Plucky divers didn’t let the cold weather stop them from retrieving close to 7,000 golf balls from the lakes around Carden Park’s two championship golf courses.
The process is part of the four-star hotel, golf resort and spa’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and is one of the many recycling initiatives undertaken in an effort to create a more sustainable resort.
Carden Park, near Chester, boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses – The Nicklaus Course, designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus and his son Steve, and the Cheshire Course. Between them they incorporate several lakes and more than 25 individual water hazards.
Braving low temperatures the divers donned dry suits and, armed only with a net, searched the waters in search of balls.
Carden Park general manager Hamish Ferguson said: “It’s a worthwhile operation that ensures the balls that enter the lakes are not lost forever. They can be retrieved, regraded and eventually reused on the golf course.
“It’s one of several exercises we are undertaking to try to reduce our environmental footprint. Others include recycling all our glass on site to produce sand, which we then use on the courses to improve drainage, and using more energy efficient electric golf buggies.”
The HSE qualified scuba divers are employed by a company called UK Lake Management, who recover the balls free of charge. Once the balls have been rescued they are then taken away for cleaning and grading. The company then returns 25% of all the high quality balls free of charge back to Carden Park and is free to sell the rest.
Gavin Dunnett, managing director of UK Lake Management said: “In our latest dive at Carden Park we retrieved around 7,000 balls. We dive there every two to three months and in the last year we have recycled more than 100,000 golf balls from Carden Park.”
It is estimated that around 50 million golf balls are lost in the UK every year.
In addition to the Nicklaus and Cheshire Course, Carden Park boasts a driving range, with 13 covered and eight uncovered bays, and offers personal tuition by head professional Steve Priest.
It is ideal for all conference, meeting and banqueting needs with 18 meeting rooms available and 196 bedrooms, 20 treatment area spa and onsite activities centre ideal for team building – all within the surrounds of a breathtaking 1,000 acre country estate.
Carden Park www.cardenpark.co.uk
UK Lake Management www.uklakemanagement.co.uk