The American Lawn Needs to Die

Lawn care is just the worst.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | 10 days ago

My first inkling that America’s lawn obsession might not be terribly healthy came around 1995. We’d just moved into a new house in Far North Dallas, and 10- or 11-year-old me decided that the next-door neighbor’s lawn — green and smooth and as flawless as a golf-course fairway with manicured grass to cushion falls — was the perfect spot for football. The neighbor, a hard-nosed high school track coach, promptly ran us off and upbraided my father for letting me trespass. This struck me as backward. What good was such cushiony grass if not for play?

At the time, I chalked this up to my neighbor being an uptight jerk, an assessment I stand by. But that explanation is incomplete in that it overlooks the bigger picture: Lawns are awful.

This conclusion is admittedly self-serving. Two years ago, in one of those compromises a married person with two small children and two large dogs sometimes has to make, I agreed to swap our cramped apartment just south of White Rock Lake for a three-bedroom house in Richardson, but I was decidedly unenthusiastic about once again having a yard. Since then, I’ve waged a half-intentional campaign of aggressive neglect. We haven’t watered since we’ve been there. I own a lawnmower, but it’s one of those human-powered reel contraptions and it’s no match for the shin-high bluestem that seems to spring up overnight. Sometimes I borrow a gas mower from my fall-prone, 70-something-year-old neighbor, but between work and kids, this can be infrequent. The other day, I peeked outside the window and found that 70-something neighbor had taken it upon himself to mow our front yard. It’s not something I’m proud of, but my wife and I figured it’d be best to retreat quietly from the windows. We wouldn’t want to startle him and make him fall.

But the awfulness of lawns is something close to an objective fact. Maintaining them is time-consuming and expensive. They suck up ungodly amounts of water. When it rains, their fertilizer-heavy runoff pollutes waterways. They pit neighbor against neighbor’s kids. They are decadent and unsustainable totems of middle-class prosperity.

For several centuries, lawns were the exclusive purview of very rich Europeans, people who were wealthy enough to keep large swaths of land out of productive cultivation and afford the labor required to keep the grass neatly scythed. European-style lawns began to take root in America in the mid-1800s after Andrew Jackson Downing recommended expanses of “grass mown into a softness like velvet” as part of a popular gardening treatise he published in 1841. His ideas were later incorporated into the broad lawns of New York’s Central Park and lush, pre-automobile suburbs like Riverside, Illinois, which were aped in subsequent decades by the developers of less exclusive suburbs. “No single feature of a suburban residential community contributes as much to the charm and beauty of the individual home and the locality as well-kept lawns,” declared Abraham Levitt, whose name would become synonymous with the post-war explosion of inexpensive, mass-produced suburbs. In post-war America, lawns became a standard feature of the single-family home.

The cumulative size of lawns is vast. By acreage, turf grass is the largest irrigated crop in America, according to a decade-old NASA estimate, covering three times the area devoted to corn. Clumped together, it would more than cover the state of Mississippi.

Lawns are clustered in cities and suburbs.

Since the non-native grasses that compose most lawns can’t be kept green with rainfall alone, and because water and sunlight make the plant grow, lawns require intensive intervention, sucking up a total of about 9 billion gallons of water per day in aggregate and costing  the average homeowners about 70 hours of labor per year. Lawns tend to be punishing for the environment as well. In addition to the ecological effects of runoff, which can overwhelm water bodies with excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, there’s the act of lawn-mowing itself. According to National Geographic, one hour running a gas mower can pollute as much as driving a car for four hours.

Lawns are particularly troublesome in arid cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas, where it’s a challenge to find enough water for people to drink, much less keep a bunch of ornamental grass verdant. The water crunch in a place like Dallas is less acute, but the principles at play are the same. There isn’t nearly enough available water to sustain the population long-term without intensive conservation efforts or massive infrastructure investment. North Texans remain attached to their lawns, though recent price hikes for water may spur many to reassess the value of a green yard.

