What To Do With Old Golf Balls

Wondering what to do with old golf balls? Don’t throw them away! While there is no way to recycle them in the traditional way, tossing them in the trash will just ensure that they end up in the landfill.

If you are an avid golfer or just find yourself with a pile of used golf balls for some other reason, you have options. I’ll share some helpful tips for upcycling them into something else, as well as give you ideas for refurbishing them to give them new life in someone else’s game.

From golf ball crafts to massage therapy, try a few of these tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle your way to a smaller carbon footprint.

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pile of used golf balls with text overlay 'What To Do With Old Golf Balls'

Are Golf Balls Recyclable?

No, they are not typically accepted for recycling because there is no true way to recycle them. However, several companies put them back to use rather than throwing them out.

Most companies that refurbish golf balls only accept them in large quantities but if you’re willing to store hundreds at a time, check out LostGolfBalls.com or Play It Again Sports.

If you have a small number of them, it may be better to contact local driving ranges or golf courses. Many are interested in using old ones for practice swings.

Another option is to contact your local high school and see if they have a golf club.  They may happily accept your old golf balls for their kids to practice with.

golf ball with earth design and text overlay 'Upcycle Golf Balls'

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Are Golf Balls Bad For The Environment?

With an estimated 300 million balls lost or discarded in the United States every year, it seems that golf is becoming a major litter problem.

Danish research teams have discovered it takes between 100 to 1,000 years for a ball to decompose naturally. Clearly, we need to find a lot more ways to upcycle, refurbish and reuse them for the sake of our planet.

Of course, golf COURSES are generally horrible for the planet.  And if you want more info about that topic, check out my post about sustainable sports and how your favorite game is impacting our earth. 

golf ball and painted eggs in white bowls with text overlay Ways To REUSE Old Golf Balls'
Ways To Reuse Old Golf Balls

If you are wondering what to do with them after they are scuffed, scratched, and cracked, here are a few ideas.

Christmas Ornaments

Whether it is an elf, a reindeer, or your initials, there are endless possibilities for how to upcycle them into cute ornaments. Three balls glued together make the perfect golf ball snowman.

Massage Therapy

What better way to use old golf balls than as a tool for massage therapy. Great to get rid of trigger points or to massage the bottom of your feet. (Check out my post on trigger point massage therapy tools for more info.)

golf ball lady bug in garden

Insect Garden Art

One of my favorite recycling ideas is to make them into insects for your garden. Try your hand at garden art and make my golf ball ladybug craft.

Vase Filler

What better way to add color and texture to an ordinary vase than by filling it with golf balls. Find a tall, glass vase at a thrift store and fill it with old balls. Make it a conversation piece on your living room side table.

Potted Plant Drainage

What is worse than having a potted plant begin to rot because the soil was too wet? Put some old golf balls together in the bottom of your potted plant to ensure that the water can drain properly.

Table Cloth Weight

Want to have an outdoor party on a windy day? Don’t let the wind wreak havoc with your table cloth. Stitch used balls into each corner for a weighted table cloth that is impervious to wind.

Tool For Tenderizing Meat

While using them to tenderize meat may seem odd, it’s really handy if you don’t have a meat mallet. Before using them as meat tenderizers, however, please make sure they are CLEAN!

Emergency Sink or Bathtub Plug

Looking for creative ways to reuse them around the house? If your sink plug isn’t doing the job, try putting a golf ball in the bath drain instead. Their shape is just right and the water will create a bit of a vacuum to hold it in place.

Homemade Gift Idea for Golf Lovers

Using them in craft projects is a great way to create some very unique gifts! Glue them around a picture frame. Put a picture of your favorite golfer in it and give it as a gift.

Make a Golf Ball Keychain

Buy a DIY keychain kit and turn your old golf balls into the perfect key chain for dad this father’s day.

DIY Refridgerator Magnets

Turning it into a magnet is incredibly easy. Just buy some small round magnets and hot glue them onto the golf ball. Then, use them to hang the kid’s art on the refrigerator.

Golf Ball Paperweight

Looking for the perfect golf gift for a friend or family member? Buy epoxy resin molds and add an old golf ball and golf tees inside a cube of clear epoxy.

Golf Ball Wine Stoppers

Buy a threaded wine stopper and drill a hole into an old golf ball. Add some glue and thread the post into the hole. Let it dry and you have a DIY golf ball wine stopper.

Golf balls with eggs in a basket

Give Them To Broody Hens

Check out News From The Coop and learn how to use them in your backyard chicken coop. You may just be able to convince your broody hen that those old balls are actually eggs. 

Homemade Christmas Wreath

Feeling crafty? Make a golf ball Christmas wreath to adorn your front door. Just buy a plain premade evergreen wreath and clue old golf balls and golf tees around it with some decorative ribbon.

hand holding dollar bill

Are Old Golf Balls Worth Money?

Collectible golf balls are worth only what someone is willing to pay for them so you aren’t going to get rich collecting old balls off the golf course.

You might luck out and find vintage golf balls at estate sales but the ones being played out on the course today aren’t worth too much.

However, tens of millions of golf balls are lost each year. When recovered and cleaned up, these used balls sell for as little as six cents wholesale and up to $1 or more retail.

If you really want to give it a try, you can make collecting old golf balls off the course a nice little side hustle.


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