22 March, 2021
- 26 January, 2021
Artificial Grass Vs Real Grass
Having a putting green in your garden at home is no longer a case of ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’, with this increasingly affordable option now within the reach of all keen golfers, regardless of garden size! The convenience of being able to simply step outside and practice your short game without having to leave the house is often reason enough for golfers to consider this luxury landscaping feature.
And it’s not just the convenience that makes an at-home putting green an attractive idea; add to that the idea of having putting competitions with your mates in the summer, the possibility of taking a couple of strokes off your game - and not to mention it is a wonderful way to reduce stress. You’ll start wondering why you haven’t thought of having a putting green at home before.
With an at-home putting green the possibilities are endless; perhaps you only have space for a green with a single hole, or maybe you have room for something bigger, with multiple holes...and bunkers… Either way, the big decision you need to make once you’ve decided that you want to have a putting green installed at home, is whether you want to use real grass or artificial grass.
We’ve put together a list of the most important points to consider when it comes to planning your own at-home putting green.
How Much Does A Home Putting Green Cost Vs A Real Grass Putting Green?
When it comes to how much your putting green will cost, a number of factors will come into play - regardless of whether it’s constructed from artificial or real grass. This includes what prep work is required, how complex your design is, the size of your garden, and even who you hire to do the job.
In theory, installing a very small, flat putting green with no features is likely to be cheaper if you choose real grass - but that’s not always the case. Also, it’s important to remember that if you opt for artificial grass you won’t have to worry about the ‘hidden’ costs of watering and tending to it until it’s ready to play on.
Location, Location, Location
Imagine an at-home putting green constructed of beautiful, lush, healthy natural grass. Can you picture it? It looks great doesn’t it? Decision made!
Now imagine you live in an area where the soil doesn’t have the right consistency and nutrients, or that your garden has a lot of shaded areas. Picture the kids constantly running and riding their bikes across it, no matter how many times you’ve told them to keep off it. The dog using it as a luxury toilet area, or digging at it! Is your eye twitching yet?
On the other hand, artificial grass doesn’t depend on sunlight, water, chemicals or nutrients. A home putting green in the UK won't be affected by frost or heatwaves. You’ll be able to sweep off any dirt or debris, hose off any pet urine, and it’s durable enough that the kids running across it won’t be an issue.
New decision made!
Is Real Grass Or Artificial Grass Safer For Pets
We’ve already mentioned the toilet issue when it comes to dogs - and a natural lawn will inevitably get brown spots in areas where pets urinate. Also, a dog running or playing on your real grass putting green will kick up clumps of earth, which would result in you needing to pay out for professional repair - or replacement!
A real lawn is going to require care such as pesticides and fertilisers in order to keep it in tip-top condition - some of which can be dangerous if ingested by our pets. An artificial putting green doesn’t need chemicals in order to grow or look beautiful - and your dog is unlikely to dig at it since it won’t easily give way to the soil underneath - so it’s a win-win situation.
The only issue we can think of when it comes to artificial grass and pets, is that in direct sunlight it will be hotter to the touch than real grass. If you don’t have any shaded areas in your garden and you plan on having a lot of artificial grass, it would be a good idea to either have some designated areas of natural grass, or to provide some shade so that your pets can be comfortable on hot days.
When it comes to cleanliness, an artificial putting green really can’t be beaten. Regardless of the weather, you’re not going to be dealing with muddy patches on the grass, or tracking dirt and grass into your house once you’ve finished practicing your short game….which makes artificial grass the clear winner in the cleanliness stakes.
Does Artificial Grass Or Real Grass Require More Maintenance?
Natural lawns need quite a lot of care and attention in order to look their very best, and if it’s a putting green it’s going to need even more. Watering, weeding, fertilizing, aerating, edging and mowing are just a few examples of the type of maintenance you’ll be expected to carry out once you have a natural grass putting green - and that’s not mentioning the herbicides and pesticides you might need in order to keep your grass weed and pest-free!
Of course, all of this is not only time-consuming, but it’s also expensive. Especially when you factor in higher water bills, the petrol or electricity required to mow or strim, and the cost of any specialist equipment and chemicals….also, if you have a large enough green (or budget) to hire a greenkeeper that’s even more expense.
In contrast, artificial grass needs very little in the way of maintenance - just a quick rinse off and sweep over will keep the blades looking as fresh and bouncy as when it was first installed.
I think it’s clear from the evidence so far that an artificial putting green is going to be a lot more durable than one constructed from natural grass, and we’ve already mentioned that an artificial grass putting green will hold up to pet urine and children playing. Because the material is designed to ‘bounce back’ after being underfoot, it’s not going to get that trampled look that natural grass will, and you won’t experience any dead or bare patches in high-traffic areas.
And let’s consider you, as a golfer...is your real grass putting green likely to get ruined over time by your putter forming divots? - and that’s not a dig - even the pros leave divots sometimes! Even if you replace the divot every time, those spots will never be the same. If your putting green is made from artificial grass you’ll be able to practice your swing to your heart’s content without ruining your lawn.
Which Is Better To Play On - Real Grass Or Artificial Grass?
This is a question that seems to split the golf community straight down the middle - and it all seems to come down to personal preference. Despite the fact that many golfers prefer natural grass, a surprising number of PGA pros have stated that synthetic grass plays exactly like conventional grass.
Of course, most golfers are used to playing on natural grass - it’s not practical to start converting entire golf courses to artificial grass - and so playing on artificial turf isn’t the norm. However, with the advances in artificial lawn technology that allow for a proper roll, some clubs and courses are starting to replace all or part of their greens with artificial grass - particularly in drought-ridden areas where maintaining the health of natural grass is an expensive and lengthy process.
Artificial grass is generally considered a safer option for sports and for play areas when it comes to an even surface and less trip hazard. There is some debate when it comes to playing very active sports or running on the surface, but as practicing your short game doesn’t require you to do your best Usain Bolt impersonation, it’s only really trip hazards that you need to think about.
It’s worth noting that both real grass and artificial grass putting greens can present trip hazards if the base isn’t properly prepared or correctly installed - but using a reputable company (such as Look Real lawns!) for your artificial green will result in a consistent and even playing surface without the trip hazards associated with a natural lawn.
There’s no denying that a well-manicured and maintained natural lawn is a thing of beauty - but it does require time, effort and money to keep it looking its absolute best. In the case of putting greens, this is particularly true - not enough sun, too much or too little water, incorrect fertilisation, and damage caused by pets and putters can all ruin the look of real grass. An artificial grass putting green will always be free of weeds, brown patches, bald spots and divots….another point for artificial grass!
Regardless of whether you decide to go for a natural or artificial putting green, professional, expert installation is key, and at Look Real lawns that’s at the very heart of what we do. We specialise in providing at-home putting greens and lawns for all budgets, and in gardens of all shapes and sizes. Our team has over 35 years of landscaping and greenkeeping experience, so why not give us a call and arrange a free, no-obligation quote, and you could be improving your game in no time!