There really aren’t that many good reasons for lawns. Responding to a Wonkblog piece describing lawns (accurately) as a “soul-crushing time suck,” Turf magazine editor Ron Hall critiques the author for failing to mention “the economic value that nicely maintained lawns add to properties. It doesn’t hint at the good will and sense of civility lawns engender in our neighborhoods. But, the biggest omission in the piece is its failure to mention the well-documented environmental pluses lawns contribute to our communities — capturing dust, their cooling effect, reducing runoff, etc.”

But nicely maintained lawns only boost property values and engender civility because that’s what decades of increasing suburbanization has led people to expect, not because of some virtue inherent to a well-tended piece of grass. On the latter point, whatever environmental pluses are associated with the typical American lawn would be matched by yards of native plants and grasses without most of the damaging effects.

Lawns aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. They are effectively part of North Texas’ infrastructure, there for however long the house it surrounds stands. But at the very least people can water a little less, rely on native plants a little bit more. If one simply must have the perfect golf-course lawn, at least let some kids play on it. Finally, if you see a lawn that’s a bit overgrown or rough around the edges, don’t call code enforcement; congratulate the neighbor on taking a principled stand with their forward-thinking mowing and irrigation policies.

 

 

50 Things You Need To Know About Artificial Grass

50 Things You Need to Know About Artificial Grass:

 The Many Shapes of Synthetic Grass Blades:

Synthetic grass can be created with so many different colors and various blade heights, however, within the extrusion process, much like the way you would squeeze out playdough with different shapes, there are several types of synthetic grass blade shapes. Each of these blade shapes serves a different purpose and creates a different affect for your lawn.

Turfs that have oval shaped fibers are commonly found in many different landscape installations. These fibers feel soft to the touch while still maintaining durability.

Synthetic turf that features a diamond de-lustered shape maintains a soft but sturdier feel. It works ideally as a landscape grass for commercial and residential areas.

Shaped like the letter ‘V,’ the Vista blade creates a more durable and strong feel and allows for the turf, as a whole, to have stronger durability.

The 3D ‘W’ fiber is a strong fiber that can withstand large amounts of pressure and helps the turf, as a whole, bounce back to its original state. The blade offers multiple support points which allows for greater durability and a “memory” effect. The turf will bounce back to its original state, despite the surface weight.

The Flattened Oval with Spine turf fiber gives turf a realistic appearance and creates a stronger blade core.

The omega blade shape can be found most often in pet turfs as well as shorter pile heights.

The Mini C-shaped blade gives the turf a natural look and helps the synthetic grass feel soft to the touch. This blade shape can be applied on any installation, however, it is most commonly found on residential and commercial property landscapes.

Shaped like the letter ‘W,’ the Mini “W” blade shape creates higher durability, as a whole. Used widely for areas with high foot traffic, the Mini W blade is ideal for any playgrounds, sports field or landscape.

The “M” shaped blade creates more durability making the turf ideal for heavy foot traffic. Used primarily for areas that experience high amounts of foot traffic, the “M” blade is great for landscapes with high amounts of foot traffic.

Spieth Responds To Reactions Of Two Straight Missed Cuts

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 

Spieth


Jordan Spieth
has obviously enjoyed one of the best years ever on the PGA Tour (when taking the major wins and close 2nds into account). Yet, with fame comes the counterpoints when your game suddenly goes south.

At the BMW Championship presser yesterday, Spieth confided his thoughts on how it feels to receive the inevitable immediate backlash after missing two straight cuts (transcribed).

Because the game is so difficult–your game can swiftly come and go–it’s wise of him to put all this in perspective moving forward–because it’s going to happen again.

“Everyone has their opinions, and the hardest thing for me to do is to not react to that and just to say, you know what, two weeks ago everyone said, ‘you’re the best there is, you’re the best in the world, you’re awesome, man,’ not a bad thing said, and then Jason wins — Jason is the best in the world, man, he’s awesome.

“And then Rickie wins. Rickie wasn’t even what you guys were talking about. You guys were talking about me, Rory and Jason. Rickie wins, and all of a sudden people are coming out of their igloos and they’re saying, man, that’s my guy. He’s the best in the world. It’s just what can you do for me now.”

“I’m not aware of the specifics on what Joe sitting on his couch in Montana thinks about my golf game, but I am aware what people thought–it just seems like it’s interesting how it’s a what have you done for me now kind of–when the spotlight is on. I’m that way with sports teams, so why can’t people be that way with me?” 

