How to Build a Synthetic Putting Green

By Britt Barclay

Putting is a skill that distinguishes the good players from the mediocre; eliminating just one putt every other hole will shave nine strokes off your 18-hole score. Having your own putting green is an excellent way to improve putting skills and consistency. It is important to understand, however, that building a putting green is fairly labor-intensive and requires thorough planning and research into topics such as the correct type of synthetic turf to use.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Pick a relatively flat area where the putting green will be located and spray paint around the outline of where the green will be.
Step 2
Remove the sod or scalp the grass inside the spray-painted area. Flatten out the area as much as possible then lay weed barrier down.
Step 3
Lay down the sub base over the area the green will occupy, wet it thoroughly and compact it. Repeat as many times as necessary, filling in any low spots, until the base is completely compacted and at least four inches deep. There must be a slight slope to the sub-base to be sure water drains off the top and not through it.
Step 4
Choose and mark cup placements. Next, use a small trowel to dig a hole approximately six inches in diameter and deep enough that the cup sticks out 1/4 inch above the sub-base. Place the cup in the hole and fill in around it with the fast drying concrete powder until only the top 3/4 inch of the cup is exposed. Saturate the mix with water and then add sub-base until it is flush with the rest of the surface. Run the compactor over the cup and sub-base until it is completely compacted and even with the rest of the putting surface. Repeat for as many cups as desired.
Step 5
Add slopes and contour to the green as desired, being sure to completely re-pack the sub-base each time.
Step 6
Place the synthetic turf over the surface of the sub-base. Using a push broom to brush against the grain on the turf surface. This serves to separate the fibers and get them standing vertical.
Step 7
Use the drop spreader to distribute infill evenly across the grass surface. Add a small amount at a time and brush it into the fibers, being sure to always go against the grain. Continue until the the infill is past the tips of the fibers, then brush off the excess; this should leave between 1/16 and 1/32 inch exposed.
Step 8
Push down on the green until you find the holes of the cups. Cut an X shape and then carefully cut around the edges of the cup with a razor blade. Use scissors to trim any remaining fibers.

Tips & Warnings

Use a new razor blade for each hole

About The Author

Christian Barclay is currently an undergraduate in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University of Ohio. He has research experience in the field of chemical engineering and interned this previous summer at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza in Cairo, Egypt. He has written for Demand Studios since May 2009 and has been published on and

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