I’m not a tinkerer. I’ve never re-gripped a club, changed a shaft or re-grooved my wedges. I’m not even what you would call “handy” around the house. But I attempted something recently I suspect we have all yearned to do at some point during our golfing lives: build a putting green in the backyard. And I bloody well pulled it off. Here’s how you can, too!

1. Preparation

A former rock garden in our backyard of approximately 14 square metres served one purpose: to spill little rocks onto the path the wife and I would step on every time we hung out the washing.

With inspiration coming from NRL star Daniel Mortimer, who had built his own putting green, I began ridding our yard of these vile pieces of decorative waste.

Next stop was laying a base and where I made the initial landscape mistake. I went to Bunnings Warehouse looking for crusher dust and when they didn’t have any, I bought 10 bags of coarse sand at $7.90 each. But it didn’t even cover the surface area. This was when an important addition to my project presented itself – a mate with a ute. You can’t do this without one.

We got two scoops of crusher dust from a local landscape supplier for $45.50, spread it out, hired a compactor from Kennards (four hours for $74) and went to work making the area as flat as possible [below].

Tony Webeck

2. Laying Turf

This green was always going to be of the artificial variety, so I simply purchased 12-millimetre Tuff Turf off the shelf at Bunnings. A mate had told me I could buy a longer pile of grass and fill in with sand, but I wanted to be putting ASAP with little chance for horrendous errors.

One roll that covered nine square metres kept joins to a minimum. While there were a couple of less-than-ideal spots where the turf doesn’t quite mesh overall, the wife and I did a sound job.

The total cost of the synthetic turf was $436.36, which included sealing tape, some washed sand to brush in afterwards and a Stanley knife (I didn’t have one).

Tony Webeck

3. Pin Placements

If the area was perfectly flat, this would have been a simple process, but my putting green has character (along with a couple of little ridges). The most appropriate thing I could do during the four days I had to wait for my $160 worth of cups and flags to arrive from David Golf was to putt on my green, working out where I could (and couldn’t) hole putts from.

4. The Aftermath

“Can we have a turn now, Dad?” When my two children saw me rolling the rock for the first time, they immediately wanted in on it, which further emphasised to me that I’d done a great thing for our family. The wife has given provisional approval for the members’ bar that will house the golf ball collection I have been working on for more than 20 years.

After all was said and done, this backyard blitz cost me $794.86. But it will bring a lifetime of joy and self-satisfaction.

That’s money well spent.

Tony Webeck