OK, admit it. You've always dreamed of having a putting green in your backyard. If you're like me, that dream looks something like this.
You wake up, and find yourself with a 100 yard hole behind your huge house, with multiple tees, bunkers, and amazing contours. If you are short game instructor Dave Pelz, or someone like Jim Nantz who built a replica of Pebble Beach's famed 7th hole in his backyard (in Pebble Beach no less) you live that dream every day.
If you don't even have 25 yards in your backyard, then the idea of building any kind of golf hole is a pipe dream. Unless you want the world's shortest Par-3. But if you have any flat space at all, even something as small as 300 square feet, a backyard green is within reach.
The problem is that most of the professional green installation companies aren't interested in smaller spaces, so the price per square foot of a small project can be prohibitive. But XGrass has you covered. We did the research, and chose them as the Official Green of AmateurGolf.com. The video below and rest of this article describe the process we went through to convert a vegetable garden (mostly dirt) into a golfer's paradise.
I purchased a home in San Diego's South Park neighborhood a couple of years ago, and after completing a great deal of deferred maintenance, I looked at the former vegetable garden in my backyard and a lightbulb went off.
If I was going to fix the landscaping, the fence, and harvest my last pumpkin (yes, I inherited a small pumpkin patch) then artificial turf made a lot of sense. But why bother with plane old turf when I could have a putting green?
After researching a number of options for do-it-yourself greens, and calling a few landscape contractors, I came to the realization that I would be better off avoiding the artificial turf experts and focus on a reliable landscaper who could help me clean out the backyard while doing all the prep work for the new green.
At the same time, I was researching the marketplace and found Recreational Products Group, whose CEO Steve White is a competitive mid-amateur golfer from Wyoming. His company offers every kind of surface imaginable, but it was "XGrass" that caught my eye. Especially when I looked at the DIY kits available on their website.
The video above will give you a quick idea of what is involved in prepping for an installing a DIY green. There are models to fit a variety of small-ish spaces, and even some big ones. Like any project, the integrity of the finished product will depend on the surface preparation and attention to detail when installing -- you don't get a second chance to cut the holes -- but the entire green can be installed in a weekend with two handy people working side-by-side.
Here are a few things that made sense to me when researching the green, and which really paid dividends when installing it:
* XGrass provides everything you need, pre-cut, and shipped to your doorstep
* Pre-cut fringe provides a finished touch while saving hours of cutting (and wasted turf)
* Interlocking thermoplastic pieces go together like a puzzle, ensuring a pro job from an amateur installer
* Geo-textile fabric blocks weeds, and is easy to work with
* Quality instructions, and after-sale support are excellent
My green provides just the right amount of subtle break and slope to practice a variety of different putts, with three holes, and a beautiful shape that fits my yard perfectly. I love looking out the window at it.
The surface is true, easy to maintain, and will last for years. If I move, I can actually take it with me, because it's portable. But the most enjoyable part of the green is watching my son and his friends pick up putters and have little competitions, whether they play golf or not. One of them is going to try the game after his or her experience at my house. And we'll have one more golfer in the world.
If you're interested in learning more about all of the options available from XGrass, please fill out the following Information Request Form