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Thinking of building a synthetic putting green in the backyard on the cheap.

Anyone done this and have any tips? Seems pretty straightforward...


*Not* looking for anything fancy at all. Have about 75ish yards in the back and thinking of a small green (6x8?) with a single cup that I can chip onto and just putt around on for fun.

Steps to Installing a Putting Green

  • Mark out the location, size, and shape.
  • Remove old sod.
  • Compact the ground with a plate compactor.
  • Lay down weed barrier.
  • Add edging.
  • Lay down a base like crushed stone, and smooth it out.
  • Compact the base.
  • Add infill and turf.

https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-make-a-putting-green-with-synthetic-turf/9ba683603be9fa5395fab901443238eb

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Thinking of building a synthetic putting green in the backyard on the cheap.
Anyone done this and have any tips? Seems pretty straightforward...

*Not* looking for anything fancy at all. Have about 75ish yards in the back and thinking of a small green (6x8?) with a single cup that I can chip onto and just putt around on for fun.

Steps to Installing a Putting Green

  • Mark out the location, size, and shape.
  • Remove old sod.
  • Compact the ground with a plate compactor.
  • Lay down weed barrier.
  • Add edging.
  • Lay down a base like crushed stone, and smooth it out.
  • Compact the base.
  • Add infill and turf.
https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-make-a-putting-green-with-synthetic-turf/9ba683603be9fa5395fab901443238eb

No advice... but let me know when you’re done I’ll come over and you can steal all my money with putting/chipping contests. Haha

Any reason to not do 2 or 3 cups that you can putt between?


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It is a LOT of work. I have looked into it and getting the base, drainage and sub layers correct is 99% of the game.  If your drainage and base layers are off, it ends up being a disaster.  For 48 square feet I am not sure it would even be worth it.

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51 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

Thinking of building a synthetic putting green in the backyard on the cheap.

Anyone done this and have any tips? Seems pretty straightforward...


*Not* looking for anything fancy at all. Have about 75ish yards in the back and thinking of a small green (6x8?) with a single cup that I can chip onto and just putt around on for fun.

Steps to Installing a Putting Green

  • Mark out the location, size, and shape.
  • Remove old sod.
  • Compact the ground with a plate compactor.
  • Lay down weed barrier.
  • Add edging.
  • Lay down a base like crushed stone, and smooth it out.
  • Compact the base.
  • Add infill and turf.

https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-make-a-putting-green-with-synthetic-turf/9ba683603be9fa5395fab901443238eb

I actually looked into this same homedepot page .. I will prob end up doing it but thought the same thing looks straightforward, also I watched some YouTube clips and doesn’t seem too bad but like @jlukes mentions drainage is key 

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38 minutes ago, B.Boston said:


No advice... but let me know when you’re done I’ll come over and you can steal all my money with putting/chipping contests. Haha

Any reason to not do 2 or 3 cups that you can putt between?
 

just want to start with something simple and easy at first. if it works, great! but if not then I want to be able to pull it up and let the grass (or weeds lol) grow back.

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3 hours ago, jlukes said:

It is a LOT of work. I have looked into it and getting the base, drainage and sub layers correct is 99% of the game.  If your drainage and base layers are off, it ends up being a disaster.  For 48 square feet I am not sure it would even be worth it.

Seconding this! It's a design build that seems straightforward on the surface but straight forward does not equate to simple. 

Do as much research as possible. If I remember right, there are a bunch of YouTube videos on how to do it and some articles on tips, tricks and areas to avoid so you don't turn a part of your lawn into a bog. 

 

Edit: thinking on this, for how cheap it supposedly is, it's just as cheap, more year round, and a lot less of a headache to get an indoor putting mat from Birdie Ball.

Edited by MNUte
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Ping G400 3 wood.

Cleveland Halo Launcher 3 hybrid.

Cleveland CBX launcher irons (5-PW). 

Assorted wedges (48, 52, 58).

Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 putter.

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2 hours ago, MNUte said:

Seconding this! It's a design build that seems straightforward on the surface but straight forward does not equate to simple. 

Do as much research as possible. If I remember right, there are a bunch of YouTube videos on how to do it and some articles on tips, tricks and areas to avoid so you don't turn a part of your lawn into a bog. 

 

Edit: thinking on this, for how cheap it supposedly is, it's just as cheap, more year round, and a lot less of a headache to get an indoor putting mat from Birdie Ball.

Yup especially if you’re only going to be hitting 6 to 8 ft putts

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I sooo want to do one of these!


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19 minutes ago, TBT said:

I sooo want to do one of these!

 

I sooo want to have one of these... put in!!!   😂

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Doing this now. Have most of the gravel base in and will finish the rest today.  I have the surface on order and when it arrives I will lay it out and rent a plate compactor.  I'm going to compact and then dig out the holes and compact again.  One of my main concerns is that there be no lumps or bumps, so I'm going to be serious about getting it smoothed out.  For drainage, I'm going to have a slight crown in the middle of the green and will dig down below the holes and put small stones in there for better drainage.  Mine will be 10 x 20 with a chipping fringe around that.  Thanks for the tips.  

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When we bought our house, there was an outdoor putting green installed.  Sadly, it wasn't done very well.  It was the first attempt by a company and they didn't properly prepare the subsurface, leaving the green like putting on a linoleum floor.  Over time, it wore down and was unsightly and definitely not a putting green, but the dogs enjoyed it.  My backyard is not large and there is no lawn there -- just the artificial turf and surrounding plants/flowers and concrete.  When I replaced it, I opted not to install turf to be used as a putting green, but rather installed a high grade artificial turf (similar to what might be found at a sports park).  It looks great and is maintenance free, but I no longer have a putting green.  In all honesty, I don't really miss it.  

