Not many people have the space in their garden for a golf course, sadly, but that doesn't mean you can't practise your golfing skills at home. You could get one of those plastic indoor putting mats, but it's hardly a realistic experience, and it's not as much fun as playing outdoors.
Instead, you can easily create a putting green in your back garden. Most people have the space to fit one in somewhere, even if it's only small. The main thing you'll need to do is maintain the grass at a good length, or you won't be getting the most out of your putting practice. Here are some things to look for when you're choosing the right mower for the job.
Type of mower
When it comes to keeping your new putting green neatly trimmed, manoeuvrability is key, since you need to be able to cover every little bit of the turf without straying off the edges. Something fairly compact and lightweight is best, with a small turning circle.
Professional greenskeepers use a special type of rotary mower, which has a unique cutting action with two blades. However, these are out of the budget of most ordinary people.
If you can't stretch to the cost of a proper putting green mower, take a look at some good quality rotary or cylinder mowers instead. Avoid hover mowers, as they won't give you the precision you need.
Now, here's the problem. The turf of professional putting greens is cut short. Extremely short – just over 3 millimetres, in fact, or even less on some courses.
Most of the mowers available for general home lawn care aren't capable of cutting at lengths this low, since it can be damaging to the grass if you're not careful.
Since you're unlikely to be handing over the cash for a proper golf green mower, you should look carefully at the minimum cutting length of the models you're considering.
If you can't find one that cuts as short as a proper golf course, go for the closest you can get hold of. You should be able to get your green smooth enough for putting practice.
A mower that collects grass clippings as you go is a must. The idea is to finish with as smooth a surface as possible, so any clippings left on the green will get in the way and cause extra maintenance work for you.
Although it's not essential, you might want to consider a mower that doesn't need to be plugged in for power. Electric cables get in the way and stop you from being able to move your mower as smoothly as you need to.