Did you know that a Florida man claims that he made $15 million retrieving golf balls?
Add THAT to your list of Florida Man memes!
All jokes aside, you’re probably here because:
- You play golf.
- You keep losing those errant golf balls.
If these sound like you, you’ve come to the right place! Never lose a golf ball again with the best golf ball retrievers.
The 7 Best Golf Ball Retriever Picks for Your Next Playing Session
Callaway Golf Ball Retriever – 15th Club: Best Overall
- Comes in two different lengths: 15 feet and 6 feet
- Easy to grip ergonomic handle
- Durable aluminum shaft
- Stainless steel scoop that secures well
- Has a dual zip head cover, just like your golf clubs
The ball retriever from Callaway is as good as the rest of their excellent quality golf gear. It’s as sturdy as Callaway golf clubs… And you already know how durable those are.
Sturdy Is One Thing, but How’s Actually Using It?
Using the Callaway golf ball retriever was so easy and required little physical heavy lifting. Here are a few things we LOVE about the Callaway:
- It has a head cover that blends with your golf clubs – so no one will know it’s a retriever ’till you’ve stretched it out!
- If you choose the 6-foot version, it’s discreet and portable enough to fit in your golf bag’s side pocket when collapsed.
- The stainless steel retriever mechanism latches on to your golf ball, and all you’ll need to do is to pull the shaft out from the pond or lake – and there you go! Ball retrieved.
Sure, the Callaway retriever might be more expensive than others on this list, but it’s well worth it! Its quality construction and sleek design make it one of the best golf ball retrievers today.
Is Callaway Golf Ball Retriever for You?
If you’re iffy about spending some money on the Callaway, consider this: it’s the only professional golf specialty brand that actually makes a golf ball retriever. So they understand a golfer’s needs.
This high-end ball retriever is well worth the price you save in lost balls, so save yourself the trouble and grab one of these for yourself.
- Ergonomic grip helps keep your hands on the retriever
- The added ball security is effective
- The aluminum material is durable and doesn’t bend
- Shorter than other golf ball retrievers
IGotcha Executive Golf Ball Retriever: Best Value
- Telescoping stainless steel shaft
- Reaches a maximum length of 10 feet
- Collapses to 15.5 inches
- Uses a patented spring-release ball catch
With this retriever, you’ll reach golf balls faster than you can say, “gotcha!”
If you’re tried an aluminum shaft ball retriever before and HATED how it bent in the water, give the IGotcha a shot!
Unlike other golf ball retrievers, the I Gotcha uses stainless steel for its shaft, which makes it withstand water current and strong winds.
Get your ball easily with its patented spring-release ready head that catches your ball with a spring-trapping action.
Unlike other retrievers with a scoop-and-lock mechanism, the IGotcha springs into action instead. It lays flat while you’re searching for your ball, and latches to your ball once the head’s found it.
It’s also compact enough to fit inside your golf bag’s side pocket, so you can carry all your other important clubs where you need them.
If you don’t like lugging around heavy golf bags though, just watch out. Since the IGotcha uses stainless steel for its construction, it’s heavier than those that use aluminum.
Is IGotcha Golf Ball Retriever For You?
The IGotcha’s unique locking mechanism, pure stainless steel construction, and compact design make it one of the best golf retrievers in the market today.
- Reliable spring-release locking mechanism
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Heavier than the competition
ProActive Sports Hinged Cup Retractable Golf Ball Retriever: Best Budget
- Hinged cup design for ball security
- Extra long, 18-foot shaft
Did your golf ball sink into deep, murky waters? Don’t want to dive in and find it yourself?
Other retrievers have short shafts that can make it hard to collect your ball. Not with the ProActive! It’s one of the longest ball retrievers in the market, perfect for natural lakes!
The ProActive ball retriever extends to a whopping 18 feet with the longest model! You can reach balls deeper in the water and stay dry in the process.
Is your golf ball falling into a deep rough instead? The ProActive is long enough for that, too!
And if you want to keep it discreet, you can collapse it to 47 inches. That’s just a bit longer than a regular driver, so it can fit your golf bag without anyone noticing.
The ProActive is also lightweight, so you don’t have to strain your arms while pulling and pushing the retriever through the water.
But What About Retrieval?
If you have a rubber allergy, or if your skin gets easily irritated, consider another golf ball retriever.
But besides our problems with the uncomfortable grip of the ProActive, picking up balls is a breeze!
