Old golf balls are useless

2009-01-14 00:00

SINCE the advent of driving ranges, it hasn’t been necessary to keep old golf balls. Most of us who have been playing the game for a long time, have always collected old golf balls with which to practise. Nowadays you can just go along to the driving range and whack as many balls as you like without having to worry about picking them up.

Isn’t that wonderful? You have to pay to hit balls of course, but it’s worth every cent and it’s no coincidence that the people you see at the driving range are often winning prizes and are mentioned in dispatches.

However, old habits die hard and most of us instinctively still collect old golf balls. But why bother? It seems crazy to hoard old balls these days and it also raises the question of what can be done with them? Some golfers have hundreds and hundreds of old golf balls stored away somewhere but they are unsure of how to dispose of them.

You can’t build a retaining wall with old golf balls or use them as sinkers for fishing. You can’t sell or give them away for recycling and the auctioneer doesn’t want them. They also can’t be used as trade-ins for new balls (that would be ideal). Old golf balls are useless and worthless.

They could be buried, although they are not exactly biodegradable either. You need only about 20 or 30 balls in reasonable condition to keep and use for practice chipping at the club, but more than that number isn’t necessary. The people at the driving ranges may know how to dispose of old balls. After all, their practice balls don’t last forever. Oh yes, by the way, there is no truth in the old saying that “Old golfers never die; they just lose their balls”. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Last weekend’s results:

Maritzburg Golf Club held the Bedstore monthly mug on Saturday. The winner of the A division was Petrus Jonker with 66 net and second was Mario Olivier with 67 net. The B division was won by Derek Bottomley on a count-out with 68 net and second was Craig Buxton-Foreman. The C division was won on a count-out by Pieter Nel with 68 net and second was Bertus Venter.

On Saturday, the Victoria Country Club also held a monthly mug (sponsored by Bill Roberts). The A division was won by Dean Mullis on 74 net and second was Justin Grice on 76 net. The B division was won by Don Nicholson with 71 net and second was Oliver James with 72 net. The C division was won by Roger Don-Wauchope with 69 net and second was Preggy Govender on 77 net.

From the 19th hole:

One day, Sam and Harry are out golfing at an old course that has seen better days. Sam slices his ball into a very deep wooded ravine. He grabs his eight iron and proceeds down the embankment into the ravine in search of his ball.

The brush is quite thick, but Sam searches diligently and suddenly he spots something shiny. As he gets closer, he realises that the shiny object is in fact an eight iron in the hands of a skeleton lying near an old golf ball.

Sam calls out to his golfing partner in an agitated voice: “Hey Harry, I’ve got a problem down here.”

Harry comes running over to the edge of the ravine and calls out: “What’s the problem Sam?”

Sam shouts back: “I’ll never get out of here with an eight iron, you’d better throw me a nine iron.”

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