We have all done it, yes you know what I mean; we have all ball hawked at one time or another. We walk along the edge of the woods, “keeping out of the sun”, searching for that elusive with white treasure. When spotted we excitedly drop our clubs and zip into the forest hoping it is a quality ball we can use at the next water hole. Alas, it is not and it goes into the shag bag. Now before you deny anything, stop and really think about it; have you ever searched for golf balls while walking the course?
I have stated before that the best ball hawker I ever saw was my friend Mike. I is a ball magnet and always ends up with more golf balls than when he started his round. It is amazing. However, Mike never, and I mean never, holds up play. He is quick and understands that finding these white treasures is secondary to playing golf. That is not the case all the time.
There are many times I have looked for golf balls, but unless it is in a tournament, I rarely take the allotted 5 minutes. It is a quick look and move on. I realize it can cause me some strokes, but I do not worry about that considering the amount of golf I play. Other players have found success looking for golf balls as well:
The biggest complaint about ball hawking is when people take time to hunt for balls when nothing is lost. I received several tweets indicating that players will stop at their lucky spots and hunt for golf balls because they can.
Well, my message to those treasure hunters is to stop! All their actions do is clog up the course, frustrate the players behind, and wreck the rhythm of their game. Unless you are searching for a ball in play, keep the ships moving. In less than 2 months, you will only have 2 minutes to look (not that they will follow that rule anyway). Slow play because of ball hawking is not appreciated by anyone!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!