Using Used Golf Balls

A couple of posts ago, I asked from where you bought your golf balls. There was varied responses, but most players understand the value of not using old re-purposed golf balls. Personally, I am in total agreement with this idea, but I understand the value of using cheaper equipment.

However, yesterday I saw something that goes a bit further than buying second-hand golf balls. I mean, we all use balls we find on the course. We look at it and determine its condition before deciding on whether to put the ball in our bag or not. Is there a chance that some players take this concept just a bit too far?

I was at the golf course trying to pay my membership dues. Unfortunately, the proshop is just getting set up and they were not ready to take my money. That is okay because I will pay them before my a tee time on Saturday at 2 pm.

As I walked out of the proshop I noticed another car in the parking lot. As I continued to look over, I saw a gentleman walking towards it. He is someone I have seen before at the course, but could not really tell who he was. Anyway, his identity is not important.

Mike, the best ball hawker I ever met!

Looking at him, I noticed he had a ball retriever in one  hand and a bag of balls slung over his opposite shoulder. He had on rubber boots and it looked like he just came off the course. He had just finished ball hawking!

I can understand what he was doing, but the balls he collected can not be any good. They sat out in very wet, extreme cold conditions for over 6 months. Golf balls are resilient, but not that tough. I cannot imagine that any of the balls have any of their original tensile strength.

These balls would be so inconsistent, I do not see the value of using them at all. However, I am not the one who walked the course looking, therefore who am I to judge. I will say that if he was going to ball hawk, he should have went in the fall. At least the balls would be in better shape. Personally, I would not go in the spring looking for balls and any that I find on the course tomorrow, will be left for someone else to use.

Have you ever been ball hawking? If so, what do you use for quality control?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links – tomorrow!


14 thoughts on “Using Used Golf Balls

  1. Any ball with even a tiny cut becomes waterlogged from moisture but I have no regrets hawking a good ball while looking for mine.
    I ordered Mint 2nd hand balls for my friends (Pro V1, Z-Star, Nike Rzn Platinum, TM TP) but next time would rather them use new 2 piece balls like Supersoft, Wilson 50, Snell “Get Sum” along with afforable 4 piece balls for avid players. Snell “My Tour” rings a bell.
    At least we get the same ball when new and understand the feel as you mentioned. That’s important. Find a ball that suits or at least understand what it does and either change or apapt.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jim,

    Just curious, what about the refurbished ball market? Are these not found balls, some recovered from lakes and ponds around the continent? Perhaps they could share their QC practices with us amateurs or we should boycott the industry. Just sayin’

    Keep on playing,
    Jimmy K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jimmy

      Great point. I have tried the re-purposed Pro V1s before and noticed a difference between the balls. I think the QC process has to do with the outside condition. But who knows outside the industry. Great to hear from you.



  3. I hear what you are saying but for practice round balls, shag balls,, water balls and so forth Spring is the best time to find them…just like hunting mushrooms! Heck yes, bring on the lost golf balls! I will re-use them for most every practice round I play. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jim,

    If you were in Bolivia you would prize any ball you found in the woods regardless of how bad it is.

    Some of the balls the pros use are balls I wouldn’t even pick up from the woods in another country.

    I have told some kids that ones that have been burnt are only fit for the bin. It is funny what we take for granted that are complete luxuries in other places.
    Cheers, Tiff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never done it myself but have seen other individuals clearly doing so among the trees on my home course. I personally rarely use a pickup but I have a couple of colleagues who seem to get buy without buying golf balls and find enough in the bushes to keep their golfbags stocked! Cheers, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob

      Me too. I will use a found ball in the summer if it looks in great shape. After one hit though, I can tell if it is worth using anymore. Whatever works so they can keep playing. Our course opens tomorrow!



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