Hunting for Golf Balls Is a Family Tradition

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage GREC #208281


The Joy Is in the Hunt


I'm not a golfer but I love hunting for golf balls. It's become a family tradition at our annual timeshare in Sky Valley Georgia.

I was first exposed to the sport of golf ball hunting more than 25 years ago when Lori invited me to spend the week up there with her parents and grandparents. We'd walk the mountain course as the sun was going down. Lori's dad was pretty intense about the sport. He played the course and supposedly lost quite a few balls. He seemed determined to get a few back.

He was a good mentor. He'd tell me where the most likely places one should look and where it was probably a waste of time. After you're looking for 30 minutes and you begin to think that you're never going to find anything, out of the corner of your eye you see some white, Could it be????

"Yes, I found one!!!!!"

I felt like the guy who first found gold in California. "There's balls in them thar' woods!!!"

It doesn't seem to happen to everyone, but I got addicted. It wasn't just going out on a nice walk to enjoy the sunset anymore. It was a new game. Search and acquire as many golf balls before the daylight faded away. With limited time, one had to cover ground quickly and had to choose the places most likely to have balls.

You begin thinking about each hole. Where would a bad golfer slice or hook their shots? Overlay that with the places that most golfers wouldn't bother to go because it seemed too inaccessible. But sometimes you'd have to throw away the logic and go counter-intuitive. Many times I was told that it was highly unlikely to find a ball in a certain area and I ended up finding several.

You get golf ball vision. Your eyes begin to get tuned in to anything round and anything white. Sometimes you luck out and a ball will just be sitting there in plain sight. You wonder what the story was. Why couldn't the golfer find his ball?

But to find the most balls, you have to explore more off the beaten path. The first evening, I got too close to the edge of a muddy area, sunk down about a foot into the mud and my sneaker got sucked right off my foot.

The sport has it's dangers which adds an exciting dimension to it, snakes and hornets and a lot of mosquitoes.

The biggest haul I ever made was after I caddied for Benjamin last year. It was the first time I had ever been on the course during actual play. There was a par three that had the tee way up on top of a hill and the green way down below, surrounded by a heavily wooded hillside. I could just imagine all of the balls that got hit into the tree tops around the green and falling down onto the steep wooded hillside.

When we got down to the green, as Benjamin was putting, I was finding a way to get into the heavy brush and woods without sliding down the hill. Once I worked my way through the thickets where mere mortals would never think of going, I discovered golf ball heaven. It was the land that golfers forgot. Balls just laying there for the taking.

I quickly gathered up about 20 balls in the few minutes that Benjamin finished his hole. Since there were other golfers behind us, we decided to come back at sunset.

After dinner, Benjamin and I went on our secret mission to the golf ball gold mine. In all of 15 minutes, we pulled out over a hundred balls. Usually it's a big deal if we get 10 or 20 between all of us.

But it's funny. Finding all of those balls made it kind of boring. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

I feel like I have reached the pinnacle of the sport and I'm ready to retire. Now, maybe I can enjoy the leisurely walks in the evening again without feeling compelled to find a lot of balls. Finding just one ball satisfies me now.

Like many things in life, the joy is in the hunt.

Posted by



About the Author:  Tim Maitski has been a full time Realtor since 1999. He has sold several hundreds of homes in areas around metro Atlanta.  Tim started with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and is now with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.


Along with blogging on ActiveRain, he provides one of the best real estate websites in Atlanta at .


His proprietary  "Maitski Line Reports" chart out the absorption rates over the past 14 years in 37 different market areas.  Know when it's a good time to buy or a good time to sell.    


His online Property Tax Calculator allows you to compare property taxes in many counties and cities around the Atlanta area.  He provides the Atlanta MLS Power Search Tool that allows searches of homes using over 35 specific criteria.


Over the years, Tim has optimized his business so that he now can offer a huge 50% commission rebate to his buyers.  The more experience one gets, the easier the job becomes.


Tim also has a "Five Days to Sold" System that uses an intensive marketing blitz to create a showing frenzy that creates urgency and offers.


Tim is always looking to LinkIn with anyone who is interested in building their social network.


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Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Tim- I loved your post and so many thoughts and memories ran through my head. First of all our dear friend, who just passed away this year would go out every morning and pick up golf balls, He didn't play golf and he never did anything with the golf balls that I knew of but it's what he did. 

Now, promise me this, if you ever come down to Florida and decide to hunt for golf balls please stay away from any body of water. Don't even go near the water's edge. Take the assumptive approach that gators can be in any body of water. 

Jun 19, 2018 05:49 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign


                                       Thank you, Tim.  

Jun 23, 2018 04:32 PM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Golf Guy | Find Your Dream Lifestyle

Tim, this is a great story.  Life is definitely an adventure.

Jun 24, 2018 05:50 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Tim Maitski,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured you post in her "Ah-Ha' moments for the week. You are right the joy is in the hunt!! Great story!!

Jun 24, 2018 06:28 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Tim,
I am a golfer and found your story very entertaining.  I appreciate guys like you because I (a mere mortal) would never go in places where there could be snakes, hornets or thick brush.  Out of curiosity, what do you do with all those balls you find? 

Jun 24, 2018 06:35 AM
Tim Maitski

My in-laws and my son who golf get to lose them again.  If a ball gets hit into the lake, they have a few more balls to try with.

Jun 24, 2018 07:35 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week.....great job!

Jun 24, 2018 07:09 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fun story. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the golf ball hunt. I think that would have been fun also.

Jun 24, 2018 11:32 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's an entertaining story, Tim. I am not a golfer but I can see how one could really get interested in this side sport. So what happens with all those golf balls?

Jun 24, 2018 12:03 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Tim I can so relate. I lived on a golf course and the kids so loved 'hunting' for golf balls.  It was kind of neat as it gave us special time to just walk and talk, be with the kids and consider how the golfers reacted when they lost yet another ball. We overlooked a hole that was quite steep and and we heard a LOT of not happy golfer when they'd realize they're balls were going up only to go back down, way down (kind of like the open last week). Good memories!

Jun 24, 2018 01:23 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I loved this post! It brought back fun memories of a group vacation we took with friends. We were in Bermuda and one night after dinner and drinks we walked the golf course looking for balls. We found quite a few, but the best find of all was the monogrammed ball of another friend who was not with us on that trip. She has a very distinctive design on her golf balls.

The best part about finding that ball was that she was always bragging that she never lost any. One of my friends in particular could not wait to get home and rub it in her face. LOL

Jun 24, 2018 05:36 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I had never heard of this but it sounds logical. Lots of golfers lose lots of balls around golf courses.  And I do agree that the fun is in the hunt!

Jun 28, 2018 11:14 AM