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Putting Greens Installation Overview

After Reading The Overview Below Go To Steps For Installation

Steps For Installation

 

Installing a synthetic golf green from Artificial Turf and Putting Greens is simple, all you need to do is follow the simple step-by-step procedures. Remember, greens larger than 500 square feet are best installed by a certified Artificial Turf and Putting Greens Distributor.

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Designing your putting green

When planning a putting green many things have to be taken in consideration. When deciding what type, size and style of putting green to install other factors such as price, area for installation and traffic can make that decision even more difficult. In this section we will examine all the factors of the different turfs and the manner in which they all fit into this decision.

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Price
Establish a budget and work within that budget.

Type
What do you plan to use your putting green for? Are you going to use it strictly for putting, chipping a short distance or for long distances? Read the Turf Description page and learn which turfs will take what kind of shots.

Style and Color
Once you have selected the type of turf you want to use, order a sample and make sure it is going to work for your situation.

Layout
inBefore you begin to consider designing a putting green, remember which product you intend to use and the width that it is manufactured in. All of our  turfs come in 15’ or 12'widths. All dimensions when designing will have to take these nominal widths into consideration. The Bent Grass Putting Green from Artificial Turf and Putting Greens has a "slight grain" in the manufacturing process and careful consideration must be given when laying out the material to take that in consideration. The "grain" of the turf must run in the same direction when laying out the green.

Bases
The base of all greens are either concrete, crushed limestone or some other form of compacted aggregate. The cost of the base is a factor when considering the estimation of a putting green. For most small installations, we recommend an aggregate type of base. They are easier and quicker to work with and most times your space constraints are such that getting concrete material into these areas is a daunting task.

Topography and Drainage
All turfs basically drain off the top. When planning a green remember that you do not want a green laying in a low spot on the property. Also when designing a green do not leave a low spot (or bowl like area) in your green. It is preferable that if anything it should have a slight grade. A green will drain best when the design has a small crown similarly to the greens of Pinehurst.

Trees and Roots
Particular attention should be paid to tree root systems. Trees that have extending or surface breaking root areas should be avoided. These areas can disturb a base and can cause permanent damage to the base of a green even if it is concrete. The best way to prevent this fatal error is to avoid these problem areas all together. Also try to avoid areas that have severe over hanging branches and sap producing trees. These problems with a bit of careful planning can make the life of your green extend for a very long time.

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Landscaping, Bunkers and Chipping Areas
inHow does the green fit in the overall area you are working in? Consider the layout carefully before you put a shovel in the ground. The finished product will need either a fringe made of turf, sod, stone or mulch. These are some of the finishing touches that can make or break a putting green. Do you want a bunker? If so, the bunker should not be facing a house or a neighbor’s house. Remember the last time you "sculled" a bunker shot? Also chipping areas should be strategically placed to take advantage of the green. Chipping shots will need a place to "run" out, so don’t short side your chipping areas with no hope of stopping the ball.

Line it out
inTake field marking paint and layout the green, then measure, remeasure and measure again. You must consider the shape of your green, you may need more material depending on the style of your green. The turf is not manufactured in ovals, kidneys and other shapes from the mill.

 

Accessories
Before you finish your order, take into account any extra features such as custom flags, cups, etc.

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Materials and equipment needed

The following section is included to help you in your decision to self install or to have a Artificial Turf and Putting Greens certified installer design/build your putting green.

When considering to self install, we generally recommend that greens over 500 square feet be excluded from self-installation. These greens will require multiple seams and considerable base work. In the event that you should attempt to self-install over our recommended size limits we have provided the following list of tools and equipment you will need to acquire or rent to properly install a Artificial Turf and Putting Greens synthetic putting green.

Equipment

  • Drop Spreader 

  • Shovel

  • Sod Cutter (if necessary) 

  • Hammer

  • Landscaping Rake

  • Spray Nozzle and Water Hose (w/water) 

  • Chalk Line

  •  A few pieces of Chalk (for drawn outline on the putting green surface)

  • Straight Edge (for seaming) 

  • Plate Tamper or Small Riding Roller (rented) 

  • Carpet Cutter (industrial type) 

  • Stiff Bristle Broom 

  • Wheel barrel or Bobcat (recommended for larger greens) 

  • Self leveling rake or chain screen (36" landscape rake)

Materials

  • Artificial Turf and Putting Greens Turf ( 12 and 15 foot widths ) 

  • Cups

  • Flags & Poles 

  • Top dressing material 

  • Base Materials For crushed aggregate - Crusher Fines, Screenings or StoneDust (1.5 to 1.9 tons / 100 Sq.Ft.) 

