If you’re anything like me, you love golf.
But the problem with golf is that it’s a pain in the ass to play.
You have to get up early, go to some remote location, and spend four hours playing a game that you’re probably not very good at.
But what if there was a way to play golf in your own backyard?
Imagine being able to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and head into your backyard to practice on your very own putting green.
And the best part is that you never have to worry about annoying other people on the course or getting stuck behind slow-moving players.
Thanks to advances in artificial grass technology, now you can have your very own backyard putting green!
According to the National Golf Foundation, over 30 million Americans play golf regularly.
If you’re one of them – or if you just enjoy spending time outdoors in nature – then adding a backyard putting green is definitely something worth considering.
Not only will it give you an enjoyable place to practice your short game (or teach beginners), but it can also add value and functionality to your home.
However, before choosing and installing any artificial turf, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best options on the market and provide tips on how to choose the best putting green turf for your needs.
So read on – and get inspired to start sinking those putts like a pro!
How To Choose the Best Artificial Grass for Backyard Putting Greens
Anyone who loves golf knows that a backyard putting green is the ultimate luxury.
With your own personal putting green, you can practice your short game anytime you want, without having to drive to the golf course.
But when it comes to choosing the best artificial grass for a backyard putting green, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First of all, you’ll want to choose a turf that is designed specifically for putting greens.
This type of turf is usually shorter and has a different blade structure than other types of artificial grass.
This helps to create a smooth, consistent surface that is perfect for practicing your putts.
Secondly, you’ll want to choose a turf that is durable and low-maintenance.
After all, you don’t want to have to replace your turf every year.
And finally, you’ll want to make sure the turf has a good warranty.
Putting greens get a lot of wear and tear, so it’s important to have a product that will stand up to the abuse.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to choose the best artificial grass for your backyard putting green.
To help you choose the right artificial grass product for your backyard putting green, we’ve put together the following guide to help you evaluate and compare the various features and products on the market.
1. Perform Research
Installing an artificial turf backyard putting green is not a decision you should come to lightly.
A putting green installation is very labor intensive and isn’t going to be cheap.
That’s why prior to moving forward with your backyard putting green project, we recommend performing as much research as possible.
Researching the ins and outs of artificial grass and backyard putting greens will empower you to make the most educated and informed decision possible.
When the sales rep from a turf company shows up at your home to provide a quote, you want to be able to ask the right questions.
You also don’t want to get lost in the “lingo,” which could ultimately lead to making the wrong decision or choosing a sub-par putting green turf product.
Artificial grass comes in a variety and shapes, textures, colors, sizes, etc., each intended for a specific residential or commercial application.
Learning about what differentiates turf products will make it easier for you to choose the best putting green turf for your project.
To assist with your research, the next section of this article will cover putting green turf terminology that you should be well versed in prior to meeting with any turf installers.
2. Learn Artificial Turf Terminology
Much like traditional carpeting, artificial grass is available in a variety of different materials, styles, and colors.
However, artificial grass also has its own unique set of terms that can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the product or industry.
To ensure that you’re fully equipped to meet with a turf installer, we’ve compiled a list of the most important terminology regarding artificial grass and backyard putting greens.
By understanding the various terms and phrases used to describe artificial grass products, you’ll be prepared to engage in meaningful conversation with any turf company that visits your home to provide an estimate.
You’ll not only know what the sales rep is talking about, but you’ll understand the importance of different features and know exactly what to look for in the best putting green turf products.
By understanding these basic terms, you will be better equipped to select the putting green turf that best suits your needs.
The yarn fibers are what make up the individual blades of artificial grass.
Spools of yarn are manufactured using one of three materials: polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon.
Plastic pellets of one of the above three materials are melted down along with any additives to be included in the final turf product.
Once melted down, the plastic is extruded into large spools of yarn.
The fibers are then tufted through the backing of the turf to create the appearance of individual blades of grass.
Yarn fibers come in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, lengths, and even colors!
The best putting green turf products have yarn fibers that are made of nylon, which is the most durable and resilient of the three materials mentioned above.
Nylon is more expensive than polyethylene or polypropylene but also provides the most true-to-life putting green surface.
