Gripclad At Kings Hill Golf Club: Kings Hill Golf Club in Kent had a problem with people slipping on wooden surfaces around the golf course and clubhouse. Old railway sleeper have been used on golf courses from the 1930s and provide an ideal material for many situations whilst maintaining a natural feel in the landscape. Many golf courses today use them either in bunkers or grassy hollows or more often than not to provide stepped access to elevated or steep sided tees. The advance of soft spikes and moulded sole golf shoes away from traditional steel spikes has led to an increase of slips on wooden steps and in the early 2000s this was becoming an increasing problem.
Having searched for many years and looked at various ideas at other golf clubs, including carpet, astro, chicken wire, tar and chips and chainsaw cut grooves, all in their various ways trying to eliminate the slip issue and presenting a trip issue or a higher than expected replacement schedule on wooden sleeper steps, a chance advertisement in a trade magazine highlighted a new product called GripClad. That was back in 2006. The club decided to obtain some samples and look at the benefits of the product more closely. Following that initial assessment a trial set of steps were chosen and the product installed. Installation was easy and straight forward, GripClad arrived in pre-cut lengths and to the dimensions that had been specified, only holes had to be drilled and the cleats screwed down with a mastic to act as a cushioning agent. A set of steps could be easily completed in a couple of hours and a large set in a day, much quicker than some of the other products mentioned. In addition if a sleeper had to be replaced it was simply a case of unscrewing the cleat and replacing it onto a new sleeper.
“Since that first installation we have purchased GripClad every year to complete all of our wooden surfaces around the course, which includes 10 sets of very large sleeper step installations, four sets of sleeper rails around teeing areas and ancillary surfaces including service and mobility ramps and so on around the clubhouse,” said a club spokesman. “The performance of the product has been outstanding, not only did it cope with the wear and tear of traffic, it performs in all weathers and has not deteriorated in the 10 years that the initial batch has been down, it still looks as good now as it did 10 years ago. We will continue to use it around the golf course as it provides the most cost effective solution for both time and longevity. I wouldn’t hesitate to rec
ommend this product out on the golf course or around the clubhouse.”
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