Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2021: 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 behavior.

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 an answer to all your problems. If you are rushing for time, here is our top pick for the best golf ball retrievers on the market.


Our Best Golf Ball Retrievers in 2021



Best Golf Ball Retrievers Reviews

Callaway Golf Ball Retriever

Best Overall

Callaway Golf Ball Retriever

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KEY FEATURES

  • Very good quality
  • No spring, no friction to worry about
  • Free head cover disguises retriever head as your "15th club"
  • Rather heavy

With an extremely low price, and also from a reputable brand, Callaway golf ball retriever is almost sounded 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.

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.

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The retrieving mechanism of the Callaway golf ball retriever 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 shaft 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 are 15-feet of a pole in front of you.


IGOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever

2nd Best Overall

IGOTCHAGolf Ball Retriever

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KEY FEATURES

  • Very short when retracted
  • Able to keep in the bag side pocket
  • Very lightweight
  • Made of plastic - not as sturdy

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

IGotcha Golf Ball Retriever is the second-best golf ball retriever that we can recommend. While it may only have a 14-foot reach, it is a retractable golf ball retriever. 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.

Igotcha Golf Ball Retriever

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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.

IGotcha golf ball 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. It also produces a larger golf ball retriever, which is 18-foot long, along with a smaller retriever that contracts to only 15.5 inches!

All of the golf ball 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.


Orlimar 15-Foot Fluorescent

Most Versatile Golf Ball Retriever

Orlimar 15-Foot Fluorescent

KEY FEATURES

  • Length is just right
  • Comfortable grip
  • Most affordable

Besides the fact that the Orlimar Fluorescent head retriever only extends to 15-foot, there are not many 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.

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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 a 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.


I GOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever (21ft Reach)

Best Longest Golf Ball Retriever

I GOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever (21ft Reach)

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KEY FEATURES

  • The longest retriever you'll need
  • best value for money
  • Relatively heavy due to its size

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.

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

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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 feet!

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. It is made from high-quality materials that even when extended fully, it is still extremely solid, and will last years of golf ball retrieving before ever needing replacing.


ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever

Best Value for Money

ProActive Hinged Cup Retriever

KEY FEATURES

  • Sturdy aluminum shaft tubing
  • Lightweight
  • Hinged cup design easily traps the ball
  • Customers have commented that the quality could be better

The ProActive Sports 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!

It is available in two sizes, 15 feet, and 18 feet – you may as well go for the 18-feet retriever, the price difference is very small. This ball retriever ProActive Sports has a hinged cup retractable golf retriever head.

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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 aluminum tubing used in the manufacture for durability. This means the retriever is strong yet still allows it to be lightweight.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a golf retriever?

Golf ball retrievers are one of the accessories that golfers should also include in their golf bag. This is used to retrieve their golf balls when misplaced in the water hazards, roughs, or sand traps. It is must-have golf equipment if you are playing in a place where it is prone to a water hazard or has deep roughs.

How does a golf retriever works?

Golf retrievers are available in various lengths. This equipment is a great help if you want to keep your ball after it was caught in the deep rough, sand trap, or shallow pond and you can't reach them with your hands. It has a swiveling cup or ring that helps secure the golf balls.

Golf retrievers can be extended, so you don't have to get your shoes wet and dirty when your ball falls into the water. Depending on how far or deep your golf ball, the golf retriever can be fully extended to its maximum length. There are golf ball retrievers that can reach up to 21 feet for hard to reach places but can be collapsed to 44.5 inches when not in use.

When the golf ball falls into the water, you can extend your retriever and use the cup or the ring to lock the ball in place before pulling it back to you. There are different kinds of golf ball retrievers on Amazon.com. These retrievers have various features but have one aim to provide ball security when retrieving the ball. They have other features like rubber teeth, stainless steel rings, nylon cup, push-button release, aluminum alloy shaft, and locking mechanism. Most of it is made from high-quality materials for durability.

Why is it important to have a golf balls retriever?

There are instances wherein your golf ball will fall in the water, go deep into the rough, or in the deep sand trap. It will be very frustrating to watch you when you can do nothing because it's hard to reach. You don't want to go home adding new lost balls on the list again. 

If you're one of those who don't like to carry a golf retriever because you think it's big or will take so much space in your bag, well...you don't have to worry. There are long and short golf ball retrievers on the market today. Short golf ball retrievers that can fit into one of the golf bag side pockets. Having a golf ball retriever in the bag can help you save a few dollars and have fun on the golf course. 

If you are one of those that often invested with premium golf balls, then keeping one of the golf retrievers would help you save bucks of money.

What is the best golf ball retriever? Short or long?

A short or long golf ball retriever has its own advantage and disadvantage depending on what kind of golfers you are. Longer golf balls can help you reach out longer distances. For larger water bodies, or just playing within the neighborhood, the longer golf ball would be an excellent help for picking up the ball. However, a longer golf ball tends to stick out in the bag, which other golfers don't find appealing. If you are one of those, you can go with a shorter golf ball retriever. It may not be capable of reaching long distances, but it will surely come in handy when the time comes.


Testing Criteria used for evaluation

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 aluminum 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 balls 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 the 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 the golf balls are 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 the 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 golfers 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 stainless steel shaft. 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


Conclusion

NAMEEDITOR'S CATEGORYPRODUCT
Callaway Golf Ball RetrieverBest OverallCallaway Golf Ball Retriever
IGOTCHA Executive Retriever2nd Best OverallIGOTCHAGolf Ball Retriever
Orlimar 15-Foot Flourescent Head RetrieverMost Versatile Golf Ball RetrieverOrlimar 15-Foot Fluorescent
I GOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever (21ft Reach)Best Longest Golf Ball Retriever I GOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever (21ft Reach)
ProActive Hinged Cup RetrieverBest Value for MoneyProActive Hinged Cup Retriever

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.


Denny Putsh
Denny Putsh

I’m a golf enthusiast just like you and have been playing the game since I was 12 years old. Although I love watching the PGA Tour and following my favorite stars on tour I’m also fascinated by all of the unique and innovative products that are associated with the game I love. It's my greatest joy to share my fascination with golf gadgets, equipment, training aids, and golf accessories with fellow golf lovers on all levels.