Whether you are a pro golfer or simply an enthusiast, being able to enjoy golf in the comfort and privacy of your own garden can be a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the sunshine. With some careful planning, you could give yourself your very own putting green, perfect for practising without having to pay for a club membership!
That said, even tiny professional putting greens still need to be carefully structured and maintained. If you want to play properly, installing a putting green will be more than a matter of sticking a hole in an overgrown lawn. As well as carefully designing and structuring your new putting green, you will also need to think about long term costs and care, or your enthusiasm could quickly dry up.
For a project like this it will usually be best to book a garden design consultation with a local landscape designer. They will be able to create a solid plan for the green, including any raised terrain or obstacles. A Pro will also be able to organise the physical labour involved, making sure that everything goes according to plan and that no materials are wasted.As for more colourful obstacles, such as the ever-enjoyable windmill, you could buy these yourself or have them made bespoke by a local joiner.
For the sake of saving you money on maintenance costs, and to let you enjoy your new putting green all year round, we recommend using artificial turf for your installation. With a weed suppressing membrane and a professional-level installation, the artificial turf should last for years with only minimal care.
Start by mapping out exactly where you will place your putting green. Try not to sacrifice too much of your garden, or you could deprive yourself of a valuable social space (and we do mean ‘valuable’: many buyers will prefer a large lawn to a tiny garden dominated by a single feature).
Mark out the area using rope or tape, then practice in the space to see if it suits you. You can then mark the perimeter, as well as the location of the hole/cup, using spray paint. If you are doing the entire job yourself, it will be important to know the exact dimensions of your green in order to make sure that you order enough materials for the installation.
The next step will be to remove your existing turf. This will be much easier if you use a sod cutter rather than a shovel. Remember, you want to remove between 40 and 60 mm.
Once the turf has been removed, use a plate compactor to flatten the soil. This will help to provide a solid foundation for the base. If you want to have raised terrain to provide more of a challenge, it will be better to have the work done by a landscape designer.
Now that the work area is clear, put edging border around the perimeter. This will be important for keeping the materials within the designated area.
Add a layer of sharp sand on top of the soil (around the same amount as the earth you just removed), with 20mm between the base and edging. Once the sand has been evenly distributed using a rake, use the compactor to flatten it.
Now that the green is taking shape, it is time to install the hole/cup. Dig this out with a trowel, going deep enough to leave one inch of the cup exposed. You will also want two inches around the cup. Pour fast-drying concrete around the cup, then add water until it is saturated. Finally, use the compactor to make it level with the base.
To avoid problems with unwelcome guests in the future, you will next want to install a weed suppressing membrane over the sand. Be sure to pin this in place, not leaving any room for weeds to sneak around and ruin your green.
It is finally time to install the artificial grass! Measure the turf carefully, marking out where you want to cut and laying the shape over the area to make sure that it fits. If you are working with a particularly awkward shape, you may prefer to cut out sections. These can then be joined by having a line of tape under the seams and using a glue gun. Finish off by walking around the perimeter of your green to press it down.
If you want to improve drainage, it can be a good idea to adding a layer of kiln-dried sand over the grass, spreading it using a stiff brush.
To finish up, carefully cut a hole in your new turf to reveal the cup. Be sure to trim off any loose fibres!