Golf Balls in luggage

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  • fraser

    I always travel with just hand luggage and usually slip a few golf balls in for a game on arrival. Last month I flew out of Cape Town no problem; but flying out of Jo’burg they confiscated my four golf balls as a security risk!

    Not sure whether this was a scam but anyone else had this problem? It happened to me before in Turkey.


    I have heard of this before, I think it is because they may contain a fluid/gel which is caustic. If you cut one open, inside the hard cover there is a layer of strips of rubber, and inside that there is a sac of an unpleasant smelling brownish goo.

    I am not sure if modern golf balls are made the same way, but when I was a child, a friend and I cut one up and got the stuff onto a very expensive carpet, ruining it as a result.

    Security at South African airports is quite inconsistent, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.


    On an aircraft what could one use to cut open the golf ball ?
    For sure the plastic knife in Economy won’t do the job nor would the blunt table knife in J.
    Seems rather ridiculous and I suspect a scam.


    My standard nail-cutter was confiscated several times at different airports!


    Morning Fraser, this might sound like a daft question, but what type of golf balls where they?
    You’re possibly looking at security officers who are clued up on the value of certain types of balls


    This is theft, plain and simple.

    Tom Otley

    Here are a few previous threads on similar problems

    Is Chicken Jalfrezi a liquid?

    Security and liquids


    They are allowed by TSA in US, which is a good guide.

    When I saw reference to Johannesburg it all became obvious.


    My son has never had a problem, whether they were checked-in in his gold bag or carried in his hand luggage.
    Close to Christmas it’s amazing what can suddenly be confiscated. If the gold balls were a good brand such as Taylormade and new, they would fetch about R. 30 each. Bear in mind these guys probably earn around R.250 a day that would be a half day’s wage for him!


    f the gold balls were a good brand such as Taylormade and new, they would fetch about R. 30 each. Bear in mind these guys probably earn around R.250 a day that would be a half day’s wage for him!

    LP, you’ve been a victim of spell checker, unless of course you’re sons a famous ex English footballer — But you’re right, golf balls can be worth their weight in gold !!

    One of my pub pals used to be a top caddy on the tour before he passed away a couple of years ago.
    He donated a box of Pro V1:s that he had sourced from the tour, to the bowling club raffle, which I luckily went onto win.
    They’re still in pristine condition in their box.
    Once I found out how much they were worth (near on a £10 a ball) , my logic was simple. Unless I can find a golf course that has no tree’s, lakes , out of bounds , long grass, gorse , railway tracks, or even oceans of sea that have previously gobbled up my wayward drives or erratic approach shots the safest place for them is in their box!
    And that’s were they’ll stay until I find such a course or magically turn myself into Rory McIlroy –Oh wait a minute !!

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    I suppose you could say the confiscation of the golf balls was “par for the course” !!


    A golf ball could be considered a fairly damaging projectile.


    simeoncox – at the end of a club in my hands, very dangerous!


    I once had childs safety scissors confiscated at Changi Singapore. The zip on the bag was sharper

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