For One Golf Pro, Extreme Green Fits Many BillsOctober 13, 2021
By Dave Allen
Creating a fast, authentic indoor putting surface is not as easy as it may seem. For one, turf manufacturers do not provide “stimp ratings” for the turf they produce—a stimp rating is a measurement of how fast the ball rolls on the green. Secondly, not all of these turfs have the right grain, or texture, to the surface, or sufficient enough padding.
Undeterred in his quest to provide his consumers with the most natural putting experience possible, Extreme Green owner Matt Gault spent several years testing a variety of different turfs that would be compatible with the topography of his product, an adjustable putting surface that can be manipulated by foot to create as much as 5 degrees of slope and break. After testing 30 different turfs and running modified stimp tests on each of the samples, Gault believes he’s come up with a synthetic surface that is nearly as good as what the best players in the world are putting on every week.
“I found five turfs that I thought would be okay, but I really had to hone it down to a single turf that I felt would be most reliable on an Extreme Green, and had the roll characteristics we were looking for,” Gault says. “Eventually I arrived at a product that I felt was a contender.”
The average green speeds on the PGA Tour range between 11 to 12 on the Stimpmeter, and the new, improved Extreme Green surface runs right in the middle at 11-1/2. The original surface has a stimp rating of about 10. The new turf also has a 5-millimeter padded backing to help soften the feel of walking on the green. When combined with the fiberglass-reinforced plastic sheet that runs underneath it, the padded backing allows for a smoother transition between each aluminum segment and the hard height changes that may occur between segments.
Perhaps most important to Gault, the surface has a “realistic roll to it,” more akin to what happens on natural grass than on a synthetic surface. There’s a “believable amount of wobble” to the ball as it moves across each strand of fabric, says Gault, whereas on some artificial surfaces the roll is just too perfect.
The faster turf has the seal of approval from Jason Sedan, Golf Digest magazine’s top-ranked teacher in the state of New Hampshire. This past summer, Sedan had the newer surface installed on his 6’ x 17’ Extreme Green unit at Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club in New Hampshire, and he loves the versatility it provides when used together with the original 10-stimp carpet.
“You can have two different surfaces that feel and perform the same but have distinctly different speeds,” says Sedan, who also serves as the Director of Instruction at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. “You can tailor the surface to whatever you or your student needs.”
Sedan keeps the original putting turf nearby, and believes that it’s a good surface to practice on early in the season, when greens tend to run a little slower, or if you tend to play a lot of municipal courses. Sedan competes in a number of New England PGA events throughout the summer, and will graduate to the faster carpet at mid-season. He’ll typically have his students at Lake Winnipesaukee practice on the faster surface, since those greens are running around 11-1/2 come July and August when he’s teaching up north.
“The 11-1/2 [green], for practicality, works universally well,” Sedan says. “If you’re a public golfer who plays in a lot of tournaments, it’s hard to replicate the speed you want to practice on at your local public track, so this gives you a chance to have that experience in advance of your tournament. This way, it doesn’t feel surprising to you when you get on faster greens.”
Combining the varying degrees of slope on the Extreme Green with the speed of the new turf, you can also replicate some super-fast, slippery downhill putts.
“If you haven’t practiced downhillers on greens that are not fast enough, then it’s always a little unnerving when you face them in competition,” Sedan says.
The Extreme Green comes in five standard sizes, and can also be customized to fit your desired space requirements. Each unit comes with standard 10-stimp putting surface, unless the elite 11-1/2-stimp carpet is requested. (There is no additional charge for the elite surface.) Should you want the flexibility of having both carpets, you can purchase the second carpet for an additional fee—based on the size of the unit.
The Extreme Green adjustable putting green is extremely sturdy and durable, and features an all-weather putting carpet, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Pre-assembly (individual segments only) is available on all units, making assembly fast and easy. For more information and to order your Extreme Green unit just in time for winter, please visit www.extremegreengolf.com, or call 800-844-4882.