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Old 05-24-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
unclefish
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Default Backyard putting green DIY - real grass

I have always wanted to put in a real grass putting green. All the research I have ever done says that you have dig out your yard and start laying a foot of gravel and a foot of sand so it will drain well. That's way too much work for me. I have good drainage already so digging out my yard was overkill to me.

I have a bermuda grass yard (Celebration Bermuda) so I figured I could experiment with just top dressing sand to level it out. I have a couple of different spots to try that have good drainage.

First order of business was ordering a greens mower. Found a deal on ebay on a manual McLane 10 blade reel mower. This mower cuts down to 3/16". The first cutting was to 3/4". The next cutting a few days later was a half inch tall.



I started hauling sand in two spots....

Back yard....


Side yard....


Sweeping it level really gets the sand down to the dirt....


Then I rolled it to smooth out.....


Watered in....
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
Rivermonster
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looking good so far, be interested to see it in a few weeks
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:36 PM   #3
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How long do you think it will be before the grass grows through the sand?
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:42 PM   #4
unclefish
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The side yard green is smaller and balls roll pretty darn smooth...even with the taller half inch cut.




The back yard green is much bigger and I've been spending more time trying to smooth it out. I think in another week to ten days it will be looking better when the grass fills in.



I have a hole cutter and 3 practice cups/flags on order. I'll update when its filled in better.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:47 PM   #5
unclefish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philcam View Post
How long do you think it will be before the grass grows through the sand?
It doesn't take long....a few days and it will look mostly green. I have actually top-dressed with sand twice already.

To fill in completely and look like a golf course green....probably 10-14 days I would guess. The celebration bermuda grows amazingly fast.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:47 PM   #6
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Cool project!
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:05 AM   #7
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Watching
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
unclefish
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Its amazing how it grows overnight.....




I plan on putting a sand bunker in the back yard green too....actually gonna put it in the exact place where I had a sand box for my kids when they were little.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #9
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that's cool and that you've already rolled a few balls, instant gratification!
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:46 AM   #10
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You definitely don't have dogs. LOL. My two GSP's would make short order of that green area. ORRRRRRR, I could send them your way to make a few fairway pot bunkers!!!
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
unclefish
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I actually have a golden but he doesn't dig. Celebration has more than kept up with his foot traffic. He has used the same trails everyday for 8 years but you can't really tell where they are.

I plan on putting up a temporary iron fence when its done so he won't drop a duece in the cup!
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:46 PM   #12
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so its called celebration Bermuda? where might I find this? no deuces in cups, that's for sure!! lol
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
KarlGansen
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looks good so far
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:10 PM   #14
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Following the progress
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:26 PM   #15
unclefish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birddoggin View Post
so its called celebration Bermuda? where might I find this? no deuces in cups, that's for sure!! lol
Yep its a variety of bermuda that is being used to retrofit old turf on golf course throughout the south. Tiger stadium at LSU has it on their field.

I got mine from Murff's Turf in Crosby back in 2007. Its available in pallets or rolls. Alot of turf/grass companies carry it now in Texas.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:30 PM   #16
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I would have a lot better success with the sand bunker than a putting green around here. It doesn't rain enough to keep astro turf around.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:39 PM   #17
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I've always wanted to do this as well. Looking forward to updates.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:01 PM   #18
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Looking good!
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:41 AM   #19
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Following along also! Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:50 AM   #20
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Nice!!!
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:06 AM   #21
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Keep the blades on your reel mower super sharp and you should be able to keep that green super short. Cool idea. Hope it works out well.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:11 AM   #22
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I'd be chipping over the house from the side yard to the back yard in a competition with my son.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:02 PM   #23
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After 9 inches of rain in 3 days its looking pretty lush. The brown area on the right is an area I just cut trying to enlarge the green a little bit. It will green up in several days.




Freshly cut and rolled.





The back yard is pretty green too but still needs to fill in better....need kill some crab grass in it too.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:09 PM   #24
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Wow! I'm not a golfer but this is pretty cool.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:38 PM   #25
unclefish
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Here is how it rolls....

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Old 05-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #26
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Your neighbors will be playing thru at any moment!
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:49 PM   #27
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Awesome
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:36 PM   #28
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haha sweet!
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:51 PM   #29
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Looks better than some of the greens I've played on. Great job!
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:16 PM   #30
unclefish
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Got my cups and flags in so I mowed, top-dressed, and rolled the backyard green. It looks rough but it rolls well. I'll post up pics in a few days when its greener.




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Old 05-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #31
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Sorry the pics above got deleted accidentally.




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Old 06-23-2014, 10:24 PM   #32
unclefish
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Updated pics of the green. I've been top dressing with sand every week and it rolls awesome!

Back yard...







Side yard green....

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Old 06-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #33
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That looks awesome, now you need some undulation in the next green you build.
Great job!!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:03 AM   #34
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Excellent work! Looks great!
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:10 AM   #35
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Nice!
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:49 AM   #36
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That's awesome!
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:33 AM   #37
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i need one of these!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:38 AM   #38
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That is so cool
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:39 AM   #39
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Looks great.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:44 AM   #40
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Looks like 12.5 on the stimpmeter! Augusta has nothing on you!
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:25 AM   #41
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Looks great!
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:41 AM   #42
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I'm no golfer, but that actually looks like a lot of fun. So sand is how they get the green to be so fast?
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:53 AM   #43
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When you going to put in the sand trap??
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:10 AM   #44
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I'm no expert by any means but the sand is to help level and smooth it out so there won't be any ball hopping. They get it fast by mowing it very short (1/8" or less), rolling it, and letting it dry out. My mower is cheap and will only mow down to 3/16" but it does a good job for a backyard green.

Stan I will probably get it done in the next 2 weeks. We have been busy on the weekends but things are settling down now.

My wife wants me to make it rounder like an actual green on a golf course so I'm gonna expand it a little.

All told with the mower, roller, hole cutter, cups, and sand I've got about $750 in it so far. So its not too bad and I love the feel of it under my toes every evening. I actually played golf last weekend and only had one 3 putt so it has helped me alot.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #45
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Ahh, ok that makes sense. Really cool tho. I might have to make one just cuz. Maybe it'll help my mini golf game.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:37 AM   #46
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Quote:
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When you going to put in the sand trap Litter box??
Fixed it... LOL
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:24 PM   #47
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Wow. This is just plan cool. Ive had friends talk about this, and heard of peoples plans to do it, but no one i know has ever actually done it. That is fantastic.

Do you get a bunch of bounce from it or is it relatively smooth. Looks great!
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:41 PM   #48
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I used to have a neighbor down the street that had his whole yard done like that. Beautiful yard, but he worked it every day (retired).
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:58 PM   #49
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This is awesome! I just purchased a putting matt and am disappointed by it. I have plenty of extra room where I live. I think this will be my next project!
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #50
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IDK how they did it, but I close on my new house in 2 weeks and this is in the backyard.

I was thinking about taking it up and making a fire pit area, but IDK.
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