Buying used balls?!
August 14th, 2016 — day 11–390 days until 2017 GTC
Well, unfortunately, due to a a weekend long road trip, there was no golf this weekend. As frustrating as that is, and how heavy the withdrawals are, I do have some golf to discuss. — used balls.
As I arrived home on Sunday, I was excited to see a package on my doorstep that I had been waiting for. A new shipment from LostGolfBalls.com.
LostGolfBalls.com is a website that specialized in sending divers to golf courses to retrieve balls from water hazards and well as other areas that balls are frequently lost on the golf course.
Before buying my first set of balls last month, I did a bit of research to see what kind of condition the balls would be in before I made a purchase. One thing that stood out to me immediately is that this company alone sells over 50 million balls per year. Why does that matter to me? Well, because if you are selling that many balls, you are retrieving that many balls (at least). Thus, divers at these courses must be fishing balls out of the water daily. Or, at least, close to. If they are retrieving them that quickly, then it means the balls are only sitting in the water for a short time.
Balls can be ordered in a variety of grades; AAAAA is the highest grade a ball can get and means the ball appears to be brand new. AAAA is a ball in excellent condition, but you can tell has been played for a handful of holes. AAAA is a ball in good condition, but may have a bit of visible wear-and-tear.
A few weeks ago, I purchased my first set of balls. I was bit skeptical, so I only bought a dozen. Unfortunately, after shipping, buying only a dozen doesn’t create a ton of savings. But, I didn’t want to go overboard without having a great understanding of what I am getting.
With those dozen balls, I have now played in two rounds, and I have made a point to change balls every few holes to try and gather whether there are inconsistencies in the balls, as well as throwing a brand new proV1 in the mix a couple times as a measuring stick.
They were perfect. I am yet to hit a ball that I thought felt bad, mushy, or inconsistent. I still have 11 of those first 12 and I have no problem teeing them up going forward. Maybe if I have a special event (like the individual round at the GTC), I’ll break out a sleeve of new balls. But, for the average casual round, these are just as good as brand new balls at a third of the price. I’ll take it.
The package that arrived at my doorstep was 48 Titleist ProV1’s. After thorough inspection, there doesn’t appear to be a flaw on a single one of the 48 balls. Rich old dudes that buy a brand new box of ProV1’s, then subsequently dump 10 of those in the local lakes and ponds in their next round have become some of my favorite people. I just acquired enough balls to last me through the end of next year for a little over the price of a single box of balls. Brilliant!