Why build a putting green or short game facility at home?

To improve your game! How many times have you played against people when you knew you were better than them but they still managed to win? Golf can be a frustrating game at times due to its competitive nature and as a result of having every hole and every round judged with a score. The frustration comes from wasted shots in the middle of a round whilst knowing you can do better. But like most things the only way to improve and to maintain a consistent game is with purposeful practice. Good golfers know that practicing the short game offers the quickest route to scoring well. Unfortunately most golf courses and driving ranges do not have any short game practice facilities, or if they do - they leave a lot to be desired. Where there is a practice green in existence it’s not unusual to see a sign telling you not to chip onto it. 


For those that have the space practicing at home offers the time-limited golfer seeking improvement the easiest and most enjoyable way to hone their skills and improve their scoring. An added bonus is that the practice area at your home will become a well used family recreation area. Think of it in the same way you would a tennis court. Imagine the fun and convenience of being able to practice your golf at home and the countless hours of entertainment you together with your family and friends, will have on your practice green.




Why build a Synthetic and not a natural grass green? 

An all-weather golf green by Tour Greens Europe will give you an excellent and consistent surface to practice on, with tour quality putting speed and playability all year round without the expense and time required to maintain a traditional natural grass green. It’s virtually impossible to achieve all that in a natural grass golf green even with a full time green keeper and all the necessary equipment to hand. When you see the ever growing list of Tour players and teaching professionals installing Tour Greens Europe synthetic facilities at their properties you can be confident in the quality of our product. As 25-time tour winner Miguel Angel Jimenez said after we installed his: “The green is incredibly realistic. It putts like a quality tour green.”. 



What are the pros and cons of having a Synthetic Golf Green over a natural grass green?

- Once installed the position of the cups within the green is permanent. This is why we spend a lot of time positioning the cups during the installation process. Each cup is positioned with intent to allow many years of purposeful practice. The surface is never damaged by replacement and moving of holes on the green however and all practice shots are incorporated into the design of the green. 

-Some people worry about the faster putting speeds of synthetic surfaces in comparison to the speed of the greens at the courses they normally play at. All I can respond with is that our surfaces are as close to perfect as you can get for a working putting surface, something which the majority of golf courses only achieve for a short period during parts of summer and early autumn if at all. We build ''tour quality'' greens which are fast and true. As Jose Maria Olazabal pointed out when we were building his green at San Sebastian Golf club. It is much better to practice on faster surfaces than slower ones because you are practicing a stroke rather than a hit and it is better to go from having practiced on a fast surface to playing on a slow surface rather than the other way around. He also pointed out that golfers who practice on faster surfaces over the winter months are more competitive early on when the season starts.


How much Maintenance will I have to do?

You do not have to feed, weed or cut the grass on a synthetic golf green. It will require a certain amount of maintenance to keep it in top shape, just as with any surface exposed to the elements and human traffic, however synthetic surfaces only require the minimal requirements of keeping the surfaces clean of garden debris, brushing the surface occasionally and spraying it once or twice a year for weed and moss control. Far less usually than whatever was there before we arrived! Generally a bit of attention two or three times a year is all the care a synthetic surface requires to keep it in top shape for many years of continuous use. Busier commercial greens will obviously need a bit more attention especially if bunker sand is being splashed onto the surfaces.



Are all Synthetic Golf greens the same?

Most definitely not! There are many types and different quality of products being offered today under the guise of a synthetic golf green. Outside of the actual design itself greens can differ in many ways: from the materials chosen for the job, to the construction methods and materials used in the build to the skill of the team installing the surface. Each area is critical to replicating as close as possible a Tour Green. 



Why Tour Greens-Europe over any other provider?

“I’d say to anyone that was going to invest in a synthetic short game area to practice at home to try and improve their game, don’t think of going anywhere else. I’ve been very, very happy with the two greens I’ve had and I think if you ask anyone who’s had a Tour Green they’ll tell you the same.The quality of the surface and the quality of the service that Tour-Greens and Tony provides is next to none. I don’t think you’d want to go anywhere else for a synthetic playing surface.” Rory McIlroy - World #1 & Major winner. 


Still not satisfied??! Understood, everyone's needs are different to the world’s best. We are not a landscape company that offers a golf green as one of our landscape offerings. Nor are we a synthetic turf company trying to sell as much turf as possible. We are specialists in designing and building short game golf practice areas. We came to this business as golfers knowing the importance and benefits (as well as the pleasure!) of practicing the short game and we were conscious of the shortage of available good quality practice facilities.  

