Only in extreme boredom:the only time I look for other balls is if the group in front is mind-numbingly slow and I've exhausted all conversation with the guys I'm with - don't look in rough but instead look in h20 hazards which are everywhere where I play. I might play the ball if it happens to be a Pro V1 or good quality ball.
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Have not searched for ball since I was a kid. In those days we would wade the creek which just of the front of 6 of the Ts and in front of 4 greens. After the weekend would easily get 100 balls 5 leaches and one irate greens keeper. We would sort them and put them in egg crates and sell them just of the 12 Fairway. From y buddies yard. Oh ye I almost forget we we sneak on an play 5 holes just before dark then search.
I almost always play solo unless it's a league event or a random day when I go in the late morning or afternoon when it's busier. Otherwise I'm almost always first on the course, and I walk. If it's a par 3 I always just walk to my ball since it's "usually" close to the green or on it, hopefully. If, however, I'm on a driving hole and I manage to be off the fairway, I will sometimes think to creep closer to the tree line and scope a little, but never stop to poke around or walk slower than my normal pace, which is pretty quick (I'm typically walk a round in right at 3 hours, with a bunch of gaps between holes at my course that really stretch it out). If I see anything that is obviously lost and looks new at all and is easy enough for me to pick up without any trouble, I will do so. If it's a crap ball I'll leave it, but anything mid-grade or tour grade I'll keep. If I'm playing with others or behind/in front of other players, I always walk the straightest route to where my ball is.
While I was searching for my ball in a water hazard I found the most amazing thing.
A pro v 1 condition fair.
The amazing thing, it had stamped on it HOLE IN ONE 2011-11-18 With name, I asume it was a name, written in Chinese I think or maybe Korean.
If i was down to my last 2cents there is no way such a ball would find its way back into my Golf Bag.
Do you tend to wander around in the rough looking for "one-hit wonders"? I can't help myself. A normal day is 8 to 12. My best is 36, honest. Our 18th hole will give up 4 to 6, just off the fairway next to the lake. Three or four more in the lake next to shore. What's your record?
We all do this in my family! I have yet to buy a golf ball.
The rough is a waste of time, look for spots people aren't willing to go and you'll find lots of them!
IMO, I usually do this in the winter... (I live in OH and some of the local courses let you play on them for free even though they are closed).
My "record" for a day is in the hundreds. A couple of days when the ponds dried up there were golf balls laying all over the dry pond. I always put as many in my bag as I could pack in there. At the club I joined there was very little play and often I would be the only one on the course and after a few rounds by myself I would get bored and walk all of the ditches and woods looking for balls.
I never bought a golf ball in the 9 years I've been playing golf until a month ago when I finally ran out. I would have had a lifetime supply but my son was learning to play on a course where any missed fairway pretty much meant a lost ball and every time we went to visit he would ask me to bring him another 100 Pro V1s, and we visited often.
I told him one time that he was either going to have to start hitting the ball straight or looking for his lost balls.
The course I play now frowns on ball hawking and I no longer do it. The only ones I pick up now are the ones that just happen to be where I am looking for my own ball.
i buy balls used, so even the elite that i play i never spend more than $1.50 per ball. so losing one isn't a big deal.
that being said i hate the penalty associated with lost balls (especially off the tee), so i still spend a bit of time looking. most of the ones i find are crap and i give them to my girlfriend since she doesn't care what she plays. the occasional penta or prov1 i find i will put into play just for comparison's sake.
i've lost probably around a dozen in a round before. usually once i get on a roll i get pissed. and especially when it's off the deck, i tend to pull out golf balls and swing until i hit one right. when you're pissed and have adrenaline flowing, this can take a while and rack up the lost golf ball total. in a straight, normal round where i only take one legal shot each location, i may lose around 6 at worst.
2 years ago when this was a new thread, I stated my opinion on it, but it bears repeating. I only hawk my own ball or that of one of my companions. I've carried a retriever for 25 years, yet I get as frustrated as anyone when I get paired up with a hawker.
There was a guy I played with a few years ago who walked the edge of the water hazards on every hole where they were in reach, even if it took him to the opposite side of the hole, 100 yards from his ball. I finally told him flat out that if he didn't get with the program we were going to leave him behind. Didn't faze him. I don't know how far behind us he finished, but at least one entire foursome passed him after we went on. That group had a couple of my friends in it and we were talking at the 19th hole after they finished and they said they hit their tee shots on the the 12th hole not even realizing that he was there. He was so far off to the side looking for balls that they were getting ready to hit their second shots before he came wandering out of the weeds and even had the gall to gripe about them hitting into him. I saw him around the course a few other times, but never started a round with him again.
Saturday I played early, first off the tee on a cold florida morning, it was maybe 40-42 when I teed off. On 17 I came across a pearly white ball just off the fairway in plain view. I picked it up and lo and behold, it was a brand new prov1x. I immediately thought of this thread.
Strangely enough, there was a charity tournament that afternoon. I was again first on the course on Sunday, and I must have seen 20 brand new DT Solos just lying around. Some just sitting up on tee boxes. I didn't touch a one though. I felt bad enough for keeping the prov1x even though I knew there was nobody coming for it.
There was a guy that was almost blind that used to walk his rounds where I play early in the morning before anyone got there. He always used the yellow balls so he could see them better. Anytime I found a yellow ball I would leave it at the clubhouse so he could get it back.
One foggy day as I was playing my round I noticed that about every 200 yards there were several yellow balls in the fairway and I gathered them up. About halfway through my round I saw him up ahead in another fairway and it appeared he was looking for a ball (which I could see) so I went over to show him where it was and give him his balls back. I told him he had 160 yards to the pin. He hit a shot that landed right beside the pin and I said great shot. He said "Thanks...Now if I can find it". I told him to just go to the pin and look down and he wouldn't have any trouble.
Cool story MS256! That's what it's all about, helping out your fellow golfer. When I get enough to fulfil my 10 ball per round requirement, I'm going to donate to the kids in my family, then to the local first tee.
To me, it's a shame people would rather rag on me for something that I do discretely so as not to hold them up, but that will benefit the next generation of golfers.
Because of stories like yours Fourputt, I will never hawk on a round with a partner again.
Its pretty easy to find golf balls, especiallly if you walk, i just look down tree lines and tall grass inbetween were i hit my shot and my next ball. Really it adds little time, especially if a course is backed up and you have time to wait.
Really its not hard to find golf ball, there white :p
I'm not a hawker - I think - but keep my eyes open for other balls when searching for my own and usually come out even or ahead (counting only comparable quality balls). One of life's small pleasures ....