Adding A Golf Green To Your Landscaping

By: Ben Nystrom


Diehard golf fans are a breed all their own. Many travel hundreds of miles and spend thousands of dollars to play in new, exciting locales. Others pay outrageous membership fees every year just to have a place to practice their swing. However, any avid golfer can create a private golf sanctuary right in his or her own back yard. All you need is some space, a few resources, creativity, and the correct landscaping techniques. Below, you'll find ideas and useful tips that can help turn your plain old yard into the envy of every golfer on the block.

The first step in creating a backyard golf course is to understand your yard's terrain. Figure out the size, shape, natural elevations, and the amount of sun and rain in the area you wish to turn into a backyard course. Check your city's zoning laws to make sure your landscaping ideas won't be in violation of any code. This may seem like a lot to consider, but doing so will only make your project that much easier to complete

Next, decide which aspects of a traditional course will fit on your property. Chances are, you won't be able to fit eighteen holes. However, if you do have a few spare acres, you can easily create a one- or two-hole course. Choose the course features for your course. These may include: a tee-off area, a chipping area, a sand or a small water trap, a rough, and a putting green.

If your budget and space is limited, just include your favorite aspects of golf. Are you a fan of teeing off? If so, why not add a driving range to your property? Relatively simple to design and construct, driving ranges won't disturb the neighbors too much, assuming you have enough space and the proper safety netting. Or perhaps you need a space to practice chipping? Chipping areas are another fairly small, easily landscaped choice. Design your chipping area with plenty of rough grass, mounds, or water or sand traps. Chipping areas don't need to be immaculately manicured, either. Letting the area get a little overgrown will probably help your game even more.

Putting greens do require a bit more planning than other features, but they can be designed to fit nearly any space. Make sure your putting area is flat. Design and install a drainage system, and dedicate time to properly cultivating the turf. A grass green is a fairly long-term project, so if you are looking for more immediate results, opt for artificial turf. Artificial grass is quick to install and requires a lot less maintenance.

If you are restricted by size but still want a full course, try designing a mini-golf course. Mini courses can be a lot of fun, but they also a lot of work, especially if you want each hole to be different and challenging. Hiring a professional designer is probably your best bet when building a mini-golf course; however, that doesn't mean you can't be in on the design process.

Yes, golf fanatics around the world have started to build their own courses, holes or practice areas. And if you have the means and have done the research, there is no reason why you can't have your own personal course as well.

~Ben Nystrom, 2009

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