Golf Course Architecture - Issue 70, October 2022

the added fact of zero infill for zero maintenance, the crucial factor was realism. “The artificial turf was no benefit to me if it didn’t play like a real grass green,” says Pelz. “That was the majority of our work, to create a subsurface technology I developed which sits under the turf – called ShotStopper – that coupled with the turf and gave us the most realistic bounce, spin and putting performance that my pros needed to practice.” Paul was captivated by the visit: “It became obvious to me that with the right turf and technology coupled with my golf design and construction knowledge and Pelz’s coaching expertise that it was possible to create systems that were not only real in every way and fun to play but also practice performance driven. What I could do with real grass I could exaggerate using artificial turf, and this made me excited given my creative side.” One of the first of those was at the University of Arkansans’ golf team campus. There we designed and built a 10,000-square-foot indoor short-game practice area, including a multitude of short game chipping and putting modules using tight lie and rough turf varieties. This was one of Dave’s favourite projects, providing “practice with performance in mind” for the world’s future best golfers. We’ve also worked at California’s Stockton Golf & Country Club, where water restrictions and drought conditions in the state provided a compelling case for the transition to artificial turf. There we worked with both surfaces, extending their grass putting green to reduce wear and tear while adding an artificial practice green, with a view to a future transition to artificial greens and tees throughout the golf course. We also introduced an artificial tee line, and a multi-use fairway strip that the club could use for junior camps, events, banquets, weddings and even lawn bowling. This has significantly reduced the maintenance burden on an area that previously was routinely torn up following these activities, much to the superintendent’s delight. At Cedar Brae Golf Club in Toronto, Canada, we are combining Pelz’s turf technology, our grass design expertise, and input from PGA/LPGA tour short game specialist Gareth Raf lewski, to deliver a dozen short-game practice modules and a practice scorecard so that golfers can track their development, practice with purpose, and improve their games. This project also involves a new 15,000-square-foot putting and chipping green, an artificial turf wedge calibration range with greens spaced at 20 yards to 100 at the driving range, and a separate 1,500-square-foot artificial putting green will become home to the club’s junior camps. This project blends tradition with the future, using artificial turf where it is needed and grass where it is wanted. Another application is in the world of golf entertainment. Given Pelz’s adeptness for the short game, putting courses are a particularly good fit. The first of these was at Oxley Golf Club in Brisbane, Australia, where the concept was to design a championship length golf course, then shrink it to Dave Pelz created an artificial turf facility in his backyard where he says his pros can play “every shot you can hit on earth from one hundred yards and under” Photo: Pelz Golf 65