If you are a keen golfer or just fancy adding some fun to your garden, the idea of installing your own home putting green may have popped into your head on more than one occasion. While the logistics and costs of installing and looking after a natural grass putting green in your garden may have put you off, you may be interested to learn that an artificial grass putting green can be created with greatly reduced maintenance requirements or equipment.
In actual fact, installing your very own putting green is not any more difficult than laying any other type of artificial grass surface. As long as you have an area in the garden large enough to install your green, you are good to go.
The Shape of Your Home Practice Putting Green
When it comes to drawing up home putting green ideas, you will want to design something that resembles the real thing as closely as possible. However, due to the relatively high cost of the golf putting grass, it is even more important to avoid excessive waste or additional cost by keeping in mind that each artificial grass roll is 4m in width. Ideally, design your putting green to 4m or 8m maximum in one direction, the other direction is more flexible, as this can be cut to any length you require. Rarely do you come across a perfectly symmetrical green, so why should yours be? Just look at some of the example artificial putting greens below:
Golf courses are designed to be testing and to challenge the golfer’s ability to manoeuvre the ball around its various obstacles. You will notice that one of the above examples includes a sand bunker as part of its design. Depending on space and budget available, you may choose to add this feature. If you do, it is worth remembering that if you use natural sand for your bunker, you should cover it up when not in use to avoid any nasty surprises left by the neighbour’s cat. Alternatively, white, yellow or blue artificial grass can be used to form easy to maintain features.
Picking the Correct Products
When you have settled on a shape for your home putting green and measured your available space to ensure it will fit, your next step is to choose your surface.
Here at Artificial Lawn Company, we stock top quality artificial grass golf grasses and accessories from the tee to the green via the fairway and surrounds.
We supply top quality Nylon Prograss green golf surfaces which provide stimp speeds of approx. 10 seconds. This is a natural-looking, fast, consistent surface with the high durability only nylon can provide. Cheaper polypropylene surfaces can be supplied if you are on a tighter budget, all of which you can find here.
Marking Out Your DIY Home Putting Green
Once you have the design and materials finalised, it's onto the practical stuff. You can either choose to install your putting green yourself or, assuming you are located in the London and Home Counties area, you can call on our professional team to do it for you. Our installation team work quickly and efficiently, ensuring that all projects are carried out to the highest quality possible.
If you are installing the putting green yourself, you should first mark out the shape of the green. Then, your next step is to prepare the ground, removing any pre-existing lawn by digging roughly 50 - 100mm deep. Grade the green area to achieve the required contours, just remember that our golf surfaces are fast, so don’t make the gradients too steep or the ball will roll off! You will then lay your subbase, ensuring a level, firm distribution – we recommend the use of a granite aggregate mix available from most builders merchants – and top it off with a weed proof membrane to stop any weeds from growing through your surface.
Laying Your Artificial Grass Surface
Once the area has been filled with subbase and fully compacted using a wacker plate, the surface must be raked to remove any ridges or stones before the weed proof membrane installed. When you are happy with your contours and levels, it's time to install your hole cup (or cups) in locations around the green. Consider where to place your holes so they don’t interfere too much with putts across the green. Ideally, the holes should be set in a small amount of sharp sand cement mortar or concrete to prevent movement; though, it's important to keep the top level of concrete below the surface so that the fine granite can be seamlessly levelled around the hole without forming a ridge. The hole cup should be left approximately 5mm proud of the stone level. Now it's time to lay your chosen artificial grass golf surface.
When you have rolled out and covered the green area, overlap any seams by approximately 25mm and roughly cut off the excess around the perimeter as per your home putting green design. At this point, it is a good idea to leave your artificial grass to sit for 12 hours or more, allowing any creases to fall out and letting the grass relax into its natural shape and the contours of the green.
On a larger green, it's likely that you will need more than one roll of grass to cover the putting green – for this, you will require jointing tape and adhesive to neatly join the two strips of turf together. This is installed on the underside of the grass, with the two rolls carefully stuck together. Prior to applying the adhesive, trim off two or three rows of tufts from the edge of each grass roll using a sharp carpet knife. Then, line the grass up so the gap between the two pieces of grass is the same as between all the other rows. Do not place them too tightly together or this will form a small raised ridge. Similarly, do not place them too far apart or a gap will be visible. Ideally, you want perfect seams, so take your time on this section and ensure the seam is virtually invisible. Once you have applied the adhesive to the tape and lined up the edges, use some small diameter nails to pin the grass in place until the adhesive sets off. Make sure to apply some downward pressure to the join whilst it is setting, as this will help ensure good contact between the glue tape and grass backing.
Once the seams are set, relocate the position of your golf holes under the surface and, using the outside edge of the hole as a guide, cut out the surface with a carpet knife to reveal them, making sure the grass finishes slightly above the edge of the cup.
Once the glue has dried after a few hours and given completely dry surface conditions, remove the temporary pins from any seams and partly fill the grass pile with dried silica sand. This should be done as evenly as possible, brushing regularly to get the sand to drop into the base of the grass. This may need repeating several times to get the required amount of sand into the pile. The amount of sand in the pile will affect the rolling speed of the ball, the more sand the faster the surface; though, as you add more sand it will become increasingly visible. Please note that the green surface will become faster with regular use, so it's better to let this happen naturally rather than to fully fill the pile initially and find that the surface is too fast to play on and doesn’t replicate natural grass.
The edges of the green do not need to be physically fixed as the infill sand does most of the job and this allows the surface to slightly change size and shape in heat and cold. But they can be fixed if required by either pinning down with galvanised nails to the base, fixing to pressure-treated timber battens along the perimeter or adhered to another Fringe Grass or concrete edge strip.
See You On the Course
All that is left now is to enjoy your home practice putting green, which we can imagine will make for a popular feature amongst your friends and family. While Artificial Lawn Company can ensure that your green is up to par with the world’s best, you will have to look elsewhere for help with your swing. If we could hit a ball like Rory McIlroy, we wouldn’t be installing artificial grass for a living.
For more information on how to build an outdoor putting green, selecting the best surface for your project or anything else, please get in touch with a member of our team today.