1. Gather Tools You’ll Need
- Hand Tamper
- String Trimmer
- Safety Glasses
- 3 Foot Level
- Yard Rake (with flat metal side)
- Leaf Rake
- Square Nose
- Shovel and Hand Trowel
2. Level the Site
Select a level site or create one by reading “How To Level A Slope for Putting Green Installation.” Greens should not be placed in a depression or drain way.
3. Roll out green & check grade
Use a level to make sure the grade goes not exceed a 2” rise over a 10’ run.
4. Outline edge of green with weed eater, or edger
Always wear eye protection.
5. Roll up green
6. Weed eat grass inside the outline down to the dirt or roots
7. Rake or blow cuttings from outlined area
Cut ridges or roots if necessary. Fill any indentations.
8. Add 12 lbs. of base for every square foot of green
Add 2″ of 3/8″ minus gravel screenings, meaning your gravel supplier has passed gravel through a 3/8″ screen so only the smallest pieces pass through. This mix has small particles as well as gravel up to 3/8″ and every size in between. You’ll need about 12 pounds of gravel per square foot.
9. Create a gentle raised crown in the center for drainage
Use a leveling rake or 2×4 and rake the area smooth. No indentations should be present.
10. Compact the base
Compact with a water-filled roller or a plate compactor (preferred) rented from your home store. For smaller areas use a hand tamper. Helpful Hint Do not compact in rows, use a random pattern.
11. Check the base for levels and smoothness
The 3/8″ gravel holds contours much better than sand, so contouring is best done within the gravel base. Use as little sand as possible for final smoothness.
12. Roll out green and check smoothness and contours
13. Dig in cups with hand trowel or 4 ¼” hole cutter
OPTIONAL: If drainage may be an issue, dig 2-4 inches deeper than the length of the cup and add gravel. Top of the cup should be 1/8” below surface of the green. Keep dirt off green.
14. Soil too hard to dig cups with a hand trowel?
If digging is hard due to roots or rocks, mark hole and roll up green at hole. Then, chop up area by hole with a pick or round nosed shovel. Compact area flat and dig in hole.
15. After the cup is set in the ground.
In the ground, roll up green at hole. Finish and compact soil around the cup with a level, trowel or brick.
16. Roll out green and inspect contours and level cups
Cups can be leveled by stepping gently on their edges.
17. Clean and add optional markers or flags
Surface can be cleaned with dish soap, gently blown off, hose off, or vacuumed with a shop vac but do not use rotating brushes. All abrasive tools, beater bars, rakes and brushes will slow down the green.
18. To change the contours to add new challenges
Add 3/8” minus gravel base to keep the green challenging and fun for years to come.