- The durable telescoping pole is easy to maneuver, so neither water nor wind can get in between you and your ball.
- The hinged cup keeps your golf ball secure and in place while you’re pulling the pole towards you.
- The twist lock keeps your extended pole in position so your shaft doesn’t bend or break at the joints.
Is ProActive Hinged Cup Ball Retriever for You?
If you don’t want to spend too much on a retriever but still need reliability the ProActive is your best bet. It’s as good as all the pricier options!
- Simple and easy to use
- The hinged cup design secures the ball tightly
- Great value
- The rubber handle feels uncomfortable
JP Lann Golf Ball Retriever
- The telescoping shaft reaches a max distance of 18 feet
- Uses a durable black anodized aluminum material
- With EZ-View Orange Pressure Head
Did your golf ball sink in an unusually deep pond? You’ll need a LONGER ball retriever for that!
The problem with most ball retrievers is, they don’t extend longer than 2 feet. If your golf ball’s too deep for regular golf ball retrievers but shallow enough that you don’t need to dive, what can you do?
Enter the JP Lann, which can extend to a whopping 18 feet! That should cover even an usually deep pond – and you can stay dry in the process.
As a golf ball retriever, the JP Lann is as simple as it goes. It uses a basket-shaped retriever that locks the ball in place, though you CAN drop your balls if you flip it completely upside down.
Still Not Convinced? Check These Out
- The comfort grip rubber handle is the softest and most ergonomic of the ones we’ve tried;
- The orange pressure fit head is visible even in deeper, murky waters when fully extended;
- The anodized aluminum is rust-resistant and scratch-resistant, so it always looks brand new!
We only wish that this retriever had a shorter retracted size. At 40″, it’s obvious to anyone that there’s no way your ball retriever is a club.
Plus, it will take up more room in your golf bag, which you could use for your golf clubs.
Is JP Lann Golf Ball Retriever For You?
The JP Lann ball telescoping pole is an excellent choice if you need something that has a deep fully extended length and lightweight in construction.
- Durable and easy to use
- The ball security feature traps the ball and keeps it safe
- Easy to see EZ-view orange pressure head
- Comfortable, ergonomic handle
- Long retracted length
Search n Rescue 18-Foot Golf Retriever
- Water-resistant aluminum shaft
- Durable stainless steel rings that lock balls into place
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
If you’re looking for something more affordable, this Search and Rescue retriever might be the answer. It’s functional, weather-resistant, and it can reach even the deepest balls.
With a maximum length of 18 feet, you won’t have to don your SCUBA gear just to get a ball or two.
And even when extended to that incredible length, it doesn’t wobble or bend – giving you ultimate control while finding your ball.
Murky waters? The Search and Rescue is your friend! It has a vivid, easy-to-spot orange head you can see even from more than 10 feet away.
Is 18 feet not enough for you? Search n Rescue makes 24-foot retrievers, too. Or, if you’re looking for something shorter and less unwieldy, you can always give the 9, 12, and 15-foot options a shot.
Is Search n Rescue For You?
The Search n Rescue ball retriever is your golf ball’s rescue diver. With a long shaft length, durable telescoping pole, and bright orange steel ring head, you can grab balls with a breeze using this tool.
- Easy to control even in deeper water
- The bright orange head is vibrant even in murky water
ProActive Sports Player Select Super-Lite Golf Ball Retriever
- Push-button shaft lock and release system
- Uses non-corrosive fiberglass material
- Bright neon green head
Is your bag breaking your back? If you’ve filled your golf bag with the 14-club limit, you’ll need to find some space to fit your ball retriever AND have it light enough to carry around!
Luckily, you can try the ProActive Super-Lite. Unlike most golf ball retrievers, the ProActive uses durable fiberglass, so it’s super lightweight and rust-resistant!
We wish more manufacturers used fiberglass to make ball retrievers. The LIGHTER WEIGHT is a relief from arm strain.
Plus, unlike some aluminum shafts, the Super-Lite doesn’t bend when dragging it through water currents.
When it’s retracted, it’s short enough to fit in a side pocket, so you can leave more space for your expensive golf irons and drivers.
Is Proactive Sports Super-Lite for You?
Sure, the Super-Lite isn’t as long as other telescoping ball retrievers out there. But it’s still better than your arm!
We love keeping one of these in a golf bag so we have something to pick up a ball just in case. Besides, it’s so inconspicuous that you won’t even notice that it’s there!
