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New Toro system at Kings GC

New Toro system at Kings GC: Kings Golf Club in Inverness has relocated with a brand new 18-hole, 6,600-yard, par 70 layout and a new Toro Lynx central control system and sprinklers to take the club into the next phase of its life.

When the ‘gateway for the Highlands’, the West Link by-pass around Inverness, was routed straight through the existing course, Kings Golf Club, then known as Torvean Golf Club and renamed in 2019, knew it was going to benefit from a new home from the Highland Council who owns the land, and in the summer of 2019, the course, designed by Scottish golf architect Stuart Rennie, opened to great acclaim.

New Toro system at Kings GC

Stevie McIntosh, course manager, says: “The new course is a real accomplishment to all involved. While it was a challenge to get to this point, it’s been well worth it. Throughout construction, which involved creating 16 new holes and completely renovating two from the existing course, we had to ensure there were always 18 holes open for play and timing was tight in accordance to the deadline of phase two of the road construction.”

The new site is located on undulating land to the North West of the existing site and modern day design characteristics have been incorporated, biodiversity has been improved and it benefits from a new layout.

The greens and tees are built on 92 percent sand and 8 percent soil, plus it’s in an open, exposed, breezy location, which gives it characteristics more in line with a links course than inland like it is. That will always be a challenge when it comes to irrigation, but having given the Toro Lynx central control system and Infinity sprinklers on all but the tees, which benefit from the Flex 800 sprinklers, a good run since it was switched on last summer, it’s one which Toro has sailed through.

Stevie continues: “I’m really impressed with the system. It could not be more different to the system on the old course and using it is a real pleasure. An irrigation system is the lifeblood of a course and it’s so important to get it right, you only get one shot! We put our trust in Stuart as well as Declan O’Malley from contractors European Golf Services, and they couldn’t have chosen better. It’s delivered all I would expect and want from a system; it’s easy to use, accurate and we’re getting uniform coverage.”

And with Toro on board, the next phase of the club’s life is off to a good start.

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Gripclad At Kings Hill Golf Club

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.

Gripclad At Kings Hill Golf Club

“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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