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taking lost golf balls found in the woods, ethical or not?


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It's like the 'take a penny, leave a penny' next to a cash register. I've left more pennies than I can remember.

My rule of thumb is never pick up a stray ball until it has stopped rolling.

Not only do I pick them up if I find balls in the woods, weeds and rough - I take 1 stroke off my score for each ball found. I figure if someone had to add a penalty stroke for losing the ball tha

There have been periods of time where I kept score by the found balls vs the number of strokes, lol.  "How'd you do today"?  "Great!  2 new pro v1s, a couple of hex chromes in decent shape and no Top-Flites!".

The hate for the Top-Flites runs deep. :-D

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If I see a ball I'll play I keep it other wise I'll give it to one of my playing partners and never thought anything about it further then that.

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The hate for the Top-Flites runs deep.

Driving down the left side of 18 a month ago I spied a ball in there about 8 feet.  Whipped out the retriever and snagged it....

Wife "what is is?"

me "just a Wilson"

Wife "you throw that back in there right now!"

I couldn't have been more proud at that moment...

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If I'm in the woods looking for my own ball, any and all balls found are mine. . .hahaha. . .

Seriously, though. I do look to see if it looks like they've been there a while before grabbing it. If it's still rolling, I usually leave it alone. There was only one time when someone admitted to losing one in the woods. They usually find their "actual" ball in the first rough. ;-)

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At our course ridden with tall grass, one expects & usually finds 5 other balls before finding (or giving up) his ball.    The count ratio goes to 10 balls when in tournament. :doh: Trust me.  Balls don't want to be found by their original owner.   It's in their nature.   When I start and finish a round with the same ball, I retire it just to thank for not abandoning me during the round.

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No, not stealing from the course. The course does not provide the balls to begin. I do worry about picking someone's ball might be in play or they were to come looking for it. So touching balls that are in sections with adjacent fairways is a no-no. The embarrassment just not worth it. Secluded woods area with nobody in sight for a couple of three hundred yards ok I guess.

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Nothing unethical about picking up lost balls.  The only ones I'll play are e6s in good condition - anything else I'll either give to the guys I'm golfing with or toss them back.  The only proviso, as several others have said, is that I won't pick up a ball if there's even the slightest chance that it's in play by somebody on an adjacent hole.  It's happened to me too many times and wouldn't want to do it to anybody else, accidentally or on purpose.  During the winter months when we're overrun by the "snowbirds", they'll pick your ball up while it's still rolling!  Numerous times I've had to either tell them to leave my ball alone (as they were getting ready to pick it up) or give it back (as they were driving off with it).

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There have been periods of time where I kept score by the found balls vs the number of strokes, lol.  "How'd you do today"?  "Great!  2 new pro v1s, a couple of hex chromes in decent shape and no Top-Flites!".

Topflites, Pinnacles and the other inexpensive balls reside in the first 200 yards of rough on the right, ProVs are in the next 100 yards

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Topflites, Pinnacles and the other inexpensive balls reside in the first 200 yards of rough on the right, ProVs are in the next 100 yards

In all honesty, that's not a horrible estimation. I'll add that the better balls are also more often found in the trees on the left than they are those on the right. It also depends on the course I'm playing. One course I basically never find any premium golf balls because it's pretty much a dog track. However, at the nicer courses I'll find a lot more mid range balls and a few premiums.

The hate for the Top-Flites runs deep.

When I mention Top *Rock*-Flites, I'm not including the better gamer series. I'm speaking specifically of the "distance" or other super low quality models.

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No problem on my end. On my home course I'm a bit more careful on a few holes because some (like 10-18) share a thin line of forest, and I don't want to pick up a ball that someone may have sliced into the trees.

But otherwise, I pick them up with abandon. My dad is like a bloodhound about that; a few weeks ago we cleaned out his bag and found probably 70 golf balls from the woods, which explains why moving his golf bag felt like Olympic weightlifting :-P

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sure it's "ethical"... with the caveats others listed (ensure it isn't "in play" by someone else. etc.)... if you are, ummm, directionally challenged off the tee, and you play the same course often, you sometimes even have balls that come home again... :-D
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Does anyone think it is unethical or wrong to take a lost ball? I am just interested in hearing that side of the story, because I can't imagine everyone is just 100% in agreement here? What's wrong with TST?
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if you are, ummm, directionally challenged off the tee, and you play the same course often, you sometimes even have balls that come home again...

Many a times.   I also see others playing with my "lost" balls.

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Does anyone think it is unethical or wrong to take a lost ball? I am just interested in hearing that side of the story, because I can't imagine everyone is just 100% in agreement here? What's wrong with TST?

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Does anyone think it is unethical or wrong to take a lost ball? I am just interested in hearing that side of the story, because I can't imagine everyone is just 100% in agreement here? What's wrong with TST?

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So from what i've seen of this forum, it finally is close to being in agreement about something but..............

sure - but I'm sure somewhere someone here has a pet peeve about found balls

:-P

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Note: This thread is 2187 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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