  • Seaming material (see manual for choice) 

  • Field marking paint 

  • Weed killer

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 The base (foundation )

Choosing the right base for your green is a very important decision, and will in large part determine how your green reacts to different kinds of golf shots. Here we will discuss the two primary types of bases that are currently recommended for Artificial Turf and Putting Greens turf.

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The first type of base is an aggregate base. You can build a solid aggregate base by constructing several layers of different sized aggregate, shaped and compacted to the desired contour of the green. The first layer is a road base material that consists of gravel stone approximately 3.5" or less. The second and top layer consists of stone dust, crusher fines or rock dust, as it is commonly referred to. Both materials are easy to work with but require some effort to compact just right. As an alternative, you can build the base entirely out of stone dust. However, bases that are constructed with a layer of road base will tend to be more stable. Access to the green by truck or other hauling equipment is highly recommended.

The second primary base is a concrete base. To lay a concrete base, you need to begin with a layer of road base. The next step is to form and pour the concrete to your desired design. Because we manufacture nylon synthetic turf that has a weave back urethane backing, this option is available for greens that are used for putting and chipping from short distances.  A turf with a padded backing should be used on every concrete surface. Both types of bases have nearly the same life expectancy when installed properly.
 
An aggregate base can be used for any purpose.  This type of base will help to dampen the effects of long arching shots, and provides realistic ball performance.  All of our synthetic turfs can be installed on an aggregate base.

Another factor when considering what base to use, is the access to your property. Trucks and other equipment will be necessary when using concrete. In addition you will need to find a competent concrete company to frame and pour the base.
 
The cost when factoring labor and materials between the two bases are very similar for bases over 500 square feet. Under 500 square feet, aggregate cost is slightly lower.

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 Infill Materials

inFill products are aggregate and composite based materials that are used to enhance and create specific desired playing characteristics in synthetic putting greens. These fill materials are not necessary on some turfs within our line. Several different types of fill materials are discussed below.

Fill Materials:

Silica sand is most commonly associated with sandblasting. This product comes in different sizes and its use is based on desired playing effects. This material is graded and sized. It is available in very fine, fine, medium and course grit sizes and can be found in most states.

Remember that some Artificial Turf and Putting Greens turf requires little or no fill material. (short nylon)

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 Landscaping

Finishing a putting green can take on many forms. It can take an ordinary installation and turn it into an award-winning product. There are many ways to finish an installation. In this section a few of the unique things that can be done to turn any green into a showpiece are discussed. There are many other ways to finish a putting green, so don't be afraid to experiment. No matter how you choose to edge your green, if your putting green rises above the surrounding ground the first step is to taper the edges of the green with soil. This will allow you to gradually bring the putting green to grade with the surrounding land.

Fringe
inThere are several ways to produce a fringe on a synthetic putting green. The most common method is to sod or hydro-seed around the edge of the green. This produces a very sharp look and is very easy to install. The main thing to remember when installing sod is for a period of time, after the installation, an ample amount of watering is needed to root the sod. Many different varieties are available and we recommend a different type of grass than is presently planted in the surrounding areas. This will give the fringe around the putting green a unique look. One word of caution, stay away from "creeping" grass that will produce "runners". Varieties such as Bermuda and others produce stems that shoot off and will find there way onto the green. These varieties, if used, will have to be trimmed back from the edge of the putting green by "weed whacking" or other methods.

The next method of placing fringe around an existing green is to choose one of our fringe materials to install around the putting green. Your base must be planned to extend beyond the putting surface to accommodate the installation of the fringe turf. Typical width of fringe installed is approximately 12" - 36". This material must be installed in the same manner as putting green turf and can be seamed using the same methods.

Stone
inStone is a very common material that can be used to "frame in" putting greens and comes in a variety of sizes and colors. These stones can be placed up to the edge of the existing turf to enhance the contrast of the putting green area. When placing stone around the putting green area, the first step is to bring the sloping edge up to grade. After bringing the slopes to a gentle grade the next step and the most important step is to place vegetation retarder tarp on top of the area that you intend to place the stone. This will retard the growth of future vegetation and save the owner from a potential weed problem.

