Myrtle Beach Great Dunes Members Club chooses Troon
By Barry Eagle
Golf clubs welcome visitors of varying ages and physical mobility every day. Club owners owe a duty of care to their visitors to ensure that they are as safe as possible on the site. Various aspects to consider in order to achieve this include the accessibility of areas with ramps, the provision of guardrails if necessary, and the provision of non-slip surfaces, especially in high traffic areas. How do you ensure that this does not become a problem on your route?
The impact of the weather
Depending on the layout and design of your golf course, a large number of areas can be adversely affected by weather conditions when it comes to slip hazards. A concern for all outdoor site owners as the colder months approach is how to keep the course safe for visitors.
When rain falls on grass, flagstones, wood and other surfaces, they can quickly become slippery. Frost and snow will also be a problem, especially for visitors wearing low-grip shoes. It is a good idea to prepare for this less favorable weather by putting on adequate slip protection before it is needed.
Some homeowners are trying to cut corners with inexpensive alternatives, from chicken wire set on slippery surfaces to sticking rubber mats. While inexpensive, these methods can lead to more problems when they become trip hazards – or in the case of chicken broiler, potential sources of cuts.
Prepare for the weather in different regions
You also need to think about how best to prepare for the area where your golf course is located. In areas prone to more rain and colder temperatures, it is necessary to have adequate slip protection in place year round. In more temperate regions, where the impact of bad weather is less of a concern, it’s always a good idea to have protection in place before a problem occurs.
The impact of high attendance
Another common problem for golf courses regarding the risk of slipping is high attendance. Of course, there are worse problems to be had. A busy golf course is a goal for most course owners, although high numbers mean more wear and tear on the ground surfaces.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, golf courses are at a playing record. With more visitors comes more pressure on your course. As they cross the golf course, their tread will put more pressure on different surfaces. The neatly cut grass will soon turn into patches of mud and smooth blades, a known slip hazard. Likewise, other paths and steps will become worn and pose a threat. This is especially the case when customers wear golf shoes with metal or rubber spikes.
The solution is not to limit the number of visitors to the golf course but to put in place non-slip products that provide adequate protection.
Some of the areas most prone to slips, trips, and falls on a golf course include:
- Bunker steps
- Recovered tracks
- Steps in the starting area
- Visualization platforms
These areas often consist of terraces or wooden slabs, which quickly become slippery in bad weather and with wear and tear. To ensure the safety of visitors to your golf course, it is recommended that you install flat sheets or non-slip panels in the most frequented areas. These can generally be attached to a range of surfaces including wood, concrete, and metal, making them suitable for all of the slickest areas of a golf course.
Most quality non-slip sheets and panels are made with glass reinforced plastic or GRP. It is a durable material that offers resistance against other surfaces including shoes and golf cars.
As the influx of visitors to golf courses seems to continue to increase, it has never been more important to ensure that the courses are as safe as possible. Be prepared for more visitors and inclement weather as you think about how to secure your golf course.
Barry Eagle is the Managing Director of GripClad, a non-slip solutions company based in Hampshire, England.