Data compiled by CNN and Golf.com has revealed that 300 million golf balls are lost around golf courses in the United States on an annual basis. The exact ratio is unknown but many of these lost golf balls are lost in penalty areas (formerly known as water hazards). More often than not you are able to see your golf ball in the water but it is just out of your reach. Many of us don’t want to admit it but in situations like that we all wish we had a golf ball retriever in our bag.
Us golfers are quick to make fun of our friends if they have a ball retriever, but if you do the math it might convince you otherwise. On average a golfer will lose 1.3 golf balls per round, this is on average, if you are a mid to high handicapper that number will probably be closer to 3 or 4. The average golfer plays 23 rounds per year, if you play every weekend then that number will be closer to 45 rounds per year. It starts to add up at $40 per dozen if you play with a premium golf ball.
It might not seem like much over the course of a season but if you could save half of your golf balls with the help of a ball retriever then you might just have some extra cash in your budget to splurge on a new driver or putter instead.
Now that you realize how handy a ball retriever can be let’s take a look at what to look for when buying a good ball retriever. In addition, we will also review some of the best ball retrievers currently available on the market.
Top Golf Ball Retrievers Comparison Chart
|Name||Maximum Reach||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Player Select Lightweight Ball Retriever||9 ft||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Search and Rescue Golf Ball Retriever||19 ft||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|iGotcha Executive Golf Ball Retriever||14 ft||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Orlimar Fluorescent Head Golf Ball Retriever||15 ft||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DYWhiskey Telescopic Golf Ball Retriever||6 ft||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Pelican Golf Ball Telescopic Retractable Retriever||18 ft||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Search ‘N Rescue MAX Hide Away Trapper||18 ft||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Callaway Pocket Ball Retriever||6.5 ft||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Alomejor Golf Ball Retriever||9 ft||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Search ‘N Rescue Stretcher Golf Ball Retriever||35 ft||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Golf Ball Retrievers Buying Guide
A buying guide for golf ball retrievers might elicit some eyeball rolls but it’s difficult to argue against the numbers. The process of buying a golf ball retriever might not seem very daunting but there are some important factors to consider. In this buying guide we will take a closer look at the different golf ball retrievers available on the market. In addition, we will also identify and discuss other important factors to consider when shopping for a ball retriever.
Different types of golf ball retrievers
Golf ball retrievers differ in terms of how they grab onto the golf ball, some feature a scoop design, others feature a clip mechanism that secures the golf ball.
Golf ball retrievers with a clip mechanism
Golf ball retrievers with a clip design mechanism feature a slightly weird looking design but once you see it in action the process of how it works all makes sense. Simply put the steel ring on top of the golf ball and wiggle the pole to ensure that the lock bar goes over the golf ball. Once the lock bar is in place turn the retriever 90 degrees to ensure that your golf ball is lodged in safely.
These clip mechanism golf ball retrievers are very efficient when retrieving your golf ball from a firm surface, if your golf ball is lodged in mud you might have a difficult time to get it out. Clip mechanism golf ball retrievers ensure golf ball safety and you will be able to get your golf ball back with ease once it is lodged in.
Golf ball retrievers with a scoop design
Golf ball retrievers with a scoop design feature a small scoop at the front end of the retriever, this scoop is slightly bigger than the size of a golf ball. A scoop golf ball retriever is easy to use, all that is required is a simple flick of the wrist to pick up the golf ball once the retriever is in place.
Scoop golf ball retrievers are very efficient when your golf ball is lodged in soft mud, the scoop is able to pick it up out of the mud with ease. Scoop golf ball retrievers often times have issues in terms of golf ball security. A small bump against a branch or any other object can dislodge the golf ball out of the scoop.
Golf ball retrievers with a spring trapping mechanism
These golf ball retrievers with their unique spring trapping mechanisms are very efficient. Simply put the plastic ring over the golf ball and press down onto the golf ball in order to release the spring. Once the spring is released a second ring will swoop around and trap the golf ball securely in the head of the golf ball retriever.
This trapping mechanism ball retriever ensures golf ball security but one might have difficulty with it if you are trying to retrieve your golf ball out of a soft muddy area. This ball retriever will work exceptionally well when retrieving your golf ball out of wooded areas.
Factors to consider when buying a golf ball retriever
Golf ball security
Golf ball security is arguably the most important factor to consider when purchasing a golf ball retriever. A ball retriever with long range will be of no use if you aren’t able to secure the golf ball in order to bring it back to safety. Different golf ball retrievers feature different mechanisms with which they secure the ball with, make sure to pick a retriever with a well designed retrieval mechanism.
