We've been practicing on our SynLawn Dave Pelz putting green for a few weeks now, so we felt it time to provide a review of the product. To our knowledge this is the first detailed independent online review of this product.
We chose this green for our backyard application pretty much site unseen as there are no retailers that have this product on a showroom floor anywhere. We liked the look of the product and felt with Dave Pelz lending his name to the green, it was most likely going to be a quality unit. We also wanted a green that was portable in the event we relocate, we can take it with us. We were only able to find one online review by a gentlemen who said he liked the product, but the holes in the turf did not line up with the holes in the base when he tried to set it up.
The green will be used to review putters, wedges, balls and other short game training aids.
When we got our product, it showed up as a box of panels on a skid and the turf was rolled up and wrapped in a thick plastic. The install of the base was pretty simple and the directions were very clear. However, we ran into problems when we rolled out the carpet and the holes in the turf did not line up with the holes in the base, as was similarly mentioned in the online review we found. If you would like to see the step by step green install click here:
We contacted SynLawn's corporate customer service in early November 2016, left a message stating our issue and asked someone to call us back. We had to follow up wth 5 additional phone messages before we were able to get someone on the phone. When we informed them of our problem and that we read that another customer had a similar issue, the SynLawn rep stated that they had a bad batch of turf that had gone out and that he would need to follow up with the product manager to provide us with a solution.
After about a week, SynLawn got back to us with a solution that involved sending new panels; thus requiring us to purchase a hole saw to cut new holes in the panels. We followed up asking if there were any other solutions as we did not want to disturb the manicured aggregate base beneath the panels. Multiple e-mails and phone calls went unanswered until we made a snide remark on a SynLawn Instagram post. Thankfully, the SynLawn social media person put us in touch with the product manager for the Greenmaker line. When we called the product manager, he was well aware of our issue and apologized for the long chain of events that had transpired and even offered to send us a free chipping mat for all of our trouble.
After all that, the recommendation was to cut the exposed pieces of base module with a hand saw and "glue it" to the exact opposite side of the opening which would make room for the cup to drop into place. We tried to cut the panels, but it was difficult to get a straight cut and the cups ended up fitting poorly, so we relented and ordered new panels and paid $40 for a hole cutting saw that we will never use again. After two weeks the panels still had not shown up so we placed another call and another and another. Finally, 6-weeks later, we got the panels.
Now, if this was a $200 putting green, we wouldn't have protested too much about the additional steps and the jeri-rigging of the base panels, but this is a $3,500 dollar green endorsed by Dave Pelz. We expected a lot better quality control and significantly better customer service than we received as the process dragged out from early November 2016 until the end of March 2017! Oh, and by the way, we never received that chipping mat the product manager said he was going to send to us for our troubles.
The turf has a really nice look with a putting green area and a rough fringe all the way around the green. There is a thick backing on the green that allows water to pass through the green and probably serves as a strong weed block as well.
The base panels are bit of a let down and appear to be styrofoam with some type of rubberized coating. The panels interlock like a puzzle and use plastic dowels to hold them together. During the install, some of the styrofoam on the edge panels that create a transition from the putting surface to the edge of the rough broke off, but that did not seem to affect performance. A question here will be how well will the styrofoam hold up over time in an outdoor application?
While the product's dimensions are listed as 12' x 18' our measurements showed the green to actually be 11'3" x 17' 1" with the putting surface 9'5" x 16' at its widest/longest points. We understand the concept of "rounding," but that's almost a foot smaller in each direction from the listed dimensions?!
We have started to notice some white threads coming loose between the putting surface and the fringe. Hopefully, these are just surface threads and we will not see those two portions of the green separating from each other.
Overall, the green has a great appearance and looks like a professionally installed product. We get tons of positive comments from neighbors and visitors.
Standing on the green gives a very life like green feel, in that it is solid, but has plenty of give to it. It took some time to adjust to the speed and feel of the green after spending so much time indoors with our Big Moss Country Club Green.
The turf is a good bit slower than our Big Moss green laid out on a concrete floor, which is to be expected based on the thickness of the turf of the Greenmaker and its styrofoam base. SynLawn claims the green runs a 10 on the Stimp meter, but it seems a good bit slower. A recent customer review on Lowes.com used an actual stimpmeter on his Greenmaker and claimed rolls of 8.5-8.75, but a bit of the speed probably depends on your set-up.
When putting, the ball seems to hold its line well with a little bit of drift at the cup area when not traveling at a decent speed. We noticed this phenomenan around every hole regardless of the direction and can only attribute it to the tuft of the turf.
Chipping from the fringe saw our first practice shot slam dunk in the hole. The turf accepted chips well, and the ball seemed to roll pretty true all the way to the hole, again, with a bit of trail once it gets to the holes when not moving at a fast enough pace.
The thick fringe around the green is nice to chip off of, but the downside is that you are always chipping up hill due to the slope of the fringe. If you have the space, adding an external chipping mat or platform would add a lot to your practice sessions.
Size: 12' x 18' (Actual Size 11'3" X 17'1") Putting green with 4 pre-cut holes
Turf: Simulated nylon bent grass
Base Panels: Proprietary styrofoam panels with 4 pre-cut holes
Accessories: 4 cups & flags with metal posts and attached ball retrievers
Beautiful outdoor green in a fairly compact package
Can be used for interior or exterior applications
Directions were very clear and set-up was fairly simple
Flag posts and ball retrievers are heavy duty metal
No infill or turf grooming required
Can pack it up and take it with you if you move
Slower and smaller than listed speed and dimensions
Quality control due to the holes in the base & turf not lining up
Quality of base panel compared to competition
Threads coming up between green & fringe create durability concerns
Does the Synlawn Dave Pelz Greenmaker offer game improvement? Anytime you can practice your chipping and putting on a realistic surface you are going to feel more comfortable hitting those same shots out on the course. However, does this product offer quality & value for the money? All of the customer service issues and hassles to get the green set-up aside, we are very disappointed in the discrepancy in actual size and speed of the green as compared to SynLawn's marketing materials. Additionally, the quality just does not match up to the materials used by companies with similar products. SynLawn only offers a 1-year warranty on the turf while many of their competitors offer a 5 or 10-year warranty.
If your looking for a quality DIY backyard green, we would recommend exploring the other available offerings first.
NOTE: The green for this review was purchased by Golf Gear Box.
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