How to install a putting green

So you want to install a putting green in your backyard? But where to start and how hard will it be to do? First, you need to determine if your green is to be natural turf or artificial turf and come back here. Now if you have decided on natural turf follow this link (a great choice, but being a past superintendent I may be a bit biased). If, however, you do want to go with

Surface slopes are very important

While for natural turf we are concentrating on good growing conditions, artificial putting greens are much more similar to hardscapes such as paving stones and patios. Before you install a putting green the base needs to be prepared. Some will have a poured concrete subsurface, while most will simply use compacted stone with screenings or stone dust to finish. Either way there are still some elements they have in common with traditional green construction mostly keeping good positive surface drainage so no water ever puddles on the surface, and lots of areas with slopes (slope is a measure of how steep the hill is by dividing rise by run and multiplying by 100) of no more than 2% to allow for pin placements. It doesn’t hurt to add drainage either below the green if the material under the artificial surface drains (not useful with concrete pads), or around the green to remove the runoff from the green and avoid the surrounds getting soggy.

synthetic putting green on Waterfront backyard
To start you need to excavate your green area to a depth equal to your top layer, whether it be concrete or crushed stone and shape it to your final contour. The choice of top material under your green should be dictated by the requirements of the manufacturer. Even if you have found yourself a used green, contact the manufacturer to find out what they recommend to install a putting green following their guidelines for the specific green you have. There are a myriad of types of greens with different plastics, foam backed or not, sand filled or not, and so on, so for the best information you should try to contact the manufacturer of your green.

Continue to part 2 of How to install a putting green

Not going to build a putting green yourself? Back to Artificial Putting Green

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