Backyard Putting Green Ideas: Design Ideas To Improve Your Game [12 Examples]

May 1, 2023 | Putting Greens

Did you know that around one in ten artificial grass installations in residential areas are putting greens?

Imagine walking out your back door onto a pristine backyard putting green after a long day at work and getting in chipping and putting practice every day.

What could that do for your game? 

Thanks to the rise of artificial grass backyard putting greens, that’s a reality for more homeowners in Texas.

Low maintenance and guaranteed to remain pristine all year round, a backyard putting green can improve your game, save you trips to the local course and is the ultimate luxury for golf lovers everywhere.

But where do you start? How do you get the putting green you want? And how much will it cost?

Here’s what you need to know — plus a few great putting green design ideas to create the private home golf area you always wanted:

Why install a putting green in your backyard?

backyard putting green ideas

Consider the following benefits of installing even a small putting area outside your home for you and your family to practice your short game:

  • Convenience: there’s no need to dress up in the “right” gear, drive across town to the golf course, find parking and pay to play. Simply walk outside your back door — and there’s no waiting behind slow players.
  • Improved game: it’s no secret that golf takes a lot of practice to master. A backyard putting green allows you to practice whenever you like, accelerating your skills to become a maestro at the short game.
  • Boosting your home’s value: with home putting greens in high demand and seen as a luxury landscaping feature, an artificial grass putting green can boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Consider it an investment in case you ever want to sell your property.
  • Cost-savings: as well as saving green fees at your local golf course, maintaining artificial grass putting greens is much cheaper than real grass. There’s no need to pay for a gardener, maintenance equipment, water, fertilizer or anything else.
  • Customized installations: the size, shape and materials can be customized to your specific needs, meaning that the green can be installed in almost any area of your yard. The texture, color, bite and so on can all be adapted to what you want. 
  • Stress relief: some golfers may disagree after three-putting a green or sending a drive into the water but golf can be a great stress reliever. Imagine being able to stroll out into your own putting green whenever you like and holing a few.
  • Fun for all the family: putting greens are not just for established golf nuts. A backyard putting green can encourage all the family to get involved and take up the game.

How big are backyard putting greens?

You don’t need a sprawling acreage property to create a backyard putting green. 

In fact, the most popular size for a backyard putting green in the U.S. is under 300 square feet. Some homeowners even choose a small portable or pre-made modular putting green (more about these options below).

small backyard putting green ideas

Here in Texas, there are fewer problems with space than in some other areas of the country but you don’t need a PGA-size green (which is usually 5,000 to 6,000 square feet — two or three times the size of a tennis court).

To practice your short game on a backyard green, a small installation of 300-400 square feet may suffice for you and your family. Homeowners with more space might consider a green of 500 to 2,000 square feet or even larger if space allows.

Each installation is unique and can be customized to your precise requirements. While most residential putting greens in Texas are installed in backyards, some homeowners opt for an inside artificial putting green to stay out of the sun.

If you’re set on an outdoor putting green, you’ll need to decide how much of your yard you want to dedicate to the purpose. Your non-golfing family members may not be too happy if the whole yard is one expansive putting green!

If you’re unsure what would be best for your backyard, talk to an artificial turf professional at Artificial Grass Pros and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction with your putting green.

Artificial grass putting greens vs real grass 

Over the past two decades, more homeowners across the U.S. have added putting greens to their backyards.

The main driver for that?

The availability of high-quality, affordable, low-maintenance artificial grass resembling the pile of natural grass on golf courses and simulates the same ball play. 

A real grass putting green may sound like a lovely addition to your home. But it will need a level of care and attention that most people simply cannot commit to. Greens on golf courses are rolled daily by professionals and must be aerated and mowed much more frequently than your backyard lawn.

chipping green ideas

Are you ready for that level of commitment with real grass?

If not, an artificial grass putting green can deliver the stunning natural look, feel, and playability of organic grass but without constant maintenance and watering. This removes two of the big potential drawbacks for anyone considering a backyard putting green.

