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real putting green question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shade tree landscaping, May 15, 2010.

  1. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    I am thinking about putting a real putting green in at my own home or two reasons, one obviously for me to practice golf on, second I think would be a great show piece to potential customers. My questions are anyone who has built one, what are the surprises that came with it? Is there enough of a niche market for them? Are they as much of a PIA as I have heard from some on maintence on them? I know I willl need to get a "greens" mower. Searched on here but couldn't find anything on them on the site. THanks in adavnce
  2. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296


    You may want to check out the USGA's website for the specs to build a green properly. You may find there is more to building one than you thought. I have been involved in golf course construction, and can tell you an improperly built green will present a lot of problems.

    From the maintenance aspect ou need to mow everyday. You will also need a reel mower that requires special equipment to keep the blades sharp. The fertility needs of a green are much different than lawn grass. Most greens are spoon fed on a weekly basis. This is a practice that gives a little nitrogen at a time to prevent huge growth fluctuations. You will also need to aerate at least twice a year. I would never suggest a homeowner build a real green unless they were extremely wealthy and could hire out a worker to maintain it every day.

    Coming from a former superintendent, I can tell you that the conditions you see on a golf course are not easy to acheive. I did a study when I was in the business and we spent $7000 per green each year on all inputs.
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  3. C & T Landscaping

    C & T Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Earth Turf and Wood has done one. I was looking through a thread of his...if I can find it I'll come back and link you too it. (Earth Turf and Wood is a member here)
  4. C & T Landscaping

    C & T Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

  5. petara

    petara LawnSite Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 29

    I have installed two bentgrass putting greens one at my former home and one at our current home. The green I have now is 1000 sq ft. Once you have a putting green established it is not that difficult to maintain, but you do have to know the basics to keep it growing and disease free.

    You will need a motorized greens mower, nothing else will work to keep it at 3/16" - 1/8".

    The best site to get info (manual - $25) is the one I joined several years ago.


    email me if you have any questions.

  6. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    We built one to USGA spec with USGA certified weed free soil...around 6500 sqft. Initial excavation, irrigation, through to completion....$50-65-k. (if we had to bill it out). Thats assuming you already know how to maintain it.
  7. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    I'm not looking to build it to USGA specs in my own backyard! I like to golf, but I don't think Tiger Woods is gonna stop by to practice on it! ANyone know what page in that thread the pics are on of the putting green? I went thru it about 8 pages back and couldn't find anything on putting greens, that guy does some really really nice work! Diseases are what I have heard are the biggest problem, headache and maintaince issue with having a real green.
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Aside from the mowing, which you *could* do every other day with no problems for your own use, even every 3 days depending on growing conditions. You aren't needing to maintain a certian green speed on a daily basis at home. You will also need to verticut and topdress your green (with sand). Pure clean sand is what most greens in this area are made from.

    Watering in the next most important factor. More often than not you can't just set the sprinkler timer and forget it. They need a lot of attention on hot sunny days.
  9. Mr. Rain

    Mr. Rain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    For your purposes, I wouldn't even consider a USGA spec green. It will be more particular on water requirements and will be more demanding on fertility. If you built it out of a soil/sand mixture it will be a lot easier to maintain. There are thousands of greens still in use that were built out of whatever material was on site: "push up greens" as they're known. Yes, it will be more susceptible to compaction, but you're not running riding mowers and 50,000 rounds a year over it. Your aeration will be more of a thatch control measure than anything. Once a year would be a great plenty. Topdress with the same mix for thatch control and to avoid layering in the profile that will inhibit water infiltration. For disease control, I'd just use granular fungicides for simplicity if problems arise and for snow mold fall preventative application. Chemical isn't cheap, but for a single green, the annual cost wouldn't be unreasonable. Hardest part will be finding a decent walk behind greens mower that is priced reasonable and isn't shot or needing a new reel.

    I was a sup at an 18 hole for several years and am planning to put one in my yard in the next couple years.

    Another thought, set up your sprinkler system with a zone dedicated to the putting surface so you can control it better and add independent run times if needed during the hot part of the year.
  10. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    keep the comments coming! Thanks for the insight thus far. The spot I want to put it already has a "misting" sprinkler head that covers it, so watering shouldnt be an issue.

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