I was avoiding golf on a cold, rainy Monday a few weeks ago and ended up installing an owl in a tree instead. Why I was doing this is unrelated to golf, but the area under and around the tree was littered with golf balls. I seldom get into the part of my property where this tree is and I can’t say how long the balls had been there, but I’m guessing no more than a few months. They were in good condition and sitting on top of the leaf litter.
I assume my neighbor was practicing wedge shots. The balls were grouped pretty well, with a dozen balls in an area about the size of an average green. There was a reasonably open alleyway in the trees for a 40-80 yard shot from the neighbors’ yard, depending on the tee box location. It was cold and wet in those trees so I didn’t hunt too long and I can’t say how many may have missed the imaginary green.
These balls were a step up from, or at least newer than, most of the balls I’d found on my property before. They were current brands and included a few Vice balls and several Titleist practice balls. I didn’t find any old brands that I hadn’t seen in years. I hope that doesn’t mean my neighbor is dipping into the good stuff because he is running low on shag balls – I’m kinda enjoying my new ball-collecting hobby.
I’ll let everyone know if any antiques show up. I’ve been at this game long enough to remember liquid and steel centered balls. I cut a few of those open back in the day just to see what was inside. (Of course, it was also fun to watch that long rubber band under the balata cover uncoil all over the room.)
The liquid centered balls had a slightly oily, pretty stinky, liquid inside a small rubber center. I could imagine how that might be theoretically seen as a compression advantage, but I had my doubts. The steel centered ones (I think I recall that the brand was First Flight, but I can’t be sure) had a tiny BB as a center. The theory behind that mystified me.
I don’t think cutting today’s golf balls open wold be nearly as much fun.
Anyway, you can find the scores of the last few Monday games here. The weather’s been a lot better recently, but those dormant greens at the Buckhorn are something else.
P.S.: Just after I wrote this I was tossing stale bread to a family of deer that hang out in our yard and I spotted another ball near our back deck. It was a Titleist NXT Tour with a Golden Boy Boxing logo. I hope this one had been dislodged from somewhere and rolled downhill – it was pretty close to the house. I don’t want to be punched out by a stray golf ball.