- Durable fiberglass doesn’t rust like others
- Convenient push-button system makes retrieval easy
- Compact and fits a golf bag side pocket
- Shorter retriever than others in the market
Gotcha Jawz Golf Ball Retriever
- Secure rubber ball grip
- 10-foot full length
- Collapses to 15.5″
- No moving parts in the head
You gotta love the innovation of the people behind IGotcha! From a patented spring-loaded head to using rubber to grab onto a golf ball? Why didn’t anyone think of this before?
If you’re the type to HATE maintenance and repair work, you’ll LOVE the IGotcha Jawz. It’s so easy to use, you don’t even have to think about it!
Since it has no moving parts near the head, the catch mechanism won’t go through as much wear-and-tear as other spring-loaded or revolving head-type ball retrievers.
That doesn’t make the Jawz any less reliable! Instead of using hinges and bolts, the rubber teeth act as its automatic locking device, so you can still get a great grip on your golf ball without any slippage.
Is Gotcha Jawz For You?
If you like things simple, the IGotcha Jawz is as simple as it gets. Since it uses rubber to lock your balls, it’s grippy enough even in slimy pond water, no extra buttons or wrist movements needed.
Plus, it lasts you for AGES, since it has no moving parts!
- Doesn’t require maintenance at all
- Rubber head grips even slippery balls
- Short max. length
Tips For Keeping Track of Your Golf Balls
There are very few things more frustrating in golf than losing your ball. Heck, you can lose just from losing your golf ball!
Here are some tips to give you a more enjoyable and hassle-free golfing experience.
Be Best Friends With the Golf Course
Part of strategizing is knowing how to play the field. In a single-person sport like golf, the golf course is your competition.
So getting to know your golf course can help you retrieve your ball and play better, too!
Know Your Danger Zones!
Knowing the areas out of bounds is key. If you avoid the danger zones, you avoid penalty strokes. Plus, you get to save time, too – since danger zones can be FAR AWAY from your playing zone.
No ball retriever can save you from that!
Here are some danger zones you should watch out for:
- Boundary Fence: Anything beyond the boundary fence is out of bounds and it’s much easier to lose track of your ball when it’s out of bounds. Plus, you’ll have to take the one-stroke penalty.
- Water Hazard: These penalty areas are hard to navigate and are likely where your lost golf balls end up.
Watch the Ball
This sounds like a very obvious tip, but if you’re just starting out, you’re probably too excited that you made a swing – and you lose sight of the ball.
It’s easier to retrieve balls if you know the general direction your golf ball went. You can always just retrace your steps and find your ball safely.
If retracing your steps isn’t enough, try to reach your ball from DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. Both the wind and the slope of the course can affect the projectile direction of your golf ball.
Wear the Right Eye Equipment
If you’re nearsighted or have eye problems, it’s best to get them checked out with your eye doctor, who can prescribe you sports glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK to correct your eyesight.
Also, try wearing a pair of shades that can help you track your ball – and protect your eyes from UV damage!
While human sight isn’t as sharp as, say, a bird’s eye view, a healthy eye can still help you see your ball’s motion from a distance.
But just because you’re nearsighted doesn’t mean you don’t have to miss out on the fun! Take it from Rickie Fowler: he had trouble seeing beyond 150 miles and fixed it up with a prescription.
How Does a Golf Ball Retriever Work?
All golf ball retrievers work in the same way: a telescoping shaft or pole attaches to a retriever mechanism that clamps on to your golf ball.
It looks a lot like a selfie stick – except, instead of a camera or phone clamp at the end, it’s a retriever head instead.
The Telescoping Shaft
Golf ball retrievers are (mostly) created equal when it comes to the telescoping pole. It’s what makes this golf equipment a must, after all!
There are usually three types of ball telescoping poles, depending on the material. They have their own pros and cons, so it all boils down to what you need for your playing:
- An aluminum shaft is the most common design. Aluminum is both lightweight and durable, though it can bend when placed under high stress, like pulling your retriever through a current.
- A stainless steel shaft is RARER, but it’s an excellent choice. Stainless steel resists bending and is easier to control than aluminum. The downside? It’s heavier.
- A fiberglass shaft uses durable fiberglass for its design. It takes the best qualities of both aluminum and stainless steel: it’s lightweight, and it resists bending and rust. Unfortunately, there aren’t many companies making fiberglass all retrievers.
