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Spyder

Hitting your own balls at the range? Wow.

40 posts in this topic

I'm not sure if anyone here does this or not, so that is my main question here. Do any of you actually hit your own golf balls at the driving range? The end result is obviously that you do not get them back.

I went to the range early this morning and paid my $10 for my usual large bucket. I look at the top bucket at two very shiny Titleist ProV 1x (362s?) that are smiling up at me - in mint condition. This happens all the time as I'm picking out balls one by one to hit. I always seem to either see some high quality golf balls. Last week I noticed several ProVs, Callaway HX Hot Bites, Bridgestone E5's etc.

When I talked to the kid that was working the range this morning he said he's seen people open up a brand new box of Nike Tours or ProV's or etc. etc. and just start laying them on the mat and hitting. He said it's not just the same person either, but rather he sees this quite often from different people. I offered to pay for my finds separately at any rate that he found fair or even give them to him. He just laughed and said it's finders keepers and that they only work on replenishing the Practice stamped balls or obvious range balls with the pin stripes.

Who in the (insert 4 letter word here) would hit a $30+/dozen box of balls at the range? I'm beyond confused by this lol. I mean it honestly takes around 15 minutes at the range to hit 12 balls (or less) if you're taking your time. Burning $30-45 in 15 minutes seems crazy to me - no matter the income level!

Do any of you do this at all? I'm not doing this to call anyone out or cause a thread argument between any of you. I'm honestly curious - to each his own. I just owe a thank you to the gentlemen that hit these balls because I walked away with 7 ProV 1xs, several Callaway HX (Hots and Hot Bites) and a few nice Srixons and Bridgestones. I'm the type of person that walks past a ball that I see at the course, but being offered free ProVs at the range... I'm all in!

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I've often wondered the same thing.  I frequently find mint, top dollar balls in my range buckets and of course I generally put them in my bag since the golf course did not pay for them.  I suppose the players that use their own balls want to practice with the same balls they'll use on the course but man, it is too expensive unless you are a pro.  Luckily, my golf skills are not sufficient yet to notice a difference between a ProV1 and a Nike range ball.

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when i was playing in austrila the driving range didnt have range balls you had to hit your own and pick them up

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I used my own balls in Europe - their ranges are BYOB and trust me, people mark their balls there. I kind of liked it, save money on, think about your swing picking up balls.
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I used to work for a course that basically required you to be a millionaire to join. At any municipal course I could always find balls in the bushes. Not where I worked, those rich guys would stop play until they found their ball. One guy was happy as a kid if he found three balls after a few hours search.

That's who's NOT hitting ProV's into a public range.

Edit: These guys were old money......maybe the newly hedge fund rich are doing it?

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There is a common misconception that range balls dont have the same pop to them as new balls do, so I think some people do use their own balls at the range so that they can get a more accurate judge of how fall they will hit the ball they normally use.

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Not sure why you claim it's a misconception?  The balls at my range are restricted flight (Fences are 275) so they don't fly as far.  Pro at the range said they fly about 80% the distance of a standard non-range ball.

Originally Posted by TitleistWI

There is a common misconception that range balls dont have the same pop to them as new balls do, so I think some people do use their own balls at the range so that they can get a more accurate judge of how fall they will hit the ball they normally use.



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I mean I understand the reasoning of wanting to stay consistent with a ball, but for $45 a dozen retail... I think I could simply use my imagination and say "Yep that rusty colored, red-striped ball would have drawn back if that were a ProV... (on to the next ball)" lol. This range is just a public stand-alone range which is not attached to a course. It's been family owned for like 25+ years and I know them all pretty well. They use the ball spinner-pickers that look like 1920's lawn mowers attached to a tractor to retrieve the balls.. then they're washed and placed in buckets (large, medium, small).

I mean I've hit like an extra ball that maybe I found on the course.. covered in mud or one of those cheapo max-fli yellows or something just to hit one more ball. I would never pop a brand new ball at the range though. I do appreciate whoever keeps doing it though. Keep hitting those $2 bills you trust-fund babies!

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Not sure why you claim it's a misconception?  The balls at my range are restricted flight (Fences are 275) so they don't fly as far.  Pro at the range said they fly about 80% the distance of a standard non-range ball.



