or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Picking up golf balls etiquette....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Picking up golf balls etiquette....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I was debating with a friend of mine on the proper etiquette when it comes to picking up balls that aren't yours. 

 

I only pick up balls if they're reachable in water, or are hidden in trees/tall grass, with nobody visible that could have recently hit it. Other people I know, pick up anything they see, which is frustrating, as I've had people pick up my balls before on multiple occasions.

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I was debating with a friend of mine on the proper etiquette when it comes to picking up balls that aren't yours. 

 

I only pick up balls if they're reachable in water, or are hidden in trees/tall grass, with nobody visible that could have recently hit it. Other people I know, pick up anything they see, which is frustrating, as I've had people pick up my balls before on multiple occasions.

 

Picking up golf balls on the golf course screws with your karma.  The golf gods are NOT pleased.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

Picking up golf balls on the golf course screws with your karma.  The golf gods are NOT pleased.

 

What if you know they're lost balls? Early morning round, weekday round with nobody on the course, clearly been sitting there for a long time....those are the balls I grab, If there's nobody within 2 fairways.

 

If it's a busy day on the course, I never pick up balls...because I know I've hit them two holes over before.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

Picking up golf balls on the golf course screws with your karma.  The golf gods are NOT pleased.

The golf gods told me that they didn't care and that picking them up is better than running over them constantly with the mower.

 

Of course since I work there I take them up to the clubhouse to be washed and re-sold if they are any good.

post #5 of 13

Just use your brain. If it looks like nobody else is around or could've possibly hit it there from where the groups around you are, then feel free to take it. If there's even a tiny chance that someone from the group on the box two holes over could have hit it there, then just leave it.  It's only a golf ball after all.


Recap of an actual conversation I've had with someone who drove into the fairway of the hole I was on and picked up my ball from smack dab in the middle of the fairway.

 

Recap of the conversation once I reached their location:
Me: "Hey, you picked up my ball from the middle of the fairway."
Thief: "I did???? What type were you playing?"
Me: "Taylormade TP Black."
Thief: "What number were you playing?"
Me: "SERIOUSLY?!?!"

Thief: "Fine. You can have it, even though I don't think it's really yours."
 

Never before in my life have I wanted to hit somebody with a golf club so bad.  Over something so stupid as a two dollar golf ball no less. 

 

I can't be the only one who thinks should be perfectly legal to hit someone if they've stolen your golf ball right in front of you then proceed to lie/play dumb once you call them out on it.  One could probably get out of the assault charges anyway because Judges and Lawyers play golf all the time, and I'm sure they hate having their ball stolen.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

The golf gods told me that they didn't care and that picking them up is better than running over them constantly with the mower.

 

Of course since I work there I take them up to the clubhouse to be washed and re-sold if they are any good.

It's always a kick in the balls when I walk past the miniature golf bag which is stocked with balls found on the course at my local. I have walked past that damn thing multiple times and seen my NXT Tour or Pro V1 sitting right smack on top with my initials/marking.

Damn right I buy it back for $0.75 too, which is the kick in the nuts part....

post #7 of 13

If you see it and it's not rolling .. then it's fair game, lol. 

 

Just kidding, of course . .I only pick up balls I find while looking for my own . .in places where balls are typically lost (and never if there is the smallest chance that it's somebody elses ball in play). 

 

More often than not, when I hit one deep in the woods I'll come out with 2-3 extra balls even though I usually can't find the one I actually hit.  The deep woods is like the penny tray at the convenience store, lol.   

post #8 of 13

Lost golf balls are a lot like the law of conservation in physics (matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed its nature) - meaning that someone else took a penalty stroke for losing that golf ball then you should get to deduct that penalty stroke from your score for finding that golf ball......on a really good hole you can get a -2 or -3.

 

You can thank me later for helping you understand how to shoot your best round of golf - EVER!!!

post #9 of 13

Curious how do most people play when they believe someone picked up their ball. Last week, one of my playing partners swore that he hit his tee shot in the fairway. He kind of hit into the group ahead of us, who at the time were wandering around the right rough. So he immediately drew the conclusion that they must have picked his ball up. For pace of play reasons, I told him just to drop where he thought it should be. He wanted to be somewhat fair so he dropped it in the first cut without penalty. 

 

Anyone else do this? Or do you just suck it up and take the penalty?

 

I personally don't think I've ever been completely sure someone picked up my ball, so I usually assess myself a penalty. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

Curious how do most people play when they believe someone picked up their ball. Last week, one of my playing partners swore that he hit his tee shot in the fairway. He kind of hit into the group ahead of us, who at the time were wandering around the right rough. So he immediately drew the conclusion that they must have picked his ball up. For pace of play reasons, I told him just to drop where he thought it should be. He wanted to be somewhat fair so he dropped it in the first cut without penalty. 

 

Anyone else do this? Or do you just suck it up and take the penalty?

 

I personally don't think I've ever been completely sure someone picked up my ball, so I usually assess myself a penalty. 

 

If it's a dry day, and I know my shot went in the middle of the fairway...if someone drives by there before I get up to it, I assume they stole it and if possible, I'll return to the tee box and start the hole over.

