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You may have had an inkling, but in case you didn’t know, anyone who golfs secretly wishes they had a putting green in their backyard. Even casual golfers who only go to the course once in a blue moon have considered the idea at one time or another. And why wouldn’t they? The ability to practice putting at home provides you with the convenient opportunity to improve your short game, keeps you in shape, and relieves stress too — a win-win all around.
At Motz, our team is here to help you with the finer points of achieving every golfer’s dream. So for this blog, we rounded up Shaun Garrity, one of our infill experts in Sports and Landscape Artificial Turf, and Chairman of the Board of the Synthetic Turf Council, to provide you with five expert tips for installing a putting green at home. Get ready to start creating golf memories with your family and friends right in your own backyard!
In order to create a sustainable putting surface at home, we recommend working with an installation team that has plenty of experience and industry knowledge. How will you know the installer is right for the job? An experienced installer will have an installation process that begins well before breaking ground.
When exploring quotes from potential installers, be sure to look for a team that offers you guidance with regard to choosing the right location on your property for the putting green to thrive. Specifically, they’ll make their recommendations based upon the following five logistical factors. These factors will help you determine if a home putting green is a good investment based on the time, cost, and location.
Also keep in mind that you’ll want to find an installer to create the style of green that you’re looking for based on the unique elements and space of your backyard. The right installer will be able to create a green that will not only help you improve your game, but will work with the terrain to make sure there are no drainage or mold issues in the future.
Constructing and installing a dream putting green is dependent on a few things: the five factors we mentioned above, the vision for the green, and of course, the needs of the golfer. Your chosen installer will work with you to provide the knowledge you need to create a customized backyard putting green that won’t break the bank, fits your home, and fits your golf skill level too. So before you get the process started, make sure you communicate your golf goals with your installer so you have a putting green that matches your skill level and your vision.
A key part of this step is communicating your level of golf experience. Making sure your installer clearly understands your style and skill level helps them create a putting green that fits a space and a course that meets your specific needs. These needs can include anything from improving your golf game or providing fun at-home entertainment (and anything in between). For example, some people want a green that would be ideal for ball roll. If that sounds like you, we would recommend hiring an installer with design experience. Others prefer to create a course that mimics a Masters Golf Tournament, complete with angles and hills, etc. And some simply want a piece of turf to putt a ball on and improve their short game. The installer will also take into account how they can create a sustainable putting surface in your backyard based on these goals as well as expert logistics.
Set up an in-person meeting with an installer in your area to discuss your wants and needs. Your installer will help you make sure you’re getting the best products to create a smooth surface, ensure a proper location, prepare for drainage, and give you maintenance instructions. Here are 5 Questions You Want to Ask Your Installer Company or check out our free webinar on “What You Need to Know Before Installing a Putting Green.”
Another important element to discuss with your installer is turf type. The right type of turf is important for the longevity of your putting green and improving your golf game.
Skill level, maintenance, speed of the turf surface, and price are all factors when shopping for a putting green. And, while a low price is certainly appealing, it’s important to remember that turf type and infill will impact both your golf game as well as the long-term performance of your green. Since the performance of your putting green is affected by both the weight and material of your synthetic turf, you’ll want to choose the best quality you can get within your budget.
There are several common turf options that your installer may recommend that offer longevity and performance benefits without breaking the bank. Of those, the two most popular turf options are 1) dense half-inch short pile turf, for which we recommend using Envirofill 30/50 infill product, and 2) a sand-filled green top dressed with 16/30 Envirofill (which is especially helpful if you are a scratch golfer). Be sure to ask your installer if either of these options are beneficial for your backyard putting green project.
Drainage is important because it impacts the availability and health of your putting green. The better your drainage plan is on your green, the less time you’ll need to put into maintaining your green. In other words, a well-drained putting green means you will have convenient, near-instant access to practicing your short game even after a heavy rain.
Drainage removes excess water from your putting green. Your installer will be able to create a plan to protect your putting green and backyard from flooding or drainage issues. Having a drainage plan will also help you know the best spot to install your backyard putting green and prepare for all weather conditions. We encourage you to ask your installer about their recommendation for a drainage plan while you’re still in stage one of researching your installer options.
Infill is a key element to installing a backyard putting green as it helps to weigh down turf and spread turf fibers apart to keep the turf surface consistent. Here at Motz, we provide a unique infill product, Envirofill, that we love and recommend for a whole host of reasons.
Envirofill is a coated sand infill credited with providing consistent performance, which is crucial for those looking to perfect their golf game. It is 100% reusable, and is infused with Microban technology to protect against bacteria, stains, and odors. Mold can be a common concern because putting green turf fibers are closely-packed together, but Envirofill helps prevent this from happening.
We also recommend Envirofill due to the smaller sieve size, which fits down into the dense turf better. Raw sand should not be used since it will change the color of your putting green, speed up the ball, and eventually make your green stiffer from compacting. For more information on infill check out a homeowner putting green review or Raw Sand verse Envirofill.