Read time: 10 minutes
A backyard putting green is a top idea if you want to optimize the use of your yard space and love golf — or want your young child to develop into the next Tiger!
The idea of unrestricted putting (and even chipping) practice is a dream for many Texas homeowners — but an increasingly achievable one.
With the many high-quality synthetic grass options and expertise now available, the quality of backyard putting greens has gone up and many of the costs have come down.
Estimated artificial putting green cost
The average cost of artificial turf nationally is approximately $11-12.50 per square foot. You should, however, expect to pay more than that for artificial putting green grass because of the premium quality of grass needed.
The precise cost will depend on many factors (discussed in the following section) but a good estimate for a professionally installed synthetic putting green is generally between $12 and $16 per square foot. This includes the putting green installation cost.
So, a basic 500-square-foot sized green professionally installed will cost between $6,000 and $8,000 — but this will increase with the addition of premium features.
A more detailed breakdown of the cost of a backyard putting green can be found later in this article.
What factors affect backyard putting green costs?
The wide discrepancies between the costs of artificial putting greens should get you asking serious questions before you choose your supplier.
There are very good reasons why greens from some premium suppliers like Artificial Grass Pros cost more than others: they are professionally installed using premium quality products and are built to stand the test of time.
For starters, you need a putting green that can withstand not only the wear and tear of regular golfing but also the Texan climate (i.e., hot and arid in many areas with sub-tropical areas prone to some heavy rains).
The main factors that affect the cost of your artificial putting green are:
- Size of the green
- The quality/brand of turf
- Green design
- Additional features required
- Ease of installation/labor required
- Additional materials used
The effect of these factors can make a difference of thousands of dollars for your putting green installation. Let’s take a closer look at each one…
Size of the green
Most homes don’t need (and can’t fit) a monstrous PGA-sized putting green that can measure up to 6,000 square feet (approximately three tennis courts).
That said, plenty of homes can accommodate a green of 1,000 feet (about half the size of a tennis court) and some even larger golfing areas. The larger installations can accommodate chipping areas, slopes, tiers, water features and sand traps to provide more complete short-game practice than basic putting.
Generally speaking, the larger the green, the lower the square-foot price for the same quality of artificial grass. Most contractors lower their rates for larger backyard projects.
Here’s a good guideline for different size greens:
Under 400 square feet: $16 per sq. ft.
400 – 1,000 square feet: $14 per sq. ft.
1,000 square feet and larger: $12 to $13 per sq. ft.
Small green (300 sq. ft): approx. $4,800
Medium-sized green (750 sq. ft.): $10,500
Large green (1,500 sq. ft.): $18,000
Note: the above-estimated prices are for basic flat greens. The addition of premium features will increase the cost of a backyard putting green.
Quality of turf (type of green)
Synthetic putting greens — like all artificial grass — vary in quality. Some turfs are designed to closely mimic professional putting greens for many years while lower quality turf simply looks like a putting green — for a while.
The quality of the turf and the installation will affect the result — and cost.
Artificial Grass Pros use our signature Tour Elite turf with an ideal pile height of 0.625 inches. It is primarily made of polyethylene and characterized by its soft texture, impressive durability even at high temperatures and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. This green turf also provides adequate drainage (30+ inches of rain per hour per square yard).
The face weight of artificial grass is the weight of grass fiber per square foot (excluding the turf backing). Tour Elite comes in at a very healthy 52 ounces, indicating high-quality turf.
Many homeowners are prepared to pay a premium for a putting green that closely simulates a consistent putting surface with a true ball roll and customizable surface speed — and that can last 10-15 years or more.
Unless you’re buying a ready-made putting green mat and hoping for the best, your backyard putting green design will be unique to your property.
That requires designers and installers who know what they’re doing — from the base materials to use to drainage and all the extra features that will give life to your putting green. The level of expertise required in this respect will necessarily add to the cost.
