There’s nothing quite like a picturesque ocean view – what better backdrop for a hole or two of golf? When they find themselves in this situation, it’s not uncommon for some golfers to ask the following question – can you hit golf balls into the ocean?
On this page, we’ll explore why hitting balls into the sea is a terrible idea. We’ll cover whether or not it’s legal, why its legality shouldn’t even matter, and how to do your bit for a planet that we are rapidly poisoning.
Is it Legal to Hit Golf Balls Into the Ocean?
The answer to this question of course depends on where you are in the world. In general, however, dumping non-biodegradable materials into the ocean is considered illegal in most parts of Europe and the United States.
As pressure on governments to protect the environment increases, a growing number of laws are emerging that are designed to prevent reckless behavior like hitting your golf balls directly into the ocean.
Even if you live somewhere where hitting golf balls into the ocean is legal, doing so is still a terrible thing to do. You’ll be wasting your golf balls and causing irreparable damage to the environment and marine life. Think twice before letting your waste enter the ocean.
Golf Ball Core – Zinc Oxide And Zinc Acrylate
Most ‘traditional’ golf balls use a core that’s made from several compounds, including zinc oxide and zinc acrylate. While these materials help to give golf balls their characteristic performance on the course, they can wreak havoc on marine life as they break down in the water.
They can be toxic, corrosive, and downright harmful if left in the ocean. Leaving any golf ball in the sea is probably a bad idea, but it’s especially careless if the core contains either of these compounds.
Do Golf Balls Pollute the Ocean?
Yes, absolutely. If you hit your golf ball into the water, you’re willfully harming the planet – it’s just that simple. The plastics, resins, and other compounds in golf balls will stick around for generations to come. As they slowly break down, they’ll leech a constant trickle of poisons into the water.
This can have countless negative effects on the ecosystem beneath the surface. Fertility, mortality, and toxicity are just three areas of concern.
Is Golf Ball Pollution Really a Problem?
Yes, it really is. Millions of golf balls enter the ocean every year from the United States alone. Globally, this figure is likely to be even higher. While golf balls are far from the largest contributor to the levels of plastics in the world’s oceans, any pollution of this kind is truly heartbreaking.
The earth’s ecosystems are already on the brink of immeasurable change and even collapse; failure to address these threats could mean the end of our current way of life. Can you tell that this is worth taking seriously yet?
Are Golf Balls Biodegradable?
It depends, but golf balls usually aren’t biodegradable. Most ‘regular’ golf balls are made from things like rubber, plastics, resins, and other synthetic materials that simply aren’t designed to break down quickly.
Instead of disappearing in the water, golf balls stick around for a depressingly long time. As they gradually break down, they leak a steady stream of poison into the oceans that millions of animals call home.
Water Soluble Golf balls
We strongly recommend researching any product like this that you choose to buy.
‘Biodegradable’ golf balls like these are a relatively new option that may offer a viable alternative to traditional golf balls. They claim to break down in water without leaving any toxic residue. While it’s great to see more eco-friendly options on the market, we hesitate to give them a glowing review.
Even biodegradable materials shouldn’t be hit recklessly into the ocean. Marine life can still choke on or be harmed by forreign contaminants. What’s more, the claims of any ‘eco’ product should be thoroughly researched by anyone thinking of buying them.
We’re not saying to avoid buying them, but we are saying you should double-check that their claims are accurate to avoid harming our precious planet.
How to Dispose of Golf Balls Safely
Right, enough doom and gloom! How can you actually dispose of golf balls safely? In this section, we’ll be discussing how best to get rid of your golf balls once you’re done with them.
Are Golf Balls Recyclable?
In a strict sense? Not usually. The cocktail of materials used to produce most regular golf balls are difficult to separate and repurpose for other things. However, specialist centers do exist that can refurbish or reuse golf balls in other ways.
Donate or Sell Them
If you’ve got a ton of old golf balls lying around, you may be able to make a few dollars by selling them online. Provide details about their condition, quantity, and design when writing your description. If you find the right buyer, you could be helping the planet and making money while you do it!
If you’re less bothered about earning a few extra bucks, donating your golf balls can be a great way to go. Find a friend or golf store willing to take them off your hands. They’ll be able to put them to good use.
Take Them to a Local Recycling Center
This of course depends on your local area, but you may be able to find a recycling center with the capacity to process old golf balls. If in doubt, call up your local centers and see what advice they’re able to give you.
In a best case scenario, your golf balls will be recycled in the most eco-friendly way possible.
Can You Hit Golf Balls Into the Ocean? Conclusion
In many parts of the world, intentionally hitting golf balls into the ocean is against the law. Even if you’re playing somewhere where it’s legal, you’d be doing a terrible thing by letting your waste enter the sea like this.
Golf balls aren’t biodegradable and can cause significant damage to underwater ecosystems and marine life. Don’t hit your golf balls into the ocean, please!