Have you ever wondered how all those thousands of golf balls that get hit out onto the range every day magically reappear the next day only to be hit out again. Well, in the old days getting the balls from the field was no small task.
As a youngster growing up in Toronto working at my Dads’ range, I used to practice the old Tom “paint the fence” Sawyer approach. I would tell all my friends how much fun and adventure it was and that if we worked really hard and really fast we could make a ton of money. The going rate back then was about $1.00 per day, not enough to buy a new bike but more than enough to get you into a Saturday matinee show and enjoy a feast of pop and popcorn. Fortunately I was always able to recruit 2 or 3 friends who wanted to help and given the fact we didn’t enjoy the luxury of a tractor and/or mechanical ball picker, we would trudge out onto the field with our trusty football helmets on and pick golf balls. Using the golf ball pickers basic rule of thumb, “keep your backside to the tee line” my friends and I for the most part were able to dodge the errant golf balls. Oh, those were the days! Did I mention how we used to walk five miles to school one way in blowing snow storms and still come home for lunch. Anyways…..
Today, ball picking machines have taken the fun, excitement and danger out of the task. However, the benefits have been considerable. Systems today are efficient, cost effective and durable. Pushed or pulled around by a tractor or golf cart, mechanical ball pickers consisting of a series of discs, can collect 5000 balls in less than twenty minutes. A contrast to the more manual method (bending down and placing the balls in a basket) it would have taken three people 2.5 hours for a total of 7-1/2 man hours to pick up an equivalent number of balls. Consisting of a series of discs, the unique composite disc gently lifts each ball into a basket as it rolls over the golf ball. From this point, the balls are removed from the picker and moved to the back shop for washing and eventually relocated to the smart card ball dispensers only to begin the cycle again.
The Oasis Greens Golf Centre is the ONLY facility that is fully automated once the balls are picked up and removed from the field. We utilize a high speed washer that can clean golf balls at the rate of 45,000 balls per hour which are then moved through our ball management system to our dispensers at the rate of 60,000 balls per hour. This ensures the balls used by our customers are thoroughly clean with zero debris such as mud, ice, snow, etc . The fact that the Oasis Greens Golf Centre has a 425,000 sq.ft. artificial turf landing field (Largest in North America) with a 1-1/2″ poly fibre height definitely helps the cosmetics and durability of our range balls.
We utilize only premier hitting mats and range balls for our customers and coupled with our superior landing field dotted with target greens, sand traps and water hazards, we believe we have created the “Best” golf Practice facility in the City of Calgary.
Tip: If you ever see an employee at a golf range with a considerable number of bumps on their head you will automatically know two things: (1) the tractor is broken and (2) the range ran out of helmets.