It’s a pretty simple, but very ingenious idea that Glenn Berger started doing 14 years ago: Berger will travel to golf courses all around Florida, dive into the course’s various water hazards, retrieve all the golf balls, then sell them for a $1 a piece. Golf balls become relatively ineffective after 24 hours underwater, but there are plenty of driving ranges still willing to buy them from him.
The math is, admittedly, a little fishy. $15 million — or “between 1.3 and 1.7 million golf balls per year” as Berger says — means he’d have to fish seven days a week and catch somewhere north of 3,900 golf balls a day.
But these types of contracts don’t generally work on a per-day basis. Guys like Berger will partner with courses to fish its various ponds once or twice a year.
So, with that in mind, the average golf course hosts about 30,000 18-hole rounds every year, and let’s make a very conservative estimate an average golfer will lose 1.5 balls to a water hazard every 18 holes. That would mean Berger would need exclusive rights once-a-year to retrieve all the golf balls from about 34 different course’s water hazards. If he does that, he’d hit his…