Losing golf balls for a good cause at Lost Key Golf Club on the Gulf Coast
PERDIDO KEY, Fla. – Nobody likes losing golf balls, but at Lost Key Golf Club on the Gulf Coast near the Alabama-Florida border, at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that when they are retrieved, they are going to a good cause.
As it turns out, when golf balls are harvested from the wetlands and native areas of this testy Arnold Palmer design, they’re not resold to you in the golf shop or some other retail outlet; they’re shipped over to Afghanistan where somebody else can take out their frustrations on them. In this case, we’re talking about U.S. soldiers, who face the stress of a hostile war environment and experience the natural longing for the things they miss at home.
The course has been donating recovered golf balls for a couple of years or so now, ever since the Lost Key folks saw a Golf Channel report about how a military chaplain in Iraq started a stress relief program for the troops by letting them hit golf balls into an open field. The trouble is, however, that retrieving balls in a war zone isn’t exactly safe, so they constantly need a fresh supply of pellets.
Now that effort has moved to Afghanistan, where soldiers pay $1 for a bucket of balls. That money is then donated to sponsor a local school.
And let me tell you: Lost Key, which is located near a Navy base, can sure gobble up some golf balls, especially if the wind is blowing. If you’re not on your game, and if you’re not thinking your way around this golf course, you’ll be going through your bag in a hurry while refilling the supply overseas.
Initial efforts yielded some 3,000 golf balls as well as clubs and other golf equipment, and the number continues to climb. They got a half dozen of mine today, though only one sleeve of Pro V1s. After that, I resorted to balls more suited for a driving range.
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