Nylon versus Sand-Filled Synthetic Putting Greens

Posted: July 19, 2010
  • 1100+ Golf Green Installations
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Nylon Golf Greens and Sand-filled Golf Greens are both beautiful technologies if employed in the right circumstances.   As someone once put it, “If you’re in a race across the desert which vehicle would you rather; a Corvette or a Hummer? Conversely, if you are in a race along an empty tarmac which vehicle would you rather; a Corvette or a Hummer?”  I thought this was a strong metaphor for the importance of placing the proper technology towards its suited application.

Coquitlam Residence "Nylon Golf Green"

Coquitlam Residence
“Nylon Golf Green”

Nylon is the softest and most responsive yarn that can be applied to artificial grass.  With the support of good manufacturing a nylon golf green will create the perfect ball roll the moment it is finished being installed.  The advantage lies in the consistent ball roll and beautiful aesthetic.  A nylon putting green can accept chips and pitches perfectly form within 10 yards, which makes this the hands down choice for most back yard golf greens.

Sand-filled Golf Greens were the industries first technology.  This technology is what you should look at when your primary goal is shot making.  A properly installed sand-filled golf green can accept shots from over 200 yards.  It checks up, reacts and rolls like a natural grass golf green.  The disadvantage is that it takes some time to break-in properly and when it does the golf ball will not have as true of a roll as a nylon green.  The golf ball will oscillate slightly due to the grass’s reliance on the infill.  The blades of a sand-filled green are designed to bend overtop of the infill creating the bent grass green but at the same time is susceptible to imperfections in the infill.  Other complaints are that once broken in, the golf green can run over 12 on the stimp meter (very fast).  That is also a benefit depending on who you ask. lol

Shiloh Hill GC, Mission, B.C.  "Sand-filled Golf Green"

Shiloh Hill GC, Mission, B.C.
“Sand-filled Golf Green”

The cost is virtually the same as the material itself for a sand-filled green is considerably less expensive but the extra cost of infill as well as labor to install it make the cost breakdown a virtual wash.

If I had an acreage I would put a sand-filled green 100 yards off of my back patio.  If I have a typical suburban plot of 1/4 acre or less I would certainly choose the one that putts the best (Nylon).

Hope this helps.

Scott, Precision Greens