Even if you Can’t Hit ’Em Straight, You Can Still Find ’Em and Collect ’Em

This ball is from the fictional gold course Bushwood, where the movie “Caddyshack” was set. It sold for $17.99

This ball is from the fictional country club Bushwood, where the movie “Caddyshack” was set. It sold for $17.99

Creating a logo golf ball collection is easy. Adding to it takes a little ingenuity. Ask me. I know from where I speak.

Starting out, almost every public or private golf club sells golf balls with the club imprint on it. Many golf outings and charity tournaments give them out to participants. So, you are on your way.

Make the rounds of the local clubs. See if your bank, insurance company, or stock broker can get you one with their logo on it. Ask your fellow golfers to be on the lookout for logo balls. Tell them you’ll trade them one of your balls for any one they find. Speak to the maintenance people at the club; they find balls all over the course. Offer them a deal they can’t refuse. You’ll be surprised how the collection will add up.

You can buy golf balls by the lot on eBay. This batch of 72 was had for 19.95 in 2011.

You can buy golf balls by the lot on eBay. This batch of 72 was had for 19.95 in 2011.

Another good source for me is the used golf ball section of sporting goods stores. At your leisure, browse through the balls and purchase only those with logos. Keep a list so you don’t end up with duplicates.

In South Florida, where I reside most of the year, there are stores supplied by scuba divers that specialize only in balls fished out from the many ponds and lakes on the courses in the area. Sometimes the dealer will sell you a bulk amount, like 100 balls. Buy them and take your chances. You’ll find plenty of logos. Those that aren’t, you can use when you play yourself. It’s a lot of fun.

As to storing the balls, Golfsmith and Austads advertise racks in their catalogs. Where to put the racks is another good question. My wife hates clutter and has relegated my collection—now about 3,200 balls strong—to wall space in our garage.

 

The sleeve may be beat-up a little, but the vintage BF Goodrich Industries advertising balls are a great addition to a collection ($15 on eBay).

The sleeve may be beat-up a little, but the vintage BF Goodrich Industries advertising balls are a great addition to a collection ($15 on eBay).

Let me tell you of the kinds of balls I have. The commercial variety includes auto, transportation, car rental agencies, banks and financial institutions, chemical companies, manufacturers, medical and pharmaceutical, oil and gas, paper and publishing, real estate, services, telephone and communication companies, tire and rubber, and tobacco companies.

Next are the golf courses and country clubs, both in the U.S. and foreign: Then there are hotels, motels, resorts and cruise lines. And how about some liquor, beer and restaurants? To round out the list; there are commemorative golf tournaments and sporting events, schools and sports teams; military and naval installations. Finally, some people like to have their own names imprinted on the balls: You’ll never cease to wonder about what logos you will come up with.

There are many people collecting balls. Some concentrate on signature balls of pro golfers, others only on logos. We trade balls. One neighbor here in Florida has 4,000 balls in a den, and hasn’t been divorced or thrown out yet.

You can get serious about your collection, too. This A J. & D. Clark “Musselburgh” mesh-pattern gutty ball, still retaining some of the original paint, sold for $7170 at auction at Freeman’s.

You can get serious about your collection, too. This A J. & D. Clark “Musselburgh” mesh-pattern gutty ball, still retaining some of the original paint, sold for $7170 at auction at Freeman’s.

There is no viable market for the balls, but as more and more collectors get in the act, there will be. Most balls are in mint condition, but naturally, those garnered off the golf course may have a scuff or two, but that’s of no consequence.

One last thought: once in a while, when you are playing golf in a foursome and you have to mark someone’s ball on the green, take a look at it. It may be a logo. Hey, you never know—make a trade right on the spot.


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