Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Range Balls Get Bad Rap

Some ingenious felons stole about 4,800 range balls from a driving range in Kansas on Sunday night. Apparently the thieves took down a fence, drove a truck on the range, and proceeded to fill up the bed of the truck with the balls. Now that's dedication.

The head pro at the course, Jeff Johnson, was quoted as saying, he thought they would either sell them or "they are some really bad golfers who need some range balls to practice with." The headline on Golf.com claims, "Police seek bad golfer!"

Now, I play golf. I'm not that great of a golfer but, correct me if I'm wrong, bad golfers aren't the only one's who hit the range. I've actually taken to playing with range balls recently - and I like 'em (I prefer the white ones). I usually just pick them up off the holes next to the range (like any other ball I find).

I read in this article that I can get kicked off certain courses for playing with range balls. I don't play those courses. Supposedly, some range balls only go 80% as far as normal balls. Whatever. There also appears to be an etiquette issue with regard to pulling range balls out on the course. I don't play with those people.

This article basically makes my point for me:
[Range balls are] so hideous that [they] won't be pilfered by customers. In fact, the garish colors or racing stripes are intended to discourage customers from stealing the balls for use on the golf course. Theory being that a range ball would be instantly recognized if used in play and would bring shame to the cheap golfer who tried to use it.

That said: Keep one or two in your bag for use over a water hazard. If it lands in the hazard you won't feel so bad. And you won't hold up the group behind you trying to fish it out. Of course, you cannot do this in tournament play. But among your regular weekly foursome, who's going to complain?

We have a rule in our foursome. If you substitute a range ball on the fairway to go over a water hazard you must finish the hole with it should the ball not go in the water.

A friend of mine and I were recently joking about going to the range, getting a basket of balls, carrying it to the car and dumping them in the trunk. I'd never considered taking the car to the balls...

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