Thanks for coming to Golf.com to see more of my son Eddie’s “backyards for golfers” designs. He built the short-game practice facility of my dreams in my backyard for a reason: to help me learn firsthand what is needed for you to improve your short game and putting. This is part of my overall view that if you can improve your short game skills in the comfort and convenience of your own yard during the week after work, then you’ll shoot lower scores and enjoy the game more when you play on the weekends.
Unfortunately, most of us have to work for a living. This leaves little time on work days to practice golf. Thanks to the quality of some new SYNLawn Golf turf products, which I am having the privilege of helping develop, we can all now pitch and putt on realistically behaving grasses and greens at home in our backyards. That’s my plan: practice at home … play better on the weekends. Living with such conditions in my dream home, with my dream gal, I’m going to work on my short game for as long as I can swing a club, or stroke a putter.
But that’s my own dream. My real goal is to inspire you to find a way to practice your wedges and putting on weekday evenings. I want you to get home from work, change into something comfortable, and step out into your backyard for a few minutes with a wedge or putter. No dressing up, no driving anywhere, no wasted time. Just relax, hit a few shots (for 3, 10, 30 minutes or more), and then go inside for supper. Spend constructive time with your family, have fun with the kids, and lower your handicap simultaneously. What could be better!
You know, improving golf skills is in a way like learning to speak French. Frequent short practice sessions (in the evenings) help a lot more than long sessions that are few and far-between. And since you spend most evenings at home, if you practice more easily and often, your skills can be dramatically improved over time.
Transforming your backyard into a legitimate practice area isn’t as difficult -- or expensive -- as you might think. To give you an idea of what is involved, please look at some basic designs that might fit into your yard. Of course each design will be customized to optimize your own home/yard layout. And by adding such an amenity, you’ll also add to your home’s value. I recommend using “nylon” based synthetic grasses, which are available in various green-speeds and for fringe, fairway and rough applications (nylon last longer with usually 8 to 10 year, and sometimes more, guarantees), as compared to polypropylene products.
“Easy access to golf” can be fit into almost any backyard and creates a low maintenance (no water or mowing) situation for long term care and maintenance costs. You probably won’t need anywhere near the amount of turf I used. In reality, you only need small (4’ x 4’) tee areas to hit from (the more the better), and small (15’ x 25’) green targets to hit to. I also recommend starting with something small and close to the house (the closer to the house, the more you’ll use it, I promise), because if you don’t have the time or energy to pitch or putt close to your house, you don’t need a larger and more expensive complex farther out in the yard.
For more details and pricing, check out the following for availability in your area:
synlawngolf.com (for availability nationwide)
davepelzsynscapes.com (for Austin and San Antonio Texas only)