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Golf going ‘green’ with recyclable balls

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Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 3:30 pm

Going "green" might seem like an obvious move for the golf industry.

But a Tempe company wasn’t thinking green fairways and putting greens when they started making new, eco-friendly Dixon Earth golf balls.

The Dixon Earth is the only ball that is capable of being recycled into new products like artificial turf, playground equipment and an experimental putter.

Dixon also offers a golf bag made from recycled water bottles.

Courses like the Ahwatukee Country Club, the Lake at Ahwatukee, Club West and The Dukes at Rancho El Dorado in Maricopa started to carry the line about a month ago.

"They do a lot of promotions and charity work and we thought we should get behind this a little," said Ahwatukee Country Club General Manger Terry Duggan.

Most duffers lose a ball before it wears out, but John Glynn with Dixon said the new is comparable in durability as any other high performance golf ball depending on the course and the player’s stroke.

"Almost every ball that is lost someone comes along behind them and picks it up off the fairway or out of the rough," Glynn said.

Those players who are able to play a few rounds with a standard ball usually throw them in the trash.

"It takes forever to dissolve in a city dump," Duggan said.

And then there are the balls that go into the water.

According to Glynn, when they dredged the Loc Ness in Scotland they found 250,000 golf balls and they weren’t doing environmentally friendly things to the water there.

"They were having problems with heavy metal getting into the water table," Glynn continued.

Traditional golf balls are made with metals like zinc, cobalt, plastic, lead and tungsten to add weight and those heavy metals were dissolving into the water.

"We’re the first company to do this," Glynn said.

Even the Dixon packaging is made from recycled materials and the building Dixon uses is being certified, meaning it is an environmentally friendly structure.

Although the Earth ball doesn’t contain heavy metals and can be recycled, it conforms to United State Golf Association standards and has received a 92 percent approval rating from the Professional Golfers Association Tours Partners organization pro tour.

"It’s a heck of a ball and we’re proud of if," Glynn added.

Dixon will be hosting a recycling event July 24 at the PGA Superstore in Scottsdale and JUly 25 at the Chandler store where they will pay $1 for a used Dixon ball and 50 cents for any other brand.

But that’s a different kind of green.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
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