I’ve wanted a backyard putting green of my own for as long as I can remember. Every time I have moved houses, I’ve looked at each new backyard and wondered where a putting green would fit. It’s fun to dream. And I am pretty sure I am not alone in having that dream, especially amongst our GolfWRX readership full of golf nerds just like me.
I’ve researched it in the past. I’ve gotten bid estimates but never pulled the trigger. Until now. With a three-year-old son growing up, starting to really enjoy the game, it was time to make it happen.
The cost was obviously a big decision point in finding the company I wanted to perform the work. I had several different companies come out for an estimate, and you’d be surprised at the range of bids I received. The area I had picked out is a garden just off my back patio, measuring 7.6 feet x 20.5 feet for a total of approximately 150 square feet. It wouldn’t be huge but big enough for three holes.
The Initial Consult
The other estimates I had received were for this garden as well as potential greens in other areas of the yard, more able to accommodate bigger green sizes, but ultimately I decided that a smaller green just off the porch would get the most use. And it was obviously more affordable. Some companies wouldn’t even entertain the garden area, stating their minimum jobs are $5,000.00 for any given project. That was out of my budget.
A putting green of the size I was hoping for, mind you, measures out to be between $1,500 to $2,600 depending on the turf chosen. Financing is available. That brings me to the most important decision you’ll make when embarking on a backyard putting green journey: choose your installer wisely based on your comfort with the people. Don’t just go with the first people you call. Go with the ones that you feel most comfortable with and who are the most transparent.
I chose a Texas-based company called Ideal Turf. They were local to me here in Fort Worth, but they provide service to the entire state of Texas and Oklahoma. Their website actually has a cost calculator so you can get a feel for the expense involved prior to even making a phone call. They were excited about this location, agreeing that it would be a nice size surface for what I was wanted. That made me feel better. Some of the present foliage would obviously need to come out, which can be done by a subcontractor that Ideal Turf uses or I could hire someone else or do it myself. I had the shrubs taken out as well as the Crepe Myrtle tree, but my designer was just fine with me leaving in the Yaupon tree, as he could work around it and give the green some shade and character.
Logan, my green technician, came to the initial consultation with turf samples and a tablet that he could actually use to begin the design right there on the spot. This was the first company that I had seen do that, which was really impressive to me.
We went through the different artificial turf options for both the putting surface and the longer grass border that would surround the green. The shape is completely customizable, with hourglass or kidney bean being the most common choices. I really had three goals in mind. First, I wanted to maximize the size of the putting surface, knowing that my square footage was already on the smaller size. Second, I wanted to find the grass that looked really good but would hold up to weather conditions. Third, I wanted turf that performed as close to a real putting surface as possible.
With Logan’s help, I felt satisfied that Ideal Turf could deliver on all three items of concern. We started with an hourglass design, but we ended up widening the putting surface at most turns to ensure as large a putting area as possible. The changes were made to the design app in a matter of seconds.
The turf we went with includes UV inhibitors that are added to the fibers to reduce fading from exposure to the sun. With quality turf, drainage isn’t a concern either. Ideal Turf uses a “cascade backing system” that allows for rainwater to drain at 1,500 inches per hour. Puddling apparently won’t be an issue.
The initial visit and consultation took less than an hour, but a lot got done. When Ideal Turf was gone, I went ahead and began preparing the space for installation. The removal of the tree and shrubs needed to include the roots because three inches of the dirt are actually cleared out during the installation process and replaced with a topsoil mix ideal for leveling and drainage.
Ideal Turf was great at communication, with a series of emails leading up to the day of installation. I was assigned a personal Client Liason (shoutout to Samantha) who was with me every step of the way, from the estimate and design agreement to the coordination of scheduling. We were able to get the installation scheduled just over a week from the date I signed my contract.
The installers were out to my house at 10:30 am on a Thursday and I was rolling putts before sundown. As I mentioned before, they cleared the existing dirt out three inches deep and replaced it with that drainable topsoil. They also marked and capped all existing sprinkler heads in the garden. That was something I didn’t think much about prior to installation day so I was relieved to learn they would be handling it.
They then wet the topsoil and then smoothed and rolled it. I decided to not add many undulations to the putting surface since it was a smaller green. I wanted to make sure I had flat 15-foot putts to practice intermediate strokes. The crew was able to work around the Yaupon tree we left behind to add some charm to the green.
Next, the Ace Putt 56 putting turf was rolled out over the entire surface and the digital design was used to measure out and trace the green. Once marked, the green was cut to shape and the border turf was laid to form the edges. The border rough works great with wedges for short pitches and chips. Since the green has been installed, I actually turn and chip back into the heart of my backyard off the border grass for longer short game work.
Finally, the green is sanded and rolled to level the surface and make sure the turf is laying smooth and flat. Three holes were brought out and I was asked to design their placement myself. I was my own yard’s Gil Hanse for about 25 minutes, walking the entire surface several times with putter in hand, rolling balls, deciding how I would like my own course to be routed. It was a ton of fun. I ended up going with a more Golden Age design.
