NYTimes: For most golfers, every shank, hook and slice is agony. But for the people who scavenge the ponds and rough edges of golf courses, the little white balls that land out of play are as good as cash.
On Thursday night, one of those men was found dead in the woods near the course, stabbed 16 times, according to the police. His shirtless body was discovered at around 7 p.m. by a jogger who was running on a nearby trail. As of Friday afternoon, the police were still searching for his partner.
I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, if I’m golfing and I see somebody steal my ball, I’m not necessarily going to stab the man 16 times, but once, maybe twice. Golf ball stealers are the scum of the earth. Somewhere below people who take the last of the water in the Brita pitcher and put it back int eh fridge without refilling it, but somewhere above people that walk really slow and take up the whole sidewalk so you can’t pass. Golf balls are expensive, folks. Scavenging golf balls is one thing, but there isn’t any proof that this guy wasn’t stealing golf balls either.
Scuba Diving magazine reported that scavenging was a multimillion-dollar industry with hardworking divers making $50,000 to $100,000 a year. While new golf balls can cost $3 to $5 on average, a scavenger will resell balls for a fraction of that price, often for less than a dollar.
What? $50,000 to $100,000? I’m beginning to think that it wasn’t a golfer who caught this guy red-handed stealing his golf ball. I’m beginning to think that it was a rival golf ball scavenger that did him in. It was a golf ball scavenger turf war! For that much money, I could easily see him being stabbed. They mentioned in the article that he was only known around the course as “Cuba”. Nobody knew anything else about him. Dude could have been a vagrant or a drifter with no family, and nobody knew his last name. It’s likely that you could get away with a crime like that.