An Australian company has developed a linear low density polyethylene golf green surface that allows golfers in drought-stricken Australia to continue playing despite strict water rationing.
Cairns-based ProGrass Pty. Ltd. claims its PGS Supergreen product, with a surface that looks and plays like natural grass, is at the leading edge of synthetic grass technology in the golfing industry.
ProGrass co-owner Carolyn Balderson said the surface is a first for Australia and ``the golfing industry worldwide.'' Only minimum maintenance is required.
The Supergreen product is made by extruding granules of LLDPE into a flat tape that is extruded again, then stretched into a yarn and wound on bobbins. The yarn is stitched onto a polyurethane backing that holds it together.
Golf professional Charlie Earp has joined ProGrass as a technical consultant.
``The way it responds to pitch and chip shots is very similar to natural-grass greens and it handles putting very well,'' he said.
``It's an ideal practice facility for improving the short game and has a real part to play in the golf world.''
Another of ProGrass' synthetic surfaces, Idealgrass, is used on tennis courts and in landscaping, and has been installed at several child-care centers across Australia. Balderson said Idealgrass' properties are close to natural grass in look and feel.
``Idealgrass replicates the springy characteristics of natural grass,'' he said.
Prograss has operated in the synthetic grass and sports surface installation industry in Australia for more than 25 years.
The company now is seeking access to the American market and keeping pace with a booming domestic market where Balderson said calls have doubled since the drought began. She would not disclose any sales figures.