Thinking about taking up golf ball diving. [Archive] - ScubaBoard - Scuba Diving Forum - Diving Social Network

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icedrac
March 16th, 2010, 04:42 PM
Hello,
I am looking to get in to golf ball retrieval. I talked to a guy here at the Dive Shack, my local dive shop. This seems like something i would like to get into. So any advice on doing so? Such as gear or companies to contact or even people to contact so i could do a few dives with. I am in mohave county. Thanks for the help.

icedrac
March 16th, 2010, 04:57 PM
Yeah the guy i talk to said it was a little harsh on the gear, but he has been doing it for a while.

carrielsal
March 16th, 2010, 05:13 PM
There have been several threads I have seen in the last year on SB that discusses the pros and cons. Have you searched the forums?

RJP
March 16th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Look for the recent story about the guy who died doing it not long ago.

icedrac
March 16th, 2010, 05:30 PM
ok i will do that. Thank you. I am still interested in doing this though.

TMHeimer
March 16th, 2010, 05:42 PM
I had 2 freinds that did this for years without problems, but who knows.

Divor
March 16th, 2010, 10:14 PM
Watch out for those snapping turtles!

diverdoug1
March 16th, 2010, 10:32 PM
I did it here in Florida, but most of it was on skin diving (some on SCUBA). Gators were a nuisance, but I guess that is not a problem in Arizona. I also hated running into Cottonmouths and big Snapping Turtles. I got bit by snakes 3 times, and bit by a Gator once. One time I figured out that I was making about $6 per hour after expenses (including a significant kick-back to the course). Very dirty / hard work (worse than cleaning boat hulls). STAY IN SCHOOL!!!!!

fstbttms
March 16th, 2010, 10:54 PM
If you listen to the people who post here looking for suckers... I mean, divers, to work their golf ball retrieval gigs for them, the money is phenomenal. Six figures, by one account. :rofl3:

Abaco24
March 16th, 2010, 11:06 PM
Consider these your golf balls or yours....
YouTube - Alligator Smashes Watermelon ! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xVwIuB-Xm4&feature=related)

Garrobo
March 17th, 2010, 06:49 AM
I mean like they are what? Three or four dollar each?

Brishar
March 17th, 2010, 07:12 AM
Pros
1. Love diving in zero visibility, might even qualify for new "touch diving" c-card.
2. Alligators, water snakes and turtles are over-rated anyway.
3. Almost nobody throws stuff like barbed wire in ponds any more.
4. Chemical and bio waste runoffs are actually good for your complexion and will
keep that "brand new shine" on your dive gear for ever!

Cons
1. You won't ever have to worry about competing against me for this job.


It's your choice. :popcorn:

vladimir
March 17th, 2010, 08:42 AM
I like the entrepreneurial spirit. Make your own schedule, work outdoors, get directly compensated for the fruits of your labor. Maybe one day have a string of golfball divers working for you. That's what made America great! Good luck.

diverdoug1
March 17th, 2010, 09:03 AM
The main problem with golfball recovery diving is that it is frequently blackwater diving that is approached without adequate safety measures/equipment (because that would eat up the miniscule profit you make). At least if you sign up to be a muck jumper (sewage grate cleaner), they supply the suit.

icedrac
March 17th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Well it seems like there are a lot of pros and cons to this, though many of you seem to be very anti golf-ball diving.
It is still something i am going to pursue, It is not like it is my main job. I just got out of college too. It is more like something to try to make some money on the side. One of the local divers around here says he uses a hookah setup to dive these ponds and such. any advice on that?

Nemrod
March 17th, 2010, 04:22 PM
I would rather shoot staples into my forehead as "dive" for golf balls.

From someone who has done both. One by accident, the other on purpose, you guess which.

N

TechBlue
March 17th, 2010, 04:24 PM
I did it here in Florida, but most of it was on skin diving (some on SCUBA). Gators were a nuisance, but I guess that is not a problem in Arizona. I also hated running into Cottonmouths and big Snapping Turtles. I got bit by snakes 3 times, and bit by a Gator once. One time I figured out that I was making about $6 per hour after expenses (including a significant kick-back to the course). Very dirty / hard work (worse than cleaning boat hulls). STAY IN SCHOOL!!!!!

You are one dedicated MF :) I hope you didn't give the ball up :D Very good advice that looks like it will be ignored. But there again what do you get for a college degree nowadays?

carrielsal
March 17th, 2010, 04:31 PM
Wasn't the guy who died on a hookah without a surface tender?

