Vowing to Help Rid US Beaches of Thoughtlessly Struck Golf Balls, Golfersadvice.com Sponsors National Awareness Drive

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In an effort to clear the Nation’s beaches of discarded golf balls hit into the ocean for sport, golferadvice.com, an instructional and golf news website, is sponsoring an educational and action-oriented initiative to help rid beaches of unwanted and potentially polluting golf balls.

Golf Balls

Golf Balls

The website’s beach clean up program calls for a series of local events aimed at creating awareness through education, articles and news releases disseminated through golf enthusiast and general news channels.

In an effort to clear the Nation’s beaches of discarded golf balls hit into the ocean for sport, golfersadvice.com, an instructional and golf news website, is sponsoring an educational and action-oriented initiative to help rid beaches of unwanted and potentially polluting golf balls.

“People have always loved driving golf balls into the ocean,” said Joe Brown, who was recently promoted to managing editor of golfersadvice.com. “I remember the old Seinfeld TV show that revolved around the Kramer character hitting golf balls into the ocean. The problem is that golf balls may also be a ticking time bomb in the form of carcinogens leaking into the eco system.”

Brown points out that it’s virtually impossible to go beachcombing, or just take a walk along the water’s edge, without seeing golf balls strewn amid driftwood, shells, plastic bags, plastic bottles and other pollutants. “Yes, some of these golf balls are washed down flood control channels and rivers to the sea, but many of them are simply hammered into the ocean for the fun of it.”

Golfersadvice.com warns that golf balls frivolously driven into the ocean may constitute a ticking ecological time bomb. Though very little research has been done on the environmental impact of water logged golf balls, European researchers estimate that it takes between 100 to 500 years for a golf ball to fully decompose in salt water. While not disputing these initial findings, Brown argues that since most balls hit into the ocean – either from beaches or cruise ships – are poor quality balls with blemishes and cracks, and would naturally decompose at a faster rate.

The website’s beach clean up program calls for a series of local events aimed at creating awareness through education, articles and news releases disseminated through golf enthusiast and general news channels. “We also plan to reach out to golf ball manufacturers and ask them to offer substantial discounts on new golf balls as an incentive to retrieve and recycle golf balls from the beach,” said Brown. “Probably the toughest hurdle we have to overcome is that hitting golf balls into the ocean just plain fun. And while there are ecologically-friendly golf balls on the market, very few people are using them for this purpose.”

According to one European research study, an estimated 300 million golf balls are lost or discarded yearly. While there’s no way to estimate the number of golf balls that are hit into the ocean, it’s obviously a growing problem.

“A few years ago, Scottish scientists using sophisticated equipment hoping to stir up evidence of the Lock Ness Monster found more than they bargained for,” Brown said. “While they found no signs of “Nessie,” they sighted several hundred thousand golf balls littered across the loch’s murky bottom. It seems that local residents have used the Lock as a driving range almost since the birth of golf.”

Researchers say that decomposing golf balls release significant amounts of heavy metals, including zinc often used in solid core golf balls. When submerged in seawater over time, the zinc has been shown to actually bind with ocean sediment, possibly poisoning plants and animals.

“Even if we were to find out that golf balls did no ecological damage – which is highly unlikely -- they have become an eyesore on our beaches, while making golfers look like a selfish, uncaring, littering lot,” Brown said. “We believe that since there are already countless wonderful programs to remove trash from beaches, focusing on golf balls can only benefit our nation’s beaches in general.”

Brown said that the first golf ball-clearing event is tentatively scheduled for January 23, 2012 on Southern California’s Central Coast near Morro Bay.

“We’re hoping to attract golfers who don’t want to see their sport lumped with other ecological offenders, and at the same time, help to educate people who had no idea golf balls posed a potentially lethal threat to marine plants and animals.

For more information on future golf ball beach clearing events, and general information on this topic, go to http://golfersadvice.com/.

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Keith Baxter
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