Prepare to be introduced to the cutest solution to a problem we’ve ever seen: Marlo the dog, who has cleaned up over 6,000 golf balls over the past five years.
Like in so many golf-heavy parts of the world, South London was home to courses with countless missing balls. One course owner, Charles Jefferson, discovered that his adorable cavapoo (a cross between a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle) was a perfect partner for solving this problem.
The discovery came by accident, when on a walk with Marlo. At one point, Jefferson saw his pup come prancing from bushes with a still perfectly good golf ball in his mouth.
Today, Marlo sifts through the grounds, bringing stray balls back to Jefferson, who awaits with empty buckets to fill.
Cleaning these strays is a major sustainability win. With an estimated 300 million golf balls getting lost in the United States each year, these tiny balls are a surprisingly major source of waste.
And then there’s the cost. Golf balls are extremely expensive, with a dozen Titleist Pro V1 balls retailing for about $45. So, while some are rushing to find these lost golf balls and turn a profit, this has never been the goal for Jefferson.
“I didn’t want to say, ‘Ah, I’m going to make a little business out of this,’” Jefferson told CNN. “Growing up having golf balls was always a bit of a luxury, and also having lost a lot of golf balls, being the type of golfer who hits the ball far … I see a lot of value in that for me.”
“Partly I see it as a service to pick up a lot of junk, and partly for myself,” he added. “I’ll never buy a golf ball again.”
Jefferson told CNN that he’s left around 3,000 balls scattered on the course, as a surprise for other golfers.
The pair will continue their routine of scouring for lost golf balls, so look out for Marlo if you find yourself on the courses of South London.
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