The biggest difference between different golf retrievers is the retriever head. Some brands use automatic locking scoop designs, which look like a round cup at the end of a stick.
Other brands use stainless steel rings that form a tight grip around your golf ball.
Some brands modify the stainless steel rings and add a spring-loading mechanism that becomes an automatic locking scoop when it comes across a ball.
If you don’t want to replace your golf ball retriever often, it’s better to get a static retriever head without moving parts:
- A scoop-type retriever is the most common, but these aren’t as secure. It literally looks like an oversized scoop spoon!
- A rubber-tooth golf ball retriever uses rubber materials in its opening so it can grip onto your ball as you’re pulling it out of the water or the rough.
Why Would You Need Golf Ball Retrievers?
Golf ball retrievers might seem amateurish and you might get a few laughs from your friends for using one.
But hey – it’s better to use a golf ball retriever and stay dry, than muck through natural or man-made ponds of who knows what and come out sticky and disgusting.
You Save LOTS of Time
Ball recovery is such a demanding, time-consuming task that being a golf ball retriever is actually a full-time job!
But if a diver has to get your golf ball, chances are, it might be too deep for any recovery on your part – and you’ll never see your golf ball again, except when resold as bargain used balls.
If your golf ball didn’t sink too deep or fell into the rough instead, a ball retriever can save you the time it takes to walk, crawl, or swim to your golf ball.
You could use that time for more important things… Like playing more golf!
You Can Save Money, Too
A high-quality golf ball retriever costs a lot of money upfront. But don’t think of it as a cost; think of it as an investment!
Golf ball retrieval is a billion-dollar business since specialty divers spend HOURS just looking for a ball. If your golf ball sank in a shallow location, you can save cash by retrieving your own ball yourself!
A pack of a dozen golf balls of excellent quality would cost you around 50 dollars. How many golf balls have you lost in your lifetime?
An average golfer loses 5-6 balls per game. If you play every week, that’s around 20-24 new golf balls in a month!
Multiply that to the price per ball and you’ll quickly realize that you might have spent hundreds of dollars in golf balls.
That’s NOTHING compared to the price of a golf ball retriever. Even the most expensive golf ball retriever on our list, the Callaway, is a fraction of the price of a new set of balls.
You Stay Clean And Dry
If your golf ball is in a shallow enough location, you can get them yourself without having to enlist the services of a professional ball retriever. You stay clean and dry, away from the muck of a golf lake.
Are Golf Ball Retrievers Against the Rules?
You might be hesitant to buy a golf ball retriever because you’re anxious about the awkward, condescending looks you’ll get from more experienced players.
And then there are THE RULES.
Part of the art of playing golf is the number of rules you’ll have to remember. And it’s likely that you don’t even know them all.
So if you believe that urban legend that says that a golf ball retriever counts as a golf club? We won’t blame ya! We believed it too when we started playing.
Turns out, a golf ball retriever DOES NOT count as one of your 14 allowable clubs in play. A shaft will only count as one of your clubs if:
- It has a head, and
- It has a shaft
Remember: just because your golf ball retriever has a grip and a shaft doesn’t mean it’s a golf club! I don’t think anyone’s ever used a golf club that looks like a retriever’s head!
And if you catch anyone side-eyeing you for using a ball retriever joke’s on them – you’re safe and dry, and they’re probably soaking wet (or down a few hundred dollars)!
Verdict: What Is the Best Ball Retriever?
ProActive Sports Hinged Cup Retractable Golf Ball Retriever: Best Budget
It’s durable, long-lasting, easy to control, has a long extended length, and keeps your ball in place while retrieving it!
IGotcha Executive Golf Ball Retriever: Best Value
If you want something that’s built to last and doesn’t bend in water, the IGotcha is the best value for your money. Plus, its spring-loaded head locks TIGHT against your golf ball!
Callaway 15th Club Golf Ball Retriever: Best Overall
They make great gloves, amazing irons, handy bags… So of course they make excellent ball retrievers, too! It’s discreet, portable, lightweight, and sleek. Say goodbye to lost balls with these!
Ball retrievers can be as short as an arm or as long as a selfie stick. Choosing the best golf ball retriever really depends on your playing style and the course you’re in.
But with this list of the best golf ball retrievers, you won’t have a problem choosing one to keep in your golf bag, ready to be whipped out any time!
Indeed, losing golf balls will become a ting of the past!
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