The standard length of your 3 or 4 iron is roughly 38 inches, it is important to buy a golf ball retriever than can extend to a range beyond that of one of your long irons. Ideally, maximum extension is preferred but make sure that the design remains sturdy when the retriever is extended to its maximum range.
A ball retriever with a long shaft range when fully extended will increases your chances of retrieving your golf ball. In addition, you will also be able to retrieve other lost golf balls that other golfers with no or a short ball retriever couldn’t retrieve.
A ball retriever with a strong ergonomic handle design is a must. Retrieving your golf ball can be a tricky task depending on where it is situated. In cases like these when your ball is lodged in mud or stuck under tree limbs precision is required and this can’t be done with a wonky handle that hurts your hands while you are using it. A soft comfortable handle that fits the shape of your hand is the best option to go with.
Strength of design
A good strong design is something that we look for in almost anything that we purchase. When it comes to golf ball retrievers a good strong design is a must. When the retriever it extended weaknesses will be easily exposed, the last thing you need is to lose both your golf ball and your golf ball retriever in the lake due to a flimsy design.
Most of us have 14 clubs, a bunch of golf balls, snacks and who knows what else in our golf bag. Storage can be an issue if you have a small golf bag, keep that in mind when shopping for a golf ball retriever. Make sure that it folds up into a small piece that will fit into your golf bag with ease. If you prefer to carry your own golf bag make sure to buy a ball retriever with a lightweight design.
Price is always important to consider when buying a product. The cheapest or the most expensive options aren’t always the best option. Buying a good value for money product is the way to go instead. A good value for money golf ball retriever won’t just save you money on golf balls, it will also save you money in the long run if you don’t have to replace your retriever on an annual basis.
Best Golf Ball Retrievers Reviews
1. Player Select Lightweight Ball Retriever
The Player Select lightweight golf ball retriever from ProActive Sports is one of the best lightweight golf ball retrievers available on the market. This superlight retriever is designed out of durable lightweight fiberglass and the total weight of it is only 7 ounces. The Pro Select isn’t just very light, it also extends to 9 feet and it is very compact when collapsed. This lightweight compact retriever can be stored in your apparel pocket with ease. This is the perfect ball retriever for players that enjoy carrying their bag. An added bonus is the fact that you are able to store it in your apparel pocket, this ensures that your friends won’t poke fun at you the whole time, they won’t even know that it is there.
The Player Select retriever features a high visibility green head, this makes it easy to track the front end of your retriever in murky water. The scoop head of the Player Select features a patented design which promotes ball security during the retrieval process. This affordable, efficient, compact golf ball retriever will be a great investment if you are serious about losing less golf balls.
- Lightweight design
- Extends up to 9 feet
- Designed out of strong, durable fiberglass material
- High visibility head with patented design for ball security
- Affordable price tag
- Sleek modern design
- Lacks an ergonomic handle
- Other retrievers on the market can extend to 15 feet and beyond
2. Search and Rescue Golf Ball Retriever
The Search and Rescue golf ball retriever is the perfect golf ball retriever for those golfers that are serious about saving as many golf balls as they can. This golf ball retriever features a unique steel clip mechanism head design. This head design ensures maximum golf ball safety in the retrieval process. The weather resistant powder coated aluminium assembly of the Search and Rescue retriever ensures strength in design.
The most impressive part about the Search and Rescue retriever is its very long reach, it can extend up to 19 feet and it collapses all the way back down to 45 inches (about the size of your driver). This retriever also features a very comfortable ergonomic handle. It retails at roughly the price of a dozen premium golf balls, keeping that in mind this retriever will definitely pay itself back in no time.
- Extends to an impressive length of 19 feet
- Collapses to the size of your driver
- Features an affordable price tag
- Has a strong lightweight durable design
- The steel clip mechanism with lock in bar ensures phenomenal golf ball security during the retrieval process
- Features a comfortable ergonomic design
- If you have a small golf bag it might be a tight squeeze to fit in a “15th” club
- The length of its extension could expose weak points after extensive use
3. iGotcha Executive Golf Ball Retriever
The iGotcha executive stainless steel golf ball retriever is one of the best golf ball retrievers available on the market. This retriever features a sleek ergonomic design that is both effective and affordable. This golf ball retriever with its ready to release spring trapping action plastic head ensures great golf ball security during the retrieval process.