The Artificial Grass Pros team has been designing and installing artificial putting greens for the best part of two decades in the Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth areas. We are used to the challenges of each area and install greens that stand the test of time and provide the most realistic roll of putts to elevate your golf game.
There’s plenty more about installing an artificial putting green in your yard in our post on backyard putting green ideas.
Fringe and chipping area
As well as the putting green itself, many professionally design artificial backyard greens include multiple cuts of “fringe” beyond the main putting area and some larger spaces even include a chipping area.
This can help you practice many aspects of your short game on different cuts of grass rather than simply holing the shortest putts.
Other additional green features
If you have the space and budget, multiple putting green features can add to your backyard green for a fuller golfing experience. For instance, you can add multiple holes with flags.
You may also want to beautify the backyard area with some landscaping features when you install your putting green.
Other typical features requested are:
- Bunkers/sand traps
- Water features
- Shot pads (for pitches and chips that bounce like on natural grass greens)
- Tee boxes
- Dry creeks
- Upgraded cups
- Hills, curves or slopes
- Storage shed for golf clubs
These features can add significantly to the material and installation costs of a backyard putting green project — just as they would with standard turf.
Ease of access
How easy your backyard area is to access for the putting green installation will also affect the time and overall costs of the project.
A variety of heavy equipment is used when installing a putting green. If not, it’s wheelbarrows and more manual labor, which will impact the cost.
Also, if significant amount of grading, build retaining walls or other landscaping features are required, this can also add significantly to the project cost.
The quality of the putting green installation is just as important as the artificial turf quality and the green design.
Choosing the right turf will help you simulate the appearance and performance of a natural grass putting green. However, experience with common challenges such as local climatic conditions and drainage is needed to ensure that it lasts the distance without major issues. This will affect the putting green installation cost.
Because the Artificial Grass Pros team has been installing artificial putting greens for almost two decades, we’re ready for most of the challenges that arise during installations. It’s one for the professionals — not a DIY job.
Infill and other materials used
Installing a putting green is not just about laying rolls of turf. You may need to prep the yard to create a flat surface and add materials to make it easier to lay, more durable and more closely simulate the performance of a real putting green.
Much depends on the type of artificial grass infill used. This is what makes artificial turf look and feel like natural grass. It helps replace the soil weight of real grass, adds stability and helps the grass blades stand upright.
As well as the unique infill system we use for backyard putting greens, we will need to add the following materials to improve the appearance, stability and performance of your putting green:
- Road base: a layer of crushed rock under artificial turf to ensure proper drainage and an even layout.
- Weed barrier fabric: placed under the road base to prevent weeds and natural grass from growing through synthetic turf.
- Seam tape: this joins two intermediary strips of synthetic grass together.
Depending on the nature of your artificial green, we may also need to add shot pads so that the green simulates the cushioned landing of pitched or chipped golf balls on a real grass green.
Labor costs are usually included as part of the installation costs — on a square foot basis (from $3 or $4 per sq. ft. up to $9 or $10 per sq. ft.)
Large, complex jobs will be charged more per square foot than simple, smaller projects. Labor costs generally make up around half the costs of the total project so it’s worth taking a close look at this. Paying a little extra for expertise and experience is often a worthy investment.
Other optional service costs
The overall cost of a backyard putting green may also depend partly on your yard. If tree stumps need to be removed before the installation can go ahead, this will add a few hundred dollars to the bill.
Landscape edging and building retaining walls for raised flower beds are great ways to enhance the appearance of the putting green and your yard — but also come at a significant price.
Artificial putting green costs: Detailed breakdown
To give you a better idea of the types of costs involved with a backyard putting green, let’s consider the total costs of three putting greens installed in identical Austin backyards:
- A simple 300-square-foot putting green with one hole and no additional features.
- A mid-size 750-square-foot putting green with undulations, three holes and a small bunker.
- A more complex 1,500-square-foot putting green with five holes, a large bunker, shot pads, tee boxes, a 200 square-foot chipping area, and outdoor lighting installed.
