Harmonylinksgolf's Blog

Synthetic Turf Solutions, trends, issues discussed by industry Professionals

Welcome to Harmony Pointe Green’s blog. Our goal with this blog is to discuss current trends and issues that customers and synthetic turf vendors face in today’s market. In order to do that, lets first look at what Harmony Pointe is, how it translated into Harmony Pointe Greens, and why that matters to prospects looking at installing a golf short game complex, putting green, playground or other turf solution.

Harmony Pointe; The Marsh Course
Harmony Pointe was a vision almost 3 years ago when I was looking at the 5 waterfront lots I was planning to purchase just off the Gulf of Mexico in Central FL. The house and pool were on 2 of the lots and the western 3 lots were not able to be built upon due to their proximity to adjacent wetlands. I realized that the key to improving their usability and return on investment (ROI) was key to enjoying the property more, and ensuring a higher profit and should I ever sell the property. At the same time, my short game was falling through the floor with bottom of the swing issues. I began to think about how I could turn those 3 lots into a scenic golf complex for a practice facility.

At Harmony Pointe there are 9 tee locations to 2 greens with 9 hole locations (6 on the 2200 sq ft green and 3 on the 520 sq ft green). This provides an interesting alternative for every hole. Each tee brings a different degree of difficulty to each hole location especially with changing winds. Shots are available from chips to bunker shots, all the way up to 93 yards. Each green at Harmony Pointe is surrounded by wetlands and water. It took 7 months to permit these with the DEP and the County. Coupled with the ever-present sea breeze and 2 sand traps it makes for a challenging game.

Short Game / Par 3 Complexes
The concept that resonated the best was a short game, or Par 3 complex. My definition of that is multiple greens with multiple cup locations that accept shots from multiple tees. This is slightly different than a par 3 golf course in which there is a defined “next hole. A “complex” can be more clustered, using less space than a course, a key for many of us. By changing the pin based on the next tee you are going to hit from, you change the look, degree of difficulty and bring different hazards into play
There are 4 key components of a successful implementation of this concept:
1. The relationship of the tees to the greens, the slopes within the green and the associated cup locations:
These are intertwined whether you are implementing a backyard putting green with fringe to chip from or a “Complex.” In my travels around the state to look at synthetic turf greens during 2007, I found that in most every instance, the poor design in the relationship of these components limited the playability of the green due to poor planning and therefore lessened the user experience. At a minimum, they were less interesting than they could have been.

2. Playability:
The green couldn’t accept and hold a shot due to the dimension of the green vs the distance from the tee and where the cups were located. Sometimes this was as a result of the choice of putting surface (turf, in-fill etc) and sometimes this was poor design. This can be resolved with the use of a golf course designer / builder such as Barbaron (http://www.barbaron.com/) . “Design by Barbaron” is used for Harmony Pointe golf facilities from backyard putting greens to short game / Par 3 complexes.

o When putting, the ball sometimes rolled completely off the green uncontrollably. This again, goes back to design, choice of turf manufacturers and sometimes, maintenance.

o “Oscillation:” In the synthetic green industry, oscillation is a term that is used to describe what happens when a ball is putted and as it slows, it randomly wanders, with no rhyme or reason. When it is putted again from the same spot with the same speed, it wanders in a completely different direction. For golfers who are working on their short game and want to host competitions with family and friends, or just practice seriously, this is unacceptable. I found SofTrak greens to be far and away the best for a true roll. CLICK HERE for more information on the SofTrak System and why it provides the truest roll. Or better yet, visit one of our green installations to experience it yourself.

3. Material: The choice of the putting surface, infill and top dressing had a significant impact on the performance as well. The choices between nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene are important as nylon will not accept shots from off the green in a realistic fashion. Polypropylene materials will hold shots whether they are pitch shots or full shots. SofTrak Greens have a unique turf, sand in-fill and top dressing and I found them to be the best. CLICK HERE for more information on the SofTrak System and why it provides the truest roll.
However, regardless of anyone’s claim, it is always better to experience it in person.

4. Use of Space; This concept is a key even in the implementation of a backyard putting green. By evaluating the space, angles and risk from shots that are skulled (I know about these :>) ) you can maximize your playable space and have many more interesting shot opportunities even from the fringe.

Why Do I Care About All of This?
If you are thinking of a backyard putting green or think you have the space/budget to have a short game complex, there are several differentiators that the Harmony Pointe Methodology can provide for you. We exclusively use SofTrak Greens for our customers.
1. We listen to your goals so we Understand.
2. We Define and design your vision through a scaled diagram from Barbaron.
3. We Refine that vision together through revisions of the diagram.
4. We Agree on what you want, based upon the design revisions; it becomes part of our agreement. This is important to set both our expectations.
5. We Deliver on our agreement.

Let me hear from you regarding your questions, comments and thoughts. We’ll address them in future blog entries. Thanks for reading!


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