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Going for the greens
Practice your putting in your own back yard? More owners are lining up this option

Pete Van Curen and Bob McCafferty, both of Fort Thomas, often buddy up for golf at Highland Country Club.

But when it comes to putting proficiency, they have a much shorter trip - out the house and down a few steps to their personal putting greens.

McCafferty opted for a synthetic green by Buckeye Putting Greens under a stand of trees shading the back corner of his property. Van Curen, chose the natural grass route - on his hilly front yard above the bustle of Grand Avenue - despite the warning of his friend, Paul Hoar, the Highland golf course superintendent.

"We tried to talk him out of it. But he's the type who can manage it," says Hoar.

"He's vigilant."

Both are part of a home-improvement trend over the past five years that has families slamming doors and heading outside during fair-weather months to relax, play, dine and cook in style and comfort.

"Our sales have doubled every year for the past three years. The growth of synthetic greens is on an explosion path," says Robert Zielinski of Buckeye Putting Greens in Springboro. The company sells and installs the Mirage system, which includes mower marks to replicate newly trimmed grass.

"Cincinnati is catching on to the fad - and the value," says Zielinski. "More people are talking about backyard greens as a landscape feature and entertainment spot, from the socially elite to your everyday folks."

E-mail jkraft@enquirer.com



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