Every golfer has a dream: step out their back door and practice putting and chipping on his very own green. But every golfer soon wakes up and says, "Yeah, but who's going to mow it, water it, fertilize it and roll it so that the ball runs true." By that point, the realization also sinks in that real grass putting greens run into the tens of thousands of dollars to build and maintain. The reality also means that most people end up only practicing this vital part of the game in the few minutes they have left before hitting off the first tee.
But Tour Links, the Total Putting Green System, can bring the golfer's dream to life, with a synthetic, portable surface that can be set up outdoors or indoors, and comes as close to reproducing the actual roll and break of a natural putting green as anything ever invented. The secret, says David Barlow, the president of Tour Links, is the interlocking panels that follow the shape of the earth underneath them. Then the panels are covered with the nylon surface that virtually duplicates the blades of grass of a real putting green. Barlow says it produces a roll that is equivalent to 10.5 or 11 on a stimpmeter (a devise used to gauge the speed of a green), and it can even be rolled to produce a stimp speed of 13 that mimics conditions at the Masters.
The process is easy too. A Tour Links representative visits your home, measures the area where you want the putting green and then the installation is quick and easy. The variety of sizes include a small, dog-bone shape that runs about $309 and a 12' by 12' shape that averages around $1,900. Greens in the designer series are customized to the space you choose. With all the trappings-including the foam side slopes that transition from the surface to the surrounding ground-that can cost as much as $11,900 for the 28' by 28' size. You can check out the options on the Web site.
You'll be in good company as a number of PGA Tour professionals have installed the putting greens at their homes. Barlow claims that the synthetic surfaces hold up well in a range of different outdoor settings, even in cold climates. And if you sell your house, you don't have to give up the dream. Just break the putting green down and take it with you.