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Collins Turf Division is a family-owned, professional synthetic turf installation company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Customers include golf courses, universities, playgrounds, retirement communities, resorts, professional athletes, golfers and homeowners. Collins Turf has been leading the industry locally and regionally designing and installing top quality turf for the most demanding applications.  More information and photos can be found at www.collinsturf.com.


G.O.A.L.S. Lacrosse Field

Sure, baseball is known as “America’s pastime,” but did you know lacrosse is one of North America’s oldest sports? First played as early as the 12th century, lacrosse was invented by Native Americans of the United States and Canada. Originally, the team sport was played for many reasons; for religious rituals, to resolve conflicts, heal the sick and strengthen men in preparation for war. Now, lacrosse is a wildly popular sport among youth and high school and college-aged kids with both males and females.

In Florida, lacrosse continues to grow. Unfortunately, the game is traditionally played on outdoor fields and notorious Florida thunderstorms (combined with hot, humid weather) make for a muddy mess. A few schools and indoor sports facilities are changing the way we look at the game. That’s why David Ott, the Panthers lacrosse coach at Allen D. Nease High School, opened G.O.A.L.S., the county’s first indoor sports facility. The acronym stands for Growing Outstanding Athletes in Lacrosse and Soccer.

The turf, installed by Collin’s Turf Division of Jacksonville, will host a variety of events including dodgeball, soccer, flag football and box lacrosse – a six-on-six format that is supposed to be good for stick control. Ben Collins, owner of Collins Turf, met with Ott to discuss options for the indoor turf. “He was hoping to avoid the use of the recycled tire infill that some local outdoor fields have because of its tendency to migrate to the top and be messy,” explains Collins. “He was also looking for a durable turf that would withstand the rigorous usage of a commercial facility. After reviewing dozens of turfs, we decided upon a bowform monofilament with thatch sub-layer for a resilient spring feeling underfoot.”

Collins also had the factory add on a 5-millimeter foam backing to replace the bounce that was lost from the elimination of the rubber infill and the field was glued down with a high-quality adhesive to keep it in place for years to come. “The part that made me happiest with this installation is that we were able to provide the customer with a turf that is 2.5 times more durable than the competitors turf,” he says. “And we were $12,000 cheaper on the pricing.”  

Learn more about the G.O.A.L.S. facility at goalsindoor.com.


Dueling Bocce Courts

According to bocce.org, throwing balls toward a target is the oldest game known to mankind. As early as 5000 B.C., the Egyptians played a form of bocce with polished rocks. Around 800 B.C., the game made its way to Greece who then taught it to the Romans. The word bocce derives from the Latin word bottia, meaning boss. The game grew rapidly throughout Europe and then spread to America. Supposedly George Washington even built a court at Mount Vernon in the 1780s.

A few hundred years later, the game of bocce, thought still not an Olympic sport, has been sprouting up around Northeast Florida. Here is a picture of two 12x90-foot bocce courts at the Summerland Hall Amenity Center at the Del Webb Sweetwater community, a community for active adults age 55 and older in Jacksonville. Ben Collins, owner of Collins Turf Division, explains that the two courts, situated along the community pool, allows for simultaneous play for tournaments.


The Many Faces of Artificial Turf

Artificial turf is a surface manufactured from synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or normally played on grass. It’s now becoming more popular for residential uses like landscape, playgrounds and pet areas. The benefits of artificial turf are aplenty; it resists heavy use (i.e. in sports) and requires no irrigation or trimming.

Historically, a man named David Chaney – who moved to Raleigh, N.C. in 1960 and later served as dean of the North Carolina State University College of Textiles – headed the team of Research Triangle Park researchers who created the first notable artificial turf. That accomplishment led Sports Illustrated to declare Chaney as the man “responsible for indoor major league baseball and millions of welcome mats.”

Over the past 50 years, turf has become a popular staple in indoor and outdoor stadiums for sports like baseball, football, field hockey, lacrosse and tennis. It is also used for putting greens, miniature golf, Bocce courts, playgrounds and residentially as landscape and pet areas. Here are some of the many faces of artificial turf:  

Putting Greens: Nylon putting greens and polypropylene putting greens have made radical advancements in the last decade. Artificial turf is also used for teelines, chipping and driving mats, sand bunkers, target greens, modular greens and backyard putting greens.