The holes are traced, cut, and then hammered into the earth. I did appreciate that a bit of extra attention was given to the hole installation so that they fit flat and clean with the turf around them. And that’s really it…the green is ready for play! Ideal Turf provided three pins and flags for the finishing touch. In less than two weeks from consultation to installation and less than eight hours for installation, the process went incredibly smooth.
Maintenance has been a breeze, as a broom and leaf blower is pretty much all you need to keep it looking perfect. The installation itself came with a one-year warranty from Ideal Turf, and a twenty-year product warranty for the turf itself. Check with whoever you decided to use for something similar.
It’s been several days now and I’ve had time to enjoy the green at different hours of the day. I wake up, walk out with a cup of coffee with just the dog, and enjoy some quiet time before the sun comes up. The kiddo also loves to “practice golf” before bedtime, a delay tactic I’m happy to entertain.
Time will tell how much use the green will get as my son gets older, backyard parties are had, and the shine of a “new toy” begins to wear. But I guess the point of all this is to simply say that a backyard green is possible for all of us. There are good companies out there that aren’t trying to just take all your money. So far, I couldn’t be happier with the decision we made as a family to embark on this putting green adventure. Here’s to many sunken putts ahead.
What Adam Scott said about his new 681.AS irons
- Editor’s note: We originally filed this piece for the Equipment Report on PGATOUR.com.
Adam Scott has used the same irons — Titleist Forged 680 — for the better part of 10 years.
“When you’re old and stubborn, you like what you like,” the 41-year-old told PGATOUR.COM.
Indeed, as he has transitioned into Titleist’s latest woods and wedges, the 14-time PGA TOUR winner has remained steadfast in playing his 2003 680 irons with KBS Tour 130 X shafts.
It was interesting, then, to see Scott with a different — but very similar — set of irons in the bag ahead of THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.
At a glance, the visually stunning irons look identically shaped to the 680s we’re used to seeing in Scott’s bag — similar large muscle pad on the rear of the club, similar hosel transition, similar generous amount of offset, similar topline. However, the irons looked substantially less worn and were stamped with 681.AS on the hosel.
What’s going on here?
Titleist declined to comment, but PGATOUR.COM caught up with Scott, who shared some details. As it turns out the new irons are the same…sort of.
Before digging into the 681.AS, we asked Scott why he doesn’t simply continue playing 680 irons, and when a set wears out, replace them with another. The answer, he said, was simple. Titleist “just ran out of original sets,” which the company stopped producing in 2005.
What to do? Scour eBay and used club stores? Frequent garage sales?
Scott indicated Titleist engineers took a different tack: They made CAD (computer-aided design) copies of his beloved 680s and CNC-machined what he called, “basically the same clubs.”
“Thanks to technology,” he said, “they’re as exact a replica as you can get, but with the way they’ve been made, I could argue it’s a more solid head with a more solid strike.
“I’ve been stuck on the 680s for a long time now,” he added. “…We’ve tried some stuff here and there. We tried bending the 620 MBs earlier this year, which I actually used at the Masters. I’ve been looking for 12 months for that new fresh set with good feel in the hands and good vibes, and we just couldn’t get there, so they took this project on.”
He continued: “It’s very nice for me that Titleist was able to do that. I know what I know. I’ve played it so long, I’m at a point where I think it’s detrimental to go searching and trying to change. I know how I play, and I know what I need to play well.”
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/15/21): Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
From the seller (@Hunter01): “Rare Tour Issue Odyssey Stroke Lab mini putter. From the tour van with tour crimp on hosel. 35” long with grip options available. This putter never came to retail but we’re made available to the tour in limited quantities. 329 firm.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
L.A.B Golf unveils new MEZZ.1 Proto putter
L.A.B Golf has soft-launched its new MEZZ.1. Proto, which is currently limited to just 1,000 individually numbered putters.
The new mid-mallet putter is fully CNC machined from a billet of 6061 aircraft aluminum (body) and 303 stainless steel (midsection) for what L.A.B are calling their “best-feeling putter to date”.
The new addition includes 10 weights (eight on the bottom, two on the sides) that allow the company to individually build each putter to a golfer’s exact specifications.
Golfers can also choose their preferred alignment aid, with blank (no marking), line, and dot all offered with the new MEZZ.1 Proto.
The putter comes equipped with a headcover and is available to purchase now at LabGolf.com for $600.00.
Patrick Reed’s Twitter suggests that he’s fuming with Stricker’s Ryder Cup snub
Taking the backyard putting green plunge
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The Wedge Guy: More on learning – the grip
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Patrick Cantlay’s winning WITB: 2021 Tour Championship
WITB Time Machine: Justin Thomas’ winning WITB 2017 CJ Cup
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX (tipped 1.5 inches) 3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK...
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Driver: Titleist TSi2 (8 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (45.25 inches) 3-wood: Titleist TS3 (13.5) (B1...
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