Title: Real People: Hunting golf balls for Hospice

Description: ELON — Displayed throughout Bob Knowles’ house are golf balls in a variety of colors, with various logos and business and school names. But perhaps one of the most meaningful balls is the one on his homemade trophy case with “70,000” inscribed on it — roughly the number of golf balls he has collected so far. For about 20 years, Knowles, 88, has been picking up golf balls in woods around golf courses. You won’t find all those balls at his house, though. After collecting golf balls — most frequently at Indian Valley Golf Course, but Knowles says he’ll pick them up “wherever I can find a golf course” — he brings them home, rinses off the dirt, puts the golf balls in his washing machine with some clothes or towels and then donates them to be sold at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Burlington. “I’m a bean counter by nature, so I have to keep track of anything I find,” Knowles said, pointing to one of dozens of charts he has kept with records of how many golf balls he finds a month, and another on which he notes the geographical locations of where he found them. In 2002, when Knowles realized he had collected his 20,000th golf ball, he put it in his pocket and wrote “20,000” on it along with the date — July 29, 2002. He now saves every 20,000th ball he picks up, writing on it and sitting it on a bottle cap in his trophy case. He collected his 70,000th this year on August 15. “Fortunately, I haven’t tried to keep all of them because I don’t know what I would do with 70,000 golf balls,” he said. Though Knowles enjoys the game of golf, he said he doesn’t play much. “I’d like to,” Knowles said, before smiling to share his excuse. “But I’m more interested in finding golf balls.”

Link: http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-news/real-people-hunting-golf-balls-for-hospice-1.199565?page=0