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Putting Green Comparison Airfield Systems vs. USGA Methods of Construction

MichaelBeanblog, golf course, Green Roof, natural grass, natural turf, Projects, Sports Field


In a 5 year research project sponsored by the USGA and Airfield Systems, overseen by Kevin McInnis and James Thomas at Texas A&M University.

The AirField Synthetic drainage system for sports field, putting green and other golf applications was shown to provide up to 3 more days of plant available water than a traditional gravel drainage profile.

AirField has been marketing the AirDrain geocell for drainage since 2002. One of the first to understand the dramatic performance of an Airfield System was Tim Peterson with the Arizona Cardinals.

In an NFL Players Association poll, the field at University of Phoenix Stadium has been voted the league’s top playing surface since 2006 and running.

The field was also selected as the league’s best playing surface in a 2008 Sports Illustrated poll among NFLPA.

“We are pleased to see extensive laboratory testing prove what our customers have known all along, AirField drainage helps prevent standing water, missed practices and increases playing time. It also significantly reduces irrigation frequency by up to 40% keeping plant available water in the soil profile.

Said Michael Bean, AirField Systems Director of Sales. “We have enjoyed working with Texas A&M, and having some of the brightest minds in the field of Agronomy document the AirDrain Agronomic Drainage System for Natural Turf’s advantage.”

“Low impact development and sustainable designs will dominate modern construction in the future. AirField Systems has a strong advantage in being 100% post manufactured recycled content. We can ship over 91,000 square feet of AirDrain in one 53′ foot trailer.

AirField only needs 1 truck for an entire sports field and just days to install. A gravel system can save 80-100 truck loads in and out of your site, and weeks for installation,” said Charles Blackwood, President of AirField Systems.

Charles added that “AirField also saves a tremendous amount of water consumption over the life of a field, and also provides water reclamation and reuse capabilities. This helps reduce storm structure usage and dramatically lowers the site development impact of any sports facility or golf course.”

AirField Systems is the premier manufacturer of American made 100% recycled synthetic drainage systems for natural grass and artificial grass sports facilities.

AirField Systems Sports Page 

Kevin Mc Innes – Texas A&M University

Professor of Soil and Environmental Physics in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University. Dr. McInnes teaches the undergraduate and graduate courses in Soil Physics and teaches a graduate course in Environmental Physics. Dr. McInnes has more than 60 referred publications. He has attracted more than $4 million in research funds from State and Federal sources to support his research projects.

Dr. McInnes is a Fellow of both Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. He is a licensed Professional Geo scientist. Prior to being employed by Texas A&M in 1988, Dr McInnes was a Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia. He received his Ph.D. in Agronomy from Kansas State University, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy and Soil Science, respectively, from Washington State University.

Mr. James Thomas

Senior Research Associate with the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences. His professional interests are in the design and use of high sand content root zone mixtures, soil-plant relations, and environmental preconditioning of plant responses. Mr. Thomas has a B.S. in Agronomy from Delaware Valley College of Science & Agriculture, and a M.S. in Plant Physiology from Texas A&M University.

He is President of Thomas Analytical Services, Inc., and President of Thomas Turf Services, Inc. Mr. Thomas is a licensed Professional Soil Scientist, a Certified Nutrient Management Specialist, and a Certified Professional Agronomist. He has co-authored 85 peer reviewed scientific publications and 6 non-refereed publications.

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