Bocce Courts: A game of skill and patience, Bocce is a family-friendly game hailing from Italy. Various forms of Bocce courts like synthetic turf bocce, granite dust and Har-Tru along with croquet courts are popular backyard additions.

Landscape: Since the early ‘90s, the use of turf has increased in residential and commercial landscapes. This trend has been driven by the dramatic improvement in the quality and variety of available synthetic grasses, thus reducing the cost of maintenance and care compared to natural grass. It is also a significant water conservation measure in arid areas like Arizona and Nevada where water usage is a major concern.

Playgrounds: Artificial grass has become a popular replacement for mulch and gravel in playgrounds and schoolyards. It’s easy to maintain, stays clean and in many cases, a crumb rubber in-fill is used for cushioning.  

Pet Areas: High traffic indoor and outdoor areas such as pet runs are also becoming popular uses for artificial grass. Pet facilities are jumping on board because artificial grass is clean, low maintenance and safe from dog wear and tear.

Sport Surfaces: Synthetic sport surfaces are desirable for use in indoor areas, batting cages, outdoor stadiums, multi-purpose fields and training facilities. A wide range of sports like tennis, lacrosse, football, baseball and field hockey all use artificial grass. 


New Synthetic Turf Court in Jacksonville Community

Fleet Landing in Jacksonville, FL now has a synthetic turf croquet court that is the first of its kind worldwide. Greg Wietz of Turf Evolutions hired Collins Turf Division to install the 10,000-sq-feet of nylon synthetic turf over a permeable concrete sub-base.

The court features two mini croquet areas, a full size court, and an area dedicated to those that enjoy lawn bowling. All of the wickets required very precise cutting in, and plugs were also crafted so that the unused mini courts would stay invisible to the players.


Turf Glossary

Abrasion: the damage caused by aggressive grooming equipment, heavy traffic with inappropriate footwear, improper vehicle traffic or infill materials that “irritate” or wear the yarn fiber surfaces. i.e. the reason cleats are mandatory garb for lacrosse, football, soccer, etc.

Anti-microbial: yarn or surface materials chemically treated to reduce the growth of common elements. Additives treat specific challenges such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew.

Anti-static: the ability of the fibers to disperse electrostatic charges and reduce the build-up of static electricity.

Backings: the materials that make up the underside of finished turf. The primary backing anchors the pile yarns, while the secondary backing provides extra dimensional stability and locks in the stitches.

Base materials: material that is used to construct the foundation over existing sub-base like native soil and under the final installation of synthetic surface material. May be made of gravel, mine rock, compactable aggregates and road base.

Cover: the degree to which the backing is concealed by the face yarn.

Dimensional stability: refers to the ability of the finished turf surfaces to retain its original size and shape.

Dry hand: the feel of the turf is dry to the touch.

Fiber: the fundamental component of turf. Turf fibers are made from nylon, polypropylene or polyethylene, colorants, stabilizers and other enhancements to provide features such as low-slip, UV protection, anti-static, anti-microbial in nature.

Flexural strength: the amount of bend or flex something exhibits against pressure.

Float: to float materials is to gently and smoothly spread them across the installation site. The objective is to leave the surface without ruts, bumps or bumps in the surface.

Glue down: the need to glue the turf materials to the flooring. Adhesives are selected for indoor or outdoor use, moisture, temperature variables, flooring and turf backing materials.

Hard edges: perimeter edges of a synthetic grass installation project that touch elements that will not or cannot move i.e. walkways, driveways, walls, patios, fences, buildings, foundations. The synthetic grass must be hand-trimmed to these edges.

Nylon: the primary product in a synthetic polyamide family widely used as a turf face yard in either BCF or staple yarn form.

Perforations: holes drilled or heat-punched into the backing of some synthetic turf materials. The perforations provide relief for watershed through the surfaces to accommodate percolation.

Permeable: how much liquid the surface will allow to flow through itself. Can be determined by a percolation test.

Pile: the visible surface of a finished product, often called the face or nap of the turf.

Polypropylene: synthetic, thermoplastic polymer used for molded items, sheets, films and fibers.

Relief cuts: cuts made into synthetic grass materials that will help alleviate any tension in the turf while positioning it and trimming it against hardedges that are curved or odd shaped.

Resilience: the capability of the turf to bounce back to its original appearance after being used.

Swale: typically used as an open channel to direct water runoff from rain and watershed.

Tuft bind: force required to pull a tufted blade out of the backing.