lost balls

41 golf balls found in just over an hour as we hiked our way through the desert by of one of the local courses. The other day, the count slightly lower at 22.

The cost of a box of Titleist Pro V 1 golf balls? $48 ish give or take depending on where you shop. That’s $4 a ball. For some golfers that’s simply one bad tee shot lost, left to magically disappear into the desert. Who cares. Buy more. Drop another and swing.

But the awful truth is it takes a golf ball anywhere from 500 to 1000 years to decompose naturally. An estimated 300 million golf balls are lost or discarded in the United States alone every year.IMG_5876

I’m a desert kid. A self-proclaimed lizard who gets cold below 70 degrees.  Besides the obvious eco part of clearing trash from the desert, the enjoyment of collecting lost golf balls comes from the hunt. I see collecting lost golf balls as a scary desert version of an Easter egg hunt. Reaching into a dried-up shrub for a ball can get serious REAL quick. I grew up trying to catch lizards. I’m older and somewhat smarter now but the enthusiasm’s still the same. Just now I use a walking stick.IMG_4643

My husband loves golf. For years he has been collecting lost golf balls. To be honest, at first, I thought he was slightly crazy. He would ride off on his bike and return with bags full of balls. Then I woke up and realized if one person can collect that many in an hour, what kind of an impact can we make if I helped too?

Do you really need a brand-new ball every time you play? I’ve watched enough average golfers and that answer is no.IMG_6091

Recycle. Reuse.





Lost Balls

A simple walk down the road at the end of my driveway can be dangerous. Sure, the coyotes, the javelina and even the rattlesnakes are always cause for concern, this is the desert. But the real danger, the one with the greater odds of doing serious bodily harm as you walk the road across from my house, is a golfer with a mean slice.IMG_4593

Had the golfers I walked by a couple of days ago not played their random rap(?) music as loud as they did I might not have paid any attention as a seriously sliced Noodle whizzed behind me and sailed down the dirt drive way of a neighbor.

“Whoa!” is exactly what I said. Then I laughed. I have golfed Dinosaur before. The spot in the road I was standing was about 180 degrees from where that ball should have been headed.IMG_4565

Even the best of golfers can hit a shot nowhere near the direction they had aimed. Hooked it or sliced it but either way it was not a good shot. I am also 100% positive this golfer had no idea I was out there wandering around so I didn’t take it personally that he could have killed me with his completely off track shot. His partner in the cart seemed equally surprised they were not out there all alone.

The Gold Canyon Resort http://www.gcgr.com makes sure their golfers are so spoiled and golf focused before they even reach their cart that we should give them partial blame for creating this high velocity danger!IMG_4569

In the Clubhouse they have water with fruit floating in it for goodness sakes! The cart girls drive around to bring you icy cold mango infused towels! Your personal carts cooler is full of ice and cups of water are ready. Spoiled golfers I tell ya!IMG_4570

Then, as their now happy, relaxed and carefree golfers drive over to the first tee of the Dinosaur course, they are met with the most mesmerizing views of the Superstition Mountain that by the time they are teeing off at the 9th hole they are no longer consciously aware there are roads anywhere. Bad slice? Blame those fabulous icy mango towels.IMG_4559IMG_4594

Our regular nightly walks, long after Dinosaur has closed, yields roughly 5 to 6 balls on average. It’s August. I’m starting to think wearing a helmet might be necessary to walk safely during prime golf season.IMG_4641

I’m also starting to wonder if there is a pattern as to what type of balls are found more often. Hhhhmmmm? A study? Stats? That might have to happen…

So far there just seems to be too many possibilities that a chart would make my brain explode. We have found quite a few Titleist ProV1. Not a ball I would be that happy to lose. I’m surprised we aren’t rescuing golfers stuck to the barbed wire trying to go find them! I don’t golf well enough to play with ProV1s. I certainly would climb over the barb wire, into the street and hunt around the desert to find one if I had paid $45 a dozen.IMG_4646

But now that I find them for free…

I think the unknown is what makes looking for these lost balls so much fun. There is always the very real danger of animals and reptiles at that time of evening. The bats zipping and zagging, the night hawks making their rounds. We have heard the coyotes calling. IMG_4643

But every time I see that obvious white, sometimes neon yellow shape sticking out in this desert landscape like a sore thumb I get excited. Can I grab it or is there a rattler staring back under that bush? Is it going to be a “good” one?

9th Hole of the Dinosaur Lost Ball Stats

Sunday August 7, 2016

  • Nike Mojo White #2
  • Titleist ProV1x #1
  • Top Flight XL Distance #4
  • Callaway Super Hot 55
  • Top Flight Magna High Trajectory #3

Daily Total :5

Tee time

Some days are good. From start to finish good. We had one of those days yesterday and can I tell you how needed it was? Last week was day after day of plumbing nightmares (post: “Running Water”) and stress.

