Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2017: Buying Guide and Reviews
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Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2017: Buying Guide and Reviews

It’s always frustrating when your favorite golf ball finds its way to the bottom of a shallow pond, or within a bush.

You could roll your trousers up and get the ball, but you’d look like a bit of an idiot by doing so, and many golf clubs wouldn't allow it and would class it as anti-social behaviour.

best golf ball retriever

Plus, you wouldn’t want to be sticking your arms into a thorn bush to get the golf ball would you? But it’s your favorite ball, how else can you get it out?

A golf ball retriever is the answer to all your problems.

If you are rushing for time, here is our top pick for the best golf ball retriever:

Our Top Pick for the Best Golf Ball Retriever: Callaway "15 Club"

best golf ball retriever

The Callaway "15th Club" is one of the most premium quality golf ball retriever in the market. Made of high quality aluminium alloy, the pole is sturdy and does not bend easily. The handle is ergonomic and the retriever mechanism picks up the ball in a snap. It extends to 15 feet and retracts to 45 inches. It also comes with a headcover to disguise your retriever as your "15th Club".




Buying Factors​ for Golf Ball Retrievers

Pole Length

When looking for a golf ball retriever, you may think some of the pole lengths are ridiculously large. However, when you bear in mind that many of these poles are retractable, it’s always best to go a bit overboard than not be able to reach your golf balls.

An 18-foot golf ball retriever is best; while it may be hard to handle, you will get used to it over time, and it’s much better to buy a long golf ball retriever! With an 18-foot golf ball retriever, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to retrieve almost all of your balls, unlike some golfers who skimp out and purchase a smaller retriever, such as a 12-foot retriever.

Material

This is even more important if you purchase a long pole. You don’t want the pole to be too heavy as the majority of the pole is going to be in front of you, and the heavier it is, the harder it is to handle. Therefore, you want a nice lightweight pole - a material such as aluminium should do perfectly.

However don’t disregard other materials. There is a large variety of suitable materials for this purpose, so make sure to do your research, and check the weight of the golf ball retriever before purchasing.

Retrieving Type

All golf ball retrievers are different, with various different “retrieving systems” – such as:

Suction Cups: ​ This is the main type of retrieving system, and is fairly useful.

  • Advantages: Easy to use, cheaper, are available to use in longer pole lengths.
  • Disadvantages: Don’t work very well when ball is coated in debris, or underwater.

Grabber: ​ Also fairly popular, not quite as popular as the suction cup mechanism.

  • Advantages: Effective regardless of if ball is coated in debris, or underwater.
  • Disadvantages: Tend to be more expensive, harder to use, not as long poles usually..

Cup: ​ Increasingly popular, and also incredibly easy to use provided you have good motor skills.

  • Advantages: Easy to use, simple, no moving parts.
  • Disadvantages: Can be hard to use if ball in a tricky place.

There are other retrieving mechanisms, although they aren’t common – and are usually limited to a certain brand. The main three types are detailed above along with advantages and disadvantages. More professional/experienced players tend to opt for the grabbing mechanism, due to its increased versatility. A suction cup may be more suited to a beginner or novice, as the longer pole length can come in handy if you haven’t mastered accurate shots.

Handle

This is one of the most integral parts of a golf ball retriever, and can be the deciding factor in whether you have an enjoyable experience or not. Therefore it is important that you find a handle that is right for you.

If you have large hands, it is probably best to try out a few golf ball retrievers in order to find which is best for you, as many ball retrievers may be uncomfortable to handle for larger built people.

The handle material is also important, and there is a huge variety of materials that manufacturers use, such as silicone, plastic, rubber and pure metal. Each material provides a slightly different feel; therefore, it is best to also find what works for you.

Pole

The pole is the most integral part of a golf ball retriever; you need to make sure the pole is lightweight, yet strong – and also long enough for your needs. As I said above, it is always best to purchase a golf ball retriever that is longer than you need, as they are mainly retractable and take up minimal space regardless of how long the pole is. While the cost may be slightly higher – it is always worth it in the long run, just to be safe.

Build Quality

Now this is one of the main buying factors, in order for you to have a simple, enjoyable experience with a golf ball retriever, it is essential that the product is well built. Here are a few things to check for:

  • Pole: It is imperative that you make sure the pole retracts almost effortlessly, while is firm enough not to automatically slide out. Also make sure there is no “wobbling” between the separate segments of the pole, as this can affect your accuracy when attempting to retrieve a rogue ball.
  • Handle: Make sure the handle is firmly attached to the end of the pole, preferably with screws rather than an adhesive. This is because during hot summer days, adhesive can easily melt, this can cause an unpleasant and sticky experience that no golfer wants.
  • Retrieving Mechanism: Regardless of whether the retriever uses a suction cup or a grabbing mechanism, you want to ensure that the retriever is firmly attached to the end of the pole, and won’t become loose if the retriever is mishandled occasionally. If you are using a grabbing mechanism, it is best to make sure that the moving parts operate smoothly, without too much force, and that the lever on the other end of the pole isn’t too stiff, and works flawlessly.
  • Finish: Many golf ball retrievers feature a delightful finish over the bare metal, usually endorsing the brand. Ensure that the finish isn’t easily chipped, as this will affect the overall aesthetics of the product negatively. Also take note of how it looks, after all it will look much better if it matches your set of golf clubs

Top 5 Best Golf Ball Retrievers

Callaway “15th Club” Ball Retriever

With an extremely low price, and also from a reputable brand, it almost sounds too good to be true.

The Callaway "15th Club" Retriever extends to 15-feet, long enough for even the hardest shots. It also retracts to a measly 45-inches, and easily fits into your golf bag.

best golf ball retriever

In order to maintain the beautiful aesthetics of all your golf clubs within the bag, Callaway has even included a dual zip cover, making it look like another club within your bag, which is a really nice touch – and also protects the end of the ball retriever.

