Steel `goes against the grain` as timber storage falls back in favour

When Airdrie Golf Club celebrated its centenary in 1977, the committee chose to upgrade the men’s changing provision, fitting steel lockers as a modern alternative to old wooden ones.

Run by volunteers, the club manages operational costs and capital expenditure extremely carefully. Although the lockers were starting to show their age as the years rolled by and became increasingly unfit for purpose, replacing them was deemed a lower priority.

Until, 40 years later, the club said `enough is enough` and pressed the button to modernise them – reverting to a timber storage solution to meet golfers’ needs in the modern game.

“Our steel ones couldn’t accommodate today’s larger golf bags,” recalls club vice captain Ian Telford, who led the refurbishment project.

At an EGM, members voted to progress the scheme, advancing no less than £25,000 to part fund the £60,000 total cost, which also covered new toilets and showers, charcoal grey carpeting, plumbing and central heating.

The locker order Airdrie placed with wooden furniture manufacturer and changing room specialists Crown Sports Lockers proved to be one of their largest ever self-install orders, totalling 143 golf bag locker bodies and doors – 40 with bench seating in front – and 61 holdall lockers, all in oak finish with ASSA Abloy brass locks and keys.

One of the club’s members, who runs a kitchen renovation business, tendered for the fitout, and won it, installing several banks of two-tier high lockers – golf bag storage below, smaller belongings above – and the same around the perimeter, complete with bench seating in front.

“Members soon signed up for them,” says Ian, “some have even rented large and small lockers, so the upgrade proved very popular and in fact as word spread, we became over-subscribed.

“Crown visited the club to size up the available space and returned with several different layouts,” Ian adds. “We placed the order in March and everything was fast-tracked and ready to roll out by April, in time for the new season.”

Despite the onset of `the Beast from the East`, Crown delivered the consignment in the teeth of Arctic conditions.

Although we fitted the lockers, Crown advised us on how best to ensure a successful install as tolerances were tight,” says Ian. “Project manager Spencer Grimwood was on hand to check on fitting end panelling and blanking panels.

“We knew of Crown’s great reputation for quality and customer care, having specified them for refurbishing the ladies changing room some years before, so were comfortable sourcing them.”

What do members think now? “`We should have done this years ago` is their reaction,” Ian reports. “They feel proud to invite visitors to play here now.”

As its 500-strong membership swells across the board, Airdrie has entered a new era of provision that has placed it on a firm footing to take advantage of the opportunities golf offers now.

Spencer’s top tips for a successful self-install project
Consider:
The size of plinths required
How lockers fit to each other
How end panels are fitted
How to fit seating to the lockers