“The more I can smile and laugh about that and the fact that people are just about — you have true fans, there’s no doubt, and I love true fans and I’m happy to take any bandwagon fans there are for me. It’s just interesting from our point of view seeing what’s published, I guess. You just have to keep your head down, stay focused, and try to be that guy that people are talking about the next week.”

He did good naturedly joke about his missed cuts though as there’s no cut for the BMW this week.

“I’m happy to be checking into my hotel, and when they ask what day I’m checking out, I can say, ‘I’m checking out on Sunday.”

 

 

Spieth Misses 2nd Straight Cut For 1st Time As A Pro

Spieth

Jordan Spieth was absolute money before the FedEx Cup playoffs, posting more wins than MCs. He had a ridiculous lead in money rankings and FedEx points.

However, call it exhaustion after a long stellar season. Or label it as the utter frustration that golf imparts, as when you cruise nicely on autopilot–until you don’t. That said, Spieth sounds definitely bewildered at his recent performances.

Spieth curiously changed irons before missing the first cut at the Barclays. He then switched back but it didn’t help. But his current struggles involve driver, wedges and putting greens. In fact, the widely acknowledged best putter Spieth was ranked 99th (Rory McIlroy was last) in Strokes Gained: Putting after two rounds at the Deutsche Bank.

His 73 in the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship gave him a 2nd straight missed cut–the first time Spieth has done so on the PGA Tour.

“I’ve done a lot of things positively this year,” Spieth said. “This is something I’ve never done that’s negative. Whatever is going on, normally my mental game is a strength of mine. And it’s something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. These past two weeks it was a weakness for me. And I’ve just got to go back and reassess how to remain positive.”

Spieth calls it “self-talk,” and what he seems to be hearing is not what he heard during his fantastic run earlier in the year.

“Sometimes it happens over the course of five holes, sometimes it happens over nine holes,” Spieth said of the negative thoughts. “And the good news is that it can flip the other way very quickly. And that’s what I’m taking out of this.”

“I need to walk with some cockiness in my step these next two tournaments,” Spieth said. “That’s going to be a big stage. I don’t think I have to fix much in my game other than really work hard on my putting into Conway and then mentally I can control that.”

Crazy silver lining: Spieth regained his #1 World Ranking even with the two MCs. That is until Friday, when McIlroy leapfrogs his young counterpart. As always with the OWGR, go figure…

 

Highland Park Will Be Having None of Your Tacky Artificial Grass, Thank You

Highland Park’s city council has decided to ban fake plastic grass from the town’s front yards, a scourge which according to one city official has overtaken at least three (3) properties.

The Morning News reports that council members voted on the new ordinance on Monday. Artificial turf will still be allowed in “side yards and back yards,” though, provided that you obtain a special permit and keep the stuff out of sight.

Andrew Barr, a city council member, told the DMN after the vote that fake grass is “not in keeping with the design and quality of design we want to have in our town.” He added that the decision was made to “address this before it affects the neighbors and the general public.”

Barr also told the paper he’s concerned about increasing “non-permeable surfaces,” which could potentially impact the storm water system, he says. A five-second Google search for “permeable fake grass” turns up any number of fake turf companies that bill their faux-grass as being “100 percent permeable.” Thrillingly, we also discovered that there is an entire Association of Synthetic Grass Installers.

Highland Park development services manager Kirk Smith was quoted in the DMN article as saying there were three properties with artificial grass in town. Only three, really?

“No,” Smith told us just now, a little testily. “I said approximately three.”

Smith also objected strongly to our referring to the new ordinance as a “ban.”

“It’s not banned in the town,” he said. “There are just provisions on where it can and can’t be on the property. It can still be in the side and rear yards.”

Smith said that “inquiries have been received for the last few years” from artificial grass-installers eager to install their artificial grass throughout Highland Park. That, he said, spurred staff discussions on regulating it.

Unlike council member Barr, Smith said, “runoff wasn’t one of the considerations” city staff considered in making their recommendation. They also considered the upsides of fake grass, he said: “The proponent is irrigation water that doesn’t have to be put on the yard, so you’ve got water conservation.”

