Let us paint the picture for you. You’re enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course. You hit your tee shot into a creek and are now trying to find it. Yes, you’d like to save the stroke, but it’d also be nice to find the golf ball. Let’s be honest, golf balls aren’t cheap and you’ve lost a couple of them today. That’s when you see it - it’s resting on the other side of the creek, but there’s no way you can reach it. Sadly, that’s another lost ball!
Not so fast. You reach into your bag and pull out your golf ball retriever. Extend the shaft a little and easily scoop up the ball. Depending on the type of golf ball you play, you might have just saved $5. How many other pieces of golf equipment pay for themselves in a few rounds? Think of it as golf ball insurance. We hope you don’t need it, but you’ll be happy you have it when your shot’s curving towards trouble.
Are you worried your golf buddies will tease you about having a golf ball retriever? Sure, they might make a couple of comments, but before you know it, they’ll be asking to borrow it every time they hit a wild shot. You need to add a golf ball retriever to your golf bag today. We can help - below we highlight 5 of the best golf ball retrievers.
5 Best Golf Ball Retrievers
1. IGotcha Jawz Golf Ball Retriever
The first product to make our list is the IGotcha Jawz golf ball retriever. We like the fact that IGotcha is a golf company almost entirely focused on building high-quality golf ball retrievers. It isn’t simply an add-on product for them.
This product is for the golfer that’s serious about never leaving a golf ball behind. They want to find their golf ball and the golf balls of other players on the course.
- Co-molded rubberized surface to grip and hold the ball - the “Jawz”
- Ultra-compact - doesn’t take up much space in your golf bag
- A patented stainless steel shaft and a 1-year limited warranty
- Available in 3 different lengths (10’, 14’, 18’) they all collapse down to 21” or fewer
- The “Jawz” grip mechanism is unique and works well - easy to snag a ball from almost any location
- We love that the head is a single-piece design with no moving parts - the simpler mechanism is less likely to break than others on our list
- Very low weight - the largest option (18” reach) only weighs 19 oz.
- This is a premium product and is one of the most expensive golf ball retrievers on our list
2. Callaway “15th Club” Golf Ball Retriever
If you’re an avid golfer, you‘re aware of the Callaway brand. They’re famous for their clubs, balls, and apparel. You might not know that they also offer one of the best golf ball retrievers. We appreciate the time and thought Callaway put into this product.
This golf ball retriever is for the golfer that wants to keep it on the “down low” that they’re carrying a golf ball retriever. Keep it secret from your playing partners until you need to use it. Callaway provides a headcover that makes it looks like a golf club sitting in your bag.
- Telescoping Design: Constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy to reduce bending, the Callaway golf ball retriever is 45 inches in length when retracted and extends up to 15 feet
- The head is a simple, stainless steal mechanism that is designed to snag the ball from any location
- Included Head Cover: golf ball retriever comes with a dual-zip headcover - when covered it looks just like another club in your bag
- Available in two different sizes (6’, 15’)
- Callaway is a well-known and trusted golf brand
- We love the head cover idea - when in your bag, this simply looks like another club - perfect if you’re worried about the “golf ball retriever” stigma
- This golf ball retriever looks great - looks like something a PGA tour professional would use (if they actually used a golf ball retriever)
- A nice product, but the price is a little steep compared to other options on our list
- As a company, this isn’t a product that Callaway “invests” in - their “bread and butter” is other golf sectors (clubs, balls, etc.)
3. Prowithlin Golf Retriever
Next up is the Prowighlin Golf Ball Retriever. This may not be a brand you’ve heard of, but they make a product you should consider. The locking scoop head works well when you’re trying to snag a golf ball from the water.
This golf ball retriever is for the golfer that would like to save a little money but still wants to grab those balls that are just out of reach.
- An automatic locking device on the ball retriever tool (head) can prevent the golf ball from falling when retrieved
- Telescopic shaft made from high-quality stainless steel
- Made of new ABS material, the handle of this golf ball retriever is comfortable and non-slip, and won’t cause hand discomfort even if used for a long time
- The Prowighlin golf retriever is available in two lengths (12’, 15’)
- The head design (auto-lock scoop) will secure the golf ball once you snag it - it’ll take some practice to do it from a distance
- When retracted, is only 2’ long - can easily be stored in your golf bag
- The price of this product is fair - you’ll save a few bucks compared to the premium products on our list
- The auto-lock scoop is made of plastic - may not last as long as products on our list with a metal/steel head
- When full extended (15’) the shaft gets a little weak/bends - can be challenging to scoop that ball from this distance
4. Brand Fusion The Golfers Club Pocket Ball Retriever
The Pocket Golf Ball Retriever by Brand Fusion is shorter than other products on our list so far. Fully extended, this golf ball retriever is 6.5 feet in length.
