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Golf ball diver Ever played a round of golf and wondered what happened to that golf ball you just drove straight into the lake? Well, with an estimated 300 million golf balls ending up in the water in American golf courses alone, golf ball divers are onto a good thing. Golf ball divers search the water traps for the little white treasures they then clean and sell – a great way to take their diving certification and skill for treasure hunting and turn it into serious amounts of cash. So you love diving? Sure, you could become a dive leader and take groups around coral reefs and shipwrecks. Or you could become a dive teacher and teach newbies how to dive in resort pools in tropical places. Or … you could get into the world of golf ball retrieval and spend your days diving into murky water traps to retrieve all of those balls that didn’t quite make it into the hole. Working at courses all over the world, golf ball divers reap the rewards of doing the dirty work. Apart from having all the necessary dive certifications and correct gear, golf ball divers need a few more specific skills before being let loose in a golf course water trap. Being able to dive in the dark is necessary, as the water in the ponds and water traps at golf courses isn’t exactly clear (and many golf courses insist golf ball retrieval happens after hours). Having the physical capability to handle a big, heavy bag full of golf balls is also necessary, as is the ability to do the work without damaging the green. With most golf ball divers being independent contractors, this is a career that offers the freedom and flexibility to work whenever and wherever you want. You also get to work alone in the outdoors, which is a real bonus if you have an aversion to the following things: office politics, fluorescent light, mind-numbingly long meetings, water cooler conversations, passive aggressive post-it notes about

unclean kitchens, ‘team building’ days, and Friday night drinks with people you secretly hate. But this job isn’t a breeze. There are serious hazards with golf ball divers encountering everything from alligators to snapping turtles. Low water temperatures are also a concern, but nothing that a good wetsuit can’t counteract. But alligators? Turtles that bite? Huh? Why would anyone do this? Well, this is quite a lucrative industry with good divers able to make six-figure amounts in one year of diving. Once they’ve set up the operation and have all the equipment needed to dive, transport, store and clean the balls for resale, golf ball divers also need the connections to market and sell the balls. Good operators have this all down pat and they are the ones that make the biggest amounts of cash. Sure, it’s a bit of a strange business to get involved in, but if you’re unafraid of water, the dark, alligators, turtles and the prospect of drowning, then golf ball diving could be a fast track to a six-figure salary without having to study or climb the corporate ladder. Now that’s a real hole in one.

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: No educational requirements but diving/open water certification is usually required. Experience required: Experience in commercial diving necessary, especially diving in places with poor visibility. Training: Extensive dive training is essential. Restrictions: None.

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I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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