But ultimately, he added, the decision was made to limit the grass to side and backyards. Why?

“I don’t have an opinion on that,” Smith replied. “I don’t have a direct answer for that. That’s going to be our council’s decisions on where they wanted to see it and didn’t want to see it.”

Although there are approximately three fake grass-havers in town, Smith said, “I don’t know that any exists in the front yards.” If so, he said, “They’re grandfathered in. There’s no provision in the ordinance to make them remove any that’s already installed.”

Highland Park isn’t the first town to ban plastic grass. That honor seemingly belongs to Glendale, California, who outlawed turf in November of last year, citing the “plastic and chemicals” used (but like HP, they still allow it in backyards, where plastic and chemicals don’t count). City officials said they’d press criminal charges against anybody who refused to replace their plastic lawns; in late July, one stubborn holdout was reportedly “two weeks away” from having a case filed against him in L.A. County Superior Court.

Incidentally, if you’re in Highland Park looking for the other kind of fake grass, that’s still illegal too. Without asking them directly, we feel absolutely confident that Highland Park officials would advise you to just go straight for the real thing.

Is Bypassing College To Turn Tour Pro A Prudent Choice?

Connelly -847-vaugnridley
The road to riches and fame is alluring but also a precarious rocky road. In golf, there are no guarantees (outside of some promised sponsor exemptions) as you have to earn your way to the Big Show via mathematical reality.

18-year-old Austin Connelly from Irving, Texas carries dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. He was on the Golf Canada Natioanl Amateur squad and is exempt from the Web.com pre-qualifying stages for its Q-School via making two cuts this year on the PGA Tour.

Committed to the University of Arkansas, Connelly then asked several Tour players–including Jordan Spieth–about their thoughts on going pro immediately.

The result? Goodbye Arkansas. Hello, Mackenzie Tour’s PGA TOUR Canada’s Great Waterway Classic. Anyone heard of the Mackenzie Tour? I surely did not.

Oh, and he coincidentally signed with Spieth’s management company Lagardère Unlimited.

“I knew my path was not going to be by the traditional route. I felt it was time to be a full-time golfer,” Connelly explained. “I feel like my game is already good enough to be out here, it’s just a matter of taking advantage of opportunities.”

He lost in the first round of the U.S. Amateur last week, but said if he had made it to the finals, he would have stayed an amateur in order to participate in the Masters.

“That’s too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said.

“At some of the amateur events, you find yourself bored. It’s such an incredible atmosphere on TOUR and on the amateur circuit sometimes you’re not playing in front of anybody, even though you’re playing these incredible course,” Connelly said. “Once you get a taste of the TOUR, that’s where you want to be.”

There are certainly successful examples of young bucks going pro and bypassing college. The 2014 Euro Ryder Cup team had only one player attend college (Graeme McDowell). But that Tour is far chummier than its PGA Tour counterpart. The competition isn’t as stout either. Danny Lee learned over on the Asian Tour.

Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods at least attended college for a bit. Have fun. Be a kid. And if you consistently beat the other college golfers, then go pro. Which makes you wonder what Jordan suggested to Connelly.

Austin Connelly is a good kid from a great family. And sure, the lure of the Tour is strong and intoxicating. But, there’s plenty of time for him to mature a bit before swimming with the professional sharks. Ty Tryon is the leading example of why you shouldn’t rush it when he infamously attempted to (while receiving millions in endoresments) gain Tour status before burning out in quick fashion.

Hopefully, this kid made the right decision.

 

Written by Rick Arnett, posted on Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Grass Is Always Greener From Texas Turf Solutions

For the last nine years Texas Turf Solutions has been turning muddy dead yards into lush green areas by installing artificial grass. Whether it’s a backyard that has died from lack of water or too much shade, our synthetic turf products transform those yards into a beautiful oasis for our customers.

artificial grass dallas

The transformations are not limited to residential lawn turf jobs, our artificial turf products are great for playgrounds, putting greens and dog kennels whether they are in residential or commercial settings. Artificial grass has come a long ways since the fake grass your grandparents had on their boat dock or the first artificial turf fields. Today’s synthetic grass is so real looking people walk right by without even noticing it’s fake grass. The benefits of an artificial dog turf installation are not more muddy paws and easier clean up. Customers receive the same benefits for playground turf and artificial lawn turf installations with clean dry areas to play even shortly after it rains. Lowering your golf handicap with a backyard putting green is not just great for the golfer, it’s time well spent with family and friends right in your own backyard!

