top of page

My day (and night) at the backyard golf hole of a man who builds backyard golf holes

An overlooked aspect of any great backyard golf hole is the backyard itself. As obvious as that may seem, I fully realize this as I’m white-knuckling a golf cart that keeps climbing through the semi-wilderness behind Michael Lehrer’s Armonk, N.Y. home. Lehrer is leading this unexpected safari while bubbling with a mix of energy and pride -- “You’re going to love this!” -- and when we finally reach our destination unscathed, I’m happy to unclench and examine the surroundings.

“How much land do you have?” I ask after adjusting to being on solid footing and possibly, the new altitude.

“I have enough for what I do,” Lehrer responds with a smirk.

What he does is build backyard golf holes as the president and founder of Home Green Advantage. And his property is part showroom, part personal playground, and all spectacular. Our trek has taken us to the highest point of his land and now we’re looking straight down at a picturesque par 3.

“Hit a few balls!” he says.

Don’t mind if I do.

Funny enough, Lehrer didn't have any vision of creating this beautiful practice facility when he bought the land in 1992. Although, practice isn’t really the right word because 99 percent of his golf takes place at “Armonk Links.” Lehrer only plays the occasional round of golf now, but he didn’t play at all when he moved here. After being convinced to give the game a try by a friend, though, he had an idea to turn his backyard into a golfer’s paradise, and he estimates he's hit millions of shots since. The outdoor project also wound up entirely changing his career.

RELATED: Photos of the best backyard golf holes in the country

Lehrer estimates he's installed some 700 synthetic greens since quitting his day job as an accountant in 1995, mostly in the Westchester/Greenwich area. In fact, his property is perfectly located for his business since it straddles those two wealthy neighborhoods that are home to many of Wall Street's heavy hitters. And for a fraction of their net worth, they can also do plenty of heavy hitting in their yards. Lehrer won’t disclose his entire client list, but in addition to some of today's titans of industry and finance he’s built greens for the likes of Jimmy Buffett and Ahmad Rashad.

"If people see me, they're going with me," Lehrer confidently says of his designs. "There's no doubt."