"Because All Golf Balls Are Used After One Hit" is the motto penned across the boxes of premium "recycled" golf balls from LostGolfBalls.com -- and it strikes me as completely obvious yet somehow profound. Aside from that very first shot, every golf ball you play is used. How many of us trade out for a new ball every hole? Heck, the pros don't even do that anymore.
Now, how many of you have ever pulled out a brand new pearl and proceeded to slice it into the woods or dump it into a lake. Go ahead, raise your hand, no one is looking.
For the most part, golf balls live short, violent lives. No wonder it seems like some of them simply want to run away from us and hide. It seems to me that golf balls are much like the barn cats on the farm where I grew up. Some stayed with us for their entire lives, while others would just run away, eschewing the barn for life in the wild.
LostGolfBalls.com finds these wayward orbs on golf courses all over the nation, brings them in, cleans them up, grades them, and finds them new homes at up to 50 percent off the new ball price.
One concern of golfers buying used balls is just how old the balls are. LostGolfBalls.com does the best job I've seen at not only grading and pricing the balls by condition, but also by model year: The 2014 model of the ProV1 will cost you about $5 per dozen less than the 2016 model 2016 model.
I ordered 12 top quality, newest model Srixon Z-Star black numbers ($23 per dozen) to see how they compared to a brand new sleeve in my bag.
From the practice green to the final tee shot on the golf course, I could tell absolutely no difference. The quality of the balls was, to the naked eye, identical to brand new. One was a tiny bit rough to the touch, but compared to most of the old balls in my bag, it was still substantially better.
Online, various retailers sell these same balls new for about $35 per dozen, so the savings, over the course of a year, would be considerable, especially if you find yourself a bit wild off the tee now and then (ahem). You see, a couple of the balls from LostGolfBalls.com were apparently the runaway-barn-cat types: gone after a couple of swings. The rest, though, appear to be very loyal; I played each of them for several rounds before swapping them out for "new" ones.
Some golf balls just want to be free, I guess. And, as the saying goes, if you love something, hit it as hard as you can with a titanium club and swear loudly as it sails out of sight.
Or something like that.