Polypropylene more closely approximates the look and feel of natural grass, though it’s more prone to matting and ruts than nylon is.
Polyethylene is mainly used in the turf’s backing, not the yarn fibers themselves.
Thatch fibers are added to artificial grass to mimic the layers of dying or dead grass that can be found on natural grass.
The thatch layer usually consists of curly polypropylene fibers that are a mix of green or brown and mimic the soft padding created by the dead grass.
Walking barefoot on artificial grass with a thatch layer, it’s almost indistinguishable from the soft, cushy feeling of natural grass.
A lot of turf products now feature a thatch layer to make it look more realistic, putting green turf products don’t usually have a thatch layer.
Sometimes referred to as the stitch count, the density of a turf product is simply the number of blades of grass per square inch.
The density of turf products is usually indicative of product quality, with higher-quality products usually having a higher density.
A dense product has more material to absorb friction from foot traffic than a sparse one and will be more durable over time.
The face weight of artificial grass is the weight in ounces of the yarn fiber in a square yard of grass.
This measurement includes both the blades of grass and thatch fibers.
Face weight generally ranges from around 30 to 90 oz per square yard.
The backing of the turf product is NOT included in the face weight, nor is infill.
The pile height of artificial grass refers to the length of the blades of grass.
For a backyard putting green, you’ll want a very short pile height of around ½ inch.
This will best mimic the length of grass found on natural grass putting greens and will provide the most realistic putting experience.
Backing / Back Weight
The backing on artificial grass has two parts: primary backing and secondary backing.
Both the primary and secondary backings work together to provide dimensional stability to the entire system.
The Primary Backing is comprised of woven polypropylene fabrics that allow the artificial grass fibers to be tufted into the material in rows and facilitate seaming between artificial grass panels.
In other words it’s the durable material that the grass blades/fibers are stitched to.
A good backing will resist stretching.
The Secondary Backing is often referred to as the ‘coating’ and is applied to the reverse side of the primary backing in order to permanently lock the tufted fibers permanently in place.
Because drainage isn’t a major concern on putting green turf products, this layer usually consists of a polyurethane or a rubber coating.
Together, the primary and secondary backing make up the “Back Weight.”
You can expect to see a back weight above 26 oz. on a high-quality turf product.
A decent back weight is a must for any installation area that will see heavy traffic, such as a backyard putting green.
For most conventional turf products, the turf’s drainage system is an extremely important feature.
Most artificial grass is equipped with a hole-punch backing that allows water, pet urine, and other liquids to pass through the turf.
The fibers and thatch on those turf products make the holes punched in the backing invisible from the surface.
With putting green turf, the surface needs to remain smooth and consistent to ensure smooth ball play.
Punching holes in the turf’s backing would create divots in your putting green that would prevent the ball from rolling straight.
Putting green turf doesn’t drain the same way as turf products for other applications.
The pile height of putting green turf ensures that whatever water doesn’t drain away will quickly evaporate from the surface.
Your putting green installer will also build a slight pitch into your golf green to help facilitate the runoff of water.
While a backyard putting green doesn’t need to match the color of any surrounding grass, there are plenty of color options available.
This is more relevant to artificial grass for traditional applications, like lawns, pets, patios, etc. it’s still worth mentioning.
Modern artificial grass products are designed to look like different species of grass.
One way this is accomplished is by using multiple colors of yarn to create the blades of grass.
Infill plays an important role in the majority of artificial grass installations.
The infill material acts as a ballast and prevents turf from shifting, warping, or wrinkling over time.
Most backyard putting greens will use silica sand as the infill material.
Infill can be added or removed from your putting green to adjust the ball speed.
More infill = higher ball speed.
Available in a variety of materials, infill can be made from sand, cork, walnut shells, or a number of other materials.
Some infills begin as sand but are enhanced with coatings that add features like antimicrobial protection, evaporative cooling, and more.
For your backyard putting green, silica sand infill is what we recommend.
One of the most important factors to consider regarding your artificial grass installation is the one part you’ll never see: the base.
Installing artificial grass directly onto soil will result in a disastrous installation that will quickly develop wrinkles and dimples.
These are caused by the expansion and contraction of the soil as it expands during wet and dry seasons.
A properly installed base is critical to a quality turf installation, and that includes your backyard putting green.
The base consists of a layer of compacted sand, decomposed granite, river rocks, and gravel that form the foundation of a turf installation.
UV Protection / UV-Stabilized
Regardless of how much you use it, your backyard putting green will be constantly exposed to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
Constant exposure to sunlight, which here in Texas is an inevitability will eventually cause the turf fibers to fade and discolor and the backing to crack.
That is, unless your turf product is equipped with UV Protection / UV Stabilizers, which are introduced during the manufacturing process.
These additives can be thought of like sunscreen for your artificial grass and they will help to prolong the life of your putting green.
UV Protection will help to prevent your putting green turf fibers from fading and will protect the turf’s backing from drying out and cracking.
3. Golf & Putting Green Terminology
Above we covered the terminology related to artificial grass to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed or lost in the lingo when speaking with an installer.
Below we’ll outline some terminology specific to golf and putting greens.
If you’re interested in learning more about golf and putting green terminology, you should check out “Golf Distillery.”
Green / Putting Green
The green – or putting green – consists of the area at the far end of a golf hole where the grass is kept shortest and on which golfers are meant to use a putter.
The green represents the general target area of a golf hole as it contains the actual hole inside its perimeter.
Fringe / Collar
The fringe or collar consists of the relatively narrow margin that is located between the putting green and the rough.
Much like the first cut that is found between the rough and the fairway, the fringe features grass that is cut to an intermediate height between that of the putting green and the rough.
Grain refers to the alignment of the individual blades of grass when they are bent to the side.
When grass grows beyond a specific height its individual blades become too heavy to grow perfectly upward.
Instead, they will bend to one side and continue growing sideways from there.
When a region of grass sees its individual blades all bend to the same side that patch is said to feature grain.
Hole / Cup
The hole – or cup – consists of an actual hole in the ground that is dug somewhere on the putting green, on each of the different golf holes.
The term refers to the ultimate target, representing the final destination of a golf ball on any golf hole.
One of the best features of backyard putting greens is the ability to have more than one hole on the green.
With more holes, you’ll be able to practice your shots from a greater variety of angles.
Flag / Flagstick / Pin
The flagstick – or pin – is a long and rigid pole usually made of metal that is held inside the middle of the cup.
It is used to provide a visual aid to golfers and to give an indication as to the relative position of the hole inside the green.
The otherwise difficult object to discern from afar is made more visible through its flag, secured at the very top.
Break refers to the direction a ball will take when rolling on the green.
Putting greens often feature slopes or otherwise uneven surfaces that add difficulty to the putting game.
A golfer that finds such a deviation in elevation in the path of a putt will need to make adjustments to the initial direction he will aim.
He will do so in order to incorporate the break into his putt.
The intensity with which a putt will break will be determined in part by how fast the ball will roll.
Indeed, a slower ball will be impacted by the break much more than would a fast one.
Bunker / Sand Trap
A bunker is a depressed area often filled with sand, which can prove to be difficult for novice golfers.
Bunkers are golf course hazards that replicate the playing conditions of golf in the 1600s when the game was invented.
Natural holes and sand pits formed over time as the landscape evolved, creating obstacles that would trap the ball and make it difficult to score.
Today, bunkers can be installed on the sides of the fairway or in the middle.
4. What are the Pros & Cons of Artificial Turf Putting Greens?
When comparing the pros and cons of artificial turf putting greens, it’s pretty easy to see which side wins.
|No mowing or edging||High upfront cost|
|No fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides||Hotter surface temperatures in the summer|
|Lower water bills|
|Perfectly green grass year-round|
|Make friends & neighbors jealous!|
If you were to build a natural grass putting green in your backyard, you’d likely regret it rather quickly.
Unless you can afford a full-time greenskeeper, you’d be stuck constantly mowing, fertilizing, watering, manicuring, and maintaining a real grass golf green.
That’s what makes synthetic grass such a perfect alternative to natural grass for backyard putting greens.
You’ll enjoy a picture-perfect putting green, year-round without much if any effort on your part at all.
5. Costs & Financing
As soon as most people discover that they can have their very own backyard putting green installed, they inevitably ask “How much will it cost?”