Vlane
March 17th, 2010, 06:49 PM
I've seen a few of these posts pop up every now and then on here and the main concern with golf ball diving is typically water contaminants. A lot of golf courses use all kinds of fertilizers and those will run into the water traps, sometimes giving them a strange tint. There was one post I read where someone actually had a contract with a golf course to retrieve balls but they used some hefty gear, including a drysuit and full face mask. I'm not sure if the chemicals in the water will have a long term effect on your health but I still wouldn't consider golf ball diving without the proper gear.

dumpsterDiver
March 17th, 2010, 07:00 PM
I did it for years with pretty much recreational dive gear, wetsuits etc. It was tough work, but I grossed 8 cents a ball and could find pretty many in a day, usually. It takes a while to train yourself to locate and effciently pick up balls in very poor or zero visibility.

spectrum
March 17th, 2010, 07:27 PM
Depending on local critters and course practices this can be nasty. I stick with free range golf balls found in sites where diving is pleasurable.

Pete

vladimir
March 17th, 2010, 07:59 PM
I would rather shoot staples into my forehead as "dive" for golf balls.

From someone who has done both. One by accident, the other on purpose, you guess which.

N:rofl3:

vladimir
March 17th, 2010, 08:06 PM
I got bit by snakes 3 times, and bit by a Gator once.Wow. You'd think one of those would have been enough to deter you from further golf-ball diving. :confused:


One time I figured out that I was making about $6 per hour after expenses Oh, never mind--that explains it. $6 an hour! Worth it!
:D

dumpsterDiver
March 17th, 2010, 11:01 PM
Wow. You'd think one of those would have been enough to deter you from further golf-ball diving. :confused:

Oh, never mind--that explains it. $6 an hour! Worth it!
:D

At 8 cents a ball, I used to make around $50 per hour in the water, but there was a lot of other non diving, like driving, getting dressed, getting the cart, driving the cart, unloading balls, counting balls, bagging and labeling balls and then delivery of balls. If I was getting less than $30 per hour, in water, then i was moving to the next pond or going home.

diverdoug1
March 18th, 2010, 09:42 AM
My main expense was the fee I had to pay the golf course. The 6 dollars per hour (net profit)was enough to help pay for some expenses when I was a student, I also did some bar tending, and eventually started diving comercialy to pay for educational expenses. BTW, getting bit is part of the game you sign up for if you ball dive in Florida

njedrn
March 18th, 2010, 03:55 PM
I've seen a few of these posts pop up every now and then on here and the main concern with golf ball diving is typically water contaminants. A lot of golf courses use all kinds of fertilizers and those will run into the water traps, sometimes giving them a strange tint. There was one post I read where someone actually had a contract with a golf course to retrieve balls but they used some hefty gear, including a drysuit and full face mask. I'm not sure if the chemicals in the water will have a long term effect on your health but I still wouldn't consider golf ball diving without the proper gear.

ditto...

BrotherBear
March 18th, 2010, 06:33 PM
I did it for years with pretty much recreational dive gear, wetsuits etc. It was tough work, but I grossed 8 cents a ball and could find pretty many in a day, usually. It takes a while to train yourself to locate and effciently pick up balls in very poor or zero visibility.

And hence the nick?


At 8 cents a ball, I used to make around $50 per hour in the water, but there was a lot of other non diving, like driving, getting dressed, getting the cart, driving the cart, unloading balls, counting balls, bagging and labeling balls and then delivery of balls. If I was getting less than $30 per hour, in water, then i was moving to the next pond or going home.

So you were able to gather more than 10 balls per minute continuously while in the water? Are you sure there isn't a touch of creative math or at least some selective memory going on here? Or was it just a club full of REALLY bad but highly determined golfers? :rofl3:

icedrac
March 18th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Wow, so much more advice. :D If there is one thing i have learned since getting my OW cert it is any advice from other divers is worth taking into consideration. As far as the gear I got all my normal diving gear, 7mm wet suit, hood gloves, etc. I want to use the hookah system with a backup pony bottle, just in case. The diver i am talking to that does this doesn't use a dry suit or really anything out of the norm. As far as the chemicals in the water, the guy says to just shower off as soon as possible, and wash your gear quickly.
I want to use the money from this to invest in my gear for diving in so cleaner places. ;)
The degree will pay off, after i get a few years of experiences.

But all of you, Thank you for your advice i will be sure take it in to consideration.

sterlingMarineService
March 18th, 2010, 10:41 PM
I have been looking into this too... It seems like it can be easy money! here the guy who does all the courses pays me 50-60 an hour no matter how many i get so its good money here.

