Installing a putting green in your backyard is a great way to add to your landscaping while practicing your golfing skills. Installing putting green cups can make or break your backyard putting green. It’s a tedious, careful process, but when done right, you’re able to find new enjoyment in your own backyard.

Common Problems Installing Putting Green Cups

When any step of the installation process is overlooked, you will come across any one of the following problems:

  • Ball stoppage or misdirection at the 3’ radius line.
  • Sinking or rising of the putting cups.
  • Tilted flags.

Don’t Rush the Grading and Compaction Process

Your putting green needs to be perfectly smooth to be functional. Your yard is not perfectly smooth, so how do you solve this problem? You grade and compact the area first. Grading is the process of leveling and sculpting your yard, or in this case, subgrade materials. Subgrade materials are what’s directly beneath the surface of your putting green. Decomposed granite is the best material for the job.

If you neglect proper grading and compacting of the decomposed granite, your golf ball will roll irregularly. The process is complete when the surface is smooth and even without any compaction lines or small holes. 

To check your grading job, use a level to inspect the 3’ radius around where the putting green cup is going to be installed. The area should be perfectly smooth and flat. If it’s not, your golf ball could stop rolling or curve away from the hole.

Installing Putting Green Cups

To install the putting green cup, you’ll first need to excavate a hole. This hole needs to be no less than 4” wider than the diameter of the cup and 1” deeper than the height of the cup.

Do not use dirt to compact the putting cup into place. Dirt causes the cup to shift overtime because the soil loosens from rain, foot traffic, and repeated insertion and removal of the flag. Instead, use concrete mortar for a more reliable installation.

Before filling the excavated hole with concrete, create a film around the outer surface of the cup. The best way to do this is by spraying the exterior of the cup with a silicone lubricant like WD-40. Spray the cup, place it in the hole, and then add the concrete mixture.

When pouring the concrete, wiggle the cup slightly to allow the concrete to fill the hole evenly. Smooth the excess and use a level to check your work. Make sure the cup and the poured concrete are both level before leaving the job to set.

Enjoy Your Putting Green

Installing the putting green cup is the most essential part of any putting green project. If done wrong, the only way to fix it is by completely redoing the whole putting green. Attention to detail upfront will save you from frustration later.