Building your own Putting Green: Installation Procedure

1. Take the Measurements:

Measure, measure, measure! After deciding where to install your putting green, measure the length and the width of that proposed area. Remember, turf can only be purchased in 15 foot wide rolls, so utilize this space carefully. Measure it again.

The goal is to install your artificial putting surface with the grain all running in the same direction, with the least amount of seaming; preferably facing the player’s perspective to allow chips to be accepted from a distance.

2. Installation Preparedness — Getting Ready:

  • Contact your utility department for a survey of the installation area.
  • Obtain any permits required.
  • For an existing sprinkler system, call your irrigation company to have it capped and marked.
  • Practice your seaming technique using sample pieces of synthetic turf. This is a key success factor when installing your green. (explained in detail later on)
  • Determine the amount of Crushed Granite you’ll be needing.
    • 1 Ton = covers 66 sqft, at 3″ deep
    • 1 Yard = covers 94 sqft, at 3″ deep

NOTE: It’s important to use Crushed Granite, instead of other forms of crushed rock, for your installation. Doing so enables you to create the smoothest surface for proper compaction and grading.

3. Tools & Supplies:

(included with your purchase of any DIY kit)

  • ** PLEASE SEE OUR STORE ??? or something?
  • Or we could LIST the tools that are needed and/or recommended???

4. The Base — Preparation & Installation:

  • Frame your perimeter using plastic/bendable framing board. Attach the framing board to 12” plastic stakes every 2’ (two feet).
  • Un-roll your artificial putting green out on a clean and flat surface. Allow your artificial putting green to lay in direct sunlight for 2 hours prior to installation.
  • Gather all necessary tools.
  • Prepare the project base.
  • Remove 4 inches of soil in the installation area. Sod cutters can be used to remove existing grass. A square shovel can be used to perfect the corners and edges. Make sure the base allows for proper drainage, a 1% grade should be sufficient. After the soil has been removed, install the edging that you plan to use.
  • Dampen the bare earth and compact it with a plate tamper. If the bare earth is wet or has a clay concentration spread a thin layer of crushed stone over the entire surface before compacting. Install a weed fabric over the bare earth and trim as necessary, using sod staples to hold it in place.
  • Begin distributing the crushed granite and spread it evenly over the installation area. Use the back of a rake in a back and forth motion to level off the crushed granite. Use the sod roller to even out the surface. Ensure that the crushed granite allows for proper drainage as mentioned above, while taking into consideration the grading you desire for your green. The crushed granite must be spread evenly across the entire installation area.
  • Start to dampen the crushed granite and begin making passes with the plate tamper/compactor. Make as many passes as necessary to create a firm base. Do not make sharp turns with the plate tamper; this will create ridges in the base. High spots must be leveled off and low spots must be filled in with crushed granite and compacted. Use a hand tamp to compact areas that weren’t compacted by the plate tamper. The goal is to create a smooth and uniform base; the green will not hide irregularities in the base. A properly compacted base will not show a footprint when walked on. Once the base preparation is complete, avoid any unnecessary surface traffic. The final base will be 1 ½” below the top of the border.

5. Installing your Cup(s):

How to Install Concrete Cups for Putting Greens

  • Arrange the artificial putting green cups on the crushed granite as you would like them.
  • Mark where your cups will be permanently placed. This can be done by applying pressure to each cup and rotating it. This will cause a small indentation in the crushed granite which will be used as a reference point.
  • With a small hand shovel dig a small hole that is 2 inches larger in diameter than the cup itself and equal in depth.
  • Use fast-drying concrete mix powder around the entire outside perimeter.
  • Pack down the mix. Leave 1” (one inch) of the cup exposed.

6. Finishing your Base:

  • Small ridges caused from the plate compactor on your base need to be removed. The putting green surface needs to fit like a glove to your base so you want it as smooth as possible.
  • Use the bottom of your shovel or hand tool to flatten the ridges.
  • Use a spreader to distribute sand over the entire green. A 50 lb bag of sand will cover approximately 360 Sq Ft.
  • Use a broom to lightly sweep the sand and any loose gravel off your base.