Mulch
Mulch is also an attractive framing material and is used in a very similar manner to stone. The primary drawback to using mulch is the potential for tracking or kicking the material onto the putting green surface. Also, mulch has to be replaced after a period of time due to the fact that it is a biodegrading product. That being said, mulch can still be used to produce an attractive result.

Many additional special features can be used in and around the green and a person is only limited by their imagination. Water falls, rock walls, stone berms and many, many other creative landscaping features can be incorporated in your design.

Once a green has been installed properly, it is virtually a maintenance free landscape item. It can be maintained by using a leaf blower or a hard bristled broom. Our nylon turfs that require no sand fill can easily be vacuumed. Occasionally a green will need to be brushed off if a bunker is within "splash distance". Simply take a hard bristled broom and remove the bunker sand from the surface.

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Sand  trap  

Bunkers are common features that can enhance the practicality and the enjoyment of a putting green. They require some planning and careful installation, but can be perfected with a little knowledge. A bunker is a feature that can enhance the look of a putting green and greatly improve a golfers skill with practice. There is no difference between the bunkers you can install from the ones you play on at your local course.

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The most important aspect of any bunker installation is proper drainage. When deciding on the location of a bunker, make sure the bunker is not in a drain area. This means do not place your bunker in a low spot on the property. A bunker that is placed on a low spot, no matter the size of the drainage area built in the bottom of the bunker, will look like a lake every time it rains. Once an area has been selected, take the field paint and make an outline for the bunker placement.

Caution - Before you dig the first blade in the ground locate all underground lines, including utilities and sprinkler system lines. This one step can save you countless headaches. Also place your bunker at least 4 to 6 paces away from your putting green. This will prevent you from continually flipping large amounts of sand onto your putting green. The sand that you do hit onto the surface will have to be eventually swept off the surface to reduce build up.

When digging the bunker out, dig the bunker between 3-4 feet deep. It is a good idea when you remove this material, to use it to bring the area around the green up to grade ( so the green will rise above the natural surface at this time). After you have reached the shape you desire for your bunker, dig a trench 1 foot wide and at least 1 foot deep down the middle of the bunker. Take precaution not to "crush" in the sides (or commonly called the lip) of the bunker when you are working in this area. Taper the sides of the bunker down towards the trench in the middle. This will let the water filter into the trench at the bottom of the bunker. Whenever possible, install a perforated pipe in the bottom of the drain cavity and drain it away from the bunker. This will not always be possible or practical, but when possible it is a good feature to build in. Place the pipe in the bottom of the trench and you'll never have a problem with drainage no matter how much water comes in.

At this point, fill the trench with washed gravel 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter about six inches from the top of the trench. Then fill the remaining portion of the trench with half inch or less gravel. This can be purchased in 50-lb. bags from any home improvement center or gravel company for larger jobs. At this point place a landscaping tarp over the bottom of the bunker. This material is a dense cloth like material that allows water to penetrate the tarp but keeps sand from washing through.

The next step in the process is to fill the bunker with "bunker sand". This is a grade of sand that is specific for bunkers and is not your average washed sand. The best place to locate bunker sand is to call several of your local courses and ask the superintendent where they purchase their sand. This will give you a lead on where to find this material. When purchasing this material it is advised to purchase an additional amount of material and store it away. You will no doubt, in the future, want to replace some of this material and small quantities are not a price efficient purchase. Also do not over fill your bunker with sand. This will only make the sand difficult to play out of. The bunker should have some firmness. You do not want to step in a bunker and sink up to your ankles in sand.

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 Determine Location and size

With Artificial Turf and Putting Greens design is only limited to your imagination. To help in your design and layout we recommend you take some string, rope, or a hose; and shape it to the size of your intended putting green. This will give you a better picture of size and space relationships within your given area. This will also ensure that you ordered enough turf. Our turf comes in either 12’ or 15’ widths so keep those dimensions in mind when finalizing location and size. Once you finalize location and size take a can of landscaping paint and spray the perimeter

After Reading The Overview Above -- Go To Steps For Installation

Steps For Installation

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