Installing an artificial turf home golf green is quite a bit more expensive than a round of golf, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.
The majority of artificial grass companies offer one or more financing options, so you’ll likely be paying for your putting green in monthly installments.
It’s worth pointing out that you’ll see a return on your putting green investment.
You’ll not only save the time and money required to drive to a golf course just to work on your short game, but you’ll also be adding value to your home.
The majority of backyard putting greens are too small to have an impact on the costs of watering, mowing, fertilizing, and maintaining the same size area of natural grass.
That said, if or when you decide to sell your home, a backyard putting green will increase your home’s value and help your home stand out from others in the area.
How Much Does an Artificial Turf Backyard Putting Green Cost?
Let’s’ quickly take a look at a few examples of putting green sizes and their costs.
According to Home Advisor, most putting greens will cost between $18 and $25 per square foot.
Using those numbers let’s look at few examples to get an idea of how much an artificial turf backyard putting green costs.
- A small, 200-square-foot green will probably cost between $3,600 and $5,000.
- A medium, 500-square-foot green will probably cost between $9,000 and $12,500.
- A large, 1,000-square-foot green will probably cost between $18,000 and $25,000.
It’s worth pointing out that with most artificial grass installations, the larger the project, the lower the cost per square foot you can expect to pay.
Also, remember that installing a backyard putting green is a long-term investment.
The upfront cost may be high, but you’ll also be saving time and money in driving to the golf course.
You’ll also be able to work on your short game whenever you’d like, right from the comfort of your own backyard!
To learn more, we recently published a guide about artificial grass cost.
What Should I Look for in the Best Putting Green Turf Products?
Above, we covered the terminology needed to discuss artificial turf putting greens, the costs of installing one, and the pros and cons of artificial turf vs. natural grass.
Below, we’ll review the most important characteristics and features to look for in a high-quality putting green turf installation.
1. Durability & Product Quality
Earlier in the article we explained that the best putting green turf products are manufactured with nylon fibers.
Nylon is perfect for putting greens because of the materials inherent qualities like a course texture, rigid feel, resistance to high temperatures and overall durability.
These are perfect qualities for your backyard putting green, as you don’t want foot traffic or harsh weather to affect the surface of your golf green.
Putting green turf products with nylon fibers will remain smooth and flat for years.
So, when looking for the best putting green turf product for your golf green, go with nylon fibers as they will provide the most durable putting green surface.
Even with heavy foot traffic from you, or kids and pets running and playing on the putting green, the surface will remain smooth and flat for you to work on your short game.
2. Aesthetics & Realistic Putting Green Look & Feel
If you’re going to invest thousands of dollars into a backyard putting green, you should expect a putting green that’s indistinguishable from the most well-kept natural grass green.
You don’t just want your putting green to look good though… it also needs to perform and play like a natural grass putting green.
For the most realistic backyard putting green, look for turf products with a short pile height of around 0.5” to 0.65”.
Anything longer than that and the surface will be too soft to provide a realistic putting experience.
3. Customizable Putting Green Design & Layout
One of the best features of artificial grass is its flexibility and versatility in terms of design.
Your backyard putting green is only limited by the size of your yard and your imagination.
Some people are satisfied with a 200 – 300 sq. ft. rectangular or hourglass-shaped putting green with two or three holes.
Others opt for more complex putting green designs that take advantage of existing features in their yards like slopes, berms, trees, etc. to provide more variety and make the holes more challenging.
If you aren’t sure which putting green would suit you best, one of our putting green design experts can work with you to design the perfect putting green for your home.
One of the biggest benefits of artificial grass is the minimal maintenance requirements.
Artificial turf maintenance is extremely easy and will require minimal effort on you part.
The biggest regular maintenance requirement will be to replenish the infill material that’s applied during the installation process.
Earlier, we went over what infill material is and the role that it plays in artificial grass installations.
The infill material that your putting green installer is most likely to use is silica sand infill.
As you practice and walk on your home golf green the granules of sand will be shifted around and some will inevitably get stuck to your shoes, blown away with strong winds, or washed away with heavy rain.
The rigidity of the best putting green turf products will help to keep the infill material in place, but it is sand and you can’t do much to prevent this from happening.