Our focus is to build each client an interesting and well thought out practice facility using only the best materials and installation methods.  We have built for some of the world’s top golfers and will bring that unparalleled experience to your installation. Every Tour Greens Europe installation is customised to a client’s unique circumstances and needs. We take everything into account before the design stage including budget, available space for the project and how the facility will be used by the client. Most importantly we can say that we do not compromise or downgrade the quality of our products or craftsmanship in order to compete on price with anybody. There may be cheaper putting alternatives but we believe there is no better value way to improve your golf.  



What are my turf choices?

There are two types of turf suitable for the construction of a synthetic golf green. A short dense nylon-fibre turf and a longer-fibre, less dense, polypropylene turf.

The nylon turf is suitable for smaller greens or for greens that will only be used for putting while the polypropylene turf is designed to be in-filled with a silica sand to enable the surface to receive a shot which makes this type of green more suitable for all round practice and play and for larger installations.



What are the pros and cons of the different turf types?

The Nylon turf is slower to putt on than the polypropylene product with putting speeds averaging between 8 and 11 on the stimpmeter depending on the density of the Nylon turf chosen and the extent of any sand dressing chosen during installation. The latest Nylon turf on the market is designed and sold as a non sand-filled product but we always recommend brushing a sand dressing into the surface to minimise the effects of grain on the ball as it slows down. When pitching onto a Nylon turf green the ball bounces a little too hard and high on the 1st few hops but this is not so much an issue with short chipping especially when the product has been sand dressed.

The sand-filled polypropylene turf takes a shot exceptionally well which makes it great for pitching and chipping whereas it also putts fast and true. However some higher handicap golfers find it difficult to cope with the average settled putting speeds of between 11 and 13 on the stimpmeter.

- Both products look fantastic when installed but the sand-filled polypropylene turf looks a little more like natural grass than the nylon turf.



How do I decide what I want?

Deciding how you want to use your green from a practice perspective will usually determine the size of installation you desire as well as the type of turf to get. Other factors to take into account are deciding who else will be using the facility and how many people will be using it at any one time. Do you want a bunker? If so what type of bunker do you want? How far away will you be pitching to the green from? How many holes do you want built into the green? Some clients simply want a practice putting green incorporating 9 or 18 holes for entertaining family and friends during the summer months. Visualise how you see yourself using a green and visit our products section to see which product most resembles what you had in mind. We can then give you an idea of cost, subject to a site survey, and can arrange for you to try out one of our installations if convenient.

The ultimate facility for an individual's use at home usually results in a smaller all inclusive design when compared to commercial installations where the intention is to have multiple users on the facility all at the same time. Generally commercial short game practice facilities will need separate greens for bunker, chipping and putting practice as you have to take safety considerations such as mishit golf balls into account when planning the lay out. Our experience in the design process will allow you to incorporate as many separate practice areas in as efficient a layout as possible. 



What are my design choices?

Ultimately the finished design and shape will be determined by a number of factors from the type and size of installation or product you choose to the available space we have to work within. Designing a golf practice area is similar to the architectural process of any well designed building - the individual needs of the user must be met in as efficient a manner as possible. After considering the site conditions such as area, drainage requirements (if any) and the inclusion of any fixed, existing features such as trees and paths we can prepare a shot design sketch relevant to the location. If there is something in particular that is desired to be incorporated into the design we can include such features where the budget and overall practicalities allow. In the past we have simulated such facilities such as a St Andrews road-hole type bunker or a replication of the line at the 12th green in Augusta National. 



What other decisions do I have to make?

Do you want the facility floodlit? Do you want the facility to blend into your existing landscaping or do you want to create some new features such as flowerbeds, new planting, water features, pathways or other hard landscaping?

Each green will differ depending on the number and complexity of the design features built into it. Every installation will require the client to make decisions on the number of holes to be incorporated, as well as decisions on slopes, mounding, chipping stations, bunkers and tees. When making these decisions we are delighted to offer support and guidance to each client based on our many years of experience doing what we do. The complexity and cost of each build will also be affected by the site conditions, machine access, site clearance requirements, the extent of the base construction on an undulating site and any special drainage requirements. Note however that the square foot pricing for our installations includes a factoring in for what is considered normal when it comes to all the above variables. Most importantly, we will always promise to work to use our experience to work with the client in achieving the best possible design for the relevant space and budget. 


In what parts of the world does Tour Greens Europe work?

