Well do you have a favourite golf ball, or do you just tee off with any old brand?
Of course if you are lucky to be a professional on the PGA, European or Asian Tours, the manufactures are keen to give you loads of their balls for free. Maybe that's why they theatrically like to throw a brand new golf ball into the lake after a double bogie.
However for us happy weekend hackers here in Thailand, golf balls can be a very personal purchase. Maybe you get sucked in by the manufactures marketing, or perhaps you like the actual design, or maybe you really do get more spin…or like most of us, you are governed by price.
Across Thailand there are approximately over 250 golf clubs, ranging from the top Championship courses like Bangkok's Suwan Golf Club and Thai Country Club, to the flat field style public courses out in the countryside.
In fact the other day I played a round at Thai Country Club, and my caddie took out an old ball for me to tee off at the treacherous par three, their 3rd hole. She knew that with the wind blowing, that it was pretty likely that my ball would end up in the lake. True to form, yes it did go down to meet the fish, and luckily she kept my new Titleist dry in my bag!
I then began to wonder exactly how many balls like mine, end up lost on the busiest day of the week, Saturday, at all 250 Thai golf clubs?
Let's assume that the average number of Thai golfers playing 18 holes on Saturday would be say 100. Therefore 250 clubs x 100 players = 25,000 rounds of golf.
Then assume that the average handicap is 26, that it is fair to predict we loose on average of two balls per round (if you are honest probably a lot more!) which means 50,000 golf balls are lost every Saturday. That equates to staggering 2.6million golf balls every Saturday in a year.
No wonder the golf ball manufacturers spend big bucks on TV and in the press, encouraging you and me to pop down to our friendly golf store, to hand over our hard earnt cash.
Luckily help is at hand, as many golf courses in Thailand employ golf ball fishermen to collect all these 12 million balls, lost in the water.
In fact, it is a sobering thought that you may therefore find you are actually buying back your own original golf ball, from the friendly chap outside the club entrance or even at the club's pros shop.
Maybe it's worth putting one of those extractable golf ball catchers in your bag in future.
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