Amid years-long drought, some homeowners giving artificial turf a look

Scottsdale homeowner Luke Rosenberg said he was skeptical at first about installing an artificial turf putting green for his children.

“I’m actually a big believer in real turf for playing on the grass,” he said. “Artificial turf was just going to be too hot for the kids to be running around barefoot.”

Nick Miller, residential sales manager for U.S. Grass and Greens, which installed Rosenberg’s putting green, said the lingering drought and stories out of water-starved California have more people looking at alternatives to real turf.

“People are becoming a lot more aware of their water usage,” he said.

Tempe is among cities that have made artificial turf part of rebate programs for replacing natural grass, though Pete Smith, Tempe’s water conservation coordinator called xeriscaping a better alternative because artificial turf can get hot in the sun.

“So just a standard property in Tempe doing a front and back could probably qualify for about $1,500 in credit,” Smith said.