We have crews based in the UK, Ireland, France and Spain and can respond immediately to queries in these areas. Outside of these regions we can install throughout the world but usually only for larger short game practice facilities measuring from 500 m2 upwards or clients that require golf’s premium practice green. (We find it hard to turn down our professional clients when they change tour!)  We can also facilitate golf course installations that require a number of green and tee complexes. Please contact us directly to discuss this area of our operations. 



Do you work with Golf course and landscape architects?

We have experience happily working with and freely sharing the information and experiences we have built up over the years with golf course and landscape architects to ensure the success of each individual project. Our specialty in short-game practice is also extremely useful for golf course designers and clubs looking to maximise the efficiency of a green when improving or upgrading existing courses.  



How long will a Synthetic Green last?

Our synthetic greens carry a manufacturer’s guarantee of 7 years against UV degradation in the sun belt regions and we give an additional construction guarantee for three years to cover base construction, hole installation and turf seaming. When properly maintained and used for purpose a synthetic golf green will easily remain true for 12 or more years.  We have installations in the ground since 2000 that are still going strong.



How is a Synthetic Green maintained?

Synthetic surfaces require some maintenance to keep them in top condition however usually much less than the existing installation area! The green should be kept free of garden debris, leaves, twigs etc. Either pick them up or use a blower. Spray the surfaces once or twice a year for weed and moss control. Surfaces can be rejuvenated with a top dressing after a few years (in particular where the green is getting a lot of traffic). We show all our clients how to carry out the basic maintenance required should they choose to do this themselves. The more effort you put into your green the longer the product will last in perfect condition. Tour Greens Europe can set up a maintenance program where required. Maintenance takes only a couple of hours per year for an average size installation. We are always available for our clients in the years after an installation should they require advice or assistance with any possible issues.



How long will it take to install a Green? 

Depending on the size of green and the weather conditions during the installation, anywhere from a few days for our putting strips to a few weeks for our mid sized chipping greens to 4  weeks or so + for our larger total short game practice facilities.



How much does a green cost?

We can travel anywhere to give a personalised quotation but we should be able to give you reasonably accurate estimates through initial email correspondence. The more information you share with us about what you want, where you want it, site access etc. (pictures are always helpful) the more accurate an estimate we will be able to give you.  We do recommend that at some point preferably before we visit you to do a site survey that you take the time to try out one of our installations. There are a number of factors affecting price over and above the costs we can control. Site access for our machinery, the price of local materials for worldwide installations, accommodation requirements if needed, transportation costs, the size of the green, the extent of any initial excavation work needed, drainage requirements, lighting and landscaping etc. We will never compromise on the quality of our putting greens but will be able to assist you using our extensive experience with the management and budget of an overall design. 



Does a synthetic golf green take a shot and react in a natural way?

The product we use for all our Tour Greens Europe short game greens is the sand filled Polypropylene turf. This product, when properly installed, is the premier all round golf green surface and the result is as good as an artificial golf green gets. It does require an expert installation but it is the product which has the closest resemblance to the best natural grass golf greens. This product putts beautifully, runs out on a chip shot like a natural grass green and is receptive to an approach shot in a very life like way. It is flexible from a design point of view in that you can incorporate whatever mounding and undulations you desire.

Don’t just take our word for it, Rory McIlroy said of hitting to our greens: “The Tour Greens Europe golf green is very similar to what you’ll experience on a real golf green and that’s why I went for it.”

The nylon putting surfaces are not suitable for use on a golf green installation as the golf ball will bounce too high on approach shots. It is however a very good surface that putts a little slower on the stimpmeter than our premier sand-filled product but there is a compromise on the ability to realistically create an artificial Tour Green. Most synthetic golf green companies sell this product exclusively because less specialized machinery is required for installations and it can be installed by reasonably inexperienced staff in faster installation speeds than can the sand-filled polypropylene product. This product is appropriate when a customer wants a putting surface with speeds of about 9 on the stimpmeter or where indoor or rooftop installations are required. Nylon greens account for less than 10% of our installations.



Do you sell the materials and turf for a self installation?

Unfortunately we do not sell Tour Greens Europe turf and materials for self-installation and would strongly advise against anyone thinking of going down this route. We get a lot of requests to supply the necessary materials to people hoping to do an installation themselves however site-specific installation is a key part of the product we provide and is a fundamental part of our ability to consistently recreate world-class practice facilities for the amateur golfer. We have yet to see even an average quality installation achieved by self installers (and some professionals!) Golf is all about precision and an untrue green may actually impair the improvement and confidence you were hoping to achieve in your game.  


Take my advice, if you cannot afford a facility which is installed by professionals and used by professionals then spend the money you do have on a golf holiday instead.