Out of Play, Out of Mind - Where is my golf ball?

It is estimated that approximately 2.5 Million golf balls are lost per day in the US alone, requiring for over one billion to be manufactured each and every year. Totally crazy! One of my favorite factoids found on the net was that a single palm tree from the Olympic Club in San Francisco in 1999 had over 200 golf balls lodged within it! Ha!

If our sport is going to make a unified commitment to the environment we must consider and support various "green" efforts throughout the industry, and golf ball use is an easy place for all of us to start. So...what are the options and are they truly "green"?

There are a few manufacturers creating some interesting products. Dixon makes a golf ball that is 100% recyclable, the only one on the market! They will also give you a collection box where customers can return their old balls for a discount on Dixons products. Wilson's Eco-Core product uses recycled tire rubber within the core, but I can't find much more info on them. I'm waiting for a reply from Wilson.

Meanwhile, there are a few that aim to mean well, but fail at being truly "green". My least favorite option is the biodegradable eco-golf balls . These are made from Corn grown in the US, shipped to China for processing/manufacturing and then shipped all the way back here to be shot in to a pond? I fail to see whats"eco" about that. Another common "green-washing" trend amongst ball manufacturers (and most competitive consumer product markets) is the use of recycled cardboard within their packaging. Don't get me wrong I like the use of recycled cardboard but even Mc Donalds is doing that! Look at Nike's "Karma" product for example. You'd think with a name like "Karma" the product would consider it's environmental impact, before and after it's boxed life. Nope.

Of course re-used balls have been popular for years. There are numerous websites where you can purchase previously loved golf balls.

I'm a fan of this guy. Besides whats better than 12 cent golf balls? Check out his site/store here.

Golfers can do their part from the beginning and use products to help track and find golf balls with ease. Some high tech options include the Ballfinder Scout, Radar Golf and the numerous types of Glasses.

There are a number of great articles out there that discuss golf ball loss, here's a few:
BizNet - Where have all the Golf Balls gone? A Billion a year find all sorts of resting places.
Associated Content - Top Three Eco Friendly Golf Balls

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Hi Scott
Great article - really want to get some green golf balls.
But does anyone know what the recyclable materials the Dixon ball is made up of - there site does not seem to give much info on this?
Do you also know where they are made?
Any help on these would be great!

I have also read about a company that makes green golf tee. It is made from compressed organic matter of some sort and the tees dissolve when left on the ground.

Hey Andrew, check out this post we did about bio-plastic: