DIY Turf Blog

How to Install Golf Cups for the Best Putting Greens [DIY Guide]


Can’t have the best putting greens without golf cups! After all, where are all those holes-in-one going to go?

It’s easy to install the cups, as long as you’re familiar with the entire putting green installation process.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to install a backyard putting green and accompanying features like golf cups.

You’ll be going through your putting drills in no time!

Guide to Installing Golf Cups for the Best Putting Greens

Prepare the Ground for Installation

The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare the ground where you will lay your backyard putting green.

Clear all obstructions, including vegetation (e.g. plants and weeds), sprinklers and grass. Then, carefully excavate up to 3-4 inches of sod. Don’t forget to leave a slight grade for proper drainage.

Install the Putting Green Base

Next, you will need to install the putting green base. You have several options here, from crushed rock to decomposed granite and class II road base.

No matter what kind of base you choose, the key to successful installation is compaction. That’s why we recommend renting out a vibrating plate compactor so that you can achieve an even and consistent surface.

Tip: Lightly dampen the base with a garden hose. This lubricates the base particles and encourages them to slide into place as you pass over the base with the compactor, helping you achieve maximum compaction.

Decide Where to Place the Golf Cups

Now that you have a level and compacted surface to work with, it’s time to place your golf cups. This is where you will need to use your imagination and creativity—you can be as precise or as whimsical as you like!

We recommend leaving at least three feet of space between each cup, so that you have plenty of room to practice your putting.

Make the Holes for the Golf Cups

Next, you’ll need to make the holes for your golf cups. We suggest not placing the cups directly on the base, because the base naturally shifts due to rain and foot traffic. As a result, this can destabilize your cups over time. Instead, secure the area with concrete.

As for the size of the hole, it depends on the size of your golf cups. Add about 2 inches to the diameter and the hole should be about an inch deeper than the cup. This leaves space for the concrete, which you’ll need in order to secure the cup in place.

Insert the Cups

Now that you have the holes ready, it’s time to insert your golf cups. Spray them lightly with a silicone lubricant so that you can easily slide the exterior up and down.

Apply Concrete Around the Cup and Level It

Once you have the cup in place, it’s time to apply the concrete. Pour concrete around the cup and use a level to make sure it is even. Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours.

Tip: Use fast-drying concrete for quicker installation.

Finalize the Base

After the concrete has dried around the cups, you’re ready to finalize the base.

You may notice some small ridges on the base caused by the plate compactor. This is nothing to worry about. Level them out with a hand tamp or the bottom of a shovel.

We also suggest spreading a layer of decomposed granite to create a super-smooth surface by filling in the cracks. This will also help the synthetic turf fit the base like a glove. Use a push broom (medium bristle) to sweep any loose gravel and sand off the base.

Lay the Putting Green Turf over the Base

Now it’s time to lay your putting green turf over the base. Make sure you fit the turf tightly against the base and then use a sharp knife to cut any excess away.

Be extra careful here not to disturb the base as you’re rolling out the artificial grass. Otherwise, it can create wrinkles and creases under your putting green.

Tip: Double check the grain of the fibers! They should all be facing the same way so you get that all-natural look from the turf.

Roll Out the Best Artificial Turf

Now, it’s time to prepare the putting green surface. After rolling it out, cut all excess turf with a sharp knife. Try cutting from the back, where it’s easier to see where the tufting is.

Cut as close to the side of the stitching as you can, but avoid cutting into it so that you don’t damage the turf.

Seam and Trim the Putting Green Turf

Next, fasten the turf into place using seam tape and glue or staples. Prevent wrinkling by using a carpet stretcher.

Tip: Place infill bags every 5 feet on the sides of the artificial grass to minimize movement while seaming.

Cut the Turf Over the Golf Cups

Now you can finally cut the turf over the golf cups. Use a sharp utility knife to make a clean cut or a circle cutter.

Be careful not to leave a sizable gap between the cup and your putting green surface.

Secure the Contour

Your putting green is almost finished! All you need to do now is secure the contour.

Do this by using a hammer and nails to attach the turf around the edge of the base. This will help keep it in place, especially during high winds.

Apply the Infill

Last but not least, you’ll need to apply the infill.

This gives your putting green that realistic feel. It also supports the hold-ability of chip shots and makes sure that your putting green lasts a long time.

Start by spreading the infill evenly over the turf using a drop spreader. Be sure to fill in all the nooks and crannies.

