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September 19, 2012

Dave Youpa: Use Synthetic Turf for Your Driving Range

Dave Youpa is the PGA director of golf at Industry Hills Golf Club in City of Industry, Calif.

Dave Youpa on the importance of using synthetic turf for your driving range:
I am a firm believer in providing an excellent product with excellent service. At Industry Hills, we have a range to go along with our two championship courses, and we’ve made the switch to synthetic turf in the landing area of our range. Every eight years, you need to re-surface this turf. However, within those eight years there is very little maintenance required for the driving range. The range looks exactly the same everyday, rain or shine. We have the advantage of being located in beautiful Southern California with tremendous views while hitting balls, so it’s become an attraction for players who warm up before a round of golf. Many PGA Professionals and owners of facilities are against fake surfaces and prefer real grass, but I would never go back to that if I were to start another range. The grounds crew that works here can now focus on other parts of the facility, and the range needs little to no upkeep during the day. The golf balls never get worn down or dirty because the surface keeps them clean. Also, there are no marks from our ball pickers because they are not riding over real grass. The synthetic surface drains water extremely well and we’ve never had any issues before. Our range is highly visible and very pleasing to look at, and I think it adds something extra to the golfer’s experience when they come out here.

Dave Youpa on the business impact of using synthetic turf for your driving range:
Every eight years, the new synthetic surface will cost roughly $500,000. This has been a great investment, as we’ve definitely saved money in the long run. Not having to pay the grounds crew to groom the range, or having to pay for the tools to keep it nice and fresh, has made it worth the price. Our range is open 365 days a year and even when it rains outside, people can still hit their balls on the same type of surface each day. Being able to stay open all year round accounts for extra revenue that would not have been captured if our range was in bad condition. We take care of the facility and it leaves a lasting impression on the guests who come out for a day of golf.