Building my Indoor Putting Green
It’s getting colder in Indiana, and I really wanted a way to practice my putting this offseason. I have REALLY struggled this year, primarily on those 4-6 foot putts I SHOULD be making. It’s caused tons of 3 putts and par saves that could have been. Frustrating part is the rest of my game has been pretty solid, so I wanted to do something about it.
But enough about my game, you’re here for my step by step instructions on the build. I know these get talked about a lot, and everyone always wants to know how to do it themselves. Well here you GO!
If you have some pretty basic tools lying around and are at least a little handy, you can do this no sweat.
Let’s get started with the instructions and I’ll summarize my time and costs at the end. I’m also going to provide links to the exact items I purchased to build this green.
First, let’s talk about my finished product. It is an 8’ x 4’ raised green.. It has real, regulation sized holes/cups on each end (so you get that satisfying drop and sound, not just a little ½” step down). The surface is a remnant from Big Moss Golf. I can also add some break to the putts by adjusting the levelers (we will get to that). Everything besides the putting surface itself, can be purchased from Amazon and Lowes (or Home Depot, Menards, etc…)
8’x4’ ½” Particle Board Underlayment
Qty 6 8’ 2x4’s
Heavy Duty Furniture Levelers
Wood/Decking Screws 2.5” and 1”
Light Duty Spray Adhesive
Miter Saw (something to cut the 2x4’s)
Hole Saw 4 ⅛”
STEP 1: Build the Frame
The nice thing about the dimensions I chose, is that it really limits the amount of cutting you have to do (that was on purpose). You will lay out 2 of the 8’ 2x4’s and these will be the long sides (no cutting needed). Then, you are going to cut 5 45” sections out of the remaining 2x4’s. One thing to remember if you haven’t done much wood working, what they CALL a board is often different than what the actual measurements are. A 2x4 is kind of a generic term. They are actually more like 1.5”x3.5”. So if you do the math, that’s how you come up with the cross beems being cut to 45”, which will give you a total width of 48” or 4ft. Please note, please do you own measurements on this first, and if you are not sure, leave them a touch (⅛”) long, you can always cut more off. It really doesn’t need to be PRECISELY 48” wide, if you are off by ⅛” or whatever, it won’t really matter. It is important, that all your cross beams be the exact same length though. Mine came out really close, are the corners all 100% perfectly square, no, but as long as you are close, it’s not that big of a deal.
Once you have them all cut, lay all the 2x4’s out on a nice flat surface how they will go. Start by connecting both ends. I used 2.5” wood/deck screws, 2 in each end (drill small pilot holes to make the screws go in easier). It is important that the top surface be completely flush with each other. You can sit something thin under one or the other, to level them up while you are screwing them together. The bottom side does not need to be flush to each other, but make sure the top side is. After you get the ends done, move to the middle and repeat that process, one exactly in the middle, then split each end in the middle again.
Once that was done, I sat the particle board on top and walked on it, I noticed a few spots were a little ‘bouncy’, so I decided to put some more braces running through the middle. I can’t tell you the lengths on these, just measure each one and cut them individually. Attach the same way, 2 screws on each end. You should stagger them like my picture, so that you can get the screws in the end. Since I’m a right handed golfer, I staggered them to the side I would be standing on. Make sure none of the cross beams will interfere with where the holes will be.
Again, make sure the top side is completely flush, the bottom side doesn’t really matter.
Step2: Attach the Particle Board Underlayment
This part is pretty simple. Just lay the 8x4 Underlayment on top of your frame. Shift it around til it as square with the frame as you can get it, and attach with some 1” wood screws. I went around the outside and threw 1 in the middle. This holds it in place just fine. Make sure you countersink the screws below the surface, so you don’t have any bumps on the putting surface.
Step3: Cut the Holes
This and installing the cups are probably the trickiest part of the build. You will need to buy a 4 ⅛” hole saw, it’s kind of pricey and this is probably the only time you’ll ever use it, but it’s necessary. Lay the putting carpet out on the underlayment (make sure it is completely flat, with no bumps). Get it positioned exactly how you want it. Since the holes were pre-cut in my putting surface, this helped quite a bit. Once you have it laid out, you can take the hole saw, carefully set in the hole, and just give it a couple quick turns to get the arbor hole started and some scoring of the actual hole. Now remove the carpet so you don’t damage it and cut the holes. This hole saw cut through the underlayment pretty quickly and it was nice and clean. Lay the carpet back on the surface and make sure the holes line up nicely. The holes are slightly smaller than the cups we are putting in, I will explain that in step 4.
