Golfers will typically encounter a stray ball or two throughout the duration of their round. The most seasoned players know the tips and tricks to find even more. Some lost golf balls may be sitting in some deep rough, stuck in the bushes alongside your wayward tee shot, or plunged into a creek. If you start to really look, you will notice them popping up everywhere.
When this happens, a lot of people will leave them where they are while others will pick them up and throw them in their bags to use as spares.
For those who find a lot of lost balls, you might find yourself with more than you know what to do with. If this sounds like you, maybe you should consider selling stray balls.
Today, we will be looking at whether selling used golf balls is profitable and worth your time. Let’s get into it.
You will find golf balls all over the golf course. Hidden in deep grass, behind trees, and sometimes right out in the open. It might seem odd to pick up balls that are not yours but don’t worry, it is common for golfers to claim lost balls.
If you find yourself hitting a ball out of bounds or into excessive rough, you naturally will be looking in that area for your ball. Along the way, you may encounter a lost ball while in your search. When you are looking for your ball in these sorts of places you are likely to find other ones too.
If you’re playing on a course with water features, then the fringes of these areas are usually rife with used balls. Quickly check these areas out as you walk past, regardless of whether your own ball has headed in there or not.
In addition to the course, you can also find used golf balls at the driving range. While some public driving ranges will restrict access to the open field in which balls are hit into, some will leave access open through the night, leaving you the perfect opportunity to go looking for used golf balls.
Another place where you might find used golf balls that you no longer need is in old golf bags. If you’ve kept hold of an old bag in your garage or shed then have a look through them and you may come across an odd ball or two.
If you plan on searching for used golf balls, it may make sense to invest in a ball shagger to assist in picking them up. Check out our article on the ball shaggers to help in your used ball search.
How To Get Used Golf Balls Out Of The Water
One of the best places to look for stray used golf balls is in streams and ponds on the course. Most golfers will not venture into water to retrieve lost golf balls to avoid slipping into the water.
This is a prime opportunity for anyone looking to find a ton of used golf balls. To avoid getting wet, you should invest in a golf ball retriever prior to starting your search. A golf ball retriever will allow you to stay dry while you look for used golf balls.
If you are really serious about searching for lost golf balls in water, it may be wise to buy knee high waterproof boots or even waders to stay dry and protect yourself. If you are willing to commit to finding balls in the water, you will find yourself with an abundance of used golf balls in no time!
This is a tricky question that’s answer is in a bit of a gray area. Finding a couple stray balls and throwing it in your bag is completely normal. Spending hours looking for golf balls, especially when not playing a round, is probably an overstep of the unspoken rule.
The best way to approach looking for balls at scale is to ask the golf course. Some golf courses wont mind at all while others may want a piece of the action. If the course doesn’t mind, you are in the clear to start looking. If the course wants cash or some balls for the range, work out a deal where you both can benefit.
Being upfront and honest with the course about searching for balls is the policy. Following this step will put you in good standing with the course and serve as a mutually beneficial relationship. Avoid this step and you might find yourself looking for a new course to look for balls and play.
When Not To Pick Up Stray Golf Balls?
Finding a ball on the course does not necessarily mean that it is a stray ball. When in doubt, leave the ball where it lies. It is better to leave a stray ball in place than to accidently pick up a ball that is currently being played.
If you happen pick up a ball then see someone looking int that area, be honest about it. Golfers pick up golf balls at the time. If you make a mistake and pick up someone else’s ball own up to it. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you also do not want to earn a reputation as someone
Another important consideration is the type of play happening on the golf course. For tournament play, it is best not to pick up any stray balls. You do not want to pick up a ball that could negatively impact a player’s ability to play well.
Grabbing a ball on a Sunday afternoon when no one else is out of the golf course is a completely different scenario. Know when and when not to pick up balls to avoid getting into any awkward situations.
Can I Take Golf Balls From The Driving Range?