The retrieving mechanism is manufactured from stainless steel, making it a breeze to clean, not to mention incredibly strong – it can easily pick up balls all day long!

The increased strength of the stainless steel retriever makes it unbelievably easy to collect balls that are firmly dug into the ground with no hassle whatsoever.

With a simple twist the ball is released, the only downside is that when fully extended, it can be rather hard to handle – however this can be expected of all ball retrievers, after all there is 15 feet of pole in front of you.

Callaway 15th Club Ball Retriever 2

Things We Liked

  • Very good quality
  • No spring, no friction to worry about
  • Free headcover disguises it as your "15th club"

Things We Didn't Like

  • Rather heavy

I Gotcha Golf Ball Retriever

While it may sport an amusing name, there definitely isn’t anything amusing about how well this golf ball retriever does its job.

While the I Gotcha Retriever may only have a 14-foot reach, it retracts to a mere 20 inches!

Meaning it can even neatly slide into a side pocket of your golf bag, without taking up any room within the main compartment​.

golf ball retrievers reviews

Not only is this a great feature for golfers who use a lot of clubs, but the fact it can be stored away protects the retriever.

The retriever is also extremely light, weighing in at only 12 ounces; this means when extended to 14-feet, it can still be reasonably controlled, allowing you to collect your balls in a jiffy.

If you want a more telescopic length, I Gotcha also produces a larger golf ball retriever, which is 18-feet long, along with a smaller retriever which contracts to only 15.5 inches!

All of the retrievers perform the same, it all depends on whether you’d prefer a small retriever that can be thrown into a side pocket of your golf bag, or whether you’d prefer a retriever for even the longest shots.

Igotcha Golf Ball Retriever

Things We Liked

  • Very short when retracted
  • Able to keep in bag side pocket
  • Very lightweight

Things We Didn't Like

  • Made of plastic - not as sturdy

I Gotcha The Biggest Golf Ball Retriever (21ft Reach)

While this may surprise you, I mean – when would you need a golf ball retriever that can extend to 21 feet?

Well, you never know…

Having a large ball retriever does come in handy, especially at this price range.

Igotcha biggest

However, the extra length does make the unit weigh in 25 ounces, which is by no means light – but should still be fairly easy to control.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a golf ball retriever you can simply throw into a side compartment of your bag - it retracts to 46 inches, which is still a lot smaller than 21 foot!

It needs to be stored within the main compartment of your golf bag, which is a small disadvantage, however – the advantages that the increased length provides easily outweigh this minor nuisance.

The build quality of this retriever is also wonderful, even when extended fully, it is still extremely solid, and will last years of golf ball retrieving before ever needing replacing.​

Things We Liked

  • The longest retriever you'll need
  • Affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively heavy due to its size

Orlimar 15-Foot Flourescent Head Retriever

Besides the fact that the Orlimar Flourescent head retriever only extends to 15-foot, there is not much limitations.

The handle is a sheer pleasure and will have you wanting to never let go.

It also will almost never drop the ball once you’ve trapped it, making it much quicker and less hassle to collect your golf balls.

best golf ball retriever

The handle is telescopic as you would expect, so it does contract to a smaller size for storing away.

It is also hugely versatile, as you can use it in water, on mud, on rocks with no hassle – it will still perform excellently!

It is designed to be store within the main compartment of your golf bag, along with the clubs, one advantage of this is that the golf ball retriever is always at your fingertips, making it much easier to simply grab to aid your mission of collecting balls.​

Things We Liked

  • Length is just right
  • Comfortable grip
  • Most affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • Slightly long when retracted

ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever

The ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever is an absolute pleasure to use.

The hinged cup makes it much easier to retrieve any ball, regardless of where it has been lost, water, mud, rocks, grass – no terrain is too much for the ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever!

ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever

It is available in two sizes, 15 feet and 18 feet – you may as well go for the 18-foot retriever, the price difference is very small.

The benefits of this retriever are huge – the rubber handle ensures you have a tight grip on the retriever, and can effortlessly retrieve your ball, while the build quality ensures no wobbling takes place.

This also means that you can accurately reach your ball, followed by trapping it.

The weight of this retriever - despite it being fairly long - is wonderful, this is all down to the aluminium tubing used in the manufacture, this means the retriever is strong and durable, yet still allows it to be lightweight

Things We Liked

  • Sturdy aluminium tubing
  • Lightweight
  • Hinged cup design easily traps ball

Things We Didn't Like

  • Customers have commented that the quality could be better

Quick Summary of Top 5 Best Golf Ball Retrievers

Callaway "15th Club"

Best Overall

  • Good quality
  • No springs, no friction
  • Free headcover

I Gotcha

2nd Best Overall

  • Very short when retracted
  • Able to fit into bag side pocket
  • Very lightweight

I Gotcha Biggest

Best longest

  • Longest retriever
  • Affordable

Orlimar 15' Flourescent

Best affordable

  • Length is just right
  • Comfortable handle
  • Most affordable

ProActive Hinged Cup

Works well and reasonably priced

  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Easily traps balls

In conclusion, a golf ball retriever is an essential piece of kit regardless of how experienced you are. However, the length you desire and needs all come down to how experienced you are, and how accurate your shots are. By using the buying factors listed above you can be sure to find the perfect retriever for you, in terms of build quality and also features. Pay extra attention to the retrieving mechanism, as a suction cup mechanism can be troublesome, especially when playing in damp weather, as golf balls tend to pick up debris extremely easily. This can cause numerous problems when using a suction cup retriever.

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