Golf has taken its lumps for being a less than environmentally friendly sport but don’t see red, go green! That’s what a number of golf ball manufacturers are doing, and by keeping their eye on the ball they’re slowly but surely making the Skins Game a more sustainable one.
U of Maine’s Lobster Shell Golf Ball
Put on a bib and strike up the band, researchers at the University of Maine in conjunction with The Lobster Institute have developed a biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells! It’s a win-win proposition (well, not so much for the lobsters) as currently the state’s lobster canning industry has no other use for the shells and basically dumps them into landfills. The prototype lobster golf ball, on the other hand, substantially dissolves in about one week in water and acts as a fertilizer when it biodegrades in or on soil.
According to Bob Bayer, executive director of UMaine’s nonprofit Lobster Institute, “It drives like a real golf ball, and it sounds like a real golf ball” when hit. “If you look at a cross section, it’s very pink.” The balls are made from crushed lobster shells with a biodegradable binder and coating costing less than 19 cents per ball. Though the “lobster balls” can’t match the distance of standard golf balls, they’re meant to be used on cruise ships where every shot is a water ball.
Albus Golf’s EcoBioBall
Biodegradable golf balls would decompose a lot faster if, say, they were gnawed to nubbins by fish. Now Albus Golf of Barcelona, Spain has turned an offhand suggestion into eco-friendly reality: a golf ball that caters, literally, to fish and marine life!
The EcoBioBall is a non-toxic single-use golf ball with a core made from fish food. If there aren’t any fish around, there will be: the ball biodegrades in water within 48 hours, allowing its 100% safe fish food core to disperse into surrounding waters. All well and good, unless you’re Cosmo Kramer and the hole-in-one you just nailed was a whale’s blowhole. Is anyone here a marine biologist?
Dixon’s Earth, Wind and Fire Golf Balls
You gotta love Earth, Wind & Fire… not the “September” hitmakers, the series of environmentally friendly gold balls from Dixon Golf of Tempe, AZ! While not biodegradable, Dixon balls are fully recyclable. If they’re lost, there’s no loss to the environment because no heavy metals are used in the balls’ construction. “Earth”, the original Dixon eco-friendly golf ball, was introduced in 2008.
“Earth” was followed by the wind-cheating “Wind” and, in 2010, by the “Fire” tour-caliber ball. With an MSRP of $74.95 or around $6 each, “Fire” is the world’s most expensive golf ball. You won’t want to lose one but if you do, it’ll only hurt your pocketbook.
Dixon showed their commitment to green golfing in graphic fashion at the 2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Dixon provided the 144,000 used golf balls that made up the huge WM logo floating on one of the Open’s larger watercourses. All the golf balls were donated to local community sports programs following the conclusion of the Open.