A backyard putting green may seem like a luxury landscaping feature, but avid golfers will surely appreciate how convenient it would be to get out and play their short game without leaving the house.
This could lead to surprising your friends when you take a few hits off your game, and it indeed allows for a way to reduce stress to start or end your day.
You will surely impress the guests at your next social gathering, and it will be a hit when you invite your friends over for a weekend barbecue and some friendly contests.
While this may seem like a feature you would likely see in the backyard landscaping of large landscaped homes, it doesn’t take up much space to include this as part of your home’s outdoor living room.
A more abundant green will probably be more enjoyable and may have more features, such as sand traps, but even a small space can almost instantly transform into a garden green.
First, you need to find the time to practice. Then you need to get to a green where you will finally have the opportunity to hone your skills.
Owning a backyard putting green has countless benefits for avid golfers and beginners alike. It will drastically change your game and allow you to have fun at the same time.
However, you don’t have to be a professional golfer to appreciate the experience of owning your artificial green at home. If you thought a barbecue was attracting neighbors, wait until you have weekly shootings with family and friends.
Nothing brings people closer than fun outdoor activities. Now that the fun of professional putting can be delivered to your back door, everyone can enjoy the fun and challenge of a professional putting green.
Whether you’ve always been a vision for your dream home or struggling to find the time to practice on your busy schedule, a putting green in the backyard can help your landscape and game shine.
There are several ways to add a placement surface to your property. In this guide, we will show you how to build a backyard putting green and what to expect when choosing your green.
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Table of Contents
DIY Backyard Putting Greens
The DIY method is feasible if it is practical, and you like to have control over the result, both in design and budget. DIY doesn’t have to be expensive, but this option will be the one that requires the most labor. If you’re up for the challenge: rent some equipment, call some friends with the promise of your favorite drink, and get ready for a couple of days of landscaping.
The process looks a bit like this:
- Pick an area in your yard and dig your green (about 6-8 “deep, especially important in cold weather areas) plus extra width for fringes and rough edges.
- Fill with heavy gravel as a base for draining water and cover with fine gravel or road dust.
- Level the surface with a plate compactor as you go.
- Cover the area with landscape cloth to prevent weeds from appearing.
- Using a hole finder, drill holes and place the cups.
- Lay the grass and secure the edges and seams with dowels or staples.
- Add fringes or rough edges for short game practice and to mesh with the remaining yard.
- Cut the grass holes with a utility knife.
- Add filler to change green speed and help protect and endure turf from wear and exposure.
Cost of Installation
Several factors go into determining the cost of designing and installing a golf course built with any of the materials, including who you hire, the preparation work required, the complexity of the design, and your geographic location.
If you are installing a small flat green with few features, the initial installation cost will probably be less if you opt for natural grass, but this is not always the case.
However, you don’t have to wait for your synthetic grass to grow.
The cost of building a green in your backyard putting green will vary greatly depending on the size and if you plan on doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor. The green featured in this guide was DIY and cost $2,000.
Flexibility of Location
The health and beauty of natural grass depend on environmental factors, such as soil conditions.
This means that you cannot expect to grow a thriving natural grass lawn in shady areas or on soils that may not have the proper consistency or nutrients.
On the other hand, synthetic grass can be installed almost anywhere, it does not require sun, and it does not depend on things like nitrogen or phosphorous to look better.
This means that you can install your golf course under a shade tree, in a side yard that doesn’t get much sun, or in a section of your yard that doesn’t have good soil.
Backyard golf courses are seldom separated from the rest of the yard by a fence or wall, so if you have a dog, you can be pretty sure it will share your green with him or her.
This could mean that your dog can use your green as a toilet; he will probably play on it and may even try to dig.
A natural lawn will almost always have brown spots in places where dogs urinate even with some frequency.
Your dog may also accidentally lift groups or make holes and splits while running or playing on natural grass.
