How to Build a Backyard Putting Green


After the success of our custom indoor putting green build, we got tons of request for a custom outdoor build. With the help of Russell Dorsey we were able to put this guide on building a backyard green together. Building an outdoor putting green is a whole lot of work but it can be done without breaking the bank. Our featured backyard green is 465 square foot and is built in the hill of Russel’s backyard.

How much does it cost to put a putting green in your backyard?

The cost of building a green in your backyard will vary greatly depending on the size and if you plan on doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor. The green featured in this guide was DIY and cost $2,000.

Materials Needed to Build Backyard Green

  • Putting Surface
  • Fringe
  • Crushed Stone
  • Sand
  • Plastic Edging
  • 6” Turf Staples
  • Exterior Turf Glue
  • Pressure Treated 2×4

How to Build an Outdoor Putting Green

Plan and Stake out Green

The first thing you need to do is stake an outline of your green. Making an outline allows you visualize your green before it is made. I used pieces of

staking out putting green build

PVC pipe and drove them I to the ground. My turf was on a 15’ wide roll so I knew I wanted to maintain a 15’ wide shape for the main body of the green. I measured and staked out a 15×25 area the long way for my front to back. Off the top left area I staked out a 10×15 area making a large L shape. I wrapped string around the whole set of stakes to mark my work area.

Prep Area

Start by clearing off the area of any debris and cut down small trees etc within the staked off area. Think of how you want the green to break and shape the base of the green out of loom. I laid 5 yards of loom down first, and made my two tier shape by building up the center of my green. I was on a hill

so the area lent itself to a two tiered downhill back to front layout. After every few wheelbarrow fulls of loom dumped and spread, I used a 10×10 Tamper tool to pack down the

building putting green foundation

dirt. Many people

rent gas compactors that probably work much better and quicker but I did it by hand. After the loom was down, I laid down a 2” plastic edge around the perimeter of what would become the final shape of the putting

surface. The next layer was crushed stone. I used 3 yards to cover the area. Next came the sand. 3 yards of sand was spread over the area and tamped down repeatedly until I had the shape I wanted. The plastic edging staked down around the edge was then at the same height as the stone/sand material. I put sand around the outside of the plastic edging for the fringe to sit on.

Install cups

I used three cups on my green. I set them in the crushed stone/sand leaving the cup just above the surface.

Install Artificial Putting Greeninstalling putting turf

I rolled out my 15’ wide roll the long way front to back. The L shape off to the side was laid down factory edge to factory edge. I used 6” turf staples around the edges and nailed the green to the plastic edging. For the seem, I used the fabric that was on the edge of the turf to glue the two pieces together. Many people use seam tape, a vinyl adhesive tape under the turf. I used exterior rug glue and a bit of gorilla glue right at the seem on the factory edge fabric on the turf to glue it together. Pieces of scrap wood and dumbbells held the seem down overnight while it set. I figured on 2’ of “fringe” around the entire perimeter. I cut 15’ long 2’ wide strips and laid them around edges of the green, cutting them to shape. I made some rounded cuts to give it somewhat of a natural appearance. The fringe went on just over the edge of the green and got stapled down with 6” turf staples.

Cut out cups

adding rough to chipping green

Find the center of the cup and use a utility knife to cut out your cups. Don’t do what I did and cut your finger! I sliced my finger badly on the first cup. Always cut away from yourself!

Install Perimeter Lighting

I have some 12v landscape lighting in the yard already so I ran a line up and around the perimeter of the green. I picked up some more of the path lights (Hampton bay from the depot) and put 6 around the green. I installed a couple of 12v spot lights up on a tree to throw some light at the cups.

Install Tee box

I built a 6×4’ tee box out of pressure treated 2×4 wood. I built a box frame, stained and poly’d it, sat it where I wanted it 30 yards across the yard and

filled it with crushed stone and sand. I used a leftover piece of the fringe material to cover the top and staples it in place.

Table/Club Rest

I used a 1” piece of EMT pipe and spray painted it brown. Cut, stained and poly’d a piece of plywood, screwed a block to the bottom, drilled a hole in the block the size of the pipe and sat the table top snugly in place. Cheap and easy way to create a place for a drink/rest your clubs or shag bag.

About Erin Carpenter

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