Bottom line, don't scrimp on preparation for the turf.  Make sure that the subsurface has good drainage and is of a material that will withstand time.  The turf can always be replaced, but the foundation will last a long time if properly prepared.  Of course, the materials today are of much higher quality than what was initially used for the one in our yard.

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2 hours ago, Sevefan said:

Doing this now. Have most of the gravel base in and will finish the rest today.  I have the surface on order and when it arrives I will lay it out and rent a plate compactor.  I'm going to compact and then dig out the holes and compact again.  One of my main concerns is that there be no lumps or bumps, so I'm going to be serious about getting it smoothed out.  For drainage, I'm going to have a slight crown in the middle of the green and will dig down below the holes and put small stones in there for better drainage.  Mine will be 10 x 20 with a chipping fringe around that.  Thanks for the tips.  

Once you have it compacted and before you put the turf down make a ton of putts. Then you will see what you have to fix or adjust. Once the turf is down it is much more difficult. Just before the turf, get a bag or two of play sand. Use a lawn fertilizer spreader and put the sand down. Brush it with a broom until all the sand settles between the crushed stone. Then water it with a fine spray on the hose. This will lock everything in together. Once dry take more putts. I can't enfisise this enough. Nothing worse than taking a putt and it moves army style (left, right, left right).  Also be real carefull around the cups get a 4 foot level and check all around the cup/ cups. No ridges near the cup. Then roll out you turf.

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Wow, you did an amazing job.  Looks awesome.  I hope you became automatic on approach shots from 100 yds!  

Should I compact it again after sprinkling the sand on the compacted gravel?  Thanks.  

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57 minutes ago, Sevefan said:

Wow, you did an amazing job.  Looks awesome.  I hope you became automatic on approach shots from 100 yds!  

Should I compact it again after sprinkling the sand on the compacted gravel?  Thanks.  

No you shouldn't have to. You are only adding enough sand to fill in between the pieces of crushed stone.  Go sparingly and just use a soft push broom. Walk along and let the sand just fall into the tiny cracks. Don't force sweep (if that's even a phrase). 

You are correct. The 100 yards and in and the putting is the stronger part of my game. If I come up short or miss a green I don't even fear not making par. To me it's a chip and one putt or hopefully chip it in. But it only makes sense that's what I can practice the most without going anywhere.  

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I just did this in my backyard. Very much an out of the box project. 
 

Tom is right, level, level, level, and take your time. Depending on how you build it (kit like mine or DIY) you may have some options/methods to address uneven spots or add breaks.  Good luck. 
 

You mentioned you are looking at 6*8 in size. You might find that a kit, or something like rolling out BirdieBalls outdoor version might be better. I’d first suggest marking off your desired area to be sure you can do what you want. If you are thinking about 50 yard shots that’s a pretty small target.  At least it would be for me...

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6 x 8 at 50 - 75 yards would look like you're hitting onto a quarter!  Mine is about 14 x 27 and is not an easy target at 65 yards.  I had it put in about 10 years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made related to golf!!  It cost less than a Harley or boat and it is definitely cheaper to maintain!!  The contractor did the retaining wall and putting green and I did all the landscaping around it.  I had them make it as flat as possible and it has held up well.  There are some subtle breaks that have developed but I marked out spots where 5, 10, 15 & 20 foot putts are straight.  In my opinion the three holes are enough on my size layout.

 

I wanted to add support for the comments about getting the drainage right.  Because of our clay soil they started with a layer of 2" stone, then a layer of 3/4" then a layer of crusher run and then a top layer of stone dust.  Each layer compacted level before going to the next layer.  They and I did as Tom suggested and putted on the stone dust layer to identify any non level areas.  When they dug out the holes in mine they used a cement mix around it and not just the stone dust.  They said it was to keep the cup from raising up over time.  Only a heavy downpour will cause puddles on it and within 15 min they are gone.

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2 hours ago, Shapotomous said:

6 x 8 at 50 - 75 yards would look like you're hitting onto a quarter!  Mine is about 14 x 27 and is not an easy target at 65 yards.  I had it put in about 10 years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made related to golf!!  It cost less than a Harley or boat and it is definitely cheaper to maintain!!  The contractor did the retaining wall and putting green and I did all the landscaping around it.  I had them make it as flat as possible and it has held up well.  There are some subtle breaks that have developed but I marked out spots where 5, 10, 15 & 20 foot putts are straight.  In my opinion the three holes are enough on my size layout.

 

I wanted to add support for the comments about getting the drainage right.  Because of our clay soil they started with a layer of 2" stone, then a layer of 3/4" then a layer of crusher run and then a top layer of stone dust.  Each layer compacted level before going to the next layer.  They and I did as Tom suggested and putted on the stone dust layer to identify any non level areas.  When they dug out the holes in mine they used a cement mix around it and not just the stone dust.  They said it was to keep the cup from raising up over time.  Only a heavy downpour will cause puddles on it and within 15 min they are gone.

WOW! That is a dream setup. Very cool...

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1 hour ago, StrokerAce said:

WOW! That is a dream setup. Very cool...

^ what he said... @Shapotomous that is awesome!

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:cobra-small: KING Forged Tec 5-GW - Nippon Modus 120x | :cobra-small: KING MIM Black 52.12C, 56.10V, 60.04W - Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

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