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From Pitch to Putt: Indoor Putting Green Turf Systems Explained

Photo and Installation by SYNLawn Michigan 

It’s easy to see why indoor putting greens are so popular. A relatively easy and affordable at-home DIY project can turn your unused basement space into an indoor putting green paradise.

Indoor putting greens range from top of the line to basic in terms of cost, ease of installation, and performance. Like most things, the more you spend, the greater the reward. While DIY can be tempting, if you’re looking for a high-performance professional level putting green, we recommend working with an experienced putting green installer.

From luxury to economy: the ins and outs of indoor putting green turf systems

Let’s start with the top of the line. If you are looking for a turn-key solution and your budget allows for it, there are luxury brand indoor putting green platforms available. They offer pre-packaged, modular putting green turf systems equipped with modular plastic bases and edges. You put it together like a puzzle and order it in different shapes. This type of system ranges from $800 to $3,000 depending on the size and system chosen. Turf is included and turf infill is not used in these pre-packaged systems.

For a middle of the road option, we recommend installing an indoor turf putting green similarly to how you would install an outdoor system in your backyard. Check out this “how to” video for details!

With this option, you begin building your system at the outer edges, which can be simple 2×4 wooden boards fastened together into a rectangle shape. Use screws to secure the edge together if you’re using wood or composite boards. Nails would work, too, but you’re going to get better results with 2.5 inch or 3 inch screws, depending on the width of the boards.

If you want a more curved look and you’ve got some DIY skills, use composite decking or bender board, which is more flexible. Cut relief joints in the material to get the desired curved edges. You could even stain the wood for a polished effect or leave it untreated for a more rustic look. Another option: use a sander on 2x4s to round the edges and angles for a more polished look! The sky’s the limit with some power tools and basic carpentry experience.

Once you’ve created the outer edges, install turf with a ½ inch pile height. Ensure that you’re installing turf made for putting greens. Most people will glue the turf down to the concrete or floor underneath but others leave it loose and are mindful when stepping or playing on it. As for securing the turf to the frame, most people use a staple gun with stainless steel staples. You could get away with using regular staples as long as this installation is to remain indoors with minimal exposure to moisture (otherwise, the staples will rust).

Now, it’s time to create the hole. Since the turf is ½ inch thick, most DIYers cut the hole in the desired location and let the 1/2 inch drop serve as the “hole” in their indoor putting green turf system. The ball will catch in that hole. It might pop out occasionally, but it will still serve your system well. If a true putting green hole is what you desire, you’ll have to get creative and commit to a more involved installation by raising the full putting green up to allow space for the hole underneath the turf.

Sourcing turf for a mid-priced, DIY indoor putting green system

We recommend purchasing the turf for your indoor putting green from a trusted online turf supplier or check out a more extensive list of turf suppliers and installers on our map here.

Each of these turf suppliers offers products that range in quality. American-made turf is usually of a higher quality than imported turf. Options abound, and you can make your selection to prioritize budget, quality, and/or performance.

All in all, for a putting green that is roughly 300sqft, prepare to spend several hours and around $500-$1,500 if you’re going the DIY, middle-of-the-road route. Price will vary depending upon the size of the green and the quality of the products you choose to install with your turf.

To infill or not to infill?

That is the question, and a very good one, as it pertains to the fate of your new, indoor turf putting green. Oftentimes people do not install turf infill when building indoor putting greens, so as to avoid infill getting outside of the putting green and creating a mess.

Envirofill 30/50 Blend is the desired product for putting green turfs inside or out. While Envirofill has limited migration in all turf applications, a small amount of the coated sand infill will likely still move from your system to indoor flooring with regular use and play.

If the performance of your system is your top priority, consider adding Envirofill for an exceptional playing experience. Just be prepared for light post-tee cleaning of your premier indoor green. It is recommended to install 2lbs per square foot or more for a faster ball roll and the most realistic putting green performance.

And what’s the most basic way to create an indoor turf putting green? Just lay a piece of turf on the floor and cut a hole in it!

We’ve got loads of information on artificial turf putting greens. Check out our resources and get in touch with the Motz team if you have any questions! Change your mind about going the DIY route? Access our Where to Buy Map, to find a local artificial turf installer near you.

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