Divers have a ball at Carden Park

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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.

Braving low temperatures at the classy Cheshire venue the divers donned dry suits and, armed only with a net, searched the waters in search of balls.

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. 

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 boasts two 18-hole championship 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. Both courses belong to 2-FORE!-1 GOLF and offer half-price green fees with a 2-FORE!-1 voucher.

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.”

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.