Posts Tagged ‘Lake Balls’

Used Golf Balls – yes or no?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

used-golf-balls-tin-cupIf you’ve played golf long enough, you’ve probably had that “Tin Cup” moment?

It might not have come on a par 5 but on a par 3 but you basically find yourself pumping most of your ball supply into the greenside water, as you stubbornly try to reach the green over a hazard.

But what’s more painful, the nine you made on the hole, or the dozen golf balls you just lost?

If you’re like most regular golfers, it’s the £15-40 a dozen you just drowned.

Of course, if they’re used golf balls, it’s far less painful.

Used Golf Balls – The Prejudice…

Sadly, there’s certainly a stigma associated with playing used golf balls. But why?

If we find a good one (such as a Titleist Pro V1)  in the trees, most of us will feel like we’ve won the lottery but if you buy used golf balls, you may be considered a cheapskate, but what’s the difference?

For some reason buying recycled or used golf balls is beneath many players. Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days or

Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days of ‘Make do and Mend’.

After all, these golf balls are usually harvested from ponds, streams and lakes, but surely the water has to be bad for them, right?

Well, that’s true but probably to a much lesser degree than you think and it used to be truer than it is now.

Used Golf Balls – The Truth…

The golf manufacturers have long made claims that balls recovered from water lose a significant amount of performance yet much of that was before the solid core technology and advanced cover materials used today.

The truth is, golf balls are so well made today that they can spend a few weeks in the water and come out just fine, at least for casual play. (I mean, if you’re playing in the U.S. Open qualifier, by all means break out the new sleeves.)

The good news, today, the companies that sell millions of used golf balls harvest lakes regularly, so they’re not spending much time in the water.

In addition, the used golf balls are sold according to grade, so you get what you pay for.

It also depends on where the golf balls are lost.

Buy the top-graded used golf balls, and it’s almost impossible to tell from new.

In fact, some golfers have been known to buy high-grade used golf balls and put them back in their old sleeves.

used golf ballsUsed Golf Balls – Who supplies them….

One of the UKs largest online retailers of used golf balls www.premierlakeballs.com

The company was started in 2003 by Scott Phillips, a ‘+1 golfer’ who saw the savings used golf balls offered and the business has grown year on year since it started.

The reason being that PEARL grade lake balls offer the exact same performance as a new ball and offer HUGE savings.

“We ship a lot of golf balls across Europe and no doubt they find there way back to us said Phillips

He’s joking to a degree, but it is conceivable that you could actually buy your own golf balls back after you dunk one in a pond.

After all, in 2015 Premier Lakeballs sold between 1.8-2 million golf balls across the EU and UK.

Phillips says “All we ask is try us once and you will never buy a new ball again

 


By Ian Mullins

Lake Balls – How are they retrieved?

Friday, March 4th, 2016

For a guy who doesn’t play golf (or even one who does), the retrieval of ‘Lake Balls’ is somewhat of a mystery!

So in order to find out, The Social Golfer asked leading Lake Balls provider Scott Phillips of Premier Lake Balls, how it’s done…

Lake Balls – The Collection

Premier Lake Balls DiverFirstly, let’s start with the basics – this should never be undertaken without professional supervision.

Water on the golf course isn’t just a hazard to those playing, it can be laced with chemicals, laden with bacteria that can cause lockjaw and a plethora of other infections.

And of course, in some countries, they are home to snapping turtles, poisonous snakes and alligators.

So think again before diving in head first to retrieval your ball, following a wayward shot.

Whilst many may assume there is some wizard tech machine used to collect the Lake Balls, it’s much more lightly that it will be a ‘frogman‘ or in today’s parlance ‘A certified Scuba Diver‘.

In some quarters, and especially those working in the industry, these Lake Balls are often referred to as  ‘white gold’.

Although we wouldn’t use a sieve to find them… it’s basically a simple process of diving to the depths.

And given the hazards stated above, it no surprise that we lose between 3-5 divers a year (on average), paying with their life!

Lake Balls – The Numbers

As with many things in life, one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and there are many divers livelihoods that hinge on the misfortunes of the golfer.

Of the estimated 100 million missing golf balls recovered each year, in various countries, roughly three times as many never get found.

However, around 2.5 million make their way into Premier Lake Balls warehouse.

As they arrive in their pallets, awaiting their next chance to play, these Lake Balls are processed in massive ball washers, that are able to accommodate 20,000 balls a time.

Lake Balls – The Cleaning/Grading

Processing at this point is pretty quick. Once washed and dried, the grading starts.

This is the labour intensive part, as ensuring we grade the Lake Balls to the highest standard ready for resale on the website is paramount.

With this done, we can then start pricing and tagging by size, brand, and/or range.

And with new ball prices having continued to climb in recent years, more and more golfers now prefer to purchase 2nd hand Lake Balls.

Which is not only good for your pocket but also on the environment.

Often many of our balls look like new, once cleaned” Said Scott.

Premier Lake Balls

Lake Balls – The Cost

Given the labour cost in this retrieval process, there very small margins to be made but each ball represents a small profit to both the retriever and the supplier.

However, there is a profit to be made in ‘quantity’ and with the lake balls retrieval market continuing to grow, there is a happy future ahead for the industry.

Ask any traditional golf ball retailer about Lake Balls and they’ll  tell you that any ball pulled from a pond is an inferior product.

Sorry, but that is a thing of past with the introduction of surlyn covers (replacing balata balls) as this do not deteriorate in water and they perform exactly the same as a newly boxed ball, that is three times the price.

In short, buying used Lake Balls via a respected retailer such as Premier Lake Balls, will not only save you money at a time of economic uncertainty but it could also save the planet.

Thanks Scott, who knew!

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By Ian Mullins

Finally, for an exclusive TSG  discount (courtesy of deals Premier Lake Balls) – Click Here