Step4: Install the Cups
I was trying to think of the best way to secure the cups, without having to drill holes in them. So I decided to attach them just using pressure. This is why we cut a hole that is slightly smaller than the cups we are installing. This part is a little tedious, you are going to sand the inside of the holes, just to the point that the cups will just start to allow you to force them in the holes you cut. You are going to kind of do this by feel, and it will take some time. It’s very important to not remove too much, otherwise the cups will not stay in place and just fall through. You can use a power sander of some sort if you like, but be careful not to sand too much away. I used a coarse piece of sandpaper and did it by hand. Going around the hole with good old man-power. Check frequently to see how you’re doing, as soon as the cup can start being pushed in a little bit with some force, stop sanding. Now take a piece of scrap 2/4, place it on top of the cup, and start tapping it down with a rubber mallet. Tap until flush w/ the hole you cut (the video below should help visualize this process)
Step5: Install the Furniture Levelers
Why furniture levelers? 2 reasons. The porch I am putting my green on, is not perfectly level, so when I had a putting mat before, I could never have a perfectly straight putt. This allows me to make the surface exactly level, side to side and back to front. ALSO, these levelers are easily adjustable with an allen wrench, so I can add break to my practice putting anytime I want.
These are very easy to install. I placed the 4 levelers, about 10” from each end, on the sides. They have a lip underneath, just put them in place and shoot the 4 provided screws in. Easy Peasy. (If you make your green longer than 8ft, you might want to get 2 sets of these, so you can put another 2 in the middle, it may start to bow when you stand on it if you don’t...at my length of 8ft, it did not). Once installed, you can lay a level on top and adjust the feet, til the surface is nice and level.
Step6: Install a lip
Not necessary, but you’ll probably want a lip, at least behind the holes, so the balls don’t roll off. This you can kind of use your imagination, a piece of molding, small thin piece of wood, I used something I already had laying around. It’s a piece of pvc that is used for window molding. As you can see, it has a lip on each end, so I cut it in ½ and tapped the lip in between the frame and underlayment. You don’t have to do it that way, you can just tack a strip of whatever you like to the edge w/ some small nails. No wrong way to do this, as long as it’s not interfering with the holes.
Step7: Install the putting surface
This should be pretty easy, you already did it once before cutting the holes. Clean the underlayment off good before doing it, get all the dust and dirt off. Then lay the carpet down, get it good and lined up with the holes and edges. You may have some little bumps from the carpet being rolled up, I recommend letting it sit a couple days to completely flatten out (you can put some weight on it too, start in the middle and move outwards, leave whatever you are using on for a couple hours). Once you have it laying perfectly flat, you can apply some spray adhesive. I used something that is pretty light duty, in case I ever need to take the carpet up and reposition it, I could. The carpet will actually stay in place by itself, it has a rubber backing and doesn’t shift when you walk on it, even without adhesive. But you will want to be able to vacuum it from time to time and you don’t want the vacuum to pull it up. Starting at one end, fold the carpet over in half. Spray a light coat of the adhesive on the underlayment, and then lay the carpet back down. Then repeat the process on the other end. Then I just patted around the edges and holes with my hands. I let it dry about 30 min, then ran the vacuum over the surface and it stayed in place perfectly.
CONGRATULATIONS!! YOUR INDOOR PUTTING GREEN IS COMPLETE!!!!
Total Build Time: about 3 hours or so, I did it in the evenings over a couple nights, didn’t keep the exact time.
Total Cost: (I already owned all the tools needed except the hole saw and had screws on hand as well)
A Couple of Notes
Build it where you want to use it if you can. It will be heavy and awkward to move
You can adjust this build to whatever size you want to make it. The only tricky part may be making sure the underlayment is perfectly flush if you have to use more than 1 piece. My build was pretty easy, because I just made it the size you buy the piece in. So it’s one, solid, continuous piece of wood
This is not a commercial for Big Moss, you can use whatever putting surface you want. But I do recommend them highly. Simply go on their contact page and submit a question about buying a remnant. You will most likely be contacted back that day, by the owner Tony. He is a great dude and great to work with. Prices are going to vary from what I bought depending on what he has on hand and what you want
Have them cut the holes for you in the putting carpet. This will save you a lot of trouble and it will no doubt be cleaner than you or I can do it. He did it for a VERY small fee. Well worth it and you can tell him exactly where you want the holes.
I bought a tarp to cover mine while i’m not using it. The last putting carpet I had, my cats used as a wrestling mat and a place to puke up hairballs
With these dimensions, I can comfortably practice up to a 6ft putt and add break to it if I want.
If I think of anything else, I will add to this thread. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Links to the products I used
Hole Saw - Lowes https://www.lowes.com/pd/LENOX-4-1-8-in-Bi-Metal-Arbored-Hole-Saw/1000680193
Furniture Levelers - Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4BUE1P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Cups - Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WHDGBN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2x4’s Lowes https://www.lowes.com/pd/2-x-4-x-8-ft-Whitewood-Stud-Common-1-5-in-x-3-5-in-x-8-ft-Actual/1000074211
Underlayment- Lowes https://www.lowes.com/pd/1-2X48X96-PARTICLEBOARD-UNDERLAYMENT/3010167
Big Moss https://www.bigmoss.com/crm.asp?action=contactus
Adhesive - Lowes