|Artificial Putting Green Installation|
Here at ArtificialPuttingGreens.com, we feel installation is a big part of the total product. There are many buyers who become dissatisfied with their turf and are convinced that they purchased bad turf, when in fact, it is the inferior installation that results in substandard performance.
Although there are many good, quality turfs in the marketplace today, many different companies unfortunately claim they have a "special recipe" (or system) they have created or even patented to install the turf. ArtificialPuttingGreens.com is here to disclaim most of those marketing gimmicks being used to create some credibility with the customer. Should you come across such companies...beware. Likewise, if they are trying to sell you one type of turf and telling you it is the best thing for you...be very cautious.
Fact is, most anyone can create a small putting green with the right knowledge and tools, which can be found in our kits. Our installation videos are a wonderful resource as well. Keep in mind, however, that a do-it-yourself putting green will obviously not match the quality of one installed by an expert.
A question (more of an analogy really!) we like to ask, when talking about installation and what it means for the end product, or total package is..."are you an artist...?". Basically anyone can go to an art store and buy a canvas, some paint and a paintbrush and paint a putting green. Just as anyone can buy turf and claim they are an installer. But if you are not an artist, and have not painted before...your painting, more than likely, will not come out as nice as someone who has been painting for years. This is why we think of ourselves as the Picaso of the putting green industry. With just over 15 years of experience, we have the knowledge and experience to create a masterpeice everytime...!
We hope you will browse our installation videos (along with our gallery) to get a better understanding of the process for creating the perfect practice facility. Should you have any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Step 1 - Determine size & location.
ArtificialPuttingGreens.com turf comes in either 12' or 15' widths depending on the product you buy. So keep the width of your turf of choice in mind when designing your putting green. APG specializes in design and will be more than happy to speak with you regarding your special project.
Step 2 - Clear (& Dig) area for sub-base.
The second step in building a putting green is to prepare the area. You do this by clearing the area of grass and other ground vegetation material then digging down to your desired sub-base depth. (The sub-base depth can vary depending on where you live. Someone in NJ will need a thicker, stronger base than that of someone in FL.) We give caution to any digging. Please contact your local power company before you dig...most companies will come to your project site to mark for any power lines...free of charge.
Step 3 - Distribute base material
Distribute the sub-base materials evenly. You will want to manipulate the sub base material to incorporate your desired contours and slopes of your design. Keep in mind when creating contours that the water will run off the top. You do not want to have any "soup bowls", or depressions, in the middle of your putting green that will hold water.
Step 4 - Compact base material
The most common way to compact the sub-base material is with a vibratory plate compactor, or a "ride-on" double-drum roller. You should be able to rent either one at your local rental store. AritificialPuttingGreens.com does not recommend using a sod roller to compact the base.
Step 5 - Determine placement of sleeves
Once you have the sub-base compacted and your contours ‘flowing & rolling' the way you want them, locate where your sleeve/cup placements will be. (Sleeves are used to house the cup itself so should something happen to your cup you can replace it without disturbing your base you worked so hard to achieve...!) Please note that you should allow a reasonable distance from the edge of the putting green to the sleeve/cup. We suggest at least 3 feet so that you can learn from every putt...anything past 3 feet and the ball probably never had a chance of going in anyway...! Also, should you have a seam in your putting green, you do not want to place the sleeve/cup any closer than a foot from where the seam will be. This will help insure that the seam does not affect the roll of the ball as it slows near the hole.
Step 6 - Dig holes for sleeves
The way to do this step is simply by using a shovel and dig down roughly 10". If you are privy to a standard golf hole cutter that will work as well. Be advised that when using a 2 layer base (highly recommended) the hole cutter will only get you so far.