You earn good after a while. Life throws you so much that every so often it all goes right and you have a really good day.IMG_3348

A yummy cup of coffee, a fun wander around the property with the dogs, then baths for the two unsuspecting filthy pups was the start.

Jethro the 17 year old dog was left alone to nap away his day.

Fluffy and clean and with full bellies we left the dogs to “watch the house” and off we went to the golf course.

He plays and I drive the cart and goof off. Gold Canyon Golf Resort this time of year is awesome for us locals. It’s still one of the most gorgeous courses around but because it’s 9000 degrees outside it’s cheap to play and no one is out there. He paid right around $25 to play on a course that in season goes for over $100 a round! (Sidewinder)IMG_3244

We “walk on” at around 11 or so. (Don’t let that term fool you. I “walked” to the cart. That just means we didn’t have a time reserved and were able to just walk on to the course to start with no waiting. No one is walking a full 18 in this heat.)

They give you a cart, a cooler with ice and water and cups and towels and anything you could ever need to golf without frying or flopping over for the next 4 hours. They even have water with fruit floating in it! Yes please. Spoiled much? Oh and just in case you didn’t grab any of that there is a lovely girl who drives around all day long looking to see if you need anything!

I love to drive the cart. These carts have a map and distance info on a little screen! Golf courses are normally very pretty and quiet so It’s not awful to be the driver.

My best friend is my husband. I have fantastic friends in my life but he sits at the top. He loves golf. LOVES. Cannot emphasize that strongly enough. Loves, loves, loves the game of golf. Me and golf run a close race. I have no problem with it and encourage him to play as often as he can or wants. I’m not just saying that either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving a sport and playing it. Go do it. As much and as often as you can! Life is too short to not play. Get out there and Go Play!IMG_2027

My brain does not want to play golf for four hours. My brain wants to hit the ball then wander over to that hole in the ground under the tree to see what’s living in it! It’s not attention deficit either! It’s just my brain finds all kinds of things around it when I take it outside! So I drive and take pictures and wander and keep score and try not to slow down the game! It is too much fun. But I don’t go very often (can’t imagine why I’m not invited all the time hahahaha!)IMG_3245

I am told I am fun to have out there because I don’t take it that serious. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the game, but as I have stated many times and irritated many golfer friends, it’s PRACTICE! I’m sorry guys but every time you step out there you are “practicing” in order to get better are you not?IMG_3281

Yes, it may be extremely important to you to do really good around your friends but in the end no one got paid or was offered endorsement deals or a green jacket so get over yourself, relax, have fun and hit the ball! Hit it hard and far! Hit it! Then channel your inner Phil and go find that ball on the path or in the desert like he always does and smack it again! Stop throwing expensive clubs into the water, breaking them, giving up the sport or blaming photographers and just go play! Your score will improve dramatically. Besides, look at your outfit? How can I take you that seriously anyways?IMG_3236

Laughing improves your golf game. I hit a shot so bad one time when we were up in Sedona. Bad. Yes, there I was on the first tee, people eating on the patio having no idea that danger just set her ball on the tee and took a full swing! I don’t warm up. Why?  I got this. My shot ricochets off a boulder and screams back towards the clubhouse narrowly missing expensive windows! I crouched down so fast! Hilarious, like that was going to save anything! My husband is dying laughing, relieved he isn’t paying for any damages. It’s all good. Just need a new ball. That’s me golfing. I really belong in the cart.

My golf loving best friend keeps a pretty even temper out there.  I can’t imagine him throwing a club in the water. He’s actually a pretty good golfer. He has golfed for most of his life. His dad loves the game. My father did too. I remember plenty of Sunday afternoons with my father snoring on the couch while any PGA was on. Don’t touch the channel! He was not sleeping!IMG_3294

I was able to take some fabulous pictures while we were out there and even saw an incredibly angry face staring back at me from a hole under a tree! I think gopher but that’s just silly…a gopher on a golf course?

Lunch was at the club house. Half off everything on the menu this time of year! Heck yeah! Home to clean up, let the overworked puppies out to pee then back inside for another nap, then over to my friends house to feed her farm animals! (post: “good times”)IMG_3406

On our way back home from Queen Creek the storms started rolling in. It is Monsoon Season here in AZ so these storms are sudden and can be powerful. We got a good amount of rain last night, lots of lightening and howling winds. The temperature dropped from 109 down into the high 70’s. We thought we had died and gone to heaven! Open up the house, turn off the constantly running air conditioner and let the fresh air in! It was awesome!IMG_3476IMG_3494

Good coffee, clean puppies, golf, half priced yummy food, farm animal love, a thick vanilla shake, a rolling storm with thunder and lightning and much needed rain, all shared with my best friend and love of my life. Can’t ask for much more. Good day.