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  • Writer's pictureThe Golf Locker Room

On average, 300 million golf balls are lost in the U.S. per year.

Every year, an estimated 300 million golf balls get lost in the United States. This may seem like a novelty, but it actually threatens the environment since golf balls take 100 to 1,000 years to decompose. Definitely one of the more alarming golf facts.

No one knows for sure how many golf balls are lost each year worldwide, though the total in the United States is estimated at 300 million. Hundreds of thousands of golf balls are lost or abandoned every day in lakes, ponds, forests, wetlands, deserts, backyards, gardens, parking lots, cemeteries, on rooftops and at the bottom of woodchuck holes.

But in the last few years, the simple, seemingly inconsequential lost golf ball has stumbled upon a new international renown and import. Culturally, the lost golf ball has become conspicuous evidence of golf's negative ecological impact just as the game yearns to be viewed as more green. In a tough economic climate, the retrieval and discount repackaging of lost golf balls has mushroomed into a lucrative business expanding into global emerging markets. The arts have discovered the lost golf ball, too. Examining the fate and destiny of the wayward golf shot has been the subject of not one but two glossy coffee-table books.

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