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How Many Golf Balls Are Lost Each Year? – 3 Tips To Lose Less Balls

many golf balls
many golf balls

Every year, golf players across the world lose an incredible number of golf balls, whether it be in foliage, water, or more.

With golf balls lost on every single golf course just about every single day, you may wonder: how many golf balls are lost each year?

In this article, we will tell you how many golf balls are lost each year.

How Many Golf Balls Are Lost Each Year?

In the world, over 600 million golf balls are lost every year, on average. In America, over 300 million golf balls are lost each year.

There are nearly 70 million golf players currently on planet Earth. Collectively, they lose around 600 million golf balls each year, with that number set to increase progressively as new people pick up golf.

In America, the 25M+ golfers lose, on average, over 300 million golf balls a year.

Each of the almost 70 million golf players in the world loses a couple balls per round, and play many rounds a year. That adds up to a LOT of golf balls over the course of a year.

This can be quite bad for the environment, as balls are lost in bodies of water, in the ground, and in many other places. Golf balls are not recyclable, not biodegradable, and they take between 100 and 1000 years to decompose fully.

However, there is a silver lining, as all these lost golf balls allow refurbishing businesses to find lost golf balls, clean them, and resell them as used balls.

These businesses help lessen the environmental load of golf, and provide jobs for many, such as for the divers who find lost balls in water.

Speaking of water, the famous Loch Ness was found to contain over 100,000 golf balls in its depths, during an expedition to find the Loch Ness monster.

3 Tips To Lose Less Golf Balls

#1: Use a bright colored golf ball

Using a bright-colored golf ball can make it a lot easier to see in the foliage, in the rough, or in sand bunkers.

A great example of a golf ball you can use is the Volvik T2 Polymer Golf Balls.

These golf balls come in 4 different neon colors, which also make them great for a family, to be able to easily differentiate everyone’s ball.

#2: Use the UV-Light Technique

The UV-Light Technique is a method you can use when it gets darker in the day, or if there is a lot of shade.

Basically, you can shine a UV-Light Flashlight towards the ground, and the light will bounce intensely off any golf balls in the rough or the foliage.

This technique will definitely help you find your golf ball, as well as many other golf balls lost ages ago by other players.

To learn how to use this method in detail, you can read our guide: How To Get Free Golf Balls? – UV Light Technique.

#3: Aim for safe shots down the middle

A great way to lose less golf balls and also reduce your handicap is to aim for safe shots down the middle of the fairway.

If you are not an accurate golfer yet, why would you risk aiming your shot towards the edge of the fairway just to get a slightly better position for next shot?

The odds are that your ball will go in the rough about half the time, depending on whether you hook or slice your golf balls.

Aim for the middle of the fairway, or in general, and you will lose less golf balls, and accumulate less strokes and penalties.


There you go! After reading this article, you now know how many golf balls are lost each year, as well as a few tips to lose less golf balls.

Losing less golf balls will in turn help lessen the environmental load of golf, making it more sustainable.

How many golf balls do you personally lose each year? Let us know in the comments down below!

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