Synthetic Putting Surfaces for your backyard are fairly priced and unbelievably un-artificial!
A new golf store opened in my town a couple weeks ago, so I decided to go down and check it out. When I walked in I was pleasantly surprised to see a very large artificial putting area where you can test out all the putters.
Read about indoor putting greens here
I have never been a fan of synthetic turf and I was somewhat unimpressed with what I found in the store. It seemed like a pretty durable surface and it rolled ok, but it was a little slow and the ball seemed to almost skid across it as it left the putter.
Being most of my artificial turf experience has been bad, I kind of assumed this was probably the best stuff around. I also tried a few chip shots and I couldn’t see how this synthetic turf material could ever simulate a real bent grass green. Well, I was pleasantly surprised…
In this article About Artificial Putting Greens:
- How they putt
- How they react to chip shots
- What speeds “stimp” they are available in
- How much they cost to install
- Where you can order one
- How you can save money on installation
A few days later, incidentally, I was speaking with an associate of mine who recently moved to Charlotte, NC. I was telling him how jealous I was about his “weather situation” and golf came up. I mentioned my recent “excitement” in the golf store was pretty much my only golf stimulation recently and he said “Oh, you should talk to my brother, he builds synthetic greens and you can barely tell the difference”.
I figured I would give him a call, he lives about 45 minutes from me.
We talked for a while and he (Tom McNamara contact info below) said I should go with him to take a look at some of the artificial putting surfaces he’s installed in our area. A couple days later we did.
Boy was I wrong about artificial putting surfaces!
We spent a few hours driving around looking at as many of the greens as we could. I was actually amazed at how many people have had these built next to pools, backyards, basements, rooftop decks and those were just the private residence putting greens.
I was also amazed at how many companies are using them in their waiting areas as a way to keep customers entertained. The commercial applications were incredible.
How do artificial greens putt?
Well, that’s the question isn’t it. I can tell you that they are as realistic as you can possibly expect. We were able to putt on a number of different artificial surfaces and they were fantastic, it was nothing like my experience at the golf store.
What about chip shots on artificial greens?
These were Mirage Synthetic Turf System Greens, specifically the TourPutt model and I can tell you that their claim of being “just like Bent Grass” is actually very true.
We took a bunch of chip shots and the ball actually checks and runs very naturally. It isn’t overly spongy either, when you walk on it, it feels like real bent grass under your feet. The ball doesn’t act any different than you would expect it to at the club. Very Impressive!
Tom McNamara from New England Custom Putting Greens, Inc. explained the difference and why the artificial putting surfaces he sells are so darn good.
The base is designed and built without any deep filled sand. The deep filled sand base greens I had seen before, wear out quick because the sand helps the turf fibers stand up. If you’ve ever seen a Kerby Vacuum presentation you know that sand and dirt grinds the fibers of a carpet and causes wear.
Mirage TourPutt Greens do not use sand, the fibers are so dense that each piece of fake grass material stands up for years, even out in the harsh New England winters.
The conventional method of sand fill is also more expensive and it eventually requires a complete resurfacing because the sand settles and becomes unnaturally hard. The sand also collects the moisture and the mildew sets in.
What about stimp?
Well, Mirage Synthetic Turf has that figure out as well. They offer three different speeds that replicate a public course-10 on the stimpmeter; a private club-11 on the stimp and a tour speed 12 on the stimp. I tested the tour speed and the private club speed. Both were fantastic.
How much does a Synthetic Putting Green Cost?
Artificial putting surfaces are priced by the square foot and the installation process is as well. Tom said that his greens start at $12 per square foot and the price varies, dependent on what type of ground he has to deal with and what type of extra design work you want around your green. Many people choose to spruce up the practice area with stone work and pavers and such.
So I was thinking, if I wanted a green that was roughly 10 feet wide by 22 feet long and I wanted to do a bunch of the work myself, I could have a custom artificial putting green in my yard for under $2,900 WOW!
If you have ever thought of getting your own green in your yard I would highly recommend New England Custom Putting Greens. They offer an exceptional product and Tom is a great guy.
You can easily have a putting green built inside your home too and the price is amazingly affordable.
To sum it up:
- High Quality Mirage Putting Turf lasts for a very long time, some of the greens we tested had been in place for 4 and 6 years
- The synthetic fibers don’t lay down and the ball rolls true in every direction
- The ball checks up on chip shots just as you would expect a real green to
- The ball doesn’t feel like its skidding, even on long putts the the sound is very real
- The greens don’t look artificial at all, they even have mow patterns and fringe
- They are very easy to clean, you can vacuum them if you want because they don’t depend on sand filling
- I am told they only take 2-3 days to install max
- You can choose your stimpmeter reading 10 – 11 -12
- The synthetic turf requires very little maintenance
- You can install in a high shade area, which is a constant problem for putting greens and they are mold resistant
New England Custom Greens will give you a checklist that you can follow on how to prep the area if you would like to save some money on installation. The thing that really amazed me was how inexpensive these artificial putting greens are. One of the greens we tested, if I had guessed I would have easily assumed it was maybe… $7,000? I was told it was only $4,200 and it had a lot of beautiful stone work around it. A Basic Green is under $3,000!
You can contact Tom McNamara at New England Custom Putting Greens:
Toll Free: 800-619-9670
NECPG performs custom putting green installations in:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- North Carolina Synthetic Putting Greens
- Georgia Artificial Grass Greens
- South Carolina Synthetic Turf
They were featured on HGTV and DIY Network as well check out the video: