So you've finally decided to gift yourself a backyard putting green! You've already ordered your putting green turf (if not, browse our selection of artificial grass for putting greens here) and it's on the way.
But how do you get your yard ready for installation? How do you lay the putting green turf, and how about the golf holes?
First, don't panic – installing the best putting greens is easier than you think!
Next, preparation and research are the key here. You don't need to be a pro to install a putting green, but you need to approach it like a pro.
That means gathering the right tools, reading up on the installation process, and asking for help when you need it.
We love our DIY'ers here at Artificial Turf Express and we're always happy to help.
Now let's get to work!
The Tools You Need for Putting Green Installation
Get your tools ready in advance. You don't want to be in the middle of installation, only to stop because you forgot the rake!
We recommend borrowing or renting anything you don't have, so you can save money on the installation.
Here are the basics:
- Sod cutter: to remove existing grass from the installation area
- Tiller: to break up hard soil
- Shovel: to scoop out unwanted rocks and dig up the area
- Rake: to level the ground and create a surface ready for turf installation
- Compactor: to further flatten the ground
- Roller: to remove air pockets and help the turf settle in
- Wheelbarrow: to transport tools and materials
- Tape measure: to measure the putting green and check turf size
- Stakes, strings and flags: to mark out the shape of your putting green
- Sharp knife: get a utility knife with changeable blades
- Landscape scissors: for cutting the turf, make sure it's very sharp
- Turf adhesive: to bind the seams together and make them look natural
- Joining adhesive: to secure the turf edges firmly
- Joining tape: to create a seamless look between pieces of turf
- Putting green infill: to act as ballast and protect the underlying grass fibers
- Water hose: for occasional watering during the installation
- Broom: to clean up after installation
- Laser level (optional): for creating a perfectly flat and level putting green
- Carpet knee kicker (optional): to ensure a tight fit when laying the turf
- Spray paint or marking chalk (optional): to mark where you need to cut the turf
- Golf cups and flags: to finish off the putting green
We already have an in-depth guide on artificial grass installation tools, so definitely give that a read!
We're also sharing a convenient shopping list later on, so check that out as well.
How to Install a Backyard Putting Green
You can certainly do the entire installation solo, but we suggest getting a few friends to help out. It'll go faster, and you can have some fun while you're at it!
Now let's jump into the installation process for the best putting greens:
1. Select the Site
Choose a flat and level area of your yard. Make sure it's big enough for the turf you ordered, plus extra space for cutting around objects like trees or fences.
Don't worry if your yard has slopes - you can level them out with a tiller or sod cutter if needed.
2. Measure Where the Green will Go
Using the tape measure, mark out the putting green's size with stakes, strings and flags.
You can always adjust the shape later on - just keep in mind that you don't want to compromise your turf size or cut pieces too small.
3. Remove All Existing Grass, Plants, and Debris
You don't want any divots, sinking spots, and other imperfections to disrupt your green's ball roll, so clear out all debris during this phase.
Excavate the existing soil and grass up to 4 inches. This will give you enough room to add a layer of infill and sand.
The excavation process will remove most rocks, roots, plants, and weeds.
Still, you'll need to check for any remaining debris with a rake and remove it. Use the tiller to break up any hard soil and get the area ready for installation.
4. Level and Compress the Ground
Using a rake, level out the ground to create an even surface. Periodically use the level to check for any bumps, dips, and differences.
Then, use the compactor to flatten everything out. This will ensure a tight fit and reduce the risk of any wrinkles or air pockets in the turf.
Give the installation site a few passes with the roller as well. This will help further settle the turf in and create a natural-looking putting green.
This is also the perfect time to insert your golf cups - use this guide!
5. Insert Edging
The purpose of edging is to keep your putting green's shape neat and avoid any turf fraying.
It will also anchor and secure the turf when you add the infill. To insert edging, use spikes to attach it down and hold it in place.
