How to Find Golf Balls at Night (Even in the Dark!)

Mark Crossfield
10 Min Read
how to find golf balls at night

Ever wondered how to find golf balls at night?

If you’re an avid golfer, you know the frustration of losing a golf ball in the dark. Those little white spheres can be elusive, and let’s face it, golf balls aren’t cheap.

Good news! You can absolutely find golf balls at night, and the secret weapon is a UV flashlight.

Stick around to learn about golf ball location in darkness, golf ball recovery using UV light, and other techniques for nighttime golf ball search. Trust me, by the end of this article, you’ll be a pro at finding those elusive golf balls, even in the pitch black.

Key Facts:

  1. Finding golf balls at night is easier than during the day.
  2. UV flashlights are essential tools for nighttime golf ball retrieval.
  3. Hot spots for lost golf balls include dogleg holes, water hazards, and rough areas.
  4. Techniques like sweeping and mapping out hot spots can increase your success rate.
  5. Nighttime golf ball hunting can be a fun and rewarding experience.

How to Find Golf Balls at Night: The Essentials

To find golf balls at night, you will need a UV flashlight. UV flashlights emit ultraviolet light, which causes some materials to fluoresce, or glow. Golf balls are made of a material called urethane, which fluoresces brightly under UV light.

How To Find Golf Balls At Night
how to find golf balls at night

Here are some tips for finding golf balls at night:

  • Go to a golf course after dark. This is when you will have the best chance of finding golf balls, as they will be easier to see under UV light.
  • Use a high-quality UV flashlight. A good UV flashlight will have a strong beam and will emit a consistent wavelength of light.
  • Start your search in areas where golf balls are more likely to be lost. This includes doglegs, water hazards, and rough areas.
  • Sweep the UV flashlight back and forth over the ground. Pay attention to any areas where the golf ball is glowing brightly.
  • If you see a golf ball glowing, use a flashlight to confirm that it is a golf ball and not another object.

Why UV Light is Your Best Friend

UV light makes golf balls glow in the dark. It’s as simple as that. The science behind it is that UV light causes golf balls to fluoresce, making them easier to spot. Popular UV flashlight models like the Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt, Nitefinder Pro, and UViMate X5 are designed specifically for this purpose.

How Does UV Light Work?

UV light interacts with the materials in the golf ball, causing them to glow. When UV light hits the golf ball, it excites the atoms in the ball, causing them to emit light that we can see. This is why UV flashlights are so effective for golf ball retrieval.

Tip: Always choose a UV flashlight with a high power output for the best results.

The Benefits of Nighttime Golf Ball Hunting

Nighttime golf ball hunting offers fewer distractions, cooler temperatures, and the thrill of the hunt. Imagine a quiet golf course, just you and your UV flashlight, sweeping across the terrain. It’s not only peaceful but also less competitive compared to daytime.

Yes, using UV light for golf ball retrieval at night is generally legal. However, always check the specific rules of the golf course you’re on. Some courses may have restrictions on UV flashlight usage.

Key Takeaway: Always respect the rules and guidelines of the golf course you’re on.

Choosing the Right UV Flashlight

Factors to Consider

When choosing a UV flashlight, consider its power output, beam width, zoom function, weight, and size. A flashlight with a high power output and wide beam width will cover more ground, making your search more efficient.

See also  How Do Night Golf Balls Work: Guide to Glowing Golf Balls

Price vs. Quality

Balancing cost and quality is crucial. While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that a quality UV flashlight will be more durable and effective in the long run.

Top UV Flashlights for Golf Ball Retrieval

Here’s a quick comparison table of popular UV flashlight models:

ModelPower OutputBeam WidthPrice
Bushnell Tour V3 JoltHighWide$$$
Nitefinder ProMediumMedium$$
UViMate X5LowNarrow$

Tip: Invest in a quality UV flashlight for a more successful and enjoyable golf ball hunting experience.

Identifying Hot Spots

Start your search in areas where golf balls are most likely to be lost. These include dogleg holes, water hazards, and rough areas. Mapping out these hot spots can significantly increase your chances of finding golf balls.

Woods and Trees: A Treasure Trove?

Yes, wooded areas can be a treasure trove for lost golf balls. Golfers often miss their shots, sending balls into the woods. However, be cautious as these areas can be tricky to navigate at night.

Tee Boxes and Fairways

Don’t overlook tee boxes and fairways. While these areas are less likely to have lost balls compared to rough areas, they can still yield some finds.

Key Takeaway: Mapping out hot spots can significantly improve your golf ball retrieval success rate.

Techniques for Effective Searching

Starting in Dark Areas

Begin your search in the darkest areas of the golf course. UV light works best in complete darkness, making these areas ideal for starting your hunt.

The Art of Sweeping

Sweeping involves moving your UV flashlight back and forth across the ground. This technique allows you to cover maximum ground and increases your chances of spotting a glowing golf ball.

What to Do When You Spot a Glowing Ball

Once you spot a glowing ball, approach it carefully to confirm it’s a golf ball. Sometimes, other objects can also glow under UV light.

Additional Tools to Consider

Consider using a regular flashlight or headlamp to supplement your UV flashlight. These can help you navigate the terrain more safely.

Tip: Always carry extra batteries for your flashlights.

FAQs About How to Find Golf Balls in The Dark

Can you find golf balls at night without a UV flashlight?

It’s possible but much more challenging. A UV flashlight significantly improves your chances.

What is the easiest way to find a golf ball?

The easiest way is to use a UV flashlight and focus on hot spots like dogleg holes and rough areas.

How do I find my lost golf balls?

Retrace the line of your shot and use a UV flashlight to sweep the area.


In summary, learning how to find golf balls at night can be a rewarding experience. With the right tools like a UV flashlight and techniques such as sweeping and mapping out hot spots, you can become a master ball hawk. So why not give it a try? The night is dark, and full of golf balls.

By following this guide, you’ll not only save money by retrieving lost golf balls but also enjoy a unique and thrilling experience. So grab your UV flashlight and hit the course. Happy hunting!

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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