Golf balls just can be the ultimate consumable in the sporting activities world, with numerous millions lost every year—many after ~ a single swing.

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Consider the over 500 million rounds were played in the U.S. Alone in 2020, v the coronavirus happen even more newcomers and rusty previous players into the fold. It’s most likely safe to guesstimate that at least one round goes wayward for every ring played, v the frugality that the far better and straighter-hitting players offset by those who have the right to lose a dozen through the 19th hole. What various other sporting good is lost with greater frequency?

Shaun Shienfield

“Golf balls space the drug that feeds the golf seeks so many are hooked on,” states Shaun Shienfield, the chairman of, i beg your pardon recovers, processes, and also resells countless balls to golfers every year across North America.

Shienfield estimates that companies prefer his and others in the market recycle and sell over 100 million balls a year. That figure doesn’t account for those balls the golfers uncover themselves and reuse. This is likely the lion’s share, too—who amongst us hasn’t put right into play a round they found on the course? It also doesn’t factor in those chewed and spit the end by course mowers, those struggle into adjacent properties and resold by laborious kids, or the bounty of balls the are never found.

Foundgolfballs has contracts through a organize of golf process in the U.S., mainly in the southwest given its affluent course supply and also year-round play. Due to the fact that today’s golf balls space impervious come water (unlike the Balata balls that the past), the bulk of their haul originates from water hazards. Shienfield, who Canadian and likewise has a effective arm the his organization north the the U.S. Border, approximates that 99 percent of balls his firm finds have actually value. After collection, castle cleaned, graded choose eggs, and also sorted by brand and by form (Titleist Pro-V, AVX, Velocity, etc.). For those who play a specific model (say a Callaway Chrome Soft yellow ball), they have the right to buy the items in four various grades, v pricing based upon quality.

There space a organize of other players in the field, many notably PG Golf, i beg your pardon was gained by Titleist parent company Acushnet in 2018. The world’s biggest recycled golf ball company, PG Golf retrieves and also markets golf balls come retailers and also golf shops and also directly to the customer via Among the plenty of U.S. Process it collects balls from space Spyglass Hill, Innisbrook Resort, Victoria National, Hazeltine National, and also Medinah nation Club.

PG Golf, your local source for pre-owned golf balls –

— PG Golf gmbh (
PGprofessionalg) July 30, 2020

“It’s to be a very interesting year. Because of the enhanced play, there to be a commensurate rise in need for golf balls,” Shienfield says. “Many the the timeless sporting items retailers were closed so human being were driven to buy their balls ~ above the internet and also that is whereby we derive the bulk of our business. This has adjusted consumer purchase patterns and also has jumped our sales projections three to four years ahead.”

After the 2020 season drew to a close, I actually did my very own golf ball search, ultimately collecting virtually 2,000 over several visits if my local course to be closed. What’s amazing is the the sample size I gathered somewhat mirrored the sector overall, with an ext than 1/3 that the balls i retrieved gift Titleists of some sort. Almost 19 percent were Callaway, adhered to somewhat distantly by TaylorMade, Bridgestone, TopFlite, and Srixon. I discovered 39 brand in total, through outliers ranging from AuthoriTee come Zero Friction. Two were non-branded, including one that only had a couple’s wedding date, do me wonder if it hadn’t been hit into a brush-filled rubbish area by one infrequent golfer who joined his fellow groomsmen because that a job on the links. Oh, and also I also recovered two of my own golf balls the I’d fight errantly some months earlier, together the markings were a clean giveaway.

But the exercise provided me a whole new appreciation because that the lost, or found, golf ball business.

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“Some golfers say they would never play with a supplied or recycle ball. Come those golfers us ask, ‘Do you placed a new ball down on the course every shot?’ ~ all, as soon as a round is hit as soon as it’s now a used golf ball,” Shienfield says, before including with a chuckle, “If lock still insist that provided golf balls room not because that them, us send castle a give thanks to you keep in mind as being among our suppliers.”

(Photo by Erik Matuszewski)

Would you play with a recycled golf ball? Tell united state why or why no in the comment section.