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Eco-friendly golf balls for a greener game

Losing your golf ball on the course is a frustrating but unavoidable part of the sport. For many recreational players, stocking up on recycled golf balls can save you money—and allow you to try out pricier brands you wouldn’t consider otherwise. Here’s how you can shake up your game while helping...

Fore!

Fore! (Unsplash/)

The average golf course has nearly 75 acres of land. That’s a lot of space for errant balls to disappear, and even if you put a RFID tracker on your autographed favorite, it can still get stuck in the mud under six feet of water. Fortunately, unlike lost socks, lost golf balls don’t always appear to vaporize into a parallel universe. Enterprising companies have done the work to collect, clean, and resurface these wayward orbs so they can be reused close-enough to par for most players to enjoy. Whether you vow to use primarily recycled balls from now on or reserve them for practicing technique, a simple swap can make the sport more eco-friendly. Here’s how to assess which sets will be a win for your game.

The colors and companies represented in each assortment varies, but every spinning sphere is cleaned, sterilized, and labeled to help you suss out your preferences.

The colors and companies represented in each assortment varies, but every spinning sphere is cleaned, sterilized, and labeled to help you suss out your preferences. (Pink/)

As you develop your driving and putting skills, any edge a new pro ball might give you isn’t likely to make much of a difference to your score. Grab bags of recycled golf balls challenge you to spot subtle shifts in distance and spin between brands and numbers, and are a cost effective way to find what designs work for you. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll have valuable data to help you choose golf balls based on performance, not hype.

Quality recycled assortment of popular designs that can vary by year and construction (3 piece or 4 piece), and may show player markings.

Quality recycled assortment of popular designs that can vary by year and construction (3 piece or 4 piece), and may show player markings. (Kirkland/)

Other than conservation and cost, another reason to consider recycled golf balls is when a beloved design is no longer being made, or sells out regularly in minutes. Scarcity means a seller’s market, so keep your eye on the ball—or the current going rate for it—to gauge whether the deal is worth it.

Overlook the pen markings, logos, and blemishes to find multiple types of high-quality options that may have traveled a few holes on the course without putting a hole in your wallet.

Overlook the pen markings, logos, and blemishes to find multiple types of high-quality options that may have traveled a few holes on the course without putting a hole in your wallet. (Nike/)

A fun incentive to purchase used golf balls is to contemplate their history. Companies who sell recycled balls can acquire them from famed courses and tournaments on your bucket list. That means someone’s worst day on the green could result in you playing a special ball that factors in your lowest score yet.

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