I already have a drysuit with dry gloves and was looking into a FFM to protect me even more.

dumpsterDiver
March 18th, 2010, 11:21 PM
And hence the nick?



So you were able to gather more than 10 balls per minute continuously while in the water? Are you sure there isn't a touch of creative math or at least some selective memory going on here? Or was it just a club full of REALLY bad but highly determined golfers? :rofl3:

If you have never done the work, then I think it is inapprorpiate for you to question my productivity numbers. 10 bals per minute is not fast at all. It is honestly amazing how quick and efficient you can become at picking up something as simple as a golf ball. I would generally shoot for 3,000 bals per day, that is $240, but I am quite sure I had some days that approached 5,000 balls. You don't even put the balls into the catch bag until you have atleast 3 or 4 in your hands at one time.

I had a spreadsheet that tabulated my "catch for every single day of diving for years (since i used it to develop invoices). My hard drive crashed so I can't see the records anymore.

I did it in Florida and the conditions were not great. It is stenuous work and it is particularly tough on the shoulders with the constant arm sweeping motion that is required and it takes strength to walk wearing 20 to 35 lbs of lead and tank and lift bags of balls out of the water that weigh 50-70 lbs. It is not easy work. It is strenous, dangerous, battling ear infections is a constant concern.

Scubagolf
March 18th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Here, read this.
CDNN :: Scuba Diving Accident Kills Golf Ball Diver (http://www.cdnn.info/news/safety/s090923.html)

Oh, and the last time I was in Ixtapa the guy in the lake pulling golf balls (not a diver) used a stick to discourage the gators. :D

moneysavr
March 19th, 2010, 07:14 AM
And hence the nick?



So you were able to gather more than 10 balls per minute continuously while in the water? Are you sure there isn't a touch of creative math or at least some selective memory going on here? Or was it just a club full of REALLY bad but highly determined golfers? :rofl3:


As said that's easy to do,as a GBD you do a sweep move into a rig that is like a minnow basket and in a good pond you can do over 10 BPM easy! as a GBD you need to know how to work as we call the sweet spots,long drives,roll backs,and use of a line then sweep areas with zero vis!
This is not a job for the faint of heart depending on the local,leaches,chemicals,bugs,larvae,aquatic life and so on-but there are some good ponds and them I love to dive as we have several real high end world class resorts close by!
profit well the other guys make the most!
and you just don't walk on a course to do GBD most are set up with a recovery group,sorting, counting & bagging is a big part of the job,I will post a photo of the sort rack & counter made from PVC,bagging is done with feed bags, the palletizing & shipping!
The buyers don't want junk balls and too many and your pay goes to zip!:shocked2:
so its a lot of work,can be ok .
but you need to be way over leaded,no fins your on the bottom crawling, a mobile trailer and tent we use on site,
safety wow that's a big one guys get hurt doing this,some ponds you can stand up in some you cant! some work is at night course closed, so have some type of back up air,don't work alone as we all do! :dork2:
be safe,not dumb!:no:
Brad
so good luck!:)

BrotherBear
March 19th, 2010, 08:43 AM
If you have never done the work, then I think it is inapprorpiate for you to question my productivity numbers. 10 bals per minute is not fast at all. It is honestly amazing how quick and efficient you can become at picking up something as simple as a golf ball. I would generally shoot for 3,000 bals per day, that is $240, but I am quite sure I had some days that approached 5,000 balls. You don't even put the balls into the catch bag until you have atleast 3 or 4 in your hands at one time.

I had a spreadsheet that tabulated my "catch for every single day of diving for years (since i used it to develop invoices). My hard drive crashed so I can't see the records anymore.

I did it in Florida and the conditions were not great. It is stenuous work and it is particularly tough on the shoulders with the constant arm sweeping motion that is required and it takes strength to walk wearing 20 to 35 lbs of lead and tank and lift bags of balls out of the water that weigh 50-70 lbs. It is not easy work. It is strenous, dangerous, battling ear infections is a constant concern.

Poor use of smilies on my part...I was mostly just ribbing you. :ermm: I wasn't questioning your ability to retrieve them, just the numbers required to reach your benchmark. Must have been a pretty busy course to support that kind of catch on a regular basis.

ScubaSteve
March 19th, 2010, 08:51 AM
There have been several threads I have seen in the last year on SB that discusses the pros and cons. Have you searched the forums?


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