Clad in waist-high waders, a 70-pound feedbag girdling his waist and his ball-retrieving invention, "Mr. Lucky," in hand, Aux Tinee wastes little time before plunging into one of the many amoeba-shape ponds that dot this Illinois course. "I can't tell you all the golf courses I hunt," Aux Tinee says in a conspiratorial whisper. "I don't tell nobody. There's a lot of freelancers."
Welcome to the secretive world of golf ball retrieval, an estimated $200 million industry that thrives beneath the crisp surface of mainstream golf.
I used to be a bit of a freelancer. Not diving, strictly retrieving on the ground. And not actively seeking, just pocketing the found. I was aided in this task by the Jack Russell Terrier (aka Miss Lucky) who had trained herself to work with maximum efficiency and discretion.
Six months jail for picking up golf balls
Vets cut open a German Shepherd dog to find she had scoffed no fewer than 28 golf balls