There are obvious advantages to having natural grass tennis courts: its surface remains cool on hot days, it doesn't produce glare even during bright days etc. Nonetheless, these advantages come at great cost in terms of maintenance as well as mandatory resting periods following times of heavy use. Synthetic turf offers almost similar playing conditions as natural grass, but with lesser needs and disadvantages. Below are some of the advantages the latter offers:
1. Can withstand wet weather
Following heavy rainfall, natural fields must be allowed to rest for water to dry off. Using them in this condition can make the surface muddy, which damages the now-slippery grass and puts the athlete at higher risk of sustaining falls. Sand-filled artificial turfs drain well in wet weather, allowing you the advantage of continued use even during wet weather.
2. Provides player comfort
Synthetic turf doesn't offer as soft a surface as natural grass, but it does give a soft surface for players who prefer playing on soft courts – the advantages in easier maintenance makes the slight difference in softness bearable if you need a grass court. In addition, the synthetic turf may be built with cushion backing or be installed over a cushion mat which provides additional comfort to the player.
3. Ideal for difficult surfaces
Synthetic turf is much easier to install under difficult ground circumstances, such as rooftop courts. There is no need for use of heavy equipment, and materials can be easily carried up. Natural grass courts must be planted on soil and carefully groomed, which can be much harder away from natural ground. Because the laying is loose, it is easier to factor in construction joints for synthetic turfs.
In addition, they can be laid over the existing pavements – whether asphalt or concrete – with sufficient ballast being laid down to prevent turf-lifting. This also allows for renovation of cracked or weathered paved courts to grass courts without incurring huge expenses. All that's needed is to ensure the surface below has been levelled to prevent uneven turf wearing. In case of moisture from the pavement, the turf remains immune to damage of resulting hydrostatic pressure.
4. Is Easy to use and customizable
Synthetic turf provides superior shock absorption/attenuation, so that impact shock is not transferred back to the athlete's body for additional comfort during play. The loose granules on the surface allow for good foot release with no foot-locks. Turf can be adjusted to suit different playing circumstances e.g. quick plays need short, tight-nap piles with sand just under the fibre tips, medium-fast plays can have slightly more open piles while slow plays do best with short piles that have coloured infill above the fibres. As concerns ease of use, it needs no weeding, no pesticides – solving the problem of pesticide runoffs – and no mowing.