With the best quality artificial grass available nowadays, it’s difficult to tell the difference between fake and real grass putting greens — both in terms of appearance and how it plays. Many homeowners are now prepared to pay a little extra for premium putting green grass because of its close resemblance to the real thing.

With artificial grass, you also get incredible durability without the need for much maintenance. No holes, bumps, and divots to contend with and no mowing, watering, fertilizing or spraying for pests. There’s no need to call a professional gardener either.

The extreme weather we can get in Texas also makes artificial grass an attractive option. You don’t need to worry about your grass drying out too much during the summer, suffering cold winter temperatures or getting soaked in a flash storm. You can enjoy golf all year round.

Artificial grass is also a great option for areas of your backyard that don’t receive much sunshine (perhaps because of dense tree growth) as real grass can be difficult to grow in shade-only areas.

For those who want to practice their golf whenever they like but not have to deal with the hassle of keeping the green looking and feeling the part, the low maintenance is the real clincher. It’s forced many a switch to synthetic turf and convinced many a homeowner that finally they can afford the putting green they always wanted.

What to consider before designing your putting green

This is a subject broad enough for a separate post but let’s try to cover the main factors briefly below:

  • Your skill level: how challenging do you want to make your putting green? Is it mainly for a bit of light leisure and to impress your friends or do you want to radically improve your game? Remember, you should improve quickly with your putting green in your backyard so don’t make it too basic.
  • Practice needs: just putting and chipping or some longer shots too out of the rough? How about practicing shots out of the sand?
  • Who will be using the putting green? A custom putting green design should reflect your skill level and personal preferences, as well as those of other family members who will use the green.
  • Practice frequency: do you plan on using your putting green daily or only occasionally?
  • Available space: obviously, you need to consider how much space you have to work with.
  • Yard location: for smaller properties, there may not be much choice. With larger backyards, it may be best to select an area with natural dips and rises to minimize the installation costs and maximize the challenge. If you’re opting for a chipping green, you’ll want to locate it far enough away from windows and the car to avoid damage. Also, you’ll want to consider the position of the sun and any overhanging trees.
  • Green shape: professional artificial grass installers can cut the turf into any shape — curved, straight, heart-shaped or incorporating existing landscape features — whatever you want (more about this below),
  • Specific design requests: do you need landscaped flower beds, trees for some shade, retaining walls or some rock features or fencing at the perimeters of the green?
  • How fast do you want the green to roll? This will affect the type of artificial grass you use for your putting green and the level of maintenance (rolling) it needs.

Getting a little more detailed with the construction, you generally have two basic options with the structure of your artificial putting green turf:

  1. Nylon putting green over compacted stone

This green uses a dense nylon turf over compacted limestone and requires minimal infill. 

  1. Nylon putting green over concrete

putting green over concrete

This putting green fixes to a concrete base using an adhesive. 

What shape should your backyard green be?

As mentioned, a customized backyard putting green can be any shape. Some of the most common include:

  • Square: this helps you get the most out of tight spaces 
  • Bean: works well for smaller backyards and is one of the most popular shapes
  • Sausage: great for long, narrow spaces or side yards 
  • Free shape: ideal for an irregularly shaped yard, providing freedom of design
  • Bone: usually best for larger square or rectangular backyards

putting green design ideas

12 great backyard putting green design ideas

There are almost as many different putting green designs as there are golf balls in this world! But unlike golf balls, rarely are two putting greens the same.

If you’re struggling with backyard putting green landscape ideas for your outdoor space, maybe these design ideas can inspire you….

Add cuts of fringe to the green edges 

Real putting greens on golf courses have fringes on the edge of the putting surface. Make sure you at least incorporate this into your design — and maybe some rough too if you have space in your backyard.

outdoor putting green ideas

Create a contoured green with breaks

A contoured green will up the stakes and make your backyard putting green seem more like the real thing. 

It’s fairly normal for a green to have a slope or bumps to make it more challenging for putters. Why not customize your putting green design to your desired level of difficulty?