Well I think he was just saying that in "general" there is a misconception. Not all ranges use restricted balls. The range that I'm referencing buys Callaway logo overruns and Nike practice balls. The fence at this range is around 350 and maintained in fairway condition to give you a good idea of your actual carry/roll.

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I hate for my last shot at the range to be a shank so I keep a bunch of old golf balls in my range bag to hit so I leave the range on a positive note.  I can't imagine cracking open a new box or even sleeve of Pro V1's to just donate to the range.

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If I find a ProV, Bridgestone, or any other nicely priced ball on the golf course, those are the only ones I would hit on the range. No way in hell would I ever hit a a brand new ball in a sleeve that I personally bought. Call me cheap...but we're in a recession right now.

Originally Posted by Spyder

I mean I understand the reasoning of wanting to stay consistent with a ball, but for $45 a dozen retail... I think I could simply use my imagination and say "Yep that rusty colored, red-striped ball would have drawn back if that were a ProV... (on to the next ball)" lol. This range is just a public stand-alone range which is not attached to a course. It's been family owned for like 25+ years and I know them all pretty well. They use the ball spinner-pickers that look like 1920's lawn mowers attached to a tractor to retrieve the balls.. then they're washed and placed in buckets (large, medium, small).

I mean I've hit like an extra ball that maybe I found on the course.. covered in mud or one of those cheapo max-fli yellows or something just to hit one more ball. I would never pop a brand new ball at the range though. I do appreciate whoever keeps doing it though. Keep hitting those $2 bills you trust-fund babies!



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I've seen this before too, I think some people are just that stupid and don't know that there are range balls for you to hit!

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I've never seen people do it, but I have noticed new pro v's and bridgestone b330 in my bucket at the range.  More power to them, it just means free Pro V's for Taylor

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I have a friend who gets a 5 gallon bucket of balls from a guy, on occasion, for $10. He theory is it is cheaper to hit those than balls from the range.

One day he was at the range hitting a bucket of balls he had brought from home and the owner came up and asked was he stealing balls. He told him no, he was actually making a donation!

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Not sure why you claim it's a misconception?  The balls at my range are restricted flight (Fences are 275) so they don't fly as far.  Pro at the range said they fly about 80% the distance of a standard non-range ball.

None of the ranges here in Wisconsin that Ive ever been to use restricted flight balls.  Around here the cheaper ranges use Wilsons or Top-Flights and the range at the nicer courses use Pro V1s or Srixon Z-Stars.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I hate for my last shot at the range to be a shank so I keep a bunch of old golf balls in my range bag to hit so I leave the range on a positive note.


This. I have many balls that I either found on the course or bought used very cheaply, that I use for short game practice.  I'll often hit one or two of them to leave on a good note instead of buying a whole new bucket.

As far as finding brand new balls in the bucket with the range balls, I see that a lot but only at courses where there are holes adjacent to the range, and people are slicing/hooking their balls in.

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

This. I have many balls that I either found on the course or bought used very cheaply, that I use for short game practice.  I'll often hit one or two of them to leave on a good note instead of buying a whole new bucket.

As far as finding brand new balls in the bucket with the range balls, I see that a lot but only at courses where there are holes adjacent to the range, and people are slicing/hooking their balls in.

I can definitely see this happening. I was just blown away by the fact that I have been finding these balls at a stand-alone range with no course within 1 mile of it. I usually begin my round with a lower grade ball anyway (usually some type of Callaway.. either an HX Hot or HX Diablo) before I step up to my HX Hot Bite or ProV. I'm stoked to start my round with one of the Pros that I found. I won't be all messed up if I accidentally shank the first approach shot, on the course that we'll be playing, right into the water.

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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

I've seen this before too, I think some people are just that stupid and don't know that there are range balls for you to hit!


It could be also that they won the balls at some tournament or other or charity event that they are hitting on the driving range and it's not the ball they normally use on the golf course.

So instead of playing them they hit them on the practice range.

This is common at a course I was a member of.

Think about it.   If you're fussy about the ball you play the ones you win are useless.

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