About 300 million golf balls are lost each year in the United States alone. There have been no recent studies to determine the total number of golf balls lost each year around the world. Given the popularity of the sport and the number of excellent courses found in the United Kingdom, Canada and certain other nations, theories that the world figure could easily be twice the U.S. number — or more — are not considered unreasonable.
More facts about golf balls:
- The average golf ball will take 100 to 1,000 years to decompose. Depending on the materials used to create the ball, some toxins can be released during that extended period of decomposition. This has led to the issue of lost golf balls becoming a concern for environmentalists in some countries.
- In 2009, sonar exploration of the Loch Ness in Scotland indicated that the body of water is home to more than 100,000 lost golf balls, all of them settled along the floor of the Loch. General speculation is that golfing enthusiasts have used the area around the Loch as a driving range.
- Since 1900, more than 5,000 patents for different designs of golf balls have been registered. Designs vary based on the number of layers, the materials used and the total weight of the balls.