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Turf Solutions Group Builds Indoor Practice Facility For Harvard University

Harvard Golf Practice Area before and after photo. This before and after photo shows (on the left) the restricted 2000 sq. foot storage space that was later transformed (on the right) into the Harvard women's and men's teams golf practice area with an innovative design that utilized the limited space, and resulted in chipping and putting areas plus a hitting bay.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (April 7, 2011) – When the nation’s most prestigious academic institution needed to maximize its valuable space, Harvard University turned to Turf Solutions Group (TSG), leaders in recreational land design and development. Faced with a need for an indoor practice facility for its men’s and women’s golf teams, but without the available real estate for a full-size range, Harvard was able to meet its needs thanks to an innovative design from TSG’s John Ehrgott.

Given 2,000 square feet of space in a former storage area, Ehrgott was able to design a practice facility that features an 800-square foot chipping and putting green with realistic contours. The green is framed by a collar of 2-1/4" synthetic rye/bluegrass rough to simulate real chipping conditions and a ½" fairway chipping area to practice tight lies.

The practice area also features a four-station, netted hitting bay that is 20 feet deep and outfitted with a launch monitor, and a putting area used for video analysis and putting mechanics.

"The goal was to maximize the available shot values within the limited space," Ehrgott said. "We wanted to give the Harvard University men’s and women’s golf teams the ability practice various shots from multiple surfaces and lies so they could be better prepared for the early spring events in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA tournament."

Ehrgott continued to say that the unique challenge of this project was to incorporate a putting green and netted hitting bays long enough to use a launch monitor in a 40’ by 50’ space.

The solution was to integrate a nylon putting surface inside the hitting bay that doubles as a flat surface to practice putting mechanics and also as a place to practice chips from tight lies.

"We effectively created three surfaces for chipping in this facility," Ehrgott said. "A thick rough, a Bermuda grass fairway and a Bent grass fairway."

Completed in about a week, the project has been a hit with the Crimson golfers.

"Our players are getting a lot of use out of it," said Fred Schernecker, director of golf at Harvard. "TSG has been very easy to work with. John Ehrgott was very helpful up front with various design options that helped us meet our needs. And once the project went from the design to construction phase, the operations group for TSG did a great job of implementing what we wanted.

"They were flexible, on time and did their best to deliver maximum benefit. TSG was great to work with and did a great job for Harvard University."

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