Sport: Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean - PressFrom - Australia
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SportPebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean

13:40  13 june  2019
13:40  13 june  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Pebble Beach is world-renowned for being one of the most beautiful golf courses on Earth. The golf resort is dotted with million dollar mansions and frequented by some of But management has failed to keep the entire area in equally as tip-top shape. For PBC officials, out of sight means out of mind.

Two teenagers are spearheading an effort to clean up lost golf balls from the floor of Monterey Bay next to Pebble Beach Golf Course. Len Ramirez reports.

Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean© Reuters/HANDOUT Lost golf balls are pictured on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in Stillwater Cove near Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach in this handout photo

Pebble Beach Golf Links, which hosts the U.S. Open this week, hopes the world's best golfers will keep their balls on the fairways and out of the sensitive coastal waters, which have been overwhelmed by decades of golf ball pollution.

The Pebble Beach Company has made reducing the number of balls that reach the ocean a priority, posting signs letting players of all levels know not to hit into the water and sending divers to help collect any errant balls.

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Pebble Beach Golf Links. Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Club selection is predicated on wind factors. Knock down a short iron and keep the ball from ballooning in the wind. Tee times at Pebble Beach Golf Links are subject to a hotel stay requirement.

50,000 golf balls flubbed into the sea endanger Pebble Beach ecosystem. Don’t look now, but golf hacks are endangering the ecosystem along the Central California coastline, specifically around Mike McGuire announced new guidelines aimed at helping schools make better decisions about the health

Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean© Reuters/Rob Schumacher PGA: U.S. Open - Practice Round

The extent of the environmental problem was first identified three years ago by teenager Alex Weber after she came across something she had never seen before while diving in California -- a white sea floor.

Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean© Reuters/HANDOUT Lost golf balls are pictured on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in Stillwater Cove near Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach in this handout photo

"It was just blanketed in this mess of golf balls," she told Reuters this week. "Seeing the vast scale of pollution from such an identifiable source made me wonder why no one was doing anything about it."

So Weber took matters into her own hands, first by picking up the balls and then connecting with a researcher at Stanford University who suggested they collaborate on a scientific research paper.

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"The golf balls along Pebble Beach were not a secret," said Mike Weber. Beneath the surface of the ocean , golf balls are elusive. They are slightly negatively buoyant, and weigh less than two ounces, so You're almost signed up for. Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration.

While ocean free-diving, two young outdoor enthusiasts discovered thousands of golf balls on the ocean floor, rolling around and polluting the Monterey Weber said Pebble Beach Company is doing a good job stepping-up to the task of removing the balls but she said she was surprised no one knew

Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean© Reuters/HANDOUT Lost golf balls are pictured on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in Stillwater Cove near Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach in this handout photo

They went on to publish the first paper about golf ball marine pollution, which got the attention of the National Marine Sanctuary and officials at the course itself.

Pebble Beach aims to keep harmful golf balls out of ocean© Reuters/Michael Madrid PGA: U.S. Open - Practice Round

In February the Pebble Beach Company agreed to conduct around 200 underwater clean ups every year for five years or until a "dramatic shift" is seen in the underwater environment.

"We had no idea what it would become when this started," said Weber, 19, who recently completed her second year at California's Cabrillo College, where she studies environmental science.

"It's all coming together."

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Pebble Beach ’s Dawn Mathes says the company already employs beach combers to handle the sandy and “You know we’ve had decades of scientific researchers, recreational divers out off the coast and no The Pebble Beach Company rewarded the students with 0 scholarships to a high school

Pebble Beach Golf Links. Architects: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant (1919). No golf course in the world offers what Pebble Beach has, from its curving coastline and cliff-top setting above Located sufficiently off the beaten path of 17-Mile Drive to keep you from any encounters with looky-loos, this

FOOD CHAIN AFFECTED

Golf balls find their way into the marine environment fairly easily since the famed course sits directly on the Pacific Ocean.

No one is sure exactly how many balls are under the waves but Weber's research estimated there are between two and five million in Pebble Beach's Stillwater Cove area alone.

Each ball is the equivalent to the mass of seven plastic grocery bags or three plastic water bottles, she said.

The balls are bad for the environment because as they break down, some release a core that includes about 300 yards of stretched rubber, which is wound around a smaller ball at its core.

The rubber floats to the surface, mixing with the kelp while the cover disintegrates into smaller shards of plastic, which are eaten by plankton and other marine life.

"They contribute to the micro-plastics problem, getting into the food chain and ultimately into us," she said.

Solid core balls do not release rubber but include toxic chemicals that will kill aquatic life when it comes in contact with them, she said.

The problem extends beyond Pebble Beach. Ocean and riverside courses all contribute to golf ball pollution, she said.

Weber said she hoped the Pebble Beach Company would serve as an example for other courses.

"It was really excited to see that they've taken those first steps and hopefully they become a leader in the golf industry -- showing other courses how to run their sustainability programs," she said.

In the meantime, Weber has big plans for the 50,000 golf balls she has collected with the Plastic Pick-Up, an environmental organization she founded.

"We're building a 30-foot long barrelling golf ball wave that people can walk into, stand on a surf board and get barrelled in trash," she added.

The transportable sculpture will be displayed at different surfing events, concerts and festivals to raise awareness about the issue.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

633 Divers Set World Record for Largest Underwater Cleanup.
A representative of Guinness World Records confirmed that the underwater cleanup project at Deerfield Beach, Florida was the largest in history.

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