Because the sand infill helps to stabilize your putting green, you’ll just want to make sure it stays at a high enough level between the turf fibers.
Aside from replenishing the infill material every year or so, you’ll also need to remove any debris that falls or is blown onto your putting green.
Things like leaves, sticks, twigs, etc. can be removed by hand for smaller putting greens and with a leaf blower for larger putting greens.
If you notice dirt or dust accumulating on your golf green, it can easily be rinsed away with a garden hose.
5. A Putting Green Turf Installer That’s Trustworthy & Reliable
Choosing the best putting green turf product for your backyard putting green is second only to choosing a putting green turf installer that is trustworthy and reliable.
The rapid growth of the turf industry has led to an explosion of “Installers,” some of which are more concerned with turning a profit than providing a long-lasting, quality installation.
An uneven spot or divot on an artificial grass lawn will be invisible from the surface because the artificial grass will hide any imperfections.
The surface of an artificial turf putting green is much less forgiving to imperfections.
To ensure that you get the best putting green installation possible, choose a reputable and trustworthy artificial grass installation company.
You want a company that has a solid track record of quality putting green installations.
Check out a turf company’s reviews from multiple sources.
You should also make sure that they have installed putting greens of a similar size and shape to the one you want to get.
Any turf installers worth their salt should be happy to answer all of your questions and walk you through every step of the installation process.
Our Top Picks of the Best Putting Green Turf Products
There are a number of great putting green turf products on the market.
Below, we’ll provide an overview of our favorite turf products for backyard putting greens.
Offering golfers the same level of performance expected from a professional golf course, SYNLawn’s “Precision Putt” synthetic putting green surface delivers the most realistic experience available.
Made using Nylon fibers for an enduring natural appearance and performance that will last for years to come in all climates.
Platinum Putt is recommended for the intermediate to advanced golfer seeking consistent ball roll performance and accurate chip shots.
Nylon Putt 2-Tone
SGW’s “Nylon Putt 2-Tone” showcases an extremely strong textured nylon material in field and lime green color tones to replicate a real putting green in both looks and feel.
As a very customizable product, Nylon Putt 2-Tone has a 34-ounce face weight as well as ½ inch pile height and will blend in with any natural surroundings!
The textured grass blades contain U.V. inhibitors, so your putting green will not fade!
Pro Putt 44
With a pile height of 1/2″ and face weight of 44 oz. per square yard, Global Syn-Turf’s “Pro Putt-44” is ideal for putting greens all across America.
Its color looks natural and realistic and its beautiful green tone blends very well with a wide variety of artificial grass combinations for fringes, lawns, dog run areas, and landscapes for practice greens.
Pro Putt-44 looks just like real grass and can enhance any environment.
Turf Hub’s “Tour Platinum” is designed to give you a true roll just like a natural country club green.
A pile height of ⅜” and a face weight of 40 oz. per square yard make this an excellent contender for the best putting green turf product.
The texturized nylon yarn and natural rubber backing make this turf extremely durable and deliver superior performance.
Your backyard will become Augusta National with this putting green.
Wrapping up our Buyer’s Guide to the Best Putting Green Turf for Home Golf Greens
Every avid golfer secretly wishes for their own slice of the course to swing a club on every day.
Make your dream a reality with an artificial grass putting green in your backyard!
If you’re ready to install one in your yard or if you’re just curious about if it would be possible in your location, give the putting green installation experts at Arlington Turf Installers a call.
We create putting greens large and small throughout the DFW area.
If you are ready to get started, we recommend you explore our website a bit.
There are a lot of specifics to understand about artificial grass putting greens, and the first step is to educate yourself on the many features and options available.
- Artificial Grass
- Turf Drainage
- Infill Materials
- Antimicrobial Technology
- Installation Process
- Measuring Square Footage
Let’s get an expert on your side to help you put together the perfect backyard putting green installation plan.
We have teams of the best putting green turf installers in Texas.
At Arlington Turf Installers, we are happy to help you explore this decision by answering any of your questions before buying turf.
To get your FREE putting green design & installation estimate simply “CLICK HERE” or feel free to give us a call at 682-332-7122.