With a range of 14 feet you will be able to retrieve those out of reach golf balls with ease. The impressive part is the fact that it collapses to 17.5 inches and it only weighs 10 ounces which ensures easy storage. The ergonomic handle of the iGotcha makes it easy to manoeuvre. This affordable golf ball retriever will be a welcome addition to any golfers’ bag that is serious about saving their golf balls.
- Lightweight design
- Extended long reach of 14 inches
- Collapses for easy storage
- Lightweight design which makes carrying it around a breeze
- Good golf ball security
- Affordable price tag
- Due to its long reach it could snap as times goes by and weak points in the shaft get exposed
4. Orlimar Fluorescent Head Golf Ball Retriever
The Orlimar 15-foot fluorescent head golf ball retriever features a simple yet effective design. This golf ball retriever extends up to 15 feet to ensure that you can get to those lost golf balls with ease. Comfort is important when buying a ball retriever, this golf ball retriever features a very comfortable ergonomic grip.
Spotting the front of your ball retriever can be difficult if your golf ball is in murky waters, the fluorescent head of the Orlimar is easy to track which will make the retrieving process a breeze. The retriever collapses to fit into your golf bag, easy storage ensures that it doesn’t take up the space of an extra club. This affordable golf ball retriever will be a welcome addition to any golfers’ bag that is serious about retrieving their golf balls.
- Extends to 15 feet
- Easy to spot fluorescent head
- Collapses for easy storage in your apparel pocket
- Affordable price tag
- The scoop design of the head might lack ball security during the retrieval process
5. DYWhiskey Telescopic Golf Ball Retriever
The telescopic golf ball retriever by DYWhiskey is a simple yet effective golf ball retriever. This retriever features a strong durable stainless steel shaft that is also lightweight for easy carry. The scoop head of this ball retriever features an automatic lock to ensure golf ball security during the retrieval process.
This compact golf ball retriever extends up to 6 feet and it retracts back down to 15 inches for easy storage. This retriever comes in a pack of two, it is a great value for money deal given its affordable price tag.
- Great value for money
- Lightweight and compact for easy storage
- Scoop head with automatic lock to ensure golf ball security
- Ergonomic handle
- Limited extended reach of only 6 feet
6. Pelican Golf Ball Telescopic Retractable Retriever
The Pelican golf ball telescopic retractable retriever is a high quality functional golf ball retriever that will help you to retrieve your golf ball from the stickiest of situations. This retriever utilizes a metal hinge scoop in order to secure the golf ball. The scoop hinges down and once the golf ball is in place the user can twist the scoop in order to lock in the golf ball.
Comfort is very important when using a golf ball retriever, the last thing you need is a hard handle that hurts your hands while using it. This retriever features a comfortable ergonomic grip to ensure ease of use, it also features a lightweight design which makes it user friendly to carry around in your golf bag. This retriever can extend up to 18 feet and once retracted it is just short of 4 feet in length. If you are serious about retrieving your golf ball then look no further than the Pelican telescopic golf ball retriever.
- Designed out of strong durable materials
- Extended reach of up to 18 feet
- Lightweight design
- Affordable price tag
- Scoop with security lock to ensure golf ball security
- Once retracted it doesn’t fit into the apparel pocket of your bag, thus it will take up space in your bag
- Due to its long extension weaknesses in the shaft can be exposed over time
7. Search ‘N Rescue MAX Hide Away Trapper
The Search ‘N Rescue MAX is a high quality golf ball retriever with a sleek aesthetically pleasing design. The telescopic shaft of this retriever is made out of strong durable stainless steel, and it also features a soft comfortable ergonomic handle. Once extended golf balls can be reached up to 18 feet away from the user. A great feature is the fact that it collapses down to 22 inches, this ensures that it can be stored in your golf bag with ease.
The bright orange scoop head of this retriever is made out of high quality Delrin plastic. The high visibility head is easy to keep track of in murky water and it makes the retrieval process quick and easy. If you are looking for a strong, durable, long reach retriever that collapses to the point where it can fit into the side pocket of your golf bag then look no further than the Search ‘N Rescue MAX.
- Sleek design with lightweight shaft and ergonomic handle
- Reach of up to 18 feet
- Retracts back down to 22 inches for easy storage
- High visibility head that is easy to track in murky water
- The scooping mechanism lacks golf ball safety
- It is on the higher end of the price spectrum
8. Callaway Pocket Ball Retriever
The Callaway pocket ball retriever is the perfect option if you are looking for a small lightweight ball retriever that can fit into your golf bag with ease. This retriever extends out to a length of 6.5 feet and it is only 18 inches long when it is retracted and folded up.
