on how the golf ball will roll throughout the putt. Fiber composition impacts friction and pile lay. How the turf lays impacts how the ball interacts with the surface.

Infill: Essential to the turf system, infill is comprised of rounded washed silica. Infill provides ballast and aids drainage. Infill shape is directly related to performance; sharp edges and angles create roll disruptions.

Aggregate Base: Compacted stone creates challenging slopes and undulations; one that 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 ideal raw materials with elite-proven-tested installation techniques. Very important when you are on the putting green attempting to gently hit the ball into the hole.


The Southwest Greens Difference

Southwest Greens has been able to quantify key performance indicators. By understanding what variables affect performance, we’re able to reproduce natural greens.

With Golden Bear Turf, you’ll have smoother rolls that feel like playing on your favorite championship course. Scientifically tested and designed to replicate 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 best backyard practice putting green offering the most realistic putting surfaces you’ll find 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