Wisconsin’s, Whistling Straits Golf Course on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, was host to the 2015 PGA Championship. But it became the unintended host to Joey Piatek’s wedding ring on April 29, 2017.
As was his habit, Joey removed his ring before playing, slipping it into a zipped pocket on his golf bag for safekeeping. He realized it was missing as he was leaving the course. Where could it have gone? Joey’s heart sank when he remembered his caddie, on two occasions, turning the bag upside down to retrieve the cover for his putter after it had fallen inside. Had the ring fallen out then?
Joey immediately returned to the course from the parking lot and searched using his iPhone flashlight in the dark. To make matters worse, it began raining. His efforts were unsuccessful. He tried looking again the next morning but again, the ring seemed to have vanished.
Joey’s bride of a year and half, Michelle, was in New York attending the wedding shower of a friend when she received the news. Being a nurse anesthetist, she immediately went into problem-solving mode—perhaps Joey could rent a metal detector. A quick search on the Internet brought up The Ring Finders directory of metal detecting specialists. It peaked her interest; she never realized such a service existed. It gave a glimmer of hope! And so Michelle encouraged Joey to contact me.
I received Joey’s email and made arrangements to conduct the search the following morning. Since Joey lived in Chicago, Illinois, I had him text me a Google earth satellite map of the golf course showing pins at the two locations where the golf bag had been turned upside down. Technology is wonderful!
Unfortunately, a thorough search of the two marked areas failed to turn up the ring–perhaps someone had already found it. My 40-plus years experience however, prompted me to widen the search area. Sure enough, on the gravel pathway leading up to the 10th Hole, I heard a familiar tone in my headset. The conductivity numbers showing on my XP Deus control screen were consistent with 14 Karat gold. It was Joey’s ring!
Barely visible with the naked eye, the love token was pretty much buried. It had been stepped on or run over by a club car but was not worse for wear considering. I took a photo to show it peaking out from among the pebbles as if embarrassed by the ordeal. Can you spot it?
Joey and Michelle drove up from Chicago a week later. It was such a joy to return the ring in person and to visit with this delightful couple. It seems they have been telling all their friends and family members about their experience with The Ring Finders and with my services here in southwest Wisconsin. Thank you both for the privilege of helping to recover your ring and for your kind reward.
Joey, may your ring’s happy-ending story continue for many, many years to come!