July 12, 2020

Youngsters to benefit from synthetic putting green

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JasonLopezF20130507IAFrom The Gleaner

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

After seeing his vision of installing the first synthetic golf putting green in Jamaica, national junior golf coach Jason Lopez is confident that it will lead to improved showings by the country’s youngsters at the annual Caribbean Golf Championship to be staged this year in the Cayman Islands.

“In order to be competitive you have to be good in all aspects of the game, and I was noticing that we were losing out comparatively to the other countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic,” Lopez, who has been head coach of the junior golf team for the past six years, told The Gleaner. “It is not a case where they (junior golfers) didn’t know what to do; they just didn’t have somewhere to practise.

WILL GIVE KIDS THE EDGE

“We have been struggling to beat the top-three islands, so what we are really trying to do is break into the top three and I think we can do it. The synthetic facility, as simple as it seems, will give the kids based in Kingston the edge they need to break into the top three.”

Jamaica will be seeking to send 14 representatives to the July championships, with the bulk of the team to be selected after the staging of this month’s National Amateur Golf Tournament at the Caymans Golf Club between the 23rd and 26th.

The 1,600-sq ft five-hole putting green was laid on the 23rd of last month at the Constant Spring Golf Club by Orlando, Florida-based company Synthetic Turf Solutions, and cost approximate $2.3m. Funds to undertake the venture came from members of the junior golfing community, Jamaica Boilers and Lopez’s company, Swing Solutions.

“It was an expensive initiative to put in place, but the things I don’t have to do anymore are where I save my money over the long term,” Lopez revealed. “This product has a warranty for a decade, but will last forever and I don’t have to fertilise it, weed it plus all those other things you have to do to maintain a real field.

“There is no tangible benefit, as the benefit really for me is the development of the kids’ game.”

The facility is not only accessible to members of the Constant Spring Golf Club or Lopez’s school of golf, which is located right next to the synthetic turf, but the general public is also free to walk in at any time and utilise the area.

“It (synthetic turf) is part of the club, and whether you are a member of the club or not you can come and putt and practise, so really it is for benefit of golf.”

Lopez has also forged a partnership with Synthetic Turf Solutions to lay similar surfaces at hotels, resorts and guest houses that wish to have an additional means of entertainment on their property. One has already been installed at a housing development on the north coast with others in the pipeline.

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For more on this story go to:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130509/sports/sports1.html

 

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