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Indoor putting green surfaces | UPDATE with review

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Here's something I think we all know: artificial putting green surfaces can be really expensive. And cheap alternatives are often cheap in every sense of the word.

 

So I thought I'd start a thread in which we can offer any insight on cheaper alternatives for surfaces that actually work. Again, I know that BirdieBall makes a great turf. But my green is 6x11: at best, I'm looking at over $250 for a surface there (with the discount code that is advertised on our site). Big Moss is even pricier.

 

My green right now is currently covered in this: https://www.amazon.com/Putt-Bout-Putting-11-Feet-Green/dp/B00HXAJ4VQ/

 

It's basically a thick green felt. There are no individual blades of grass. For that reason, even on a soft surface (mine lies on top of one of those foam interlocking mats), it is really quick for putting. Considering that I play nearly all of my rounds at a very inexpensive public course, it is likely too fast for meaningful practice.

 

The one I'm looking at now is here: https://megagrass.com/collections/golf-courses-and-putting-greens

 

I'm looking at the Premiere, which is their lowest level turf. With a new customer discount, it would cost me about $120 shipped. My biggest concern is that, on the website, they are obviously using the exact same picture for all three grades of their putting surface. I'd like to see an actual picture of the differences.

 

Anyone have any experience with this brand? Or has anyone else found another competitor that fits in the middle ground between felt and BirdieBall?

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I have actually looked into designing a setup like you currently have except I was going to use a direction nap velvet to get the same effect as a roll board. The idea was to get the benefits of a roll board but be able to practice starting lines (and possibly AimPoint) easier by getting feedback directly from the surface. What I was able to find is that you need a decently soft pad underneath to provide a speed closer to what you are looking for.

 

Also I can actually see a difference in pictures between the premiere and Platinum and the difference is purely turf blade length  

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I have actually looked into designing a setup like you currently have except I was going to use a direction nap velvet to get the same effect as a roll board. The idea was to get the benefits of a roll board but be able to practice starting lines (and possibly AimPoint) easier by getting feedback directly from the surface. What I was able to find is that you need a decently soft pad underneath to provide a speed closer to what you are looking for.

 

Also I can actually see a difference in pictures between the premiere and Platinum and the difference is purely turf blade length  

 

Yeah, after I posted, I went back and checked the pictures and noticed that Platinum did have a different picture. I think that Premiere and Pro are the same photo.

 

I really find your idea fascinating for making the surface have the roll board functionality. In my case, I have a couple of young boys also using my green, sometimes as a green, other times as a place to drive their toy trucks. Not sure that that kind of surface is good for that kind of usage :)

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Yeah, after I posted, I went back and checked the pictures and noticed that Platinum did have a different picture. I think that Premiere and Pro are the same photo.

 

I really find your idea fascinating for making the surface have the roll board functionality. In my case, I have a couple of young boys also using my green, sometimes as a green, other times as a place to drive their toy trucks. Not sure that that kind of surface is good for that kind of usage :)

Yea maybe not the best for that usage. You could possibly bond it to the backside of the turf surface so that you could just flip the surface to fit both use cases. 

 

But that might be too much effort  :P

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Reading this reminded me of an older MGS post at: https://mygolfspy.com/best-indoor-putting-greens/

 

The article mentions that the Provoto Advantage uses billiard fabric. You could order that off Amazon but it seems like that would be rolling even faster than what you have now.

Not sure if any of the comments at the end of the article are helpful to you?

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I have a birdie balls putting surface on my christmas list, I believe they have 3 different speeds to pick from as well when you are configuring the product. Not sure if its exactly what you are looking for but I have heard nothing but good things about them. 

 

LINK: https://www.birdieball.com/putting-greens-1/

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I know the Birdie Ball/Big Moss argument is sort of like the Coke/Pepsi wars of 70's & 80's and there are staunch supporters on both sides. For me, having played both surfaces I'd choose Big Moss 10 out of 10 times! Of course were I a wealthy man I'd probably have a big Tour Links green.

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An update: I was tooling around Amazon last night, and found that the seller I listed above (MegaGrass) also sells some of their product there. What stunned me is that I found this page: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BX5KLHN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is their highest end putting surface (as listed on their site). Direct from them, it's $2.49 per square foot. My green is 6x11, which would run about $165, plus another $50 shipping.

On Amazon, you can buy an 8x10 of that surface with free shipping for $115. (I can trim the extra off the side and fill in the ends without any problem.) That's a massive savings, unless there's some catch yet to be discovered. So I pulled the trigger, and I'll keep everyone posted with a thorough review.

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On 10/3/2018 at 7:36 AM, mpatrickriley said:

An update: I was tooling around Amazon last night, and found that the seller I listed above (MegaGrass) also sells some of their product there. What stunned me is that I found this page: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BX5KLHN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is their highest end putting surface (as listed on their site). Direct from them, it's $2.49 per square foot. My green is 6x11, which would run about $165, plus another $50 shipping.

On Amazon, you can buy an 8x10 of that surface with free shipping for $115. (I can trim the extra off the side and fill in the ends without any problem.) That's a massive savings, unless there's some catch yet to be discovered. So I pulled the trigger, and I'll keep everyone posted with a thorough review.

Pretty cheap, so cheap it scares me a bit. If you get it let us know how it rolls. Would like to know the stimp speed on the carpet. Would be a way to make your own homemade TourLinks green for a bit less cost.

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An update: I was tooling around Amazon last night, and found that the seller I listed above (MegaGrass) also sells some of their product there. What stunned me is that I found this page: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BX5KLHN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This is their highest end putting surface (as listed on their site). Direct from them, it's $2.49 per square foot. My green is 6x11, which would run about $165, plus another $50 shipping.
On Amazon, you can buy an 8x10 of that surface with free shipping for $115. (I can trim the extra off the side and fill in the ends without any problem.) That's a massive savings, unless there's some catch yet to be discovered. So I pulled the trigger, and I'll keep everyone posted with a thorough review.
Didn't see any stimp rating in their description. I wonder how fast it rolls
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Didn't see any stimp rating in their description. I wonder how fast it rolls
I emailed the company about Stimp ratings on their greens, and they said they didn't have that number (though they acknowledge that they should). In part, and this makes sense, they said that the Stimp number is going to depend on how much infill is used with the green (as this turf is made for outdoor use as well).

 

To begin, I'm not planning to use infill, unless I find the surface to be far too slow.

 

I'm definitely going to be back with a full review after delivery and installation. It will take a bit: it's coming by freight, so it'll be longer than UPS, etc.

 

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I'm trying to figure out why I would want infill.  Around here weeds would grow in it.

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I'm trying to figure out why I would want infill.  Around here weeds would grow in it.
I'm no expert, but I believe most infill substances are inorganic, like crushed rubber.
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7 minutes ago, mpatrickriley said:
11 minutes ago, Kenny B said:
I'm trying to figure out why I would want infill.  Around here weeds would grow in it.

I'm no expert, but I believe most infill substances are inorganic, like crushed rubber.

I'm not either but I thought the crushed rubber was for sports fields.  

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Actually most turf companies recommend infill for their outdoor greens as it aids the surface in accepting chip shots. I believe ProPutt turf is one of 

18 hours ago, mpatrickriley said:

I emailed the company about Stimp ratings on their greens, and they said they didn't have that number (though they acknowledge that they should). In part, and this makes sense, they said that the Stimp number is going to depend on how much infill is used with the green (as this turf is made for outdoor use as well).

 

To begin, I'm not planning to use infill, unless I find the surface to be far too slow.

 

I'm definitely going to be back with a full review after delivery and installation. It will take a bit: it's coming by freight, so it'll be longer than UPS, etc.

 

If you are planning to chip to the green infill like silica sand will help the turf accept the ball better. Unless the turf is super long wouldn't infill actually slow the ball down and not speed it up?

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Update: got a call from the shipping company, and my new green surface should arrive tomorrow. As I've said, you can expect a thorough review with lots of detailed pictures.

One thing I needed a way to test was green speed, so I concocted my own rudimentary Stimp meter using a Putt-Out. I expect many of you are familiar with the Putt-Out: it's a great putting training aid that really makes you focus on hitting the perfect line and speed.

It's built around the theory that the best holing speed would roll the ball about 1.5' past the hole. So I placed a ball in the perfect putt hole and slowly released it by pressing up on the hinge. In theory, a ball released from here should roll out 18".

The side of my green with no left-right break still has an uphill and downhill break. Downhill, a ball released from the Putt-Out traveled on average 52". Uphill, it was right at 24".

In other words, as I suspected, my green is very, very fast. I'll be running this test on the new green to see how it compares.

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Just took delivery. Unrolled it. There's a wrinkly part, but shouldn't cause me any problems because that just be the part I trim.

Still need to get it installed, but my first impressions are very positive. Here's a picture of me digging my thumb into the turf, to give you an idea of the blade length and density.

IMG_20181012_110209.jpeg

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1 hour ago, mpatrickriley said:

Just took delivery. Unrolled it. There's a wrinkly part, but shouldn't cause me any problems because that just be the part I trim.

Still need to get it installed, but my first impressions are very positive. Here's a picture of me digging my thumb into the turf, to give you an idea of the blade length and density.

IMG_20181012_110209.jpeg

Looks like what I would like to have as lawn.

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17 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

Looks like what I would like to have as lawn.

Yeah, a golf course.😄

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On 10/11/2018 at 1:59 PM, mpatrickriley said:


One thing I needed a way to test was green speed, so I concocted my own rudimentary Stimp meter using a Putt-Out. I expect many of you are familiar with the Putt-Out: it's a great putting training aid that really makes you focus on hitting the perfect line and speed.

It's built around the theory that the best holing speed would roll the ball about 1.5' past the hole. So I placed a ball in the perfect putt hole and slowly released it by pressing up on the hinge. In theory, a ball released from here should roll out 18".
 

Looking forward to hearing your results. BTW-The 1.5' beyond the hole is a Pelzism based on a green with a stamp speed of 9. If your turf is faster then your roll out, keeping your stroke constant, would actually be longer.

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