23 Jan

White Gold, Golf Balls

Golf has become a widely appreciated sport. To others though, golf may just be a hobby or a past time. Due to the demand of golf in many parts of the world, it has become a very big industry.Nowadays, golf driving ranges are emerging from one place to another. These driving ranges are packed with both amateurs and pros alike each swing groomed one stroke at a time. Golfers tend to drop an average of $5-$10 per basket of balls that is about 10 cents per ball. If all goes well and you’re sinking putts then there is nothing more satisfying to a golfer than the sound of the ball dropping into the hole.

gold-golf-ballPracticing on the range though does not guarantee the safe voyage of your ball from tee to green. The driving range is a stretch of obstacles that can certainly be a challenge to some. Of these obstacles, at the top of the list is the water hazard. New golf balls from leading manufacturers can run you about $4 per ball. No wonder a golfer’s frustration can go way up high. However, there is a profession that gains from your pain—golf ball divers.

Golf ball diving can be very dangerous. These pools of water around the golf course are murky and filled with hazards that can be deadly. The reason for this is the fact that you dive in the dark with snakes, snapping turtles, and in some driving ranges, alligators. There are even broken glass in these waters and you wouldn’t know what hits you until it hits you. There is a possibility for you to get tangled up in weeds and branches or other threats that can cause you to drown whether or not you’re in deep or shallow waters. It is a profession without a license. You may be a professional diver but there isn’t a license to say you are a golf ball diver. Though there are dangers in this line of work divers still carry on and sought this out because of the returns it has in store for them.

Golf balls hidden in these masses of water are called White Gold.

A diver who goes in the water is usually equipped with scuba suit and instead of a scuba tank they have with them a service air compressor that floats above while they search for golf balls people who see this apparatus and don’t know its use tend to think that it is used to suck up balls stuck in the water.  But that’s not the case. This machine provides the diver with oxygen and allows them to move freely underwater without carrying a heavy tank on their back.

Underwater, the diver feels for the small round white balls and picks them up carefully and places them on a net they are carrying with them. In under an hour a diver can collect from 1000 balls. This is just in one body of water. Each new, used, or experienced golf ball can sell up to $2 per ball. On average, 2000-4000 balls are collected per day this, of course, can be dependent on the size of the courses in a driving range.

Some driving ranges can have over 10,000 balls collected from them in a good day. These balls are refurbished and resold, which in turn fuels the multimillion dollar golf ball retrieval industry. The balls are then sorted, counted, and cleaned for delivery to pro shops and distributors where they will be sold as refurbished golf balls known as pearls. So, as long as duffers and hackers keep slicing and hooking balls into these water hazards at least there is some comfort to knowing that these balls are not lost forever.