Putting green 1 (300 square feet)
Cost of a fully installed green including fringe: approx. $4,800
TOTAL COST: Approx $4,800
Putting green 2 (750 square feet)
Cost of a fully installed green with 3 holes including fringe: approx. $10,500
Bumker: approx. $1,500
TOTAL COST: Approx. Approx. $12,000
Putting green 1 (1,500 square feet)
Cost of a fully installed green with 5 holes including fringe: approx. $18,000
Shot pads: approx. $4,500
Large bunker: approx. $2,000
Chipping area with tee boxes: approx. $3,600
Outdoor lighting: approx. $1,000 (depending on lighting type)
TOTAL COST: $29,100
Note: pricing includes most undulations (if requested) and high-quality cups for all sizes of putting green.
Cost to build a real grass putting green vs artificial green
While there is no argument that artificial backyard putting greens are more expensive to install than real grass greens, few homeowners would opt for real grass when it comes to practicing their golf in the backyard.
There’s a good reason why golf courses hire teams of professional groundsmen: putting greens and fairways require a LOT of maintenance and almost daily care.
Few homeowners have the time and dedication for this and don’t want to fork out a couple of hundred dollars per visit for outsourced green maintenance.
Synthetic turf greens have some distinct benefits over real grass, which is why most homeowners in Texas choose them over real grass:
- Very low maintenance: if your putting green is professionally installed, it will require little more than some brushing, rolling and occasional watering.
- Durability: get the right putting green grass installed in the right way and look after it and you can easily enjoy your artificial putting green for 10-15 years.
- Less water and fewer chemicals: an artificial backyard putting green doesn’t require water, fertilizers or weedkillers, reducing your carbon footprint.
What’s the ideal size for a backyard putting green?
There’s no easy answer to this question: it depends on the size of your yard, family preferences, budget, and more. A 200-foot putting green will offer more limited and repetitive putting practice while 500-square feet will allow you more holes and some more interesting features. A large-size putting green (1,000 feet or more) gives you even more scope to get creative.
Can I save money with a DIY putting green kit/mat?
You may be able to install a backyard putting green as a DIY job with low-quality artificial grass in a flat area for less than $1,000.
However, there are some important potential drawbacks to bear in mind: most notably. unless you have professional landscaping experience, it’s a huge challenge to prepare the ground, design your putting green and install it so that it lasts many years.
Many installations need excavation machinery and landscaping skills as well as considerable artificial turf expertise.
DIY putting green kits or practice mats are even cheaper. However, without high-quality synthetic grass and a professional installation team, you’ll likely have trouble levelling the landscape and simulating the appearance and performance of a real putting green even if interlocking base panels (in a putting green kit) make it look easy.
What Is The Cost Of Artificial Grass?
Read our full guide on the cost of artificial grass.
How long does it take to install an artificial putting green?
A simple artificial putting green may be installed in a day or two. Other larger, more complex projects can take a week or longer.
What is the cost of repairing an artificial putting green?
Hopefully, you’ll maintain your synthetic putting green well and avoid any major problems with rips or tears. However, occasionally artificial grass does need repairing or patching. We’re happy to provide a quote for this as costs vary but the normal range is from $2 to $8 per square foot.
Can you move holes on artificial putting greens?
Yes, it’s more challenging to move holes on artificial greens than real grass greens but our professional installers can help. Each hole move usually costs around $150-$300.
Want to get started with your backyard putting green?
If you’re fed up with driving across town to practice your golfing skills, a customized artificial green in the backyard is the most convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.
A backyard putting green saves time and money and may even increase the value of your home.
The team at Artificial Grass Pros installs only premium quality putting greens that precisely simulate the appearance and performance of natural grass putting surfaces.
Get a quote by calling Artificial Grass Pros at 925.234.4349. We provide a limited 15-year warranty that covers all workmanship.