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Small Backyard Putting Green Ideas

For the golfer, nothing beats stepping outside and putt anytime you want. Installing a putting green in your backyard is the ultimate way to have fun golfing at home while improving your skills. With the right design and high-quality turf products, you can build the putting green of your dreams.

The possibilities are endless regarding custom putting greens. Work with a professional to replicate the look and feel of your local golf course. Incorporate contours, realistic fringe cuts, and even ponds and sand traps that make the game more fun and challenging. Artificial turf has come a long way in mimicking natural grass while still being perfect for backyard use.

With a well-designed outdoor putting green, you can practice chip shots, wedge shots, and, most importantly, putting. Spending time putting, chipping, and working on the nuances of the short game is vital to becoming a better golfer. And being able to step right out your door to do it makes all the difference.

small putting green

In our guide, you can see how easy it can be to start working on your golf game whenever you like. By the end, you’ll better understand these artificial putting green options and how a backyard professionally installed putting green is a game changer. (Read Should I Buy A House With Radon Mitigation System)

Putt Your Way To Success With Backyard Putting Green

Have you ever dreamed of having your own putting green right outside your back door? A backyard putting green using synthetic turf allows you to work on your golf game whenever you want, without having to go to the driving range or local course. Installing a high-quality synthetic backyard putting green is more accessible and more affordable than you may think, and it can transform your outdoor space into a golfer’s paradise.

Further in our DIY putting green guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about backyard putting greens – from design ideas and installation tips to maintenance recommendations. 

Designing and Building Artificial Turf Golf Game

When planning your backyard putting green, the first decision is what type of surface to use. Artificial turf designed explicitly for putting is the most popular option. The best-putting green turf simulates the speed and texture of natural grass on real greens.  Artificial turf is durable, low maintenance, and lets you putt even in rainy weather. Other possibilities include natural grass, synthetic mats, or a putt-able ground cover. 

Next, think about the size and shape. A typical backyard putting green is 300-500 square feet, but ensure to leave room for enough holes and other features. Consider an oval, kidney bean, or freeform shape to maximize space. 

Incorporate contours, undulations, sand traps, and ponds to add challenge and interest. Design features like natural slopes, mounds, and breaks will make your backyard putting green feel like the real deal. Like on actual golf courses, you can shape the turf into tiers by building up the subsurface with angled gravel and setting forms.


What Elements Can You Add To Putting Green?

The best backyard putting greens incorporate features you’d find on a real golf course to help simulate actual putting situations and make practice more realistic and engaging.

Some elements you can add include:

  • Multiple hole cutouts – Varying the number and placement of holes brings variety when putting and avoids memorizing just one.
  • Fringe cut – Trimming the edge of the green shorter than the main turf creates the collar effect.
  • Contouring and breaks – Slight undulations, slopes, and elevation changes add challenge.
  • Bunkers and sand traps – Strategically placed hazards require escaping tricky situations.
  • Water features – Integrating a small pond or fountain provides natural aesthetics.
  • Fairway area – Having run-up space to hit longer putts simulates approaching a green.
  • Chipping zone – A separate adjacent spot to practice pitch shots and chips expands practice options.

You can make your putting green as elaborate or simple as desired. Even starting with a basic flat strip of turf improves your stroke. (Read Can You Shoot An Air Rifle In Your Backyard)

What About Synthetic Turf Putting Greens?

For homeowners looking for lower maintenance and increased durability, synthetic turf offers an excellent putting green option. The best synthetic putting greens use specialized turf designed to emulate natural grass greens’ speed, texture, and play.

Features to look for in quality synthetic putting green turf include:

  • A thatch layer backing replicates the grass feel.
  • Infill mixture that maintains proper green speed to match natural turf greens.
  • UV protection to avoid fading.
  • A turf cut length between .25” to .5” to match typical green heights.
  • A clean appearance with no distracting seam lines.
  • A neat appearance with no distracting seam lines.
  • A well-draining, porous backing.
  • Stain resistance technology.

Installing Your Artificial Putting Green Surface

Once you nail down the size, shape, and contours, it’s time to prep and install your putting green turf. Clear and level the area, making sure to pitch any slope away from the house for drainage. Dig 6-12 inches down and fill with crushed gravel packed in layers. Cover with quality weed barrier before installing the specialized putting green carpet.

Add a border of bricks, pavers, or mow edge for the cleanest look to delineate the putting surface. Bury edges in trenches around the perimeter and allow extra turf to overhang. When complete, your backyard putting green will look seamless, from cuts of fringe to cups.

Add sand traps, ponds, rock formations, and plants around the edges to emulate obstacles on a real course. You can incorporate fun accessories, too, like flags, ball washers, and yardage markers. Design your ideal layout with multiple holes, sufficient putting space, and challenges to improve your short game.

The Process Of Installing A Putting Green?

Once you decide on the size, location, elements to include, and artificial or natural grass, it’s time to get your backyard putting green installed. Here is an overview of the full process:

  1. Finalize the putting green design and map it out.
  2. Remove existing grass, plants, rocks, and debris from the install area.
  3. Dig down 4-6” and grade the soil flat. Slope for proper drainage if needed.
  4. Install subsurface drainage and irrigation systems if incorporated.
  5. For natural grass, add soil amendments to improve the nutrient profile.
  6. Level the soil surface and compact it tightly.
  7. Roll out base mats or weed barrier fabric.
  8. Unroll the turf and secure the edges using nails, glue, or burial.
  9. Infill artificial turf fibers evenly with sand and granules.
  10. Watering as you go for natural grass, sod, or sprig the area in sections.
  11. Shape contours and install any bunkers, cutouts for holes, and other features.
  12. Apply the initial watering cycle to the surrounding green area to soak materials.

The installation typically takes 4-7 days, depending on size. When not actively installing, keep foot traffic off the area while turf establishes. (Read What Can I Feed The Deer In My Yard)


How To Maintain Your Putting Green

An artificial turf putting green that takes minimal effort compared to natural grass is easy. However, some care is required to keep your putting green performing optimally for years. Routine brushing clears debris, restores the pile on and outside the green, and creates a fresh, clean green. 

Annual infill topdressing maintains a smooth, consistent rolling surface. Wash down with water and mild cleaner occasionally to prevent odors and staining. A putting green cover protects from UV rays and weathering when not in use. 

Unlike natural bentgrass greens, artificial turf won’t need frequent mowing and fertilizing. But you’ll want to keep it clear of leaves, sticks, and other obstructions to affect putting. Let your backyard putting green be an oasis for golf, backyard games, parties, and relaxation!


Whether you wanted a putting green to relax outdoors or improve your golf skills with the ultimate training aids, or make your neighbors jealous, a high-quality backyard putting green made from artificial grass is a fun addition to your landscape.

With proper planning and fake grass installation process, you can enjoy your own private putting paradise right at home without losing a single golf ball. Installing your own putting green unlocks endless opportunities to play golf at home. 

With quality artificial turf with the look and feel of natural grass, your backyard putting green will be a spot to practice for years to come. Don’t wait to play golf. Start designing your putting green where you can practice your short game.

A putting green in your backyard will help you achieve the perfect stroke without leaving home; as we all know, practice makes perfect. Now you can play like a pro and impress your golf buddies with your skills honed right in the backyard.

FAQs About Backyard Putting Greens

What size backyard putting green, should I build?

For the average home putting green, you are looking to practice in 300 to 500 square feet of putting surface. Leave room for holes, contours, sand bunkers, and other features.

How much does a backyard putting green cost?

Expect to invest $20-$40 per square foot installed for a backyard golf green. So, don’t forget, an average of 300 sq ft of grass putting green can cost $6,000 to $12,000.

What maintenance is required for artificial turf greens?

With synthetic putting green turf, maintenance is minimal. So, a putting green is a great way to improve your short stroke without too much effort compared to natural grass putting green at home.

Occasional brushing, topdressing, and cleaning are all needed in your new backyard putting tour greens. (Read How Can I Cover Dirt In My Yard Cheap)

Should I install a putting green myself or hire a professional?

Pro installation will work with you from initial design to final clean-up and is recommended to ensure proper base prep, drainage, and smooth contours. But DIY putting green ideas are possible for more straightforward putting and chipping greens.

What are the best materials for a backyard putting green?

Specialized artificial turf designed for golf putting provides excellent simulation of natural greens.

Can I use my putting green for more than just golf?

A custom backyard putting green oasis can also be used for fun outdoor games, parties, bocce courts, or just relaxing outdoors.

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