Puttering Around in the Backyard on Your Custom Putting Green

Improve your short game with a custom backyard putting green.

Story by Robyn Passante + Photo by Lisa Staff

When Greenville residents Darla and Grover Todd built their second home, a 6,000-square-foot sanctuary in Sea Pines, they added a unique feature to the backyard that gives the Hilton Head abode a true sense of place – a putting green.

“We just thought it would be nice for when we have people in. We have a lot of people stay with us there on the coast,” says Grover Todd. “You know guys, we need something to do other than just be together.”

On an island where you can barely swing a club without hitting a golf course, a backyard putting green might seem like an unnecessary luxury. But having a private place to chip and putt between rounds adds a layer of convenience – and hopefully a drop in handicap – to the sport.

“If I want to work on an issue with my putting, that’s a great place to do it,” Todd says. “Or if I have guys in, they enjoy it. We’ve had little tournaments out there.”

The Todds’ landscaper, Brian Rose of Rose Landscape, made the couple’s backyard putting dreams come true with the help of the pros from East Coast Synthetic Turf, a North Carolina company that specializes in the landscape feature.

East Coast Synthetic Turf installs only Mirage Tour Putt Ultimate Putting Turf, a high-end turf that requires no sand infill and no annual maintenance.

“Our turf gives these golfers more realistic chipping and putting without having to do any maintenance,” says Matt McGee, vice president of sales for East Coast Synthetic Turf.

The average residential putting green is 15-by-30-feet with four or five holes and a 2-foot border. Each is created with various slopes and breaks to offer the kinds of challenges a golfer wants.

“It’s totally customized when it comes to building their perfect dream green in their yard,” McGee says of the project, which typically takes about two and a half days and costs about $12,500.

The high-end turf installation is an easy process that requires no sand infill and and no annual maintenance once it’s completed. McGee says the hardest decision, once you decide to make the investment, is figuring out where to put it.

“I always try to encourage people to put it in an area where they know it’s going to be used,” McGee says. “You don’t want it to become like that treadmill you bought five years ago and now just hang things on.”

He suggests installing the putting green near the pool or adjacent to another gathering spot in the yard.

Though not local, East Coast Synthetic Turf regularly sends crews to the Lowcountry, McGee says. While Rose opted to farm out the installation of the backyard feature while overseeing the Todds’ overall landscaping project, the Bluffton landscaper says his company is ready and able to install putting greens for local residents.

Todd couldn’t be happier with his.

“It’s been through two hurricanes with no issues,” he says. “And we’re right on the water.”

3 Benefits of a Backyard Putting Green

1. Practice makes perfect: Any professional will tell you, the best way to improve at golf is focusing on the short game. Yes, practice putting is boring. Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth gets creative with putting games such as “Leap Frog” and “Gate Crasher.” Find rules to those and more putting games online.

2. Saves time: While a round of golf eats half your day, a putting green of your own allows you to practice at a time that works best for you. No reservations, no putting on golf attire, no driving to the course.

3. Saves money: Many practice facilities are expensive. Plus, the money you may be spending on gas to get to and from the course, plus wear and tear on your vehicle, make a backyard putting green an intriguing option for an avid golfer.

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