Your dogs can urinate on artificial grass as much as they want without causing unsightly brown spots, and you won’t have to worry about the heaps of grass that could trip you ruin your practice session.
Synthetic grass can indeed be heated in direct sunlight and particularly hot areas, so if you choose artificial grass, you will want to make sure that your pets have other options of places to hang out on hot days.
When you practice your game on natural grass, you will likely get your shoes dirty, and you will be able to drag dirt, mud, and grass towards your house.
Your children or pets can also track these materials if they play or walk across your green.
Choosing natural grass also means dealing with mud patches after the rain.
This is not a problem with synthetic grass, making it a clear winner when it comes to cleanliness.
Conventional lawns require a lot of support, and natural greens require even more.
Any conventional lawn installation requires regular watering, weeding, fertilizing, aeration, edging, and mowing.
This means there are many products and equipment to buy, hours of maintenance each month, higher water bills, and gasoline or electricity requirements that come with having a natural lawn.
But when you use that grass as green, all of this needs to be taken to the next level to ensure a proper surface for your practice sessions.
Artificial grass is a low maintenance option that requires very little work or water to look its best.
You probably want to rinse it now and then and brush it occasionally to keep the leaves alive, but that’s all it takes to have beautiful grass in your backyard putting green.
Take a look at The Ultimate Guide: How To Properly Clean And Maintain My Artificial Turf to learn how easy it is to keep your lawn looking lush and green.
As mentioned earlier, artificial grass will resist things like pet urine and rough play much better than natural grass.
You also won’t experience the same broken blades or trampled look after your kids or pets have bumped into or played on it.
There will be no dead or bare areas from too much activity.
While all of the above is a problem with conventional turf, perhaps the most important aspect of durability concerning greens is the fact that natural grass will ruin itself over time as the putter repeatedly digs it in grooves.
Now, this does not mean that you are not a great golf player, but you and I know that even the professionals leave some points sometimes.
Those stains on your lawn will never be the same again, even if you carefully replace the cluster.
This will take away that perfect, perfect look you want on a backyard golf green.
An artificial grass green allows you to practice your swing at will without worrying about ruining your grass.
Many golfers prefer natural grass, but you may be surprised at how many PGA professionals endorse synthetic grass and claim it plays like common grass.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is one thing to spend an afternoon on a golf course and quite another to practice your short game in your backyard putting green.
The cost of converting entire fields to fake grass can be prohibitive, which means that many people are still used to playing on natural grass at their favorite country clubs or golf courses.
But this is changing, particularly in drought-stricken areas like Southern California, where more golf program managers are replacing all or part of their greens with manufactured turf.
One of the reasons that clubs and courses are taking this step is because of the progress made in artificial grass, which allows for the right balance.
Also, you can play on a synthetic green at any time.
You don’t have to worry about the mud after the rain or if you had time to cut it that week.
There are defenders on both sides of the fence when it comes to which surface is safest for sports fields and play areas.
You can trust synthetic grass to provide a smooth, even playing surface with no holes, crowds, or splits.
Natural grass is sure to get the grooves mentioned above, and it is very difficult to avoid holes and an uneven surface.
This may be due to normal wear and tear, pets and children playing on it, your lawn’s response to rain and other environmental factors, or simply the way natural grass grows.
Therefore, artificial grass is generally considered a safer option in terms of avoiding tripping hazards and maintaining a smooth surface.
Where the debate comes in is when you run or play active sports on the surface.
Studies have yielded mixed results, with some considering artificial grass to be safer, some finding natural grass to be safer, and others finding that they are quite well suited for safety.
However, practicing your short game doesn’t require running or strenuous activity, so tripping hazards are probably the most relevant concern for backyard putting greens.
Any of these options can be tripping hazards if the under-grass base is not prepared correctly or installed incorrectly.
When properly installed and maintained, synthetic grass provides a smooth and even surface without the stumbling hazards commonly found on natural grass.