Slopes, breaks and other uneven surfaces add extra interest and visual appeal to your putting green — and help you maintain the challenge even after your putting green has been there a while and you’ve cracked the art of putting.

At Artificial Grass Pros, we can help make your putting practice experience more interesting by adding contours to your backyard green.

backyard chipping green ideas

Consider a tiered green

Not every backyard needs a PGA-level putting green but if you have the space on your property and want a challenge, a tiered design is a great putting green idea.

A tiered green is a putting surface that has two (or more) unique levels like this one: 

golf greens

Locate your green in a “trouble” spot 

If there’s a spot in your yard where the natural grass is often laid bare – maybe the sunlight is too strong, there is poor drainage or not enough light – consider placing an artificial putting green there.

install a backyard putting green

Getting creative is easier when you can consult with professionals about your backyard putting green design ideas. At Artificial Grass Pros, our seasoned professionals can advise you of all your options with your backyard green.

Add multiple holes to your green 

Why opt for a single-hole putting green? If you have some extra space, consider creating a larger putting green with multiple holes to add some variety to your daily practice sessions.

add multiple holes to backyard putting green

Add landscaped edging

What will you have at the perimeter of your putting green? If space allows it, you might opt for a chipping green (see below) but another option is to add some landscaping at the edges of the green. 

Some putting green landscape ideas include planting trees and shrubs, adding rock or water features, building retaining walls, adding flower beds or even constructing some ornate fencing.

backyard golf chipping green

Incorporate shaded areas with trees

Artificial grass putting greens are ideal for shaded areas that receive little sunshine as you don’t have to worry about healthy grass growth in low-sunshine parts of the yard.

If there are trees that complicate matters, don’t let that put you off. You may be able to incorporate them into your backyard putting green ideas.

Extend your golf area with a backyard chipping green 

A putting green helps with the ultra-short game but unless you’re driving straight onto the green (clever you!), you’ll probably need chipping practice too.

Many putting green installations incorporate a backyard golf chipping green. If you have the space, this type of green can help your game beyond simply putting — and you’re more likely to see the full benefits next time you’re out on the 18-holer.

put a putting green in your backyard

Add a water hazard or sand trap to your backyard chipping green 

Another backyard chipping green idea is to add a sand trap or water feature. This beautifies your backyard and makes for a more realistic home golfing experience as you can practice chipping over the feature onto the green.

Include swales for better drainage

The Austin area is highly prone to flash floods and you should be aware of the dangers posed by flooding to your home and yard.

Even synthetic turf can be affected by poor drainage, which can lead to the formation of mildew that discolors your green.

If swales are already running near the intended location of your putting green, this should help. These artificial channels assist with drainage. If you’re unsure about this, talk to your artificial grass installation experts about adding swales or other drainage features if necessary. 

Add lighting 

Most homeowners envisage trying out their putting green after work or when guests are over.

But what’s stopping you from adding some conduits and low-voltage lighting for your putting green so that you can get a few evening sessions in too? It will look great too…

Image credit: https://www.accentslighting.com/dt_gallery/sport-and-recreation/cattoni-putting-green/

Go pet-friendly and pool-friendly at the same time

When you’re considering your artificial backyard putting green ideas, also think about beautifying and adding practicalities in other areas of your yard.

For instance, if you have a swimming pool, you might want to talk to your artificial turf company about installing some synthetic pool turf like this:

pool friendly golf green

Or if you’re a dog lover, you might want to create a designated pet turf area in your yard for your dog to play. Just bear in mind that you’ll likely want to position your putting green well away from this area so that your golf balls don’t become lunch for Fido!

dog friendly putting green

Unsure which of the above backyard putting green design ideas would be best for your property?

Feel free to talk it through with an artificial turf professional at Artificial Grass Pros in Austin, TX. We’d be happy to run through your putting green options.

Small backyard? No problem…

Just because you have a small backyard, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a putting green.