Then, use a broom (medium bristle) to sweep it around until it’s nice and even.

And you’re done! Now you can enjoy hours of practice on your very own artificial putting green!

Important: Let your putting green settle.

You’re done installing your putting green, but don’t play on it just yet. We strongly recommend letting the artificial grass settle for a full day or so, especially if you’re using infill. This will help the turf stay in place and minimize any bumps or lumps.

After a day or so, you’re good to go! Have fun practicing your short game and sinking those putts like a pro!

Essential Tools for Installing Putting Green Cups

Once you’ve gathered your tools for artificial grass installation, you pretty much have everything you need to get those golf cups down. You might want to invest in a few key items that will make the entire process run more smoothly:

    • Golf Cups With Ball Retriever

      These cups are a must if you want to help your putting game. They automatically pick up the ball from inside the cup and return it when you putt. This is an excellent way to practice without worrying about having to retrieve all those balls yourself!


    • Artificial Grass Adhesive

      This will be your best bet for securing the turf around the putting green base. Make sure you use a high-quality adhesive so your turf stays in place.


    • Fast-Drying Cement

      You’ll need this to secure the cups into the ground. It dries quickly so you don’t have to wait long for it to set.


    • Utility Knife with Extra Blades

      You’ll definitely need a sharp knife for trimming the turf around the putting green base and cutting the turf over the golf cups.


    • Circle Cutter

      This is a great tool for accurately cutting the turf over the golf cups.


    • Carpet Stretcher

      This will help you prevent any wrinkles in the turf while you’re seaming it.


Now that you know what you need, you’re ready to get started on your very own artificial putting green! Be sure to stock up on all the necessary tools and materials before you get started. With a little bit of work, you’ll have that green installed in no time!

FAQs About Putting Green Installation

What is the artificial grass for putting greens?

The artificial grass for putting greens is a specialized turf that is designed for short-game practice. It usually has a shorter pile height than landscaping turf and the fibers are tightly packed to create a smooth surface.

How much is synthetic turf for putting greens?

It depends on a lot of factors, including the size you want and the type you go with. Larger putting greens are a bit more expensive because you need a lot of material.

How much does infill for putting greens weigh?

Infill is usually a lot lighter than regular soil, whether you go with sand or another option. This makes it easier to transport and handle in bulk quantities. We recommend having a wheelbarrow onsite, so that you can move the infill safely with you as you work.

Why should you use infill?

Infill serves a few important purposes: it helps the artificial grass look more realistic, it provides support for chip shots and it ensures the longevity of the putting green. It’s a key component in any artificial putting green installation, so be sure to include it in your plans.

How do I know which infill to use?

There are several types you can choose from. Some of the most popular choices include sand or acrylic coated sand . You’ll need to decide which you prefer based on your preferences and budget.

Where can I get golf cups?

You can get them right here at Artificial Turf Express! We carry a full inventory of putting green installation materials and you can even order online.

Can I install a putting green by myself?

Yes, you can definitely install a putting green by yourself. It’s a fairly straightforward process and doesn’t require many special skills or tools. Just be sure to take your time and follow the instructions carefully.

Is there anything else I need to know about installing my putting green?

The most important thing you need to know is that you absolutely must set aside time for installation. It takes a lot of patience, especially if you’re working with artificial turf, but you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right.

Also, don’t start before reading our Ultimate FAQ Sheet on installing backyard putting greens! Learn everything from common DIY mistakes to special features you can add to your dream green.

Putting Green Installation: Get Your Shopping List Ready!

Get everything you need for your upcoming installation here at Artificial Turf Express!

We carry the best artificial turf in San Jose, plus most accessories you’ll need for your project.

We also deliver, so you don’t even have to leave the house. Shop in the comfort of home and let us take care of the rest:

Putting Green Turf

  • Birdie Putt (A beautiful olive blend for any landscape)
  • Double Eagle Putting Green (Great for putting greens, bocce ball and even croquet!)
  • Pro Putting Green (Simulates a real putting green)

Putting Green Infill

Golf Cups, Flag Assembly and Cap

Artificial Grass Tools and Accessories

Looking for something else? Here’s our full list of Artificial Grass Products.

If you still have questions or want to see artificial turf samples in person, come visit us at our showroom or hop on a call with one of our friendly staff.

Contact us now at 408-413-3179 and let us know how Artificial Turf Express can help with your commercial or residential project!