Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc. has partnered with BallHawker on a mission to impact the environment and waterways in Florida by recovering and recycling golf balls.
The inspiration for this partnership began with Todd Hutchinson, President of BallHawker, driving around and noticing a long line of cars at one of the Food For Clay County Distribution events. Challenge Enterprise is the community outreach partner that manages the Food For Clay County program. Mr. Hutchinson was curious about this community outreach program and approached Patrick Flanagan, Warehouse Project Manager at Challenge Enterprises. This led to a conversation about the mission of Challenge Enterprises and the impact the programs have on creating greater independence for individuals living with disabilities. Mr. Hutchinson exchanged information about his growing business and his need for dependable help on the BallHawker enterprise. Adding BallHawker to the employment opportunities at the 11,000-square-foot warehouse means Challenge Enterprises can employ more individuals and provide additional hours of work for those already working in the warehouse.
The BallHawker dive team works with golf courses in Florida to recover golf balls that find their way into water hazards. Without this team, these golf balls would be left to slowly degrade and contaminate the water. The current trend is 8,000 balls collected per day.
Recovered golf balls are delivered to Challenge Enterprises several times a week, where employees with different abilities are employed to provide the labor from receiving, cleaning, sorting, and packaging the golf balls for BallHawker.
The Challenge Enterprises team sifts through the mass to find useable golf balls which are scrubbed clean and allowed to air dry. Once clean and dry, the golf balls are sorted for quality. Golf balls that are deemed reusable are sorted into seven premium brands, including but not limited to Callaway, Bridgestone, Snell, Srixon, TaylorMade, Titleist, and Vice.
The seven premium brands are then sorted into 100+ models, boxed, labeled, and prepared for resale by BallHawker or in Golf Pro Shops across Florida. The remaining useable golf balls are packed into 60-pound bags, palletized, and shipped out for bulk sale to other retailers.
In the past nine months, the BallHawker enterprise has grown from fourteen golf courses yielding 20,000 golf balls per week to forty golf courses yielding 50,00 plus golf balls per week. This growth translates into more job opportunities and a greater number of individuals becoming independent members of our community.
When consumers purchase from BallHawker, not only are they helping to keep our waterways clean and supporting a small business; but they are also creating jobs for people with disabilities on the road to greater independence and inclusion in the workforce.
To purchase recycled golf balls, visit ballhawker.com.