While backyard golfing areas typically range from 600 square feet to 1,800 square feet (with a sand trap) a smaller yard doesn’t necessarily leave you without.

Some backyards are so small that only a portable putting green or putting mat is possible. But many homes in the Austin area are big enough for a customized putting green. The Texas average backyard size is 14,876 square feet — in line with the national average. 

Small backyard putting green ideas include discussing with a putting green professional how to optimize your space, opting for a bean-shaped green and adding an elevated section to keep it interesting despite the small size.

FAQs about artificial putting greens

This is a tricky one to answer in brief. You can read more about the cost of artificial grass in our detailed post. 

Generally speaking, high-quality, professionally installed artificial grass putting greens come in at the higher end of the cost spectrum because of the need for premium grass quality and highly tailored and landscaped installations.

You can budget for anything from $12 to $30 per square foot. So, for a 500-square-foot green, you’re looking at between $6,000 and $15,000. With larger greens, you may be able to benefit from a lower square foot price.

While the upfront costs of installing artificial grass are considerably higher than real grass sod, the installation is likely to pay for itself in around 3-5 years.

It’s possible to install a backyard putting green as a DIY project by buying the artificial turf and base — but inadvisable without previous experience in laying artificial turf. 

It involves a lot more than simply levelling the ground and laying a carpet. If you want your green to last a decade or more, you need to remove the original surface, slope the surface correctly, take precise measurements, compact the ground, ensure you choose and install the right turf materials and base, cut the turf to the correct dimensions, and more.

You’ll also need to ensure the drainage is “up to par”. This applies to any area of artificial grass and is not usually possible without professional assistance.

Remember, all putting greens installed by Artificial Grass Pros are protected by a 15-year limited warranty which covers you for any work defects.

There are three basic choices of material used to make artificial grass blades:

  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene
  • Nylon

Because putting greens must generally use the highest quality materials, many greens (and other sports installations) are made of nylon. 

This is used in premium quality turf and costs a little more but provides outstanding durability even for high-traffic areas. It also stands up well to the heat and sunlight and is close to the natural appearance and feel of real grass.

Yes. Artificial grass is not just for golfers. Some families install an artificial bocce court, indoor/outdoor home gym or even a tennis court or batting cage in their yards.

The beauty of bocce ball is that it can even be played on an apartment rooftop as it requires relatively little space.

If you have more specie, consider a volleyball court like this:

Artificial greens are low maintenance but it’s not strictly true to say they’re “maintenance-free”.

It may take a few weeks until your green “settles down” and performs optimally. 

You might also want to use a leaf blower to keep it clear of debris and take steps to prevent weeds from poking through.

After a few months, your green should perform just as you hoped — and you’ll only need a little periodic maintenance to keep it this way. A quick brush and spray with a hose to get rid of dust.

The colored top-dressing will settle down into the infill over time. Brushing and adding more top-dressing will help your artificial green maintain its vibrant color.

Some artificial grass companies offer portable artificial turf golf mats or pre-made green kits constructed with interlocking base panels and surfaced using putting and fringe turf. This provides a DIY modular putting green that, it is claimed, can be installed in a few hours.

This may be a cheaper option for some homeowners but portable or pre-made greens are more limited, look and feel less like natural grass and are not without their potential problems. 

Most homeowners willing to invest in a synthetic putting green will want a more customized solution that’s professionally installed and landscaped.

All artificial backyard putting and chipping greens installed by Artificial Grass Pros are customized, high quality and come with extensive warranties.

Improve your property’s value — and your short game

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just getting into the sport, an artificial putting green in the backyard makes good sense.

With the putting green design ideas outlined above, you’ll create a green that’s not only the envy of your neighbors but also improves your short game no end.

Based in the Austin area?

Find out more about our professional backyard putting green services and get a quote by calling Artificial Grass Pros at 512.296.1500. 

We provide a limited 15-year warranty on all workmanship and the artificial turf itself is backed by a 15-year manufacturer warranty.


Artificial Grass Pros proudly serves Atlanta & Austin area. 

Related Posts