DIY Turf Blog

The Ultimate FAQ Sheet to DIY Synthetic Grass Installation of the Best Putting Greens


It’s time to finally take your outdoor space from good to great with the best putting greens! Whether you’re looking for a new way to have fun with friends and family or want a training aid for putting, chipping, distance control and more, investing in the best quality DIY synthetic grass is the way to go.

Here at Artificial Turf Express, we know that installing an entire putting green in your backyard can seem like a daunting task. However, trust us – even the most inexperienced DIY amateur can install a fantastic putting green, provided you do your research first!

We’ve compiled some of the top questions DIY installers have about installing a backyard putting green, plus expert answers to all them, including links where you can learn more about each step of the process. Let’s begin!

DIY Synthetic Grass Installation

What tools do you need for DIY synthetic putting green installation?

This may be surprising, but you don’t need a lot of complicated tools or equipment to install your own putting green. In fact, we’re betting you already have most of what you need in your garden shed! For anything that you don’t have yet, simply borrow from your neighbors or rent one from your local equipment store.

In general, this is what you’ll need to install a synthetic putting green:

  • the best putting green artificial grass
  • seam tape
  • shears for cutting the turf to size
  • utility knife
  • rubber mallet
  • a shovel
  • a broom and dustpan
  • scissors for trimming any loose strands of grass that may come up during installation.
  • wheelbarrow
  • sod cutter
  • vibrating plate compactor
  • rake
  • glue
  • tape measure
  • push broom
  • stakes
  • measuring tape
  • water hose
  • infill
  • the best artificial grass accessories like flags, poles, golf cup caps, ball return system, etc.

Most of these are very easy to find. Not sure how to use some of the tools above? Read our article about 15 Important Tools You’ll Need for DIY Artificial Grass Installation in San Jose!

What’s the best artificial grass for backyard putting greens?

Although there are many artificial grass products out there, the best synthetic putting green turf to use is one that’s specially designed for such installations. They will have a special “putting” grade texture that allows you to practice your shots without worrying about damaging the infill or blades of grass.

In addition, the best artificial turf is often short to mimic the perfectly-mowed surface of golf courses and provide true ball roll and green speeds.

The best artificial grass for your putting green will also depend on how you plan to use it— for leisure or for serious golf practice?

For instance, Artificial Turf Express carries several types of putting green grass, such as:

Each of these offers a different putting green experience, so we recommend thinking carefully about what you want from your installation first. Feel free to call us if you have questions about selecting artificial grass for your putting green!

How do you prepare the ground for an artificial putting green?

Before you can install the best putting green, it’s critical to prepare the ground properly first. You’ll want a flat and even surface so that your turf will be able to lay smoothly and deliver proper ball roll.

You will need to do some heavy work like breaking up any big lumps of clay or leveling out uneven areas with gravel, sand or topsoil. Next, make sure to remove any large rocks, roots, sprinklers or other obstacles from the surface. After that, you’ll need to level out the synthetic putting green site with a rake or shovel and sweep away any dirt clods that may still be present. You may also need to apply insecticides and a weed killer in preparation for the turf.

This step is extremely important because uneven ground and unwanted slopes will create a bumpy golf surface that can ruin your game. Worse, this can cause several problems for your putting green:

  • Flooding, puddles, mold and mildew due to drainage issues
  • Putting green installation failure in just a couple of years or so (artificial grass can last for 10 years or longer!)
  • Weeds poking through the turf backing and spoiling your game
  • Ugly wrinkles throughout the surface
  • And many more

In short, preparing the ground is not something you should take lightly. We share more success tips in our article, How to Prepare the Surface for the Best Putting Greens (Plus 5 DIY Success Tips!), so don’t miss that one!

What are the most common mistakes that happen during DIY putting green installation?

There are many common mistakes that people make during putting green installation, especially if you have no prior experience:

  • Forgetting to remove any large rocks, roots or other obstacles from the surface
  • The area is not “pre-treated” with a weed control solution. This will help protect your putting green from weeds and prevent them from sprouting through the backing!
  • Not laying out all of the turf before installing it
  • Cutting too small or using a poor-quality sod cutter blade
  • Not letting the turf “rest” before using it
  • Using poor quality seam tape that will pull up and unravel over time
  • Not installing your artificial grass surface correctly on a flat, even ground. This is crucial for creating good ball roll!
  • Pouring infill too thickly or unevenly
  • Cutting turf to size before laying down (this is a big no-no!)
  • Failing to use seam tape or the correct adhesive when installing your best artificial putting green
  • Not using enough stakes and not hammering them in well enough.
  • No water (you’ll want to keep the turf damp and lightly mist it with a hose for 24-48 hours to help the installation settle)
  • Using too much infill (this can cause uneven ball roll or even sinking!)
  • Trying to shortcut the installation process
  • Not buying good-quality turf or putting green from the start

But here’s the thing— literally all of them are avoidable as long as you’re careful and pay attention to the details. And if you don’t? You’re risking these costly DIY installation problems for yourself.

Should I install shock pads under my artificial putting green?

Shock pads are not necessary for the best putting greens, but foam padding can significantly improve other types of turf installations, such as a playground. A shock pad helps absorb impact from trips and falls, makes the surface softer to walk on and gives the installation a beautiful finish.

If you think this is something you may want for your project, learn more about foam padding from our In-Depth DIY Guide to Foam Shock Pads for the Best Artificial Turf.

What features can I add to the best putting greens?

A lot! Some golf features you can add to a DIY putting green are sand traps, water hazards, bunkers and hills. In particular, the following DIY features can be made with just a little effort on your part:

  • Digging out sand from the site you’ve chosen for installation to create sunken areas that will serve as obstacles or challenge players
  • Using some leftover turf pieces to construct small mounds in a sand trap
  • With a bit of creativity, you can mold your turf into hills with steep slopes and gentle inclines. Look for inspiration at a professional golf course near you!

Other features are more complex to create but still very doable:

  • A water hazard can be made with a kiddie pool, bricks, stones or even an old tire filled with water
  • Cement bunkers, when installed correctly, are very realistic and provide a challenge for the golfer. To create these yourself you will need to work your way through some heavy equipment (such as a vibrating plate compactor), but nothing a determined DIY-er can’t do!
  • Some people choose to add an elevated tee box, as this can change the game and offer up a new challenge for golfers. You’ll need some time on your hands to construct or find one.
  • Building or purchasing a sand bunker that will catch any stray shots on the green in an infill material

There’s no limit to what you can do with artificial grass, DIY skills and a good splash of creativity. Not sure if an idea you have will work? Call or visit us here at Artificial Turf Express and we’d be happy to go over your plans with you!

Get Started with the Perfect DIY Backyard Putting Green!

Building your own putting green can be a lot of fun and it’s not as difficult as you might think. You just need to do some research, equip yourself with the right tools and materials and buy high-quality products for installation.

If you want an expert opinion on your project before diving in head-first, Artificial Turf Express is at your service!

From providing the best-quality DIY artificial grass products and accessories to answering your questions, we have you covered. We can even deliver straight to your home or project site for extra convenience. Call us at 408-413-3179 to see how we can help with your project!