 

USGA rules are great and all, but we don't all have the luxury of 184 video cameras and thousands of spectators to make sure there's no funny business.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

Curious how do most people play when they believe someone picked up their ball. Last week, one of my playing partners swore that he hit his tee shot in the fairway. He kind of hit into the group ahead of us, who at the time were wandering around the right rough. So he immediately drew the conclusion that they must have picked his ball up. For pace of play reasons, I told him just to drop where he thought it should be. He wanted to be somewhat fair so he dropped it in the first cut without penalty. 

 

Anyone else do this? Or do you just suck it up and take the penalty?

 

I personally don't think I've ever been completely sure someone picked up my ball, so I usually assess myself a penalty. 

I personally never really assume that anyone took my ball, unless I actually do see my ball at rest in the fairway and there is no other logical way my ball could have 'disappeared'. However, I really don't see any way for a group to play my ball without me seeing them do it to begin with.

If I am not sure where my ball ended up, I am not jumping to conclusions and I am playing my lost ball accordingly under the rules. If the tee is not available though, I will simply drop in the area where I assume my ball should be and penalize myself accordingly.

On the other hand, if I do see someone play or pick up my ball, I am going to say something for sure and get my ball back, drop it nearest to where it was taken and continue playing while muttering a few choice words.

EDIT: I have had my ball taken by accident once when I unknowingly ran into a foursome on a blind hole. I played holes 10 through 15 without seeing anyone ahead of me. Come hole 16, I check the green and do not see any carts in sight. I play my ball on this Par 5 monster (links style course) with rolling hills and a blind green and then drive up to the green expecting to see my ball just off the green. I then see 3 walkers with bags lined up around the green and I simply wait until they're done so my cart doesn't disturb them. I assume they were either ball hunting or having a pow-wow in the woods for some reason and they took their bags with them.

Once they finished out, I couldn't find my ball where I thought it should be and questioned if anyone picked up a Titleist Pro V1 #8 with a "dot-diamond" drawn on it in blue sharpie. Immediately, one guy answers "Yes, I have your damn ball. You played into us and I found it so I played it. It shouldn't have been there anyway and I lost mine".

I responded to him by informing him that they should not have been hiding in the woods circle-J'ing each other out of sight and they should leave an indicator within sight of the target area so other players know they are there. I dropped just off the green and told him to keep my ball in hopes that it would keep them out of the woods on the next hole. They just walked off mumbling and then sarcastically ended up letting me play through on the next tee.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

Curious how do most people play when they believe someone picked up their ball. Last week, one of my playing partners swore that he hit his tee shot in the fairway. He kind of hit into the group ahead of us, who at the time were wandering around the right rough. So he immediately drew the conclusion that they must have picked his ball up. For pace of play reasons, I told him just to drop where he thought it should be. He wanted to be somewhat fair so he dropped it in the first cut without penalty. 

 

Anyone else do this? Or do you just suck it up and take the penalty?

 

I personally don't think I've ever been completely sure someone picked up my ball, so I usually assess myself a penalty. 

If I am completely sure (which has happened twice) I drop without a penalty. Both times I actually saw someone pick it up, caught up with them and told them they picked up my ball. One completely denied doing it. The other pulled a few golf balls out of his pocket and said "No these are all mine". When I pointed to my initials on the only Pro V1 in the bunch he said "No that's the way I mark my ball too". SMH. I told him to enjoy using it.

 

Well now that I think about it there was a third time, during a club championship tournament, when a spectator in a cart scooped up my ball and was driving off with it. I yelled at him that he had my ball and he did come back and give it back to me and said he didn't know it belonged to anybody. Double SMH!!! How hard can it be on a par 3 to know that a ball 15 yards from the green might belong to the group playing that hole??

 

Common sense isn't too common anymore...If it ever was. a3_biggrin.gif

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWW2 View Post

Just use your brain. If it looks like nobody else is around or could've possibly hit it there from where the groups around you are, then feel free to take it. If there's even a tiny chance that someone from the group on the box two holes over could have hit it there, then just leave it.  It's only a golf ball after all.


Recap of an actual conversation I've had with someone who drove into the fairway of the hole I was on and picked up my ball from smack dab in the middle of the fairway.

 

Recap of the conversation once I reached their location:
Me: "Hey, you picked up my ball from the middle of the fairway."
Thief: "I did???? What type were you playing?"
Me: "Taylormade TP Black."
Thief: "What number were you playing?"
Me: "SERIOUSLY?!?!"

Thief: "Fine. You can have it, even though I don't think it's really yours."
 

Never before in my life have I wanted to hit somebody with a golf club so bad.  Over something so stupid as a two dollar golf ball no less. 

 

I can't be the only one who thinks should be perfectly legal to hit someone if they've stolen your golf ball right in front of you then proceed to lie/play dumb once you call them out on it.  One could probably get out of the assault charges anyway because Judges and Lawyers play golf all the time, and I'm sure they hate having their ball stolen.

 

 

I've had this happen. Partner hits a shot down the middle, his first one of the day. Group on adjacent par 3 (which means they must have hit a ball 45 degrees right) comes over, looks at it, picks it up and drives off. We yelled and they threw it back without a word. Luckily it was early and we could follow the tire tracks in the dew back to where they circled and picked it up. I was dumbfounded though.

 

As others have said. Common Sense. If there's any doubt let it go. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Picking up golf balls etiquette....