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?

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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.

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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.