One of the UK’s leading suppliers of sports sands is premiering a series of innovative products at this year’s BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition. Developed to address the demands of both inland and links golf courses and the sports turf industry generally, Hugh King & Co’s new bunker sands, root zone product and silo solutions have been generated using the very latest research and technology.
Hugh King & Co decided to officially launch its latest products at Europe’s leading show for turf and grounds care professionals to underline its ongoing collaboration with the sports turf industry. Most recently this co-operation has produced highly engineered products that address specific issues raised by the industry itself.
“The development of these products was possible because of the input from our partners and clients from within the sports turf industry,” explained Graeme King. “For instance, we consulted extensively with various organisations and worked with a number of golf clubs to develop the new sand formulas. As a result, we were able to devise solutions that meet specific drainage and wind issues faced by courses in the UK.”
In an industry first, Hugh King & Co has also installed automated silo systems which combine the convenience of an on-site silo with the practical benefits of dried sand. “This simply hasn’t been done before,” noted King. “We are probably better known for providing silos to the construction industry, but this is the first time this technology has been deployed in a sports turf environment. We are using cutting-edge technology which can be applied at both golf clubs and sports grounds to bring real savings in terms of time and labour costs.”
One of the first to use the system is natural and artificial sports surfaces specialists Sportsmasters UK. “The silo system was something we wanted to investigate because we thought it would make life easier for us,” said contracts manager Kenneth Campbell. “As we found out, the advantage of the silo was that we could reduce our labour costs. Those savings help us to be more competitive when we’re trying to win new work.”
Hugh King & Co’s progressive approach is epitomised by its new, free-draining bunker sand which was widely commended during the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield. King Bunker 8 was introduced to all 148 on-course bunkers and three practice bunkers ahead of the tournament. The historic sand swap required 400 tonnes of new sand which was developed to be wind resistant in exposed areas and/or during windy weather. Hugh King & Co also provides its Washed Dune Sand for top-dressing greens, tees and fairways at the historic links venue.
Elsewhere, Hugh King & Co has worked with inland courses to create a heavy coarse sand that is particularly suitable for sites that suffer from drainage issues. King Bunker 7 uses a predominantly sub-angular white sand combined with a brown sand to produce an aesthetically pleasing mix that resists wind blow but drains extremely well.
Finally, King RZ3 is a new grade of root zone that combines a medium-course sand with a soil mix to create a free-draining blend that is ideally suited for inland courses. With superior drainage properties, King RZ3 is perfect for tee and green construction providing substantial savings by facilitating a thinner root zone layer.
“The new sands, root zone and silo solutions have been devised to address specific issues that have been highlighted by the industry,” explained King. “Identifying a problem is one thing; coming up with a solution is something entirely different, and that is where our work with specific clubs has been invaluable. Working closely with our clients, we have been able to adapt and refine our product range to meet the needs of today’s sports industry.”