Of all the get-rich-quick schemes this has to be one of the most ingenious — and potentially dangerous.

Glenn Berger says he was an out-of-work thief 14 years ago when the idea struck him to start diving for golf balls at the bottom of lakes and selling them back to clubs for use on their driving ranges.

At a minimum of a $1 a ball — some are worth double that — Berger calculated he could make a pretty good living.

But more than a decade on he claims he's now fishing out anywhere between 1.3 to 1.7 million balls a year across the golf course-rich state of Florida and has pocketed a tidy $15 million since beginning his career.

“I was partially unemployed and I was stealing golf balls out of a golf course lake where I lived and I realised that wasn't the way to make money ... this business just blew up,” Berger says.

Of course there are risks in a profession like this. Berger has encountered tables, golf carts, lawnmowers, snakes and his most feared work hazard — alligators — over the years.

Read more at FoxSports.com.au