Since the Stone Age (and perhaps earlier) people, challenged by the recurring need to create structures that permit some things to pass through freely while easily trapping others have crafted nets. Stone Age man quickly recognized that by braiding or entwining one material with another, he was creating a product with strength that was far greater than that of either material alone.
The earliest nets that history has documented were those formed from reeds or willow branches, and were most likely used in fishing. The oldest net discovered to date is known as the Antrea Net and was found in 1913. A farmer in Russia uncovered the netting buried in a peat bog. The artifact, some 30 meters in length, is woven of willow. At the time it was discovered, the net still carried its stone corner weights and bark floats. The Antrea Net has been radiocarbon dated and evaluated for other relative markers of time. Archeologists believe the net was woven at some point between 8300 and 7200 BC.
Now fast forward to 1957.
Class A PGA professional and lifetime member of the PGA of America, Frank Purcell, owned a successful driving range and later a 9-hole executive course in southern California’s San Fernando Valley. As a family owned and operated business, Frank’s son Jeff grew up at the course, riding tractors and installing netting from an early age. By the time Jeff was a political science and statistics major at UCLA, he was also helping his father in netting sales for the sports netting distributorship Frank held in six western states.
Shortly after college and a period spent studying at the school of knitting founded by German textile innovator, Karl Mayer, Jeff launched his own company to manufacture netting. At first, he used
equipment he had relocated to California from the textile mill country of South Carolina. After dealing with the scarcity of trained mill workers in the California area, Jeff made the decision to relocate his factory so that hiring experienced textile mill workers would no longer be a challenge.
Today the company is known as Nettexx and serves clients throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific Rim. For more than 35 years, Nettexx has been manufacturing a range of netting and fabrics from its climate-controlled, Greenville, South Carolina factory. Producing over 300 different products, Nettexx exclusively uses U.S.A. made materials to manufacture fabrics and netting for a diversity of applications. Each week, the company averages roughly 4 million square feet of net or fabric production.
CEO Jeff Purcell describes Nettexx as a vertically integrated company, pointing out that Nettexx is the “only netting manufacturer with the in-house capability to produce its own yarn, thus ensuring total quality control of the product.”
As part of its proprietary process, Nettexx designs much of its own production machinery in-house, thereby enabling high levels of efficiency and quality assurance. Included in the products the company produces are netting and fabrics for
• sports netting
• construction fabric and industrial netting and
• highway glare reduction fabric
• debris netting
• porous geotextiles for lineal dispersion of gas,
• rip wrap separation and stabilization fabrics
• truck cover fabrics
• pallet rack netting
• conveyor nets
• scaffold, mezzanine and cat walk containment
• geotextiles to provide separation, filtering or
• ground cover netting
• fabrics and netting for floriculture, horticulture and farming
• cattle shades
• fish netting
• crowd control fabrics, boundary nettings
• wind screens
• fence panels
• shading fabrics and shade sails
• bird netting and anti-bird netting
Honored by the United States Army Natick Soldier Center and Integrated Logistics Support Center (based just outside of Boston, Massachusetts) for its production of Solar Shades used during Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom, the team at Nettexx is justifiably proud of the products it provides to the U.S. military. Brittany Dial, COO of Nettexx said, “Earning the status of a U.S. military preferred provider is not an easy achievement. Nettexx is one of the very few U.S. owned and U.S. based manufacturers to provide netting to America’s armed forces. We strongly feel that we’ve earned this honor because of our company’s integrity and commitment to quality and service.”
Among the products Nettexx has manufactured for military applications are shade cloth, heat shelter fabrics, camouflaged shelter fabrics and stealth composite components that may be UV, radar or laser scattering, absorbent or reflective.
Applications in Golf
While your golf course probably isn’t looking for nets or netting fabric that will endure for the millennia or have the capability either to absorb or reflect laser beams, you no doubt utilize netting in many ways. In urban environments, netting makes it possible for golf courses and golf ranges to co-exist in tight proximity to residential spaces, near homes, walking and jogging trails, parks and other high-density areas. Netting fabrics used in golf can include golf ball barrier netting, golf range nets, golf impact net, golf cages, netting for boundaries, perimeters and crowd control, visual reduction fabric for chain link fences, ground cover netting, soil stabilization fabric, weed control netting, bunker liner netting, pond cover netting and any of an almost endless number of custom applications.
Focusing on both appearance and function, Nettexx produces netting in various colors. Selecting the right style and color, allows golf course personnel to choose a netting product to blend into the environment without being a visual distraction or to stand out in the environment for safety purposes, such as crowd control barrier netting.
All Nettexx products are made from either polymer, polypropylene or polyester, with Nettexx’s polymer being so resilient that it maintains up to 90 percent of its strength at temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero. Because of the fabric’s interlocking design, (in between every diamond of the netting there is a lockstitch), you can take scissors to any section of it and cut it to your desired size, and the remainder of the net will not unravel. As a fully biodegradable product, even the lubricant used on the yarns in the net or fabric as it goes into manufacturing is food grade mineral oil, in contrast to the tar many manufacturers use as part of this process.
With the capability to produce netting that is up to 100 feet wide and up to 500 feet long, Nettexx markets its nets as being the largest uninterrupted netting units available in the world today. The company’s 20-foot wide fabrics can be manufactured in continuous lengths of up to 9,840-plus feet.
Among its products most often used by golf courses is Nettexx golf range barrier netting, including its GFX Armour-Clad(SM) net. This barrier netting is a hybrid product that begins with a high strength and high-tenacity, multi-filament that is then encased in a durable and protective monofilament.
The company also carries three additional barrier net products to serve a variety of needs and budgets. Nettexx’s HDPE net has been carefully designed for strength in environmental extremes. The company’s original product, G3 netting, delivers affordable durability and has been in continuous use on many golf courses for years, including some courses and ranges where the product is still currently in use after fifteen years.
A second popular product, Nettexx’s high-impact golf netting, is a multi-filament polyester net that is designed for indoor or outdoor use, is UV protected, and does not leave impact marks on golf balls. The company stocks this netting in 9 foot, 6 inch widths, frequently used in spaces with 10 foot ceilings, however, sizes can also be customized to your specifications and needs.
Golf Course Problems Solved with Forward-Thinking Solutions
Whether it is for a short-term use at an event or installed for a long-term application, net and fabric products from Nettexx are solving problems for golf courses and ranges in the U.S. and around the world. The company offers design, installation and construction support service, including project planning consultancy and after-sales support to help customers install newly purchased shade cloths or netting. You can learn more about Nettexx, designers and manufacturers of the very first hybrid mono and multifilament net, at www.nettexx.net.
Linda Parker has been writing professionally since the 1980s. With clients in finance, sports, technology, change enablement, resorts, and nonprofit global initiatives, Linda helps organizations communicate their stories in meaningful ways to the people they most want to reach. She has authored, ghostwritten or contributed to more than a dozen nonfiction books. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org