Archive for December 2008



Terminology: duffer

Posted by Chris on December 15, 2008 in Terminology 0 Comments

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”.

Dirty Jobs: Golf Ball Collector

Posted by Chris on December 13, 2008 in Videos 0 Comments

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.

Part 1

Part 2

Notes: Cheap, Used Golf Balls

Posted by Chris on December 13, 2008 in Golf Gear, Notes 0 Comments

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:

  • Sports Authority – I was unable to find the same product that I originally purchased, but they do have some other options. The best price-per-ball value I found was the Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99, which is $0.40 per ball.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – They also have the “Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99, making their best price-per-ball value at $0.40 per ball.
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods – For you northeast coast readers, you can grab the exact same “Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99. Once again, $0.40 per ball.
  • Golf Galaxy – Not really a sporting goods store, but a golf store (of course). They have “Recycled Proline 75 Pack Golf Balls” for $29.99, which is again $0.40 per ball.
  • Academy Sports & Outdoors – If you’re lucky enough to live in the south near Texas and Louisiana, head to Academy Sports & Outdoors, where they have “Reload Recycled Golf Balls with Shag Bag” for $14.99. This is a bag of 75 balls, which makes it $0.20 per ball. (They also have a couple locations in the surrounding states, as well as in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.)

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).

  • UsedGolfBallDeals.com (also known as GolfBallDeals.com) – UGBD offers a large selection of used golf balls, and sells them in packs based on brand and type of golf ball. The best price-per-ball value I found was “Player’s Choice 100 Pack” for $17.95, which is $0.18 per ball. This pack is not sorted by brand or type. The cheapest shipping I could get for this item was nearly $9.50, which brings the price-per-ball up to $0.28 per ball. Be sure to check both sites, because there seems to be some differences in prices and products.
  • LostGolfBalls.com – They also specialized in selling new & used golf balls in packs based on brand and type. I was unable to find a “grab bag” product as the previous stores, but I did find “500 Cuts and Cracks Golf Balls” (update: This options appears to be gone now) for $8.00 (and a flat-rate shipping cost of $50.00). Of course, these are not really meant to be played and “are perfect for hitting in to lakes, fields or helicopter drops for charity golf tournaments”. But hey, if you are desperate for a good price-per-ball value, you can pick this up for $0.12 per ball.
  • Knetgolf.com – They also sells used golf balls in packs based on brand and type. There are many products under the “Assorted Golf Balls” category, each product based on the quality of the ball. If you pick up the “Assorted All Brands MIX: Grade A – 1 dozen” for $3.99, you’ll be paying $0.33 per ball before shipping (note: this is based on a sale price). If you don’t care about the quality, pick up the “Assorted Hit Away Shag Quality: Grade C – 20 dozen” for $29.99, and pay approximately $0.18 per ball after shipping.
  • GolfBallsDirect.com – Another retailer that primarily sells used golf balls pack based on brand and type. They do offer “Value Ball Bags” though, which include 72 or 300 new golf balls that have an over-run logo. Before shipping, you can get the 72 ball pack for $19.99 ($0.28 per ball) or the 300 ball pack for $69.99 ($0.23 per ball). Not a bad price at all considering they are new balls with just an over-run logo.

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.

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