Every golfer has hit a shot that finds the water hazard. But you can still retrieve golf balls on those shots that do not hit the center of the water.
All you need is a ball retriever. It provides a reach of over six feet to lift and scoop the ball out of the hazard. Saving a high-end ball or two per round can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
We have listed several retrievers that we think is the best golf ball retriever that will pay for themselves within just a few weeks of placing one of them in your golf bag.
Last updated on 2023-09-27. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2023
- What Should I Look for in a Golf Ball Retriever?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2023
What is the best golf ball retriever? Here’s our top 7 list:
Callaway Golf Ball Retriever
Best Golf Ball Retriever Overall
- Available in 6-and 15-foot lengths for extended reach with collapsible shaft
- Ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to handle and use during retrieval
- Stainless steel retriever mechanism picks up golf balls cleanly and easily
- Outstanding quality but the stainless steel body makes this one of the heaviest on the market
The Callaway Golf Ball Retriever made from stainless steel with a heft that stabilizes the product while offering unmatched durability.
As one of the best golf gadgets, the Callaway Golf Ball Retriever comes in two sizes, a shorter and more manageable six-foot option, plus a 15-foot option that extends your reach when dealing with tough to navigate water hazards.
IGOTCHA Golf Ball Retriever
Best Lightweight Golf Ball Retrievers
- 10-foot model weighs just eight ounces, making it one of the lightest golf ball retrievers on the market
- Collapses to just 15.5 inches for easy storage in a side pocket of your golf bag
- Spring release head locks ball for secure retrieval back to your location
- The construction and material quality are not as strong as other high-end ball retrievers
Offering lengths from 10 to 21 feet, the IGOTCHA provides a lightweight alternative to heavier stainless steel-based retrievers.
All of the company’s retrievers are collapsible to varying lengths, with the 10-foot entry-level model shrinking to just 15.5 inches. The shorter length of most of the IGOTCHA retrievers allows convenient storage in any of your bag’s side pockets.
The best feature of the IGOTCHA is the spring release head that secures the ball for easy retrieval. Although the head is made from plastic, the retrieval system offers safe and quick trapping action.
The company does offer deluxe retrievers that give the golfer up to 21-feet of reach, but the smaller, more compact models are the most popular offerings among golfers.
Lightweight with quick retrieval, the IGOTCHA Golf Ball Retrievers is an exceptional product, well worth your consideration.
ProWithlin Golf Ball Retriever
Best Value For Money
- Comes with a ball grabber that goes on the end of the club to help pick up the ball or out without bending over and causing stress on the back
- Can easily fit in a small pocket in your bag for no-hassle storage
- Automatic locking scoop design on the cup locks the ball in place
- Shorter, more compact retriever might not be as long as most golfers want
The ProWithlin Golf Ball Retriever is another short collapsible model primarily designed to help you grab golf balls that are well within your reach.
The golf ball retriever extends to just over six feet utilizing its body and automatic locking scoop to secure the golf ball.
Another addition to this package is a ball grabber that goes on the end of your club or putter. The item makes it simple to reach for a ball without engaging your lower back by leaning over.
If you are in the market for a condensed ball retriever, then the ProWithlin model is definitely worth a look. It provides a stainless steel body with a durable handle and an additional ball grabber providing a lot of value in an affordable package.
IGOTCHA Jawz Golf Ball Retriever
Best Collapsible Golf Ball Retriever
- Uses neoprene Jaws system to lock ball for retrieval instead of cup mechanism
- Variety of lengths from 10 to 18 feet give golfers long, lightweight retriever
- Stainless steel body is durable and offers the golfer stability at full length
- The handle is smaller than most on golf ball retrievers making it more difficult to stabilize at full length