Step 7 - Place sleeves
Once your 10" hole is dug, place your sleeve (height = 12" tall) in the hole. Fill in around the sleeve and compact small amounts of aggregate until you have a solid base around the sleeve. (An important thing to remember when installing the sleeve is that that when adding aggregate around your sleeve...the sleeve should sit within that hole perpendicular to the slope it is sitting on.) Once aggregate is added and compacted you should have 2" of the sleeve still exposed. At this point, take a little more aggregate and add a small mound of it around the sleeve. Then using a hand tamper, tamp the sleeve and the added aggregate down to create one smooth flowing base. (After installing the sleeve you do not install the cup at this point. It will make it easier to cut the turf as described later.)
Step 8 - Lay turf over sub-base
At this stage you want to maneuver the turf over your sub-base. One important thing to remember here is to try not to disturb the base.
Step 9 - Ready the turf for seams
At this point you want to cut/trim the manufactured edge off the roll of turf. The turf you choose will dictate how you ‘prepare' your turf for a seam. There are scrim-backed turfs where you can see the tufting from the back, which will allow you to cut from the back. Then there are rubber-backed turfs. These turfs you will have to cut from the top. Please feel free to contact ArtificialPuttingGreens.com to discuss the different methods used for the various products available in the marketplace today. Turf manufacturing technologies are constantly evolving, so in order to get the latest and greatest methods of seaming the various products out there...please call us.
Step 10 - Seam the turf
Once you have the seam edges cut, go ahead and bring the edges together and check the entire seam to make sure that the turf fits together. Should there be any areas that don’t fit, or look, right…address them as needed. Some areas might need the fibers to be manipulated together and other areas of the seam might need additional trimming to get the edges to lay just right. Once the seam looks good, go ahead and glue the two pieces together. You do this by using some seaming cloth and glue. Flip each edge of the turf over to expose your base. Then center the seaming cloth. You should take any necessary steps to make sure that the cloth will not move while applying the glue. (The last thing you want to have happen is a small gust of wind blowing the cloth, with glue on it, onto your turf.) Apply the glue and then lay your turf edges back together. Pay close attention to each edge while seaming them together so that you do not matte any fiber into the glue.
Step 11 - Cutting outer edge
This step is a fairly straightforward step. We recommend that you take a piece of sidewalk chalk and lightly scribe your design onto the top of the turf. If you do not like a certain area, rub it out and draw again…! Take your time when cutting your turf, follow your mark and change your blade often so that your cuts remain smooth and on your line.
Step 12 - Cutting holes. Insert Cups.
Use a carpet knife and cut the turf carefully against the inside wall of the sleeve. Once cut, place your cup inside the sleeve.
Step 13 - Secure outer edge
Simply take either sod staples or galvanized nails (recommended size is approximately 16d – 3.5”) and nail them into the turf’s edge. We recommend installing nails about a half-inch to one inch in from the edge of your putting green turf around the perimeter in 2-5 foot intervals. Be sure not to hammer the nail in too hard so that you do not create an indentation into your base.
Step 14 - Top dressing
Note: Polypropylene turf does require sand-fill. Nylon turf does not require sand-fill. That said, there are 2 reasons why one would add infill to a putting green turf. First, to adjust the speed of the putting green and secondly, to help with the ‘holdability’ of any chip shots into the putting green. Each turf product has a different limit as to how much infill it will take. Please speak with an ArtificialPuttingGreens.com representative as to how much you need and what product would work best for your turf and needs. Once you have determined the amount and type of product, simply use a drop spreader and spread the sand-fill over the putting green turf. Use a plate compactor to vibrate the sand into the fibers of the turf. If there are any high spots of infill you can broom them out. Feel free to spray a little water on the green after the infill process. This will wash off the dust from the sand bringing the turf back to its true natural green color.
Step 15 - Finishing the green
The final steps are left to your creative imagination. Feel free to speak with one of our representatives to discuss the many final touches you could do to create a great looking putting green.
Step 16 - Maintenance
Maintaining your artificial putting green can be as easy as using a leaf blower to rid your putting green of any falling debris. The amount of maintenance you will need will depend on the style of turf you choose. A polypropylene putting green will have a bit more maintenance involved due to the extra topdressing it requires. See our products page for more on the differences in 2 major styles (poly & nylon) in the marketplace today. As always, should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.