Five 55-gallon drums of golf balls turn up in Shaker Heights lake

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Thousands upon thousands of golf balls have been recovered from historic Green Lake located in scenic Shaker Heights.

The balls were discovered during a multi-million dollar dredging project by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

“We found a lot of golf balls,” said Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, CEO of the NEORSD, “To the extent we found five 55-gallon drums of golf balls.”

Dreyfuss-Wells said unusual items are often discovered in storm water systems and sanitary collection systems, but this many golf balls is a first.

"This many golf balls got there in a variety of ways," said Dreyfuss-Wells.

However, the primary source appears to be the Shaker Heights Country Club and Golf Course located just up stream from the lake.

At first, Drew Pierson, the club's director of golf was a little surprised by the quantity, but said it actually make sense for a number of reasons.

The lake hasn’t been dredged since the 1970s and Doan Brook runs right through the golf course.

“The creek comes into play on 10 of 18 holes you’re forced to hit over it,” Pierson said, “and it comes into play on actually 12 holes.”

Additionally, the area has seen significant flooding in the past that submerged the driving range.

“Especially July 2014 when we lost about 2,000 of our range balls,” Pierson said.

The NEORSD and Dreyfuss-Wells said this illustrates the power of rushing water and how everything on land impacts our waterways.

There’s no word as to what will happen to all of the old, waterlogged golf balls now, but the overall project was a huge success. Eleven thousand dry tons of sediment was removed returning the lake to its original depth.