What Lurks Beneath: Crazy Tales of Golf Ball Diving

The blog title sounds like a cheesy horror movie, right? Well, the fact is it can get pretty weird and scary down on the bottom of those golf course lakes and ponds. If you think we’re being dramatic, check out some of these true golf ball diver stories. Some come from our own divers. Some from other guys out there.

For starters, water hazards are almost always so murky that ball collection is mostly done by feel. So, divers have that going for them.

Beyond that, there’s all the other stuff – besides golf balls – littering the bottom of the ponds. Like broken glass. So heavy work gloves are a must. Knowing how frustrating golf can be, you probably won’t be surprised to hear divers find a lot of golf clubs, golf bags, even complete sets littering pond bottoms. 

Tangles of fishing gear are also common. One diver tells a story of how he almost drowned caught in a web of lures and lines, encouraging him to carry a big hunting knife ever since. Guns are a common find too. Makes you wonder why someone brings a gun to a golf course, and then chucks it in a pond. Maybe trying to shoot a birdie?

Then there's the cars. Divers find these a lot. One diver reported finding two BMW’s, two Cadillacs, and even a car with a dead woman in it.

Of course, the best danger stories come from the deep south (mainly Florida) where course ponds are sometimes teeming with snapping turtles, alligators and poisonous snakes. In fact, one of our divers has been bitten multiple times by water moccasins. And just recently there was a news story about another diver attacked by a ten-foot territorial alligator (he was okay – but the “gator” had to walk the Green Mile).

Crazy Tales of Golf Ball Diving - Snapping TurtlePerhaps the looniest tale comes from an article by Josh Sens for Golf.com. According to Josh, a rookie diver on a course on Sanibel Island in Florida went down and stayed down way too long. Finally, he popped up and headed for the parking lot, stripping his gear off and leaving it behind him as he went. What happened? It was alligator mating season and the guy had been pinned on the bottom of the pond by an “amorous alligator” for more than an hour. Try to imagine that experience! According to industry legend, the diver was so traumatized, he never dived again.

Anyway, you get the point. Golf Ball Diving can be a strange, hard, even dangerous job (its been listed several times as one of the strangest jobs in America). It’s also definitely not for the faint of heart. But as we like to say, someone’s got to fish out the millions of balls lost each year. Why not us?

Other Sources of Diver Tales:

Golf.com: Diving for Used Golf Balls: The Most Dangerous Job in Golf / Scuba.com: What's It Like to Be a Golf Ball Diver