This retriever weighs only 8 ounces, you won’t even know that you have it in your golf bag. But you will be very thankful that you do when you are able to use it to retrieve your brand new golf ball out of the penalty area.
- Lightweight design
- Compact and easy to store in the side pocket of your golf bag
- It is designed and manufactured by an industry leading brand
- Affordable price tag
- Limited reach in comparison to other retrievers available on the market
- The simple scoop of the retriever might lack golf ball security during the retrieval process
9. Alomejor Golf Ball Retriever
The Alomejor golf ball retriever is a strong durable golf ball retriever with a spring release retrieval system that ensures maximum golf ball security during the retrieval process. This retriever is made out of high quality stainless steel to ensure strength and durability. This retriever can extend to roughly 9 feet and it retracts to roughly 30 inches, this ensures that it can be stored in your golf bag with ease.
The yellow head of this retriever is easy to track in murky waters and you will be able to retrieve your golf ball with ease. The affordable price tag along with its other features makes this retriever a very attractive option.
- Lightweight compact design
- Ergonomic comfortable handle
- Affordable price tag
- Advanced spring release system that ensures golf ball safety during the retrieval process
- There are other options available on the market with a longer reach at roughly the same price point
10. Search ‘N Rescue Stretcher Golf Ball Retriever
The Search ‘N Rescue stretcher golf ball retriever isn’t your average golf ball retriever. This golf ball retriever features a high visibility basket head that resembles the look of a stretcher. It has a 35-foot rope attached to the top of it that is used to fling the basket out into the penalty area (formerly known as a water hazard). Once the basket has reached the bottom of the pond simply drag the rope towards you and the stretcher will scoop up any golf ball that comes in its path. The stretcher scoop design doesn’t feature any additional features to ensure ball security during the retrieval process.
This unconventional ball retriever is very effective since it can retrieve multiple golf balls at once. It can be stored in your golf bag with ease but it isn’t something that you would bring out every time your golf ball finds its way into trouble. This retriever works great for golf balls that have found the water but using it to retrieve a ball in the woods or on the other side of a boundary fence will be nearly impossible.
- Lightweight design that can be stored in the side pocket of your golf bag
- Multiple golf balls can be retrieved at once
- Affordable price tag
- High visibility orange colored head
- Extended 35-foot reach
- Limited use options, will have a hard time using it in a wooded area
- The person using it needs to have fairly good hand eye coordination in order to lasso the retriever into the water with accuracy
FAQs About Golf Ball Retrievers
Q. Should I get a ball retriever with a long or short extended reach?
a. The reach/range of a ball retriever is an important factor to consider when purchasing one. If the retriever has a long range you will be able to reach more golf balls than with a retriever with a short reach. If you do decide to buy a retriever with a reach of 10+ feet make sure to buy a product with a strong durable design, weaknesses in the shaft of the ball retriever are exposed over time especially with long reach retrievers.
In addition, majority of long reach retrievers retract to a fairly extended size, you will probably have to store this retriever in your bag with your clubs since it won’t fit into the apparel pocket of your bag.
Q. Does a ball retriever count as a 15th club?
a. No, a golf ball retriever isn’t a golf club and it doesn’t count as a 15th club in your golf bag. Rule 4-4 in the rules of golf states that a golf ball retriever and an umbrella aren’t considered as a golf club.
Your friends might say that a golf ball retriever is a 15th club but they are just saying this in order to give you a hard time. Golfers that carry a ball retriever with them are normally the subject of a few jokes, but the amount of money that this nifty tool will save you isn’t a joke.
Conclusion And Final Golf Ball Retrievers Recommendations
When you saw the title of this article you probably thought how on earth can this be of use to my golf game? Well I think after reading the article that we can all agree that having a golf ball retriever in your golf bag is indeed a useful tool. Not only will it save you money, but it will also free up some cash in your budget to spend on other golf related items instead.
If you are in the market for a golf ball retriever keep the following in mind before making a purchase:
- Golf ball security
- Quality of design
- Handle design
A big variety of ball retrievers are available on the market. If you are seeking a ball retriever with maximum range then look no further than the Search and Rescue Golf Ball Retriever. The Player Select Lightweight Ball Retriever is a great option for those that are looking for a lightweight option that is easy to store. In terms of best value for money your best option will be the Orlimar Fluorescent Head Golf Ball Retriever.