Creative ways to retrieve your ball from the water
By David Bryce
David Bryce is an online publisher for Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, Mo. He blogs on the topics of golf, travel, Branson lodging and vacations.
It’s the most mortifying moment in a golfer’s game. No, not when you happen to be wearing the same plaid sweater vest as someone else on the course, although that can certainly be embarrassing. I’m talking about the moment when your golf ball finds its way to the water hazard. Yikes. I don’t know about you, but when this happens to me, my heart sinks faster than the ball itself. Unfortunately, this is a phenomenon I experience far too frequently, as my game, even after years of playing, is not up to snuff. Even if I haven’t learned how not to slice my approach shot, I have learned something else in golf, and that is golf balls can’t swim. I can’t believe the makers of Titleist haven’t figured out to design such a ball yet. So golfers like me have the choice to simply let a $5 ball nest merrily in the water, forever mocking us, or to retrieve it heroically in some manner. Me, I like to redeem myself. And thankfully there are a few ways to retrieve a golf ball from the sinister waters.
One of the most convenient methods is of course the golf ball retriever. No, this is not a breed of dog; it is simply a device built specifically for removing tragically misplaced golf balls. These devices often look like little more than a tin cup attached to the end of a pole, but they do work, that is if your ball is close enough within reach. There are few models designed that reach longer than 18 feet. These devices are usually quite portable and decidedly convenient. No golf crew should be without one. Even if you can’t reach a ball with the device, it provides a great opportunity to prank a fellow golfer reaching for one by pushing him or her in. Who doesn’t need a little embarrassment in their lives, right?
A River Runs Through Your Shot
Some golfers decide to get their ball out of the water by simply hitting it out. This is legal to do according to golf rules, as long as you don’t ground your club. Now obviously, there are reasons why this option is simply unreasonable. If your ball is so far deep down in the water that it waved at the Titanic on its way down, this may not be for you. But if you’re in shallow waters, you are allowed to shoot out. I would advise to take the penalty stroke and the drop though.
Who said golf had to be a land sport?
Now, if you want to retrieve your golf ball out of the water and make some money in the process, become a golf course diver. It’s a real job. It’s not even a poor paying one; some divers will make around $100 per hour fetching other people’s poor judgments. It can also be a dangerous job, as many lakes are havens for alligators and other vicious sea life, and some courses won’t allow divers to wear proper gloves, as they interfere with picking up the balls. As a result, many divers frequently cut their hands on glass and thorns. To acquire this job, you would need a diving license. This often takes three or four days. So if you add that time to the time it would take for you to don the scuba gear, find your ball, come up for air and remove your gear, there’s a chance your fellow golfing buddies may grow impatient during this process. But it’s certainly a creative way to get your golf ball out of the water.
No, you don’t have to let your golf ball sit in the water for someone else to rescue it. There are ways to retrieve your mistake, that is if you want to. You may want to start anew. After all, that ball may be a bad luck charm. Or if you’re me, and I hope you’re not, maybe it’s not the ball.