Date: Tue 25 Feb 2020

Spotlight on ... Southwest Greens Construction

5 questions for ... Southwest Greens Construction. The latest in our series of Partner Profiles so you can get to know who our Partners are and what they do.

1. What is Southwest Greens Construction best known for and what does the company do which might not be well known?

SWG started as backyard putting green company in 1996, known for the pro systems putting product, endorsed by the top 50 players in the world. But we are much more. We created a global construction arm based upon industry demand, and tested and created a wide portfolio of synthetic systems. Besides the quality of our systems we are most known for mastering the art of the installation, having an eye for detail for the synthetic product and also respect the traditional methods and quality of golf course construction.

2. What are the biggest challenges Southwest Greens Construction has faced in the last ten years, and how have they been overcome?

We believe the biggest challenge to overcome is the scepticism of golfers on the performance of synthetic systems due to bad experiences from the past; when sports companies didn’t take the golf unit seriously and tennis and hockey systems were installed as golf greens and the installed products ended in failure. We believe we possess “Innovation power” - golf is a niche within the synthetic turf industry so to get people behind it we invested heavily in R&D to improve the systems, so they would become a serious alternative. This has been a great challenge. Investors/venue owners need to have a comfort level to “know” their investment is safe in terms of acceptance by golfers and solid in terms of an ROI. We are the only company that provides a performance warranty on our systems where others hide behind manufacturers’ turf policies.

3. What advice do you have for golf course architects when it comes to selecting Southwest Greens Construction for their projects?

We ask all golf course architects we talk with to do their research and get confident that the solutions we are providing are really good alternatives - ask away as we are transparent and have no secrets. Besides technical solutions this industry is about aesthetics, we are well aware of this, especially in our discussions with architects and designers around the world. We take pride in what we do and what we deliver, to the expectations of the most discerning architect, with the ultimate view towards pleasing the end client being the venue operator / owner. We ask that the architect talks to the right contact person within SWG – we started SWG construction for a reason, there is a difference between a residential putting green or a teeline versus a large-scale golf or driving range project. We also master the project management in terms of scalability and quality demands, and this is something that becomes very important on larger golf course projects.

4. What interesting environmental initiatives have Southwest Greens Construction been involved with, or seen installed, on a golf course?

The environmental benefits are obvious when using synthetic turf systems – water savings, and saving on the use of herbicides and pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. A good example of where the use of synthetics can be both an environmental benefit and an aesthetic improvement is on the driving range. Being able to create any and all features that you would normally see on a top-quality golf course, and using synthetic systems replicating these features on a range floor that is both purposeful and aesthetically beautiful. It gives the golfer every practice option to hit to while staying green and beautiful all year round. In hotter climates there is the added benefit on saving on enormous amounts of water, which makes the concept a no-brainer.

5. What new or recent developments by Southwest Greens Construction should EIGCA members be aware of?

  • Teelines – Has been a chicken and egg story in the industry; low volume, price was high, or low price with bad quality. In our case, we lowered the prices of our quality products taking the risk that volume would come. The strategy is working - we see many 25-30 year old clubs looking for an upgrade on their facilities and having a teeline (our new CHAMPION TEE product is so good natural grass tees with all the maintenance is not needed anymore) versus teemats creates a chic look and is appreciated by the golfers. In 2018 and 2019 alone, 60+ golf clubs did a project with us.
  • Driving range imaginary “fairway and targets” concept, like San Roque, solves many issues as mentioned above. Allows the golfer to practice with purpose in a beautiful setting, while solving so many practical challenges for the golf course maintenance team.
  • The future with ball retrieving robot systems will make this option a no-brainer. We are working with several companies to bring this forward. The idea of having balls picked up by a robot to cut down on the damaging effects of a heavy ball picking machine is a worthwhile innovation. Having this robot also ensures the longevity of the synthetic turf system, further justifying the investment by protecting the system from the negative effects of the heavy machine driving over top of it.
  • Boutique golf courses in the residential unit sales are booming, golf course construction for 1 hole or multiple holes for people to create their “dream backyard” is incremental business for architects. That is our industry at its finest, people want the real thing “playing golf”, in the privacy of their garden or estate. Being able to build a par 3 hole with all the bells and whistles, to practice, but also to enjoy with family and friend.

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