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Golf balls with Christian messages pop up at golf courses

August 4, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Golfers try to stay on the fairways and greens. Someone in Baton Rouge wants them to think about a different sort of straight and narrow.

For more than three years, those who play at BREC’s City Park and Webb Park golf courses have been finding golf balls with evangelistic Christian messages written on them, say those who work there. They show up daily at City Park, less frequently at Webb Park, but their source is a mystery.

“He’s a ghost,” says Danny Simoneaux, course manager at City Park. “Nobody’s ever seen him. He must do it in the middle of the night. So many people on the golf course, nobody’s ever seen him — or her.”

The balls appear to be well-used, and those that show up at City Park tend to be found on the edges of holes bordered by Perkins Road and East Lakeshore and Dalrymple drives rather than the center of the course. Likewise, they usually appear along the three holes at Webb Park beside Westdale and Country Club drives.

That means this modern-day St. Paul (or Pauline) could be a walker, biker or even someone driving by rather than someone playing the course.

The messages are short and to the point:

“Hard hearts resist Jesus. Repent of your sin. Time is short.”

“The fires of hell await you without Jesus.”

“The mercy of God is you can read and walk. Do not be a fool. Thank him.”

If only three balls a day are being placed at City Park, that’s more than 1,000 a year. Even if the golf evangelist isn’t buying them, which their weathered condition suggests, Simoneaux wonders where they come from. His staff hasn’t noticed anyone regularly picking up lost balls at City Park, much less placing them there.

“It’s unbelievable that nobody’s seen the person,” he says. “We’ve got groundskeepers out here at daylight. We’ve got golfers out here all day long. We have staff here all day long, daylight to dark. They’re not always on the golf course, but over three years, you would think somebody would see something.”

Not that people haven’t been looking. Charles Marquette, who works in City Park’s pro shop, says he’s asked people he thought he’s seen with the gospel golf balls.

“They don’t know or they won’t admit it,” Marquette says. “I thought I had solved the mystery one day. I said, ‘Are you the guy who’s throwing them out?’ He said, ‘No, I’ve just been finding them out here and using them.’”

David Hoffman, who plays golf at City Park, says he has seen a man walking along the railroad track that bisects the course and asked on two occasions if he was distributing the balls. He told Hoffman he’d seen them but denied knowing anything about them.

Even if the source is not supernatural, it’s mysterious.

“The person does not want to be identified ... unless you catch him red-handed,” Simoneaux says. “And then, if you catch him, he can always say, ‘Aw, I just found it and read it and threw it back out here.’”


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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