Are Golf Balls Recyclable? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

Over the years, golf has progressed from being a local game to an international and popular one. From America to Zimbabwe, every region in the world now sets up golf tournaments. The reason is probably that apart from the fun that comes with the sport, it has a lot of physical and emotional benefits associated with playing it.

For this game, the basic object used is the golf ball. Often, you find these objects in large quantities in every golf pitch you visit. But then, since these golf balls don’t last forever, what happens to them after they might have served their time remains a concern to many.

This is why this post has decided to take a leap forward and consider some of these environmental concerns raised with regards to golf balls. As a result, this post addresses your curiosity on what effects the golf balls might have on the environment we all live in and many other related questions.

We know you are already boiling with eagerness to know what might be the effects of golf balls on the environment. Well, we are also ready to satisfy your curiosity. So, if you are ready, fasten your seat belt and follow us closely. Enjoy!

Can You Recycle Golf Balls?

Whether you can recycle golf balls or not remains a top question about old golf balls. For some time, several efforts have been geared towards greening these old balls and making new objects out of them- thanks to science and technology.

With tremendous improvement and advancement in these fields, several means and ways have been devised to ensure the recycling of old golf balls. But then, there is still an unclear line about how to go about the recycling of golf balls.

How do you go about recycling these objects? First and foremost, golf balls are made of two major and distinct parts. These parts are the cover and the core. While the cover is made of a rubber material known as Balatan, the core is particularly made of liquid or rubber. The core makes up most parts of the ball. For local golf balls, they are uniquely made of plastic.

The thing is that these golf balls do not have the strength and potential to go through the recycling process. Several attempts have proven this to be true. This is why many organizations, local recycling outlets, and curbside recycling programs do not collect old and used golf balls or any other type of sporting objects for recycling.

Having known that these balls are majorly made of plastics and rubbers, you will agree with us that they are not recyclable since they are not metal. They lack malleability, a basic feature that makes metals recyclable.

As evident in the above paragraphs, taking your old and used golf balls to the nearest recycling center is a waste of time and resources. However, research has shown that some recycling centers can help in refurbishing and refinishing them.

Are Golf Balls Biodegradable?

Whether golf balls can easily decompose or not is another germane question to provide an answer to in this post. Golf balls are non-biodegradable objects; they cannot quickly decompose or decay. This is primarily due to the materials from which these objects are made.

From the previous paragraphs, you have learned that they are made of rubber and liquids as well as plastics. Rubber and plastics are known to be non-biodegradable components because they cannot easily break down into smaller pieces in the soil.

The special type of plastics from which golf balls are made is referred to as polyurethane. Polyurethane is a highly resistant resin and synthetic/artificial rubber polymer. It is the same type of plastic that is found in disposable and single-use plastic products. It is also the same type of plastic that is found floating on the oceans and other water bodies, thereby poisoning the eco-system and causing harm to the lives of myriads of sea creatures.

Due to this element: polyurethane, present in the plastic and rubber used in the making of these balls, they naturally cannot degrade but can be cut or broken into smaller pieces of plastics which can risk the safety of our environment and the natural world.

While hitting a golf ball can be a lot of fun, you should bear in mind that this action can be detrimental to your immediate surroundings. To combat the menace caused by these balls, companies have devised new means of manufacturing biodegradable golf balls. This attempt is geared towards providing individuals and golfers with more fun, reducing plastic pollution, and limiting its effects on the environment and resources.

Are Old Golf Balls Worth Anything?

Golf balls have a long and fascinating history, and like other areas, there are several community collectors of the white balls. You find many persons trying to collect old and used golf balls together in large quantities, and you begin to wonder what they are worth. Due to their versatility and the numerous things for which they can be used, there is a huge demand for them. You can make your fortune from getting a pile of them for sale.

How much an old golf ball costs largely depends on its type. There are several types of golf balls grouped according to their manufacturers. There are feathery golf balls, gutty golf balls, autographed golf balls, logo golf balls, Haskell golf balls, and several other types. You can access the various types of golf balls online.

You should also know that the value of old golf balls is determined by those willing to pay for them. Sometimes, these balls are worth as much as $5. This is not always the case, as prices are expected to rise and fall. One other factor that influences the worth of golf balls is the size and quantity. Golf balls collected in large quantities are expected to be more valuable than those collected in small quantities.

If you are interested in collecting these used balls, we advise that you begin by focusing on the type of golf ball that interests you and the one whose process of finding you enjoy.

Can You Donate Golf Balls?

Do you have a set of old and used golf balls packed in one corner of your house, and you do not know what to do with them? You can easily donate them to individuals, institutions, and organizations that make use of them rather than risk the harm and dangers caused by these objects to resources and the environment in general.

Many individuals might not do this because they see it as a free gift, but this is not always the case. By donating them, you are converting your unwanted and old golf balls into cash. There are many organizations, companies, and programs set up for this purpose. One of such programs is the First Tee’s Donation program. You can freely donate your used golf balls to them and get a reward in return.

Apart from these programs, several companies are involved in the process of refurbishing and refinishing old golf balls. You can choose to donate yours to them. They use these old white balls to make other useful items that can be used for craft projects. This is a healthy way to get rid of these balls.

Used and old golf balls can as well be donated to family and friends to make their festive seasons and ceremonies memorable. They can make their picnics and events more colorful by crafting some projects out of them. Take, for instance, during Christmas; old golf balls can be used in decorating and adorning the home. You need little application of paints to make them colorful and bright.

You can choose to donate them to religious institutions as well. They can use them to decorate their house of worship. This will make the place look more attractive and appealing. However, donating to families, friends, and religious institutions might not attract any monetary reward.

What Can You Do With Old Golf Balls?

Aside from getting them recycled, there are several craft projects that you can choose to do with your old golf balls. Some of these craft projects are examined and explained in the paragraphs below.

1. Christmas Ornaments

You can make Christmas wonders with your old golf balls. They offer the perfect weight and size for some decorations to hang on the tree. You can easily get three or more balls glued together to make a snowman. You can as well decorate the face of Santa and other characters by simply using a ball. The process is quite simple.

2. Garden Critters

This is another project you can choose to do yourself by using used golf balls at your disposal. You can transform the objects into small animals such as spiders, insects, and frogs. With some paints and tinny wires, you can make attractive decorations for your garden and flowerbeds.

3. Vase Filler

Rather than use seashells, peas, pinecones, colored gems, and other objects to fill your vases, why don’t you think about using your old golf balls. By using a mixture of white and colored golf balls, you will be creating a fascinating vase filler.

4. Table Cloth Weight

You are all prepared for the event, but the wind keeps blowing the table cloth away. The best thing to do is to make use of your old golf balls to prevent the wind from blowing them away. The weight of these balls will prevent that.

5. Massage

Due to their weight and size, golf balls are quite suitable for massage. These balls have been proven to work great wonders on the arches of the feet. Tensions in the body and the feet can as well be relieved by simply rubbing these balls over the affected areas.

6. Tool For Tenderizing Meat

You can use your old golf balls for this purpose as well. What happens when you do not have a handy kitchen mallet that you can use in pounding your steak? You can easily improvise one by making use of your old white balls.

All that is required of you is to take your golf ball, roll it over the steak and apply some pressure. However, make sure that the golf ball you want to use for this purpose is neat and clean enough since you are dealing with an edible substance.


Like every other sports object, a golf ball has myriads of uses even when they are old and out of use. Since they cannot be recycled, the best option is to improvise ways of using them to prevent them from causing harm to the environment. You can as well choose to get them donated to individuals and organizations for which you will be rewarded.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.