It’s driving them mad…

To the uninitiated, they are rocks compared to normal golf balls.

We are talking about range balls – thousands of them are placed on tees on driving ranges around the country every day by club and social golfers aiming to improve their technique.

They are good for practice, but no golfer worth his or her salt would want to play a round with them.

Which is why Te Awamutu Golf Club manager Mary Wano is flummoxed.

Mary Wano

She estimates since the country emerged from Covid something in the region of 5000 range balls have been taken out of bounds by thieves.

When no eagle eyed staff are on course, the burglars swoop and make off with every ball they can find.

And par for the course, when thieves strike, good people lose out.

Wano has closed the driving range – which is usually open to the public – while a solution for the problem is sorted.

She says it will have to reopen because it’s such a popular community asset – but having to order bucket loads of balls on a regular basis to make up for the stolen ones is a gross inconvenience.

Collections at the end of the range were being made three mornings a week – it’s likely the collection numbers will increase and be later in the day when the range opens again.

But seriously – at  $8 for a bucket of 35-40 balls to practice with in your own time, you would go a fairway to get better value for money.

It makes you wonder – who is the mystery handicapper?

Course manager Clint Sinclair can’t understand why people would want to steal driving range balls.

 

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