Many people claim to earn over 1 million USD/year from diving and picking up golf balls. However, they also face dangers that can affect their lives.
Earn millions of dollars a year by diving and picking up golf balls
Golf ball divers are said to be real-life treasure hunters, and that treasure is golf balls. Born in the US, when the golf movement of the elite increased sharply but the cost of buying and renting balls was too expensive, diving for golf balls became a high-income job.
Usually a golf course has 18 holes scattered across a large campus, usually with 4-12 ponds. If you are a non-professional golfer, it is normal to drop a golf ball into the water. According to CNN, each year about 400 million golf balls are hit in the US, a quarter of which can be recovered, the rest depends on the ability of the divers to pick up golf balls.
Golf balls are generally impervious to water and less prone to damage. In case the balls are dirty or smelly, they will be collected by the golf course or by the ball manufacturing company for recycling. Divers like Sam Harrison, (London, UK) pictured can pick up 5,000 balls in just one lake and sell them for 75 cents each.
Every day, a golf ball diver can pick up 3,000-5,000 golf balls, equivalent to 150,000-300,000 balls/year.
Parker (30 years old), living in Florida, USA signed a permanent contract to pick up golf balls with 5 golf courses. “I can pick up more than 4,000 balls a day and more than 20,000 a week,” he said.
Parker works 5 days/week, 4-6 hours/day. If a ball sells for at least 10 cents, his weekly salary is more than $2,000.
Regular golf balls, can be refurbished and reused. Meanwhile, genuine balls can be sold for 20-40 USD (about 500,000 – 1 million VND). Even if it’s a celebrity or president’s ball, the price goes up a lot. It is often sold as souvenirs or collectibles.
For example, Parker has collected more than 300 golf balls as souvenirs, worth more than 10,000 USD (237 million VND).
Glenn Berger, a ball diver in Florida, USA claims in 2015 he can earn up to 1.3-1.7 million USD per year, although the amount paid per ball is only about 1 USD. USD.
USD Today did the math to verify how accurate Glenn’s claim was and confirmed that the $1 million a year income from ball picking is true, though not easy. Because on average, each player will lose 1.5 balls for 1 round of 18 holes. CNN estimates that 300 million golf balls are dropped into lakes each year in the US. That corresponds to the huge amount of money that rollers can earn from picking up balls.
Career is not for everyone
Earn millions of dollars a year but this is a risky business. Steve Martinez, a golf diver in Florida, USA, said he had encountered many strange and dangerous situations while doing this profession. Attacks by turtles, snakes, and crocodiles are not uncommon.
Golf ball divers often travel in groups for safety. Divers are required to have a scuba diving certificate, need to be equipped with standard equipment weighing nearly 25kg.
A group usually consists of 3 people, of which 2 people cast a net, the other jumps into the pond and picks up the ball. If the pond is not too big, they will use specialized equipment to pick up the ball instead of picking it by hand.
Scott, a longtime golf ball diver, said he loves this job and has a good source of income. However, this job is not as simple as many people think. He listed four factors if someone interested in this job needs to know:
1. The working environment is very bad, divers have to find every golf ball in a dirty, hard-to-find pond.
2. Under the pond can hide many foreign objects that cause injury to divers, this is also a place for many bacteria, easy to cause disease. You can even be in danger if there are crocodiles and snakes in the pond. There have been cases where a diver was bitten off by a crocodile. Scuba diving equipment is very heavy, objects below the pond can cause divers to drown. So working in groups is much safer than working alone.
3. Diving is physically demanding, monotonous and repetitive.
4. If few people play golf, the income will naturally be less.
Sticking with the job for many years, Scott has twice escaped death’s scythe when attacked by a crocodile.
According to Kknews, CNN