Many golf courses use stray golf balls found on the course as driving range balls. Typically, these are low grade golf balls but on occasion you may find some brand-new premium golf balls. In these cases, is it ok to take these golf balls from the range?
You may be tempted to take these golf balls, but this is a big no-no as far as golf course etiquette. This is especially true if you plan on selling these golf balls. Stealing golf balls from the range is very different than finding a stray golf ball on the course. Doing this is just stealing, not finding golf balls.
Be respectful and leave range balls on the range. In most cases, you could probably get away with taking balls from the range but that is no way to act as a guest of the course. Use your judgement when taking used golf balls, you find on the course and stay away from the range as a place to find used balls.
How Much Can I Sell Used Golf Balls For?
How much you can sell used golf balls for depends on several factors. The two most important factors to consider are the make of the ball and the condition that it is in. While there is nothing you can do about the make of a golf ball, you can increase the value of certain balls by giving them a proper clean before putting them on the market.
The best way to figure out how much you can make on a golf ball is to use the following grading system:
- Grade A: These balls will look as good as new and they will be made by a reputable brand such as Titleist or Calloway. Check out the retail price on the brand’s website to get a good idea of how much you should be charging exactly but, on average, you should be looking at around $1.50 per grade A ball.
- Grade B: These balls will still be branded but will have some markings on them and they won’t look like brand new pearly whites. You can still probably get away with selling grade B balls for half the price of grade A ones.
- Grade C: This final grade is for unbranded golf balls and/or balls that are covered in markings and scratches. Take what you can get for these as they are not particularly valuable. If you want to learn more about how much a scuff or cut can impact a golf ball, check out our article “Do Scuffs And Cut Impact The Golf Ball? (When To Throw Away).”
As you can see, ball condition plays a pivotal role in how much money you can get from selling used golf balls. The best way to ensure that you make the most money possible is to take care when cleaning them and by doing a thorough job. In other words, a quick scrub with a wet towel simply isn’t going to do the trick.
To ensure that you are maximizing the potential of each ball, please follow these golf ball cleaning instructions:
- Get a large, clean bucket and fill it with hot water.
- Pour in some undiluted bleach. If you don’t have any bleach then you can use washing-up liquid instead.
- Drop the golf balls into the water and let them soak for an hour.
- Pick each ball out from the bucket individually and use a toothbrush to scrub each ball thoroughly.
- Once each ball is glistening, place them on the side to dry at room temperature.
- After you’ve followed this procedure for each ball and the bucket no longer contains any golf balls, empty the bucket and replace it with water only.
- Rinse the balls in the fresh water to remove any lingering dirt and then set them aside until they have all dried.
- Once dry, examine each ball individually and categorize them as Grade A, B or C.
Once you have cleaned the balls, the only thing left for you to do is to find a place to sell your used golf balls. You are able to sell them online or in person, with both options having their own individual merits.
In this day and age, most people tend to try and sell their used golf balls online and understandably so. There are multiple websites out there, such as SecondChance, which will offer to bulk buy your golf balls, making them ideal to visit for anyone with a big stack to sell.
In addition to these tailored websites, you also have classic e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace where you can list your golf balls on for potential buyers.
Just because it’s potentially easier to sell used golf balls online, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider trying to sell them in person as well. Golf courses and driving ranges are always looking to purchase balls to sell to their own customers so may be able to strike up a deal with these places.
To answer the question, we posed at the start of this article – is selling used golf balls profitable – the answer is a definite yes. After all, picking up used golf balls during a round of golf or after a session at the driving range doesn’t cost you anything so whatever you make from selling balls is going to be pure profit.
In the process of looking for spare balls, be sure to be courtesy to other golfers and the golf course itself. Ask for permission when taking large quantities of lost golf balls from the course, and when it doubt, leave golf balls where they lie if you are unsure. Follow the steps above and in no time, you will be selling golf balls and racking in a nice profit.
Hopefully you liked this article and found it informative. Check out our other blog posts if you liked this one!