Attention, ardent golfer: Perhaps it’s time to shelve that cup you’ve been putting toward in your home office. If you’re serious about continually improving your score, don’t take a mulligan on researching the merits of refining your short game with a personal putting green.
Owned and operated by the father-and-son team of Don and Jeff Fairfield (both golf pros), Southwest Greens of Palm Springs has been installing greens in back yards for nearly seven years, ranging from 500 to 2,500 square feet (the former being more typical).
“We’ll go out to meet with a client and take our paint gun out and give them a basic design for what they already have in mind,” Jeff Fairfield explains, adding that their aim is to custom design a green that complements existing contours and landscaping.
Installation takes about a week. A decomposed granite base is topped with a quarter-inch urethane pad that acts as a cushion. That gets infilled with silica sand and topped with sand painted green. Southwest concludes the job in style with a metallic cup and flagstick. Southwest Greens uses a 7600 denier polypropylene artificial turf.
“It’s like a thread count in a sheet,” Fairfield says. “The more thread count, the finer the sheet. And it’s the same with turf. The more fibers, the smoother the ball rolls. When a green is slow, it’s not as true a surface.”
Discussion rages in home putting circles about the differences between a polypropylene and nylon. “The nylon is much less expensive,” Fairfield says, “although the majority of greens that we replace are nylon because they tend to melt out in the desert and tend to break down after a few years.”
Most experts and owners prefer polypropylene because of the natural appearance it offers amid a backyard setting and how it absorbs approach shots from natural grasses surrounding the green.
Southwest offers a 10-year warranty on a product that has a 20- to 25-year life expectancy. Maintenance is minimal; Fairfield suggests a $150 investment in a lawn roller that can be purchased at most any hardware store and should be used by the owner every few months to keep greens fast.
Southwest Greens of Palm Springs
45-650 Navajo Rd.
Indian Wells, CA 92210