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Thread: Synthetic putting green

  1. #1
    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
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    Synthetic putting green

    I hope you good people can give me some advice. I have this open cement space right in front of my office, it's the old foundation floor of a building. Its about 18m by 3m. I want to convert the space into a putting green with synthetic grass. It will not only look good, it will also be awesome to just walk a few meters to my office door and hit that perfect long put. Yeah. From the bit of research I have done it seems simple enough to do myself. If I build the base myself I will save even more, but I want the grass to be of a good and long lasting quality.

    Do you guys know which products are better than others, or do you have any other tips and things?

    @Dave S given your industry of profession, is this something you are involved with at all?

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  2. #2
    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    @PMBGuy, it is something we get asked about quite regularly in fact. A lot of folk around us have super-sized mansions and want a putting green on their front lawn, most of them want it to be a genuine USGA (United States Golf Association) specification patch of grass, that is until they hear the cost and maintenance involved. I'm a little rusty as to what these costs are nowadays, but a simple putting green will set you back a cool R250000.00 or so and it's maintenance is about the same per annum, but that is for a genuine USGA article.

    Seeing as you want to build with synthetics, it should be somewhat easier and cheaper. The 18 x 3m foundation slab you mentioned is probably flat as a pancake and wouldn't serve too well to produce a green with some undulation, after all who wants to putt on a pancake?

    So, firstly you would need to find a method of undulating the substructure. If you build a 1 or 2-brick wall around the perimeter and fix hooks into this at, say 300 - 500mm distances this would give you an edging for your green and would also give anchor points to hold it in place. You could, of course, fit some anchor points within the foundation bed as well, varying the heights (of the anchors) to allow for the undulations you want. Or you could just simply shape the concrete foundation to the undulations you want.

    Then you would fill the foundation with play-pen sand, dampen it and shape it to the undulation you want, and then fit the "sheets of grass" on top of this. Finally, you would now cover the "grass" with a thin layer of play-pen sand and brush it in so that the synthetic layer of grass stands proud by about 3-4mm. and presto, you have a putting green. Now all you need is a ball, putter, and something to aim at. Unfortunately, if you decide to cut a hole (putting cup) you will not be able to move it, thus limiting your putting practice and causing excessive wear around the hole, however, if you were to position 2x tee pegs, 110mm apart and putt in between these, you would be close enough to the size of a hole, and you can move them around to form different stroke types and challenges.

    The maintenance would be quite simple, in that you would need to dampen the surface regularly (1x week) and occasionally (every 3-6 months) you would need to top-dress with more sand and brush it in. At some stage (perhaps every 2-3 years), you would need to lift the "grass" and reform the foundation sand as footsteps will eventually cause this to become bumpy.

    Just a tip here, use the thinnest mat, and finest "grass" you can find. Please note, a synthetic putting green will have very different ball characteristics to a genuine green.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, you will need to form some sort of a drainage system so that rain water can drain away without taking the sand with it, if you lay a bed of river sand on the bottom of the foundation and then cover this with "Bidum" (cloth used for drainage systems) and then put the play-pen sand on top of this you would have a good drainage start. The bottom layer of bricks around the perimeter can then have gaps that will allow water to run out.
    Last edited by Dave S; 19-Aug-13 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Additional info
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