If you are looking to save some time and a lot of water in your yard give us a call today, 214-577-3444.

SGW Turf Now Carries A 15 Year Warranty

warranty-main-pic

 

The industry’s most advanced products now feature the best warranty! As of February 2015, Synthetic Grass Warehouse has increased their 8 year product warranty to a whopping 15 years! The new warranty will cover SGW’s entire TigerTurf and Everlast artificial turf inventory.

“We are actually quite confident that our products will last well beyond the 15 year protection,” said SGW Co-owner Victor Lanfranco. “We’ve always offered the best products, so why not give our customers the best warranty?”

SGW continues to offer the most technologically advanced artificial turf products under renowned American-made artificial grass brand TigerTurf as well as the Everlast synthetic grass brand. For the past 11 years, SGW has been committed to the synthetic turf industry and has ushered in a new era of synthetic grass specifically designed for landscapes. From grass blade shape design to TigerCool technology and U.V. stabilization, SGW products are guaranteed to last!

Between the best products, top notch customer service and same-day shipping, SGW continues to be the nation’s largest synthetic turf distributor as the artificial turf demand increases across North America. A great water-saving landscape alternative as well as a low maintenance option, SGW products continue to revolutionize the industry and thousands of homes, commercial properties, pet parks and sports fields every year!

The updated 15 year warranty can be found here!

Are Golfer’s Swimming In Dough?

Money Ball

The lifestyle of the multi-millionaire, megastar professional athlete. A lifestyle that almost every child dreams about at one point or another. Sure, the real dream is to make that game-winning jump shot as time expires, or haul in that fingertip touchdown catch in the back of the endzone to win the Superbowl, or blast the 450-foot home run into the night sky in front of thousands of people. The crowd goes crazy, you win the game, the confetti pours down, the girls come running, roll credits.

But while you might not think about it as a 9-year-old in your driveway, a few years later, the teenage idolizes the cars and the jewelry and the clothes and the flashy lifestyle of the professional athlete as much as the on-field glory. And, in professional sports, the money flows like a raging river. Baseball has gargantuan, $300-million contracts for its megastars and insane spending trends (without a salary cap); in the NBA, it seems the stars hold the league hostage every summer as they jockey for max, $100+-million contracts; and in football, quarterbacks don’t blink at $20-million seasons, and left tackles get 10-year deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Note: unlike the MLB and NBA, NFL contracts are not fully guaranteed). Heck, the league mandatory minimum salary in all three of those sports is over $420,000, even for a rookie, regardless of how much the player contributes to the team.

Life for the professional golfer is no different. Just last month, Rickie Fowler earned a $1.8 million payday for his win at The PLAYERS Championship. In 14 events this year, Jordan Spieth has earned more than $5.69 million dollars, and sits atop the PGA Tour’s money list (through The Crowne Plaza Invitational). Golfers have multi-million dollar equipment deals, endorsements with high-end apparel companies, and some even have their own logo, brand and clothing line. Professional golfers are rolling in dough, just like the other sports stars … right?

The short answer is both “yes” and “no.” For the top professional golfers in the world, life is very, very good. Maybe not $300-million Albert Pujols good, but very good. It hasn’t always been that way on Tour, but over the last 15-17 years, prize money and endorsement contracts have skyrocketed, thanks, almost entirely, to Nike and Tiger Woods.

In 1991, Corey Pavin led the PGA Tour money list with a whopping $979,000, and the 125th player on the money list (the top 125 players earn their Tour card for the following year) earned less than $120,000. Seven years later, David Duval led the Tour with $2.51 million. Two years after that, in the 2000 season, Tiger Woods won $9.18 million (nine times what Pavin won in 1991), and the 125th-place player, Bob Burns, earned $391,000. This past year, the magic number to keep your Tour card skyrocketed up to $713,000. Even on the Web.com Tour, the leading money winners made over $500,000 last year, up 66 percent in just 15 years. Thanks to Woods, the opportunities for supreme wealth on the PGA Tour has started to rival those in the other major professional sports (not counting the New York Yankees).

