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With so much focus on the driver, irons, gloves, balls, and other golf essentials, one extremely handy piece of equipment is often forgotten, the golf ball retriever. You might not need it every round, but when your ball is stuck in a river bank or some other inaccessible position, you will be very glad to have the best golf ball retriever in your bag.

A Messy Task

Alternatively, you will be walking around with mud up to your knees and soggy shoes for the balance of the round. Worse than that, many of us have seen a golfer take a tumble when trying to retrieve a wayward ball. That will put a damper on the rest of the game in more ways than one and the comments at the 19th hole will be plentiful.

Not only is it often a messy exercise trying to retrieve your ball from a precarious position, it can often be a painful experience, clambering down the bank and stretching out to pick it up. Why suffer when there is a simple and effective solution?

Another aspect is the cost of quality golf balls these days. The ability to salvage a few balls you might not otherwise have been able to reach means a ball retriever will pay for itself after just a few uses. Plus there is the time factor. No one wants to irritate your fellow golfers and those playing behind you while you spend ages attempting to get to your stray ball.

How Does it Work?

The concept is really quite simple. Most fold or use a telescopic mechanism to extend to between about 6 to 15 feet. They are light and compact when not extended. From the beginner to the more regular golfer, we all have the occasional shot that lands in a hard to reach spot. When you need your retriever, you will be grateful to have one in your bag.

Ball retrievers are not expensive and when you need one and you gracefully scoop it up with your extended retriever, you will be glad you thought to get one. If it is not something you carry in your golf bag, I would highly recommend getting one. After you have used it once or twice, you will wonder why you took so long to get one. The big question is, which one to get?

Best Golf Ball Retriever

So, how much can one really say about a stick with a scoop on the end? The reality is, there is a bit more to a good golf ball retriever and there are differences between the various makes. We looked at some of the most popular, top selling makes on the market and here is the low down on the top options.

I Gotcha Golf Ball Retriever

One of the more popular golf ball retrievers is the versatile I Gotcha brand that comes in a range of 5 sizes. That means there is something for everyone from the junior golfer to those trying to retrieve a ball from a high cliff ledge.

Top of the range is the EL executive with a reach of up to 14ft. It works on a telescopic mechanism and folds up into a compact unit that fits discreetly in your golf bag. This handy device weighs a mere 12 oz.

The great reach, compact and lightweight design make this one of the top sellers. It is a pleasure to use and good value for money. It might seem expensive at the initial look, but over the years, you’ll get your money back!


Search and Rescue 24-Foot Orange 2-Ball Retriever

If you tend to find water fairly often during your round, but would like to still finish with dry shoes, this is the retriever for you. The orange color helps you identify the position of the apparatus when scooping in the depths of the water and the double scoop even allows you to gather up two balls at the same time. Whether it’s just near the edge or slap in the middle of the water hazard or diver, this nifty device will have your ball out in no time at all. Avoid the stress and discomfort of wading into the bog and carry one of these in your bag.

It comes in two sizes that can be extended to either 6.5 ft or 15 ft with an incredible maximum of 24 ft with the locking mechanism in place. No need to reach for the snorkel with this retriever in your bag.

The scoop rings are robust and are made of durable stainless steel as is the tube. A locking mechanism keeps the retrieved ball in place so you do not have to perform an egg and spoon race to get it back into your hands. When tucked in your bag, it will sit discreetly with your other clubs with a classy head cover.

It is one of the longer retrievers on the market and slightly more expensive than most, but it is well made, weatherproof, does the job well, and looks good. And believe me, if there’s a lot of water on your favorite course, you’ll kick yourself for not getting this helpful retriever (that is if you don’t) every time you end up there.


JP Lann Orange Plastic Round Head Retriever

This is a well designed, anodized steel retriever that is durable, lightweight, and fast and easy to use. You will save countless minutes quickly retrieving wayward, hard to reach balls. The shaft extends to 15 ft, which is ample for most situations and will be a great help on the course or the range.

Both the scoop and handle are rubber to prevent slipping and rolling off. It is a handy tool that is simple and effective. It may not seem as sturdy or professional as the models above, but this is a little gem that will be a very good investment. Just read all the positive reviews!


Callaway Ball Retriever

Not to be left out of the accessory market, Callaway has a practical and effective retriever. It also features a head cover so it looks quite at home in your bag when not in use. The super light yet strong aluminum alloy shaft extends to a decent 15 ft and will retrieve your ball effortlessly.

You can also get the one that extend to 6 ft, but it’s not that much more cheaper and getting the 15 ft one will definitely be more worth it. The handle on this ball retriever is also one of the best ones with a sure-grip, ergonomic model.


Orlimar 15-foot Fluorescent Head Retriever

For better visibility in murky water or long grass, the funky fluorescent head on this retriever will be easy to spot and help you pluck up those hard to reach balls. It is strong and light and tucks away easily into your bag.

This clever design extends to 15 ft, but is also easy to collapse to properly fit in you bag. It is one of the cheaper models on our list, but is still made of high quality and will last you for quite some time.

Final Word

Ball retrievers are one of those things many golfers forget about, but use one once or twice and you will be sold, wondering how you ever managed without one before. They are a useful accessory to carry and a worthwhile investment.

There are quite a few quality ones on the market and they do not cost the earth. Avoid the cheap and nasty ones and go for one with a robust design that is sturdy, won't rust after a few months, and will look decent alongside the rest of your equipment. It is a purchase you will not regret.

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Ryan S

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