Know How to Become a Golf Ball Diver

golf ball diver

Diving for golf balls might sound more like show than work. However, there are numerous factors that ambitious divers must consider. Golf ball divers work in groups for security reasons. They might face danger from the environment like with alligators, and from substances hidden under water.

And scuba equipment is heavy, so difficulties like fishing lines can drown and trap the divers. The responsibilities are also physically tiring. For instance, divers are often on their knees in sludge when looking out for balls.

A diver’s work schedule depends on golf course occasions. Divers might have to work when the course has nothing else planned, so they should be accessible any day of the week. Golf ball divers should be at least 18 years old and be licensed for unaided commercial scuba diving. Such licensing might need up to 100 hours of dive experience, comprising low-visibility diving, underwater direction-finding, and recovery and search.

How Much Does a Golf Ball Diver Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not gather wage and employment data especially on golf ball divers. In its place, BLS groups them with profitable divers. Normally, golf ball divers earn money for every ball they recover. Employers comprise the  retailers, golf courses, and golf ball corporations.

Subjective information suggests that divers get about $150 per day. But, as self-governing contractors, divers must account for benefits and taxes like paid leave, insurance, and retirement savings from that amount.

Golf ball divers normally work part time and have additional jobs. The income and work are not always stable. The job also requires you to do something like inspecting bridges or cleaning boats in between diving jobs. Divers at times organize for numerous diving jobs in different cities to let for more opportune conditions year round. As per The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) a golf ball diver typically earns from $40,000 to $90,000 a year.

Know How to Become a Golf Ball Diver

Becoming a golf ball diver is relatively simple. All you require is entry-level certification from a diving agency, liability insurance, and a little experience. Maintaining this as your main source of income can be difficult. You need to be able to tackle the pressures of the job, as it is not the same as recreational diving in the rich and deep waters for pleasure or entertainment.

You’ll be groping around in almost zero visibility, barely able to see your fingers. The water can be usually icky, typically polluted with numerous fertilizers and pesticides, and thick with mud and dirt. This is accompanied by all discarded things that, in one way or another, end up in the waters, from the clubs of golfers to  broken fishing lines and bottles.

In the US, the hazards are much more pronounced because of snapping, alligators, turtles, and poisonous water snakes. These dangers, however, have the benefit of rapidly clearing out those who think it sounds like a fun way to earn quick money but don’t have the braveries to follow through.

Job Description

The major responsibility of a golf ball diver is to gather lost golf balls from the streams and the ponds on a golf course to be gutted, resold, and repackaged. A typical golf course has between 3 and 10 lakes, and divers can spend up to 11 hours a day looking for lost golf balls.

Each golf ball has to be washed methodically through a series of complex cleaning procedures and are typically re-coated or polished to get rid of nicks and scratches before being re-circulated. The diver and the employer need to negotiate the price and come to an agreement of how the fee would be paid.

Beneath the surface, however, the job isn’t so calm; a golf ball driver might usually go in straight to the bottom on knees and hands, crawling through many feet of silt, leaves, and branches raking the mud with his hands. He might need to work furiously, picking up at least 6 golf balls at one time and keeping them into his bag, totaling as he still goes deeper.

As a golf ball diver, the hazards you’ll face are real which is why you need to wear heavy work gloves. Several ponds are scattered with broken flasks, which can scrape the hands of the driver or cause any other serious injury. Golf ball diving is simply executed for monetary reasons and is by no means a fun action.


If you are fond of being underwater, but don’t want to dive for a living, being employed as a golf ball diver can be an amazing side hustle. Golf ball divers gather, clean and sell golf balls collected from water features and golf course ponds. The pay keeps increasing as they gain experience or work in better surroundings.