But, when we dig a little deeper, cracks begin to appear in the “Pro Golfer Megastar” picture we’ve painted. For even the highest level of player – the certified stars on the PGA Tour like Spieth, Fowler Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and a few dozen others – the words “guaranteed” and “contract” don’t exist when it comes to on-course performance. Nothing is guaranteed for the professional golfer, and even someone such as Spieth or McIlroy can go weeks without making a performance-based paycheck if their game goes south.

Masters champion Trevor Immelman said the best advice he was ever given was to make every one of his starts on Tour count.

“When I first started playing professionally, the best thing anyone ever told me was to strive for absolute consistency. Don’t do anything stupid or silly, and be smart with your time and money. I’ve had my fair share of injuries in my long career…we all know that at any moment the game can be taken away from us.”

Let’s break down the profits and expenses a PGA professional might incur in any given week on Tour. First and foremost, for any professional golfer to make money in a given week, he or she has to make the cut, which usually means being in the top 70 after the second round. All pros outside the top 70 are sent home packing without a dime in prize money, on to the next week and another shot at getting a paycheck.

The 125th player on the PGA Tour’s money list in 2014 was 33-year-old Nicholas Thompson. In 30 events in the 2014 season, he earned $713,377 in prize money in 30 events. However, he only made 12 cuts, meaning that 18 weeks during the year, Thompson incurred all the expenses of a PGA Tour tournament week without making a single penny in prize money.

Every week on any of the Tours, there are three main expenses: paying the caddy, travel and accommodations, and taxes. On the lower Tours/mini tours, local transportation and food may also be larger factors, but the main three remain the same. The last-place player who made the cut at this year’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial made $11,830. But, with his expenses, how much did he really take home?

Right off the top, take about $3,500 for taxes. That number can be higher or lower based on how much the player makes in a year, but 30 percent is a good, general estimate. Then, the player has to pay his caddy. Most caddies are paid a set amount every week, regardless of whether the player makes the cut or not, and then a percentage on top for the weekend (usually 7-10 percent of the gross, depending on the finish). So you are looking at another $2,500 (estimated) to the caddy for making the cut at Colonial.

Then, there is travel. For the player that made the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., the week before Colonial, a Monday or Tuesday flight from Charlotte to the Metroplex was about $500 on American Airlines, especially if the player had to book at the last minute. Then, the player needed a place to stay Tuesday-Sunday (six nights) relatively close to the golf course. Assuming he didn’t want to stay in a roach motel, a safe estimate may be about $100 per night for a room near Colonial.

 

Graph

So, suddenly, without paying any of the regular living expenses – rent/mortgage, electricity, cable, food at home, groceries, etc. – the pro that just barely made the cut at Colonial and earned that $11,830 paycheck is really only taking home about $4,500. That, of course, is still a lot of money to make in a week, but it is a far cry from the millions the top players pull in weekly with a win or a top 5.

“There really isn’t any way around all those expenses,” said PGA Tour veteran and DFW resident Rod Pampling. “Especially for the young guys first coming onto [any professional tour], you have to learn how to live with winging it a bit. You might not know, for a while, when you are going to make your next cut or where your next paycheck will come from.”

One way many pros on the Web.com and PGA Tour are able to supplement their income is through endorsement contracts with equipment manufacturers and apparel companies. The large-scale deals obviously go to the mega-stars – Woods’ $100+ million deal with Nike, the $10 million deal UnderArmour reportedly gave Spieth, Fowler’s deal with PUMA, etc – but there is money to be made for guys much further down the list as well. Unfortunately, it is not always as much as a player might expect, or think he is worth.

A high-level executive at one of the major golf manufacturers put it this way: from the company perspective, endorsement strategies are driven by overall marketing and business strategies. For example, Titleist has long been able to claim the title of “No. 1 ball in golf.” Week in and week out, more players on the PGA and Web.com Tour play Titleist golf balls than any other brand. TaylorMade makes a similar claim with their driver. The question is, how does the company achieve this goal?