Materials Needed to Build Backyard Putting Green
- Putting Surface
- Crushed Stone
- Plastic Edging
- 6” Turf Staples
- Exterior Turf Glue
- Pressure Treated 2×4
How to Build an Backyard Putting Green
It’s every golfer’s dream: a private golf course in their backyard. Being able to go out one night Monday through Friday after a long day at work, on a Saturday morning with a couple of friends, or a Sunday afternoon before another busy week starts hitting some balls would be great for your happiness. , health, and disability.
Even on a budget, there is a way to bring the game of golf home that is at your fingertips. A garden green can achieve the triple crown by improving your short game, changing your mood, and staying in shape.
Plan and Stake out Green
The first thing to do is to stake out your green outline. Outlining allows you to visualize your green before it is done. I used pieces of PVC pipe and brought them to the ground. My grass was on a 15 ‘wide roll, so I knew I wanted to keep a 15’ wide shape for the main body of the green. I measured and staked an area of 15 ‘× 25’ along my front to back. Outside the upper left field, I detached a 10×15 area making a great L shape. I wrapped the rope around the entire set of stakes to mark my work area.
Start by clearing the debris area and cutting small trees, etc. within the staked area. Think about how you want the green to break and form the base of the green from the loom. First, I put in 5 yards of the loom and made my two-tier shape by building the center of my green. I was on a hill.
So the area lent itself to a two-tier descending design back to the front. After each wheelbarrow full of loom pulled and spread, I used a 10×10 manipulation tool to pack up the dirt.
Many people rent gas compactors that probably work much better and faster, but I did it by hand. After the loom closed, I placed a 2 plastic edge around the perimeter of what would become the final shape of the laying surface.
I used three yards to cover the area. Then the sand came in. 3 yards of sand were spread over the area and repeatedly rammed until I got the shape I wanted. The plastic edge stacked around the corner was then the same height as the stone/sand material. I put sand around the Plastic edge for bangs to sit on.
I used three cups on my green. I put them on the crushed stone/sand, leaving the cup just above the surface.
Install Artificial backyard Putting Green
I spread my 15 ‘wide roll on the long way from front to back. The L shape to one side was placed from the factory edge to the factory edge. I used 6″ grass staples around the edges and nailed the green to the plastic edge. From the looks of it, I used the fabric that was on the side of the lawn to tie the two pieces together. Many people use sewing tape, a vinyl tape under the grass.
I used exterior carpet glue and some gorilla glue right on the seam of the factory edge fabric on the lawn to glue it on. Pieces of scrap wood and dumbbells kept the appearance low overnight as it settled. I thought of 2 ‘of “fringes” around the entire perimeter. I cut strips 15 ‘long and 2’ wide and placed them around the edges of the green, cutting them into shape. I made some rounded cuts to give it a somewhat natural look. The strip was extended just above the edge of the green and stapled with 6″ grass staples.
Install Perimeter Lighting
I already have 12v landscape lighting in the yard, so I ran an alignment and around the perimeter of the green. I picked up a bit more of the tail lights (Hampton Bay reservoir) and put 6 around the green. I installed a couple of 12v bulbs on a tree to throw some light on the tops.
Install Tee box
I built a 6×4 tea box out of 2×4 pressure-treated wood. I built a box frame, stained and pinched it, sat it where I wanted it 30 yards across the yard, and filled it with crushed stone and sand. I used a scrap piece of the fringe material to cover the top and staple it in place.
I used a 1″ piece of EMT tube and spray painted it brown. Cut, stain, and paint a piece of plywood, screw a block to the bottom, drill a hole in the pipe-sized block, and comfortably set the table in place. Cheap and easy way to create a place to have a drink/rest your sticks or lint bag.
Done Building Your DIY Putting Green? Time To Practice!
A backyard putting green is just a nice patch of grass or lawn if you don’t use it effectively to practice and improve your putting.
Without tools specifically designed to help you focus on the minute details of your shot and the impact of your putter on the ball, it can be tricky, even with a home green, to get rid of yips and cut down on your three-putts.