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An indoor putting green that’s like the real thing

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There’s nothing golfers enjoy more than perfectly manicured putting greens.

You know the ones — the silky smooth surfaces that are usually reserved for pros and top private clubs.

But no matter what course a golfer plays, his or her greens are never pristine year round. Maintenance and climate take a toll on even the best natural greens.

Yes, synthetic putting greens have improved significantly in the last decade, but the ones that most closely mimic real greens are complicated to install and require constant maintenance. Well, not all of them, actually.

Meet “The Only Green,” a standalone, no-maintenance indoor putting green that allows golfers to raise individual parts of the green’s surface to create different combinations of breaks. Its 4-foot-by-20-foot green has 3 million different break configurations, which means a golfer could putt on a slightly different green every day for about 8200 years.

Tim Ummel, co-founder and managing partner of The Golf Tank, the company that owns The Only Green, says the secret to the product is its special construction that not only allows golfers to quickly and easily create putts with different combinations of breaks — its proprietary surface allows the ball to roll in a way that’s indistinguishable from the best greens in the world.

Ummel and Golf Tank partner Mike Helfrich are golf industry veterans — Ummel has spent 20 years in various golf businesses, while Helfrich was one of the original employees of HotStix, a Scottsdale-based custom club fitting facility.

Their deep rolodex of industry connections led them to form The Golf Tank in July 2012, which was inspired by the ABC reality TV show “Shark Tank.” The Shark Tank features a panel of entrepreneurs, headlined by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who invest in the products and businesses of other entrepreneurs.

Like Shark Tank, Ummel said The Golf Tank plans to invest in ideas and companies where they see growth potential. The Only Green, for example, ranges in price from $3,295 to more than $10,000, which differentiates it from other indoor putting greens.

“We know how to market to those kind of customers, Ummel said. “We’re also looking for equipment that everyone has got to have . . . products like the Olimar Trimetal that completely revolutionized things.”

The company’s first order of business was purchasing a company called “Dream Green,” which was the The Only Green’s old name. Dream Green inventor Rocklin Duffy actually began making his high-end indoor putting greens in 1989. But he was the only one making the greens, so production took seven to nine weeks. That meant that Dream Greens were largely a secret in the golf world.

In September 2012, The Golf Tank officially purchased Dream Green from Duffy, 67, and his wife Lisa. The founders then spent four months creating tooling that kept the greens the same, but allowed them to be produced much faster — in about seven days.

The Only Green launched in January and is sold out of The Golf Tank’s 4000-square-foot Scottsdale-based headquarters, a discreet facility located nearby the Scottsdale Air Center. It’s is available in four different sizes that take their names from famous golf architects: The Ross (2×8), The Old Tom (3×12), The MacDonald (4×12), The Tillinghast (4×16) and The MacKenzie (4×20).

The 2-foot-by-8-foot model will set golfers back $3,295 with a hard maple or ash wood base, while darker natural woods such as cherry, walnut, hickory and bubinga cost $200 more. The MacKenzie, the largest model, has a starting price of $9995. For all the models, custom lengths, headboards and enamel paint logos are available for additional charges as well.

Ummel said that he is pleased with sales of The Only Green so far, and has interested buyers that range from homeowners who want one unit to high-end department stores that are looking to purchase several hundred units to put in the men’s sections of their department stores.

Check out the photos below we shot of The Only Green at The Golf Tank’s headquarters.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. David Lindholm

    Feb 27, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Still have found nothing that compares to Big Moss Golf greens. Have had mine for 8 years and no tracking, great product…does not cost thousands of dollars.

  2. Vitor

    Feb 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    What are those numbered marks for?

  3. Couples fan

    Feb 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    That’s really nice, but when u start talking prices like that, def not in my budget for a practice green. I think I would get a membership at a nice private club and do my practice there. But you can’t have beautiful weather everywhere, so I can understand why some would want.

    Just my opinion….

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Bubba Watson’s Winning WITB: 2018 Travelers Championship

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 degrees, at 7.6 degrees)
Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Pink X-Flex
Length: 44.5 inches (tipped 0.5 inches)

Fairway Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees, at 13.2 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2X
Length: 42 inches, tipped at 1.5 inches
Swing Weight: D3

Irons: Ping iBlade (2 iron), Ping S55 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Length: +0.25 inches (2 iron), +0.5 inches (4-PW)

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12 SS, 56-12 SS, 60-06 TS)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Length: +0.5 inches

Putter: Ping PLD Anser (Blast Finish)
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 34.25 inches, 4.5 degrees, 68.5 degrees
Weight: 340 grams

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Bubba plays the Ping Grips made by Golf Pride, and he uses 12 wraps of tape under his lower hand and 10 wraps of tape under his top hand in all clubs except his lob wedge. Lob wedge is 13 (lower hand) and 11 wraps (upper hand).

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Discussion: See more photos and discussion here

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Equipment

Bettinardi unveils new BB1 F Summer Lovin’ putter

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Bettinardi unveiled a new addition to The Hive at its Summer Social last night, and it’ll have you pining for the days of a certain festival on Max Yasgur’s farm.

The BB1 Flow Summer Lovin’ putter is a new creation from Robert J. Bettinardi that features the company’s first-ever stainless steel tie-dye PVD pocket insert.

Here are the specs for this truly groovy golf club.

  • Material: 303 Stainless Steel
  • Insert: 303 Stainless Steel Tie Dye PVD
  • Face Milling: Micro Honeycomb
  • Weight: 358 grams
  • Finish: Tour Blast
  • Lie: 70°
  • Loft:
  • Toe Hang: 3/4
  • Grip: Orange Lamkin

The BB1 Flow Summer Lovin’ will be available through The Hive and Bettinardi specialty dealers on Thursday, June 28th for $750.

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Kenny Perry WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 US Open (6/12/2018).

Driver: Vertical Groove (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 60 Tour X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 7X

5 Wood: TaylorMade M4 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 7TX

Hybrid: Exotix CBX (19 degrees), Adams Idea a12 (17 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95x Hybrid

Irons: TaylorMade r7 (4-PW)
Shaft: KBS Tour

Wedges: Cleveland RTX-3 (54-14), TaylorMade MG Hi-Toe (60), Hopkins Golf (64)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T T5W
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistol

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Perry’s clubs. 

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