Titleist and TaylorMade don’t become tops on Tour by doling out hundreds of multi-million dollar contracts to all the players that play their products. That wouldn’t match their strategy. A company like Titleist wants as many guys to play their ball as possible, and, for the most part, they do not care how highly ranked the player is, or how many FedEx Cup points he has. They just want to be able to say that, after the data is collect during round 1 of a tournament, that Titleist was the most-played ball.

That means doling out $50K here, $10K there, $5K to players, not $100 million. It might cost $8-$10 million a year to get Mickelson or McIlroy or Johnson to play your product; think of how many struggling Tour pros or guys on the Web.com Tour you could get to play your ball (or driver or putter or wedges) with that same $8 million. It is a numbers game. The guys at the top of the mountain still get theirs (or rather, earned theirs), but much of the player pool is reduced to numbers on a spreadsheet, and funds are frugally given out. Free equipment? Yes. Large weekly paydays? Not so likely.

Making a living as a professional golfer is both living the dream and the ultimate grind, and it goes much deeper than just what we see on the PGA Tour ever week. Not only are there hundreds of players competing for one of those 125 spots each year (qualification for PGA tournaments is much more complex than just the top 125 on the previous year’s money list, but we won’t get into that here), but hundreds more competing on the Web.com Tour, the Adams Tour, or overseas in Europe, China, Japan, India, Australia and around Africa. And every one of them is an excellent player.

For Tour veterans like Pampling or 2004 British Open champion Todd Hamilton (also a DFW resident), getting into tournaments, competing and winning is much more difficult than what it once was.

“Making a living playing golf is a lot tougher now,” Pampling said. “The competition is much higher, and it seems the younger guys are much more ready to play. Plus, on top of that, I see major champions in almost every Web.com field. It is that tough.”

Hamilton is quite possibly the poster child for the ups and downs of making a living playing professional golf. After turning professional in 1987, Hamilton spent many years in Asia, playing on the Japanese Tour (talk about travel expenses). Before finally earning a more permanent spot in America, Hamilton won 11 times in Japan over more than a decade, but only earned about $6 million in U.S. dollars. Quite a nice sum, no doubt, but a fraction of what was made on the PGA Tour, even at that time.

Then, in 2004, Hamilton won the Honda Classic and the British Open, and earned more than $3 million on the golf course. His run on the PGA Tour, however, would be short-lived, as he has since not been able to eclipse the $1 million-mark, and is now playing on the Web.com Tour.

The thing about guys like Hamilton and Pampling (and most of the guys on any of the Tours, we’d wager), is that they love their job, if you could even call it that. You can hear it in Hamilton’s voice when he talks, the man loves to play golf. It is what he was born to do. And while it may be a grind, and winning money can be tough, it is still something they all love to do.

So, are all PGA Tour stars living in $10-million dollar homes, flying back and forth across the country in private jets or skating off to wild destination vacations at the drop of a hat? No. Not even close. But all of them are going to keep grinding, keeping fighting to make that paycheck, to keep their card and to keep playing. Because these guys are good. And they love this game.

The Kings Of Artificial Dog Park Turf!

Over the past two months Texas Turf Solutions has installed five dog parks around the state of Texas. They range from 2300 sqft to 5000 sqft and we are about to install another 4000 sqft dog park this week.

Artificial Dog Turf

The artificial dog turf installed in the picture above is in Pflugerville, Tx at an apartment community. The residents will have a very large turf area to let their dogs run and do their business. The greatest part may be that even after a heavy Texas rain storm the turf will be available within 15 minutes and the dogs will not be a muddy mess when they get home.

Artificial Dog Turf

Dog parks installed with artificial grass can be tricky of they aren’t installed correctly. The areas need to drain and the turf needs to be designed to help in the clean up process of the pet waste, or poop. There’s natural odor reducers used industry wide now but the base materials alos need to drain to help in the ‘washing out’ of the turf area.

If you are a pet resort owner, municipality or apartment community owner and need to look at possibly installing artificial grass in your dog park please give us a call, 214.577.3444.