This product is perfect for the player that wants to snag the golf balls that are slightly out of reach but isn’t interested in trying to fish balls out of deep water.
- Telescopic designed shaft can extend to 6 ½ feet, but when retracted is small enough to fit in the pocket of your golf bag
- The perfect combination of lightweight and sturdy
- The head/pickup is designed to work well in water and/or high grass
- Very compact and lightweight - easy to store when you don’t need it
- Great price - very economical
- One of the best golf ball retrievers in water, assuming the water isn’t too deep
- The length will force you to leave some golf balls that you could reach with other golf ball retrievers
5. JP Lann Golf Ball Retriever
JP Lann offers a golf ball retriever designed with a hinged auto-lock scoop on the end. It has a telescoping and locking shaft that allows you to adjust the length on the fly.
This golf retriever is best for a golfer that doesn’t want to pay a premium price, but still expects high-level performance from their golf equipment.
- Adjustable Telescoping Shaft w/ Locking Mechanism that’s 42” when fully retracted
- A comfortable rubber grip for easy use
- Flip Hinged Ball Cup for Easy Retrieval - auto-lock cup means the golf ball will stay in it once you scoop it
- Plenty of options - this golf ball retriever is available in several different lengths (9’, 12’, 15’, 18’)
- Mid-range price for a high-quality product
- The flip hinge auto-lock cup head design is classic and has been used on golf ball retrievers for decades
- Locking the shaft once you telescope it to the length you need it a nice feature - makes this product easier to control when your stretching to scoop the ball
- 42” when retracted is longer than some of the more compact products on our list
- The hinged auto-lock cup head design will take some practice to snag golf balls in tricky locations
How To Choose The Best Golf Ball Retriever
Here are the factors you need to consider when shopping for your golf ball retriever.
Ease Of Use
It needs to be easy to use. Focus on the mechanism at the end of the golf ball retriever that’s designed to pick up the ball. This is the critical component and there are several different types available on the market.
When using your golf ball retriever, you’ll be far from the ball and using a long shaft. It must be very easy to grab that ball from the water, deep grass, or between trees/sticks. It can be very frustrating to be able to reach the ball, but unable to secure it.
How far do you want to be able to reach? The longer the better, but adding length does make the golf ball retriever harder to use. It’s easier to snag a ball that’s 5 feet away versus one that’s 20 feet.
Quality of Materials (Strength of Shaft)
Like most golf equipment you can find cheaper golf ball retrievers, but if they aren't made with quality materials they won’t last very long. Pay close attention to the shaft. It needs to be strong enough to lift the ball through water and/or debris. If it bends or breaks you’ll be forced to buy a new one.
This is a big one. You want the golf ball retriever to easily fit in your golf bag. In fact, you want to forget you have it until you need it. Pay close attention to how small it is when not in use. Will it bang around with your clubs? Will it irritate you when you’re trying to pull a club from your bag? You want your golf ball retriever to say out of sight and out of mind until you need it.
Your golf budget is always an important factor when buying new equipment. It’s important to look for the best deal. The money you save on your golf ball retriever can be used on greens fees or more golf balls (to replace the ones you can’t save)! Quality is important, but don’t overspend.
Golf Ball Retrievers: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a golf ball retriever?
Yes, if you like to save some money. A golf ball retriever will allow you to reach “like new” golf balls that you’d have to leave behind without one. Each ball you find is like finding a 5-dollar bill.
Does a golf ball retriever count as a golf club?
No, it doesn’t. You’re legally allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs during a round of golf, but a golf ball retriever doesn’t count as one of them. You can add it to your bag without removing a club.
What is a good length for a golf ball retriever?
Golf ball retrievers are available in lengths from 6’ all the way up to 21’. The longer ones can be harder to handle and store. 15’ is the perfect length for a golf ball retriever.
Get Over The Stigma & Start Saving Golf Balls Today
Far too many golfers refuse to use a golf ball retriever because of the stigma. The idea is that if you use one, you’re a “hacker” or high-handicapper. We’d like to bust this myth. From our perspective, using a golf ball retriever simply makes fiscal sense. Especially, if you play premium golf balls.
For example, each Titleist Pro V1 costs ~$5. Would you leave a 5 dollar bill sitting on the ground because you were worried you wouldn’t look cool? A golf ball retriever is a great golf investment. Even if you decide to purchase a premium product, it’ll pay for itself once you’ve saved 10 golf balls. Pretty simple math.
Save your golf balls, save some money, and enjoy your afternoons on the course!