6. Lay Your Sub-Base
The base layer is the foundation of your putting green, so it's important to get it right. This will help your turf last for years and keep its shape.
It's also critical for drainage, so never skip this step.
You can use crushed road gravel or decomposed granite for your base. Whichever you choose, make sure to fill it up uniformly and tamp it down with the compactor.
Start by spreading the base layer on your installation site. Use a rake to spread it out and level it.
7. Spread Sand
Together with the sub-base, sharp sand will help to keep your putting green in shape and promote good drainage.
Spread the sand on top of the sub-base using a shovel. Make sure it's evenly distributed, and then use the compactor to press it down. This will create a stable foundation for your turf.
8. Lay a Weed Barrier
To further protect your putting green from pesky weeds, lay a weed barrier over the base. We recommend using our special weed fabric for optimal drainage and to help control weeds.
Check for wrinkles and ensure that the fabric covers the entire area. Staple the barrier down with galvanized nails or landscape pins to secure it in place.
9. Install Your Artificial Putting Green Turf
Give the base a final once-over, making sure everything is level, smooth, and ready for turf installation.
Now it's time to unroll the turf! Lay it out on the area and make sure that it's positioned correctly.
Check the direction of the pile. For the sake of aesthetics, we recommend laying the turf with the pile facing your house. This way, you'll be looking into the pile every time you look out into your putting green - aka the "good side."
If the turf has any kinks or wrinkles (this is natural for rolled turf), you can leave it overnight to "rest" and flatten out.
Happy with the turf's positioning? Great! Now you can begin to join the pieces.
10. Join Your Turf Pieces
Only use artificial turf adhesives and tape for this part. These are especially designed for turf installation, weather-resistance, strength, durability, and other important features.
Take your time joining the pieces, as this is an integral part of your putting green's construction.
Begin by inserting the seaming tape between two pieces of artificial grass. Secure it with staples or turf nails.
Then, apply the adhesive following the directions on the packaging. Make sure to cover the entire length of the tape and press down firmly on both pieces.
If you need extra help, you can use a seaming iron for extra pressure.
11. Secure the Turf to the Edging
Use the same adhesives and tape to secure the turf to the edging. For extra security, use a staple gun or turf nails to firmly lock it in place.
Inspect all the seams and fix any irregularities. Check the pile direction and make sure everything is even and smooth.
12. Add Putting Green Infill
Now it's time to add the infill! This step is crucial to create a resilient, durable putting green.
It will help the best artificial turf stay in shape and look great for years. It also gives the turf a natural “springy” feel, especially when you walk over it.
Start by evenly sprinkling the infill over your turf. Use a drop or broadcast spreader for this part, as these allow you to spread the infill more evenly.
Finally, use a power broom or stiff brush to work it into the turf fibers and ensure that it is evenly distributed.
13. Let Your New Putting Green Settle
At this point, you'll want your turf to settle in. Hose down the area and let the turf dry out for at least 24 hours. This will allow the infill to sink properly into the fibers.
Don't let anyone use or walk on the turf during this period. Once it's dry, brush the turf again to make sure that the infill is properly embedded into the fibers.
Now, your putting green is ready for use. Enjoy it for years to come!
BONUS: Your Artificial Putting Green Shopping List
At Artificial Turf Express, we have everything you need for a beautiful, durable artificial putting green. From the best artificial turf in San Jose to accessories, you’ll find it here.
Check out our Accessories page to see your options when it comes to the following:
- Putting Green Infill
- Complete Flag Assembly
- Drainage Tiles
- Putting Green Cups
- Golf Cup Caps
- Turf Glue and Seam Tape
- Weed Fabric
- Turf Cleaner
Call or Visit Artificial Turf Express Today!
If you have any questions about installing your own artificial putting green or would like to order the materials for one, contact our team at Artificial Turf Express!
You can also visit our showroom so you can see our products in person, and we can walk you through the process of constructing the perfect artificial putting green.
Here's our address on Google Maps - hoping to see you soon!