Now… there’s another word I’ve never heard of. If you listen to the introduction to the golf ball collector job on Dirty Jobs (see the last post), the show’s host, Mike Rowe, says “Thousands of duffers hook, slice, shank millions of perfectly good golf balls into lakes, streams, ponds and water hazards.” Once again, I turn to the Web to define the word “duffer”.
From the Golf section of About.com:
Definition: A bad golfer. Duffer is a derogatory term applied to poor players in general. Somewhat synonymous with “hacker” in that they both apply to poor players. But “duffer” is sometimes used to denote weaker players in general, while “hacker” is often applied to a single golfer as an insult. Hacker is a little bit stronger than duffer, in other words.
Also Known As: Hacker, weekend hacker
I may be a noob, but I think I can hold my own. Plus, “I’m a golf duffer” doesn’t sound as good as “I’m a golf noob”.
The last post covering cheap, used golf balls reminded me of an episode of Dirty Jobs where the show’s host, Mike Rowe, worked as a golf ball collector. Although a job as a golf ball collector probably isn’t as dirty as some of the other jobs that Mike has to do (see the first minute of the first clip), it’s still interesting to see how the golf balls that we hit into lakes end up on the store shelves.
I didn’t have many golf-related items on my Christmas list this year, mainly because there are other things I needed. The two golf-related items that were on my list were golf head covers (just because I want some) and used golf balls. I specifically requested used golf balls, because what is the point of asking for new golf balls if all I’m going to do is lose them in the trees or in a lake.
A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend about these two items on my list and I was asked “You know you can get cheap, used golf balls online, right?” Of course, I said “Ya”, but in my mind I was really saying “Really? That’s possible?” I honestly never thought about this before. Buying used golf balls online must be cheaper than at a sporting goods store or resale shop.
To find out if they are cheaper, let’s set a baseline. Back in September, I went to Sports Authority and picked up a bag of used (technically, they are called “recycled”) golf balls. The bag came with 50 balls from various manufacturers, and I paid $20, which boils down to $0.40 per ball. I’ll consider this a good baseline, since the bag included a mixed quantity from different manufacturers, as well as a mix in quality/wear of the golf ball.
First, let’s go online and check some prices for the local sporting goods stores:
Next, let’s check the prices for some online retailers. Since I don’t know of any popular online golf retailers, I’m just going to use Google, and search for “recycled golf balls” (searching for “used golf balls” will bring up pretty much the same results).
These are just a few of the online retailers that I came across that sell used, recycled golf balls. Most of them will sell packs based on brand and type, so if you are set on using a specific ball, you can purchase recycled versions of that ball. Otherwise, if you don’t mind the brand and type, just pick up an assorted pack.
The main thing to do when purchasing used golf balls online is to research the stores and calculate the price per ball. Each store will sell certain (if not all) brands of golf balls. They might also have a wide range of ball types for each brand. Next, keep in mind that each store has their own grading system, and, as expected, the better the grade, the more expensive the price per ball. If you don’t mind a couple of scuffs or some discoloration, you can pick up used golf balls online for pretty cheap. Finally, look at the shipping for the ball pack/quantity you are planning on purchasing. Shipping alone could easily add 5 to 10 cents per ball. Luckily, many of the online retailers offer free shipping on orders of $50, $75, or $100 or more.
So, yes… it is cheaper to get used golf balls online. Plus, you can be a little more picky on the brand and type of used ball you are purchasing. In my opinion, the best value I came across while researching, considering price-per-ball, quality, and quantity, was the logo over-run bag of new golf balls at GolfBallsDirect.com.