7. Installing the Artificial Grass for your Putting Green:

  • The install can begin after the grass has been allowed to lay in direct sunlight for two hours. This will allow wrinkles in the backing to settle out. Use a power broom to brush the grass fibers against the direction they are laying before installation. This will make the installation of infill easier. If seaming sections of grass together, do not brush the fibers until you have removed the edges.
  • If the width of your artificial putting green is less than your roll width you can skip the following steps.
  • Make sure the grain of each roll of artificial putting green is running in the same direction.
  • Place the synthetic putting green turf over the edge of the crushed granite and roll it out.
  • Make sure there are no significant creases in the turf. If there are tiny creases the weight of the infill will make them go away.
  • Use a push broom against the grain of the putting green to separate the fibers before putting in the infill.
  • Lay one roll over where the seam will come together. Make sure the backing is face up.
  • With a knife cut between the first and second row of stitching.
  • Do this for only one of the rolls where your seam will be joined. Cutting between the rows will remove the black strip. It will also give you a tight fit and perfect seam.
  • Use solid base underneath the roll that is being overlapped. This will make for a solid smooth cutting surface.
  • Overlap the turf rolls about 2″ the entire length of the seam so that the roll with the seaming strip is still attached to the top.
  • Place bags of infill every 4 ft on both sides along the length of the seam. This prevents movement during the seaming process.
  • Cut the top overlapped roll of turf by following the edge of the bottom roll with a utility knife.
  • Do this with the full length of the seam. Once the seam has been cut, join the 2 pieces together to ensure a tight fit before seaming the rolls together. Continue to replace your utility knife blade after cutting 8-10 ft.
  • Nail down the seaming strips on the sub base where the seam will come together. There should be an equal amount of seaming strip on each side of the seam.
  • Apply adhesive over the entire surface of the seaming strip.
  • Allow 20-30 min for the adhesive to set up and get sticky before seaming.
  • Pull the artificial putting green turf over at the seam.
  • Lay one roll onto the adhesive and seaming tape the full length of the seam.
  • Carefully join the 2 rolls together.
  • Press the seam in place to get good contact of the turf backing and adhesive.
  • After the entire seam has been placed together walk over the artificial putting green several times.
  • Allow 2 hours before moving on to the next step.

8. Shaping your Green — Fringe or No Fringe:

  • The synthetic turf is delivered in a rectangular shape. If you’re not adding a fringe turf to your putting green, cut the shape of your putting green using only your outside border. If you desire a fringe around your putting green, use a yardstick to assist with the measurement.
  • Formula to determine the amount of fringe turf needed for a two foot collar of fringe: Total length + width divided by 2.5.
  • Use a yardstick to measure two feet in from the border.
  • Using a string, mark your shape in 1 foot increments.
  • Use a utility knife to cut along the outside perimeter.
  • Run the fringe turf the length of the putting green on each side first, then the two widths. The grain of the fringe turf must run the same direction all around the green.
  • Roll the fringe turf over one side the length of the putting green.
  • Overlap the entire fringe turf just enough to cover the shape of your artificial putting surface on one side the length of your putting green.
  • Locating the shaped putting green under the fringe, nail down the fringe into the sub base using 5” galvanized nails with small heads 2 inches out into the fringe from where the seam of the putting green turf and fringe turf will meet.
  • Hammer the nails every 6 inches the entire length of your fringe turf. Nailing between the rows of stitching hides the nails.
  • Now, come out 1 foot (1’) into the fringe turf.
  • Nail the fringe turf 1 inch (1″) out into the fringe every six inches the entire length of the fringe. Nailing the fringe at both the seam and a foot out from the seam will anchor the fringe turf in place and make for a tight fit.
  • Do this for the entire perimeter of fringe turf.
  • Finally, cut along the outside perimeter where the fringe meets your border.

9. Adding Infill:

  • Do not apply when wet. If the infill or putting green gets wet the infill clumps together prohibiting proper application of the infill.
  • Use a drop spreader 1/2 full with infill and spread your infill across the top of your artificial putting green.
  • Aggressively brush in your infill.
  • Infill until you have filled your artificial putting past the tips of the fibers.
  • By infilling the fringe turf the fibers will stick straight up. You only need to fill the fringe turf half full to achieve this.
  • Consistently brush against the grain of the fringe. This makes the fibers stand up.
  • Brush any excess infill off your artificial putting green.
  • Sweep your artificial putting green a final time to remove any excess infill. You want to have 1/32” of the putting green fiber exposed.

10. Back to your Cups:

  • Rolling and infill of the green will determine the speed of you putting surface
  • Using heavy weight roller, roll the green the length and width of the entire surface.
  • Do this many times – both the length and the width of the putting green to achieve the speed you desire.

11. Final Steps:

  • Rolling and infill of the green will determine the speed of you putting surface
  • Using heavy weight roller, roll the green the length and width of the entire surface.
  • Do this many times – both the length and the width of the putting green to achieve the speed you desire.

12. Post Installation Care:

  • Seasonally, brush your artificial putting green using a push broom. This will help stabilize the fibers, and keep the grass clean. Any stains or spills that occur can be cleaned using a mild detergent and water.
  • A plastic leaf rake or leaf blower can be used to remove any debris or foliage.