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According to the Danish Golf Union, approximately 300 million golf balls are discarded or lost in the U.S. alone each year. Whether you’ve launched your golf ball into the water, lost it in weeds, or simply have no idea where it went, you’re not alone.
We all know how frustrating it can be when you can’t find your golf balls on a course. According to a 2009 study by GOLF Magazine, avid golfers lose 1.3 balls per round.
One solution to this would be golf balls with GPS, so you can track the ball down with the help of technology when your eyes alone can’t do the job.
So, do GPS golf balls exist?
GPS golf balls do exist but they come at a hefty price.
Since these GPS golf balls are so expensive they are rarely used since it’s cheaper to just buy more golf balls than to use them.
Some companies have introduced GPS for golf balls with varying success, while others are still attempting to perfect their technology.
I will go into detail about both of these below.
To see some of the latest and greatest golfing gadgets currently on the market just click here.
OnCore GENiUS Golf Ball
OnCore, known for making metal-core golf balls, announced its plans for the GENiUS Ball during the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. According to OnCore, the GENiUS Ball isn’t simply a golf ball with GPS. It also highlights statistics including velocity, carry distance, spin rate, launch angle, and more.
Therefore, in addition to solving the problem of losing your ball, this ball would also teach you about your gameplay and help you improve it.
Unfortunately, as great as this idea sounds, it has not yet become a reality. OnCore claims it is still working on the idea but that it simply hasn’t come to market yet, but those invested in a trackable golf ball will have to wait and see.
Chiping Smart Golf Balls
Advertised as “the world’s first GPS-tracked golf ball,” Chiping’s smart ball seems almost too good to be true. Chiping’s golf balls with GPS allow you to score better by reducing penalty strokes and search time, allowing you to play faster, and eliminating the need to carry a bag full of spare balls.
According to Chiping, the average golf player loses 4-5 golf balls every round and their smart balls eliminate this.
In addition to actually selling trackable golf balls, the Chiping smart balls also boast a stiff mantle for lower driver spin, a urethane core with advanced technology, and a soft rubber core for increased distance and a better feel.
If all of this sounds great and you’re wondering what the catch is, you clearly haven’t seen the price. A starter pack with six smart balls will run you over $140!
With the top of the line golf balls selling for $50 (or so) for 12 balls you can see why no one is lining up to get these smart balls in droves.
Additionally, while Chiping smart balls fully embrace the idea of GPS for golf balls, they still don’t solve the problem of losing balls in water. These smart balls lose transmission range in water, and even rough terrain and obstacles surrounding the golf ball can affect the transmission of signals.
They’re also not approved for tournaments and aren’t rechargeable. The battery life is supposed to last for a year, after which the golf balls have to be recycled.
Graff Golf Smart Golf Balls
Like the OnCore GENiUS Ball, Graff Golf’s smart golf ball boasts tracking ability and unique shot data. The campaign to develop this smart golf ball was launched on a crowdfunding platform called Indiegogo and reached its goal in April 2020.
Since then, the team has been providing updates about its progress prototyping the product but as of now it has not yet been released.
Prazza Golf Ball Finder
The Prazza Golf Ball Finder is a hand-held tracker which is the same size as a smartphone. It comes with a Quick Start Guide, USB cable, and two micro-chipped Prazza golf balls. This device uses radio frequency identification to locate the balls from up to 100 meters away and guides you in the right direction when you lose your golf balls.
It also makes noise or vibrates when on mute as you get closer to the missing golf ball.
According to Prazza, it is accurate to within 2 ft of the golf ball, and the microchip battery is said to last for at least 120 18-hole rounds. Like the other options we have mentioned, Prazza claims that its golf ball finder will help eliminate penalty strokes and save money in the long run.
However, the tracker and two balls alone cost an astounding $450+ and a sleeve of three balls is an additional $55. So again, the tracker handset’s upfront investment is pretty high.
While users can find a few reviews on their Amazon listing, the product is currently unavailable and their website is under construction, making this another trackable golf ball that one cannot get their hands on.
How to Find a Lost Golf Ball
Unless you’re willing to shell out a lot of money for the few golf balls with GPS that exist or wait for new options to launch, you will likely need another method for finding lost golf balls.
Fortunately, in the absence of golf balls with GPS, we’ve got you covered and have outlined a few ways you can prevent losing your golf ball or find it easily if you do lose it.
Use High-Visibility Golf Balls
GPS isn’t the only way to locate missing golf balls. Use high-visibility golf balls so that you spend less time looking for your balls and more time playing. They’re available in several colors, including bright neons.
This makes it easier for you to spot your ball, whether it’s in the air or on the ground.
Wear Golf Sunglasses
Wear high-quality sunglasses specifically made for golfing so you can keep an eye on your golf ball at all times. Make sure they’re polarized since they will stop the light glare from hitting you directly in the eye, and you’ll be less likely to lose track of your ball as it flies through the course.
Golf Ball Tracker Apps
There are many golf ball tracker apps available for both iOS and Android that track ball flight in an attempt to make it easier to locate golf balls. Shot Tracer is one of the most popular ball flight trackers out there.
Other apps like Golf Ball Finder use blue filters to darken the background and make your golf ball stand out.
Whether you play golf occasionally or you’re an avid player, losing golf balls is part of the game. It can be frustrating, which is why there’s so much interest around GPS for golf balls and why so many people are looking into trackable golf balls.
Alas, apart from a few notable exceptions like Chiping Smart Balls, GPS golf balls are not widely available yet. Most people still rely on other technology such as consumer apps and high-visibility golf balls.