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Indoor putting green surfaces | UPDATE with review

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Making progress. Taking lots of care to cut the holes as perfect as I can. Should have everything together this week, and I'll get the review done.

At this point, I'll say this: this is exactly what I was hoping it would be. I'll mention some quibbles, but I'm pleased with my purchase.

IMG_20181014_202534.jpeg

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Looks amazing so far, keep us updated and if you have time maybe a layout of how you built the whole thing?

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Nice cut around the hole. Let us know how it works out. 

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13 hours ago, GolfSpy Meyer said:

Looks amazing so far, keep us updated and if you have time maybe a layout of how you built the whole thing?

Some of the information about the build is found in one of my first posts here: 

 

The basic structure is just 2x4s with a plywood surface. I wanted to do it this way in order to allow the use of real holes. The green is 6"x11", and the support beams run width-wise. Here's a picture of the frame.

20171111_112100.jpg

If you look very closely at the center of the support beams, each us partially cut in the middle, and then reinforced with a wooden bracket. What this allowed us to do is intentionally bow the support beams, so that half the green would be as flat as possible, and the other would be tilted slightly. The other brilliant idea my dad had was to screw lag bolts in under the frame every few feet. This allowed us to make subtle adjustments to how the whole frame sits on the floor.

After the frame was built and the plywood screwed down, we put down a layer of those interlocking foam tiles, and then the putting surface (which, as I mentioned, was a kind of mid-range heavy felt). I'm currently putting the new surface on top of all of this.

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Four of the five holes are cut. I have one more hole in the center, but this time around, I'm making a plug for it. I put it there initially to allow for a clock drill, but there simply isn't room on the green to make it profitable, and having the hole in the middle got in the way of so many other putts.

The holes are really close to final. All of them are just a tiny bit smaller than 4.25". Obviously, erring on the small side is best, both because they can be fixed, and if I don't fix them, it's just better practice.

Using the rotary tool for finishing the holes is perfect. The blade cuts through just fine, and it's spinning fast enough that it melts some of the edge grass together.

The next step is marking the green with the dots I use for practice.

IMG_20181016_210838.jpeg

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Four of the five holes are cut. I have one more hole in the center, but this time around, I'm making a plug for it. I put it there initially to allow for a clock drill, but there simply isn't room on the green to make it profitable, and having the hole in the middle got in the way of so many other putts.

The holes are really close to final. All of them are just a tiny bit smaller than 4.25". Obviously, erring on the small side is best, both because they can be fixed, and if I don't fix them, it's just better practice.

Using the rotary tool for finishing the holes is perfect. The blade cuts through just fine, and it's spinning fast enough that it melts some of the edge grass together.

The next step is marking the green with the dots I use for practice.

IMG_20181016_210838.thumb.jpeg.78026dbd7051173439962624f92a48e3.jpeg
you're quite the handiman.
the problem with that is the wife knows your capabilities



Sent from my SM-G900W8 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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9 hours ago, Har in the Hat said:

you're quite the handiman.
the problem with that is the wife knows your capabilities

emoji2.png emoji2.png

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

In all honesty, I'm a tremendously incompetent handyman. I'm willing to tackle a project like this chiefly because it is relatively trivial: if I get it wrong, no one gets electrocuted, the plumbing still works, the cars still function. Projects that are actually important get farmed out to people who know what they're doing, like my dad—who is responsible for having built the frame for the green itself :)

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My goal was to find a high quality, mid-price putting surface. There are lots of bargain surfaces, most of which are a kind of heavy felt. And we know there are a variety of higher-end products, like Birdie Ball and Big Moss, but that these often carry a hefty price tag, especially if you build a green of significant size. My green is 6x11, and so a Birdie Ball surface would run me around $300.

Scouring the internet, I found this site: https://megagrass.com/collections/golf-courses-and-putting-greens. I exchanged some emails with their customer service, asking questions about the difference between their turf levels. They responded very quickly and helpfully.

I also found that they sell their highest end green surface at precut sizes on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BX5KLHN/

The price on Amazon is substantially lower than what they list on their website. PLEASE NOTICE THIS: they are having a sale right now (Oct 18, 2018, 10:00am CDT). Go click that link, click the 10% off coupon, order the 8x10 green for $78! Then come back and finish reading this review. Seriously: go order it now. That's $40 less than what I paid, and I thought I got a good deal.

The turf itself is light years better than the cheap felt surface. Here are some pictures to give you a sense of its texture:

IMG_20181018_082444.jpg

IMG_20181018_082453.jpg

IMG_20181018_082501.jpg

It is a grass surface, not a mat. It is designed to be used either indoor or out, with proper drainage.

As for speed: I noted that my green has an uphill/downhill setup. I used my Putt Out as a budget Stimpmeter. On felt, a putt released from the "18-inches-past-the-hole" point rolled out nearly six feet downhill, and uphill about two feet. That's Augusta-fast.

On the MegaGrass surface, it rolled out 30" downhill, and about 15" uphill. This is much closer to the speed of ordinary greens that I suspect most of us play on. I am very, very pleased with the speed.

The surface trims well. The straight cuts are very easy with an ordinary utility knife. For the holes, I rough cut them with a utility blade, and then gradually increased the size with a rotary tool. This had the advantage of also melting the grass fibers a bit, to make a cleaner edge of the cup:

IMG_20181018_082609.jpg

I've mentioned earlier in this thread that I have some quibbles. The first would be that there was a section of the green that came with about a 24" wrinkle. The other is that there is a line in the green in which I'm guessing the grass is thicker than in other places, almost like one line of grass was doubled in production. These are obviously problems when you're looking for a smooth putting surface.

My understanding is that the wrinkles can be fixed by leaving the green out in the sun, but that wasn't a real option for me. Fortunately, because my green is smaller than 8x10, I was able to simply cut off the wrinkled portion.

The other line is slowly being worked into submission, through a combination of combing and pressing.

All told, guys, I would have a hard time believing that you can get a better surface at this price point, especially at the price you can get them at the time I'm writing. If you've been looking for a practice surface (winter is coming!), I don't think you'll go wrong here.

If you've got any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

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How to you think it would work just being rolled out onto a carpeted surface?

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6 minutes ago, MattF said:

How to you think it would work just being rolled out onto a carpeted surface?

Really good question, and not a terribly easy one to answer. I initially unrolled it on the concrete floor of my garage, and noticed that when someone walked on it, it would move around. This isn't something I would have expected of an 8x10 carpet, but the combination of the thick stiffness of the grass fibers (which when stepped on would want to transfer energy to the backing) and the relatively hard plastic backing meant that it really didn't stay still on the concrete when walked on.

On carpet, it has a better chance of laying still.

Now, whether it would lay flat depends in part on the carpet underneath. If you unrolled it on a tight carpet, I suspect it would be just awesome. That's more or less what I've got, since mine is laying on top of the felt layer.

My guess is that if you're thinking about just a putting strip (something like a 3x10), it should lay well and functionally on any surface. The only issue you'd have to deal with is that if you're standing on the ground next to the grass, you will be almost 3/4" below the grass level, which isn't ideal for putting.

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On 10/18/2018 at 10:54 AM, mpatrickriley said:

My goal was to find a high quality, mid-price putting surface. There are lots of bargain surfaces, most of which are a kind of heavy felt. And we know there are a variety of higher-end products, like Birdie Ball and Big Moss, but that these often carry a hefty price tag, especially if you build a green of significant size. My green is 6x11, and so a Birdie Ball surface would run me around $300.

Scouring the internet, I found this site: https://megagrass.com/collections/golf-courses-and-putting-greens. I exchanged some emails with their customer service, asking questions about the difference between their turf levels. They responded very quickly and helpfully.

I also found that they sell their highest end green surface at precut sizes on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BX5KLHN/

The price on Amazon is substantially lower than what they list on their website. PLEASE NOTICE THIS: they are having a sale right now (Oct 18, 2018, 10:00am CDT). Go click that link, click the 10% off coupon, order the 8x10 green for $78! Then come back and finish reading this review. Seriously: go order it now. That's $40 less than what I paid, and I thought I got a good deal.

The turf itself is light years better than the cheap felt surface. Here are some pictures to give you a sense of its texture:

IMG_20181018_082444.jpg

IMG_20181018_082453.jpg

IMG_20181018_082501.jpg

It is a grass surface, not a mat. It is designed to be used either indoor or out, with proper drainage.

As for speed: I noted that my green has an uphill/downhill setup. I used my Putt Out as a budget Stimpmeter. On felt, a putt released from the "18-inches-past-the-hole" point rolled out nearly six feet downhill, and uphill about two feet. That's Augusta-fast.

On the MegaGrass surface, it rolled out 30" downhill, and about 15" uphill. This is much closer to the speed of ordinary greens that I suspect most of us play on. I am very, very pleased with the speed.

The surface trims well. The straight cuts are very easy with an ordinary utility knife. For the holes, I rough cut them with a utility blade, and then gradually increased the size with a rotary tool. This had the advantage of also melting the grass fibers a bit, to make a cleaner edge of the cup:

IMG_20181018_082609.jpg

I've mentioned earlier in this thread that I have some quibbles. The first would be that there was a section of the green that came with about a 24" wrinkle. The other is that there is a line in the green in which I'm guessing the grass is thicker than in other places, almost like one line of grass was doubled in production. These are obviously problems when you're looking for a smooth putting surface.

My understanding is that the wrinkles can be fixed by leaving the green out in the sun, but that wasn't a real option for me. Fortunately, because my green is smaller than 8x10, I was able to simply cut off the wrinkled portion.

The other line is slowly being worked into submission, through a combination of combing and pressing.

All told, guys, I would have a hard time believing that you can get a better surface at this price point, especially at the price you can get them at the time I'm writing. If you've been looking for a practice surface (winter is coming!), I don't think you'll go wrong here.

If you've got any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Looks great and thanks for the review! I really like the cauterized look of the grass around the hole, can you show us how you used the rotary tool do that?

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12 minutes ago, Headhammer said:

Looks great and thanks for the review! I really like the cauterized look of the grass around the hole, can you show us how you used the rotary tool do that?

I'm just using the basic cutting wheel that you get a dozen of in any collection of rotary attachments:

FFI4UHWGV9SPH85.LARGE.jpg

Because the holes were already in place on my green before I got this surface, I had to make sure I cut the surface holes in exactly the right place. And the problem with measuring is that there weren't a lot of good options to measure from.

So I've ended up gradually cutting the holes, slowly expanding them from the inside, mostly eyeballing them to the holes. Since the holes are already cut, I work the rotary tool from below the putting surface, cutting upward. As I cut upward, moving deliberately, the plastic blades of grass tend to fuse together to create those edges. Cutting downward, turf-then-backing, doesn't create the same result, in my experience.

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Really nice job on this, I am looking to do something like this at my new house...I will definitely be checking this out on Amazon.

I might even try to do an outdoor version in a small corner of my backyard...been reading up on that.

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I'm really interested in this setup. I used to have something like this as the floor on my enclosed patio out back. I would place a couple of shot glasses on it for my "holes". I figured that if I hit the glasses, my putt goes in the much bigger hole. This way I can move them around since the floor had a gradual slope away from the house. It has served me well as my putting has been a pretty strong part of my game.

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Got a PM today asking for an update on my thoughts on this turf, so I thought I'd also post it here:

We've had the Megagrass green for close to a year now, and I would still recommend it highly. The edges where we cut the cups aren't as pristine as when we first put it together, but they're not fraying or unraveling. And there is one spot on the edge of the green where I stand for more practice than any other putts where you can see a bit of wear. Because it's on the edge, it doesn't interfere with any putts, and I'm not sure that even if it were in the way if it would influence the roll of the ball. But from a certain angle, it is the footprint marks are visible.

Those are really my only nitpicks. Beside that, even at current prices, I think it's still among the best value in putting turf that I've seen, and it is greatly preferable to the unrealistically fast surfaces that are typically in the lower price ranges.

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There's a ton of good info here, thanks for sharing!

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