'It’s a reflection of our throwaway society and a lack of concentration.'
The intelligence and abilities of an eagle-eyed pooch have amazed the world. The dog, named Marlo, from London is an expert in finding lost golf balls. Marlo's owner, Charles Jefferson, had a great idea about how all these golf balls found by Marlo could be utilized. He is distributing them to charities that teach golf to children around the world.
Marlo's distinct ability to find these golf balls was discovered on the puppy’s first visit to a local London golf course. Jefferson hit a hole-in-one one day and his puppy came out of the bushes with a Titleist Pro V1 tour-grade ball in pristine condition which retails for around $3.50. Being a four-decade-long top-level amateur golfer who used to work for the European Tour, Jefferson immediately realized how important Marlo's unique ability to find lost golf balls are, according to Good News Network. "Growing up, having golf balls was always a bit of a luxury, and having lost a lot of golf balls as well, being the type of golfer to hit the ball a long way … to me, I see a lot of value in it," Jefferson told CNN.
He spent the following six years with Marlo strolling up and down courses during their weekly evening trips to Mitcham Golf Club and Wimbledon Common Golf Club, observing and conversing, and being out in the fresh air. They've recovered almost 6,000 golf balls left behind by careless golfers. Jefferson said, "It’s a reflection of our throwaway society and a lack of concentration. People hit a ball and immediately they’re talking to their buddies, they haven’t tracked where their ball’s gone."
According to research teams at the Danish Golf Union, each year an estimated 300 million golf balls are lost in the United States alone, posing a significant trash problem but it is also a possible source of revenue. "I just feel there’s an attention deficit going on – people almost expect that their [playing] partner is going to find it for them." However, he has no interest in the "retrieval market," a cottage industry that has sprung up around recovering golf balls besides selling 600 balls to one friend. “I didn’t set out to go, ‘Ah I’m going to create a little business out of this,'” Jefferson clarified. He continued, “I partly see it as a bit of a service, picking up a lot of litter, and it’s partly for myself – I’m never going to buy a golf ball again.” He has over 300 Pro V1’s in his drawer and restricted his collection to premium finds.
Jefferson, an advertising and branding agency, jumped at the chance to leverage Marlo's skills into a force for good when there was a project to promote a ball-collecting container on the DP World Tour. The attempt was to fill a 20-foot shipping container with used tour-grade balls in order to deliver them to Kenya's Junior Golf Foundation, South Africa's Disabled Golf Association, Europe's Disabled Golf Association, the UAE's Chicks with Sticks, and India's Golf Foundation.
DP World collecting second hand golf balls to support game around the world— Gulf News (@gulf_news) August 21, 2022
It has been on DP World Tour for 140-plus days and has travelled more than 13,193kmhttps://t.co/lD1BOKViMo
Throughout the season 40,000 balls were collected in the container. At the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, London, in September, Jefferson and Marlo put 600 more of their finds into the container contributing to the final collection of 200,000 balls. He said, "I felt that was a better way than sending it to our local charity shop and some guy coming and picking up a load of balls. If there was a way to give more I would because there’s a lot of grassroots communities around the world that could benefit from half-decent golf balls."