Q&A: Golf Course Superintendent Launches Lawn Painting Business

Dec 03, 2021

A golf course superintendent in Mississippi, Thomas Starr, took his success using turf colorants on the golf course into a side business painting lawns. Starr first became familiar with Endurant turf colorants about three years ago. As the golf course's Bermuda grass turned brown each November, he sought to give players a better surface. 

“Typically by mid-November, after that first hard frost, we lose color,” says Starr. 

With a par 3 fundraising tournament coming up he wanted the course to look its best. 

“We wanted our greens to stand out. We wanted color for this event, not just to be brown and dull,” says Starr. 

After trying other brands, he found their color to be unnatural or even blue. 

“When I found Endurant, the color was unbelievable. It was great!” Starr exclaims. 

This year, he chose to paint fairways and greens with Endurant Flex at the semi private golf course. 

“‘Your greens and fairways look so good through winter. What are y’all doing?’” Starr recounts people asking him. 

“We are always the first ones out of dormancy, even before the higher end courses. Part of it is from keeping higher soil temperatures,” explains Starr. 

Whether using Endurant Flex or Starr's other go-to Endurant colorant choice, a mixture of Endurant Premium and PR (Perennial Rye), the richer tone of the grass attracts some heat for earlier spring time green up to help get the grass out of winter dormancy sooner, he explains.

Why Did You Choose Endurant Turf Colorant?  

After trying other brands, the color of Endurant was superior, says Starr. 

“I fell in love with the color of Endurant while watching the national championship game they had in Miami,” Starr says. 

“They painted the field before the game and the field was just unbelievable,” he exclaims. 

 He describes the color of the Perennial Rye and Premium mixed as “natural with a little glow.” 

When Did You Start the Business Going from the Golf Course Greens to Painting Home Lawns? 

Three years ago, Starr began seeing posts on social media, especially on Instagram

California and Florida are painting grass, partially because they couldn’t fertilize due to regulations and water restrictions. I thought, this is an awesome concept,” says Starr. 

Texas, Arizona and New Mexico are also painting grass for similar reasons. The Northeastern landscapers and golf courses alike are quite familiar as well.

In Mississippi though, he says, people are still likely to throw some overseed down on the hunting plot or front yard. Painting grass is a new concept to many people there who don’t even realize how common it is in sports, golf and increasingly in landscaping in general.

“It’s catching on though,” Starr adds.  

How Have the Results Been in the Lawn Painting Business?

The longevity of Endurant is just as the name implies, says Starr. 

“I painted a church property, Endurant lasted three to four months,” he adds. 

The color stayed true. Several days of rain and nothing changed the color. It made the whole church look better, Starr said. 

“Painting the grass with Endurant brings the color out in everything else around it,” he says. 

Why Paint Grass?

“There are 100 reasons why you would paint grass with Endurant,” says Starr. 

He rattles off several of them, including curb appeal for home sellers and realtors. 

Add seed shortages, fertilizer crisis and water challenges, and any alternatives are needed in lawn care.

“A lot of people missed out on overseed this year. And, if they still want that green color, I can give it to them,” says Starr. 

The other benefits of Endurant that make a lawn painting business successful are the low price and great quality of the Endurant line of landscape colorants for turf, mulch and even trees

“It’s cheaper than overseed. With overseed you pay for the initial application and the following applications, fertilizer and over-watering to get it to germinate. Then, you come back and mow it,” explains Starr. “But with Endurant, it’s completely different. For three to six months you can have the perfect cut yard with the perfect green color without a mower having to come and cut,” he adds.

One or two applications per winter dormant season is often enough to keep grass green. For spring and summer touchups, Endurant TE, the pigment for actively growing grass, can add pops of color. 

“The color of Endurant is second to none,” says Starr.

Find Thomas Starr’s business page, PaintScapes, on IG. Follow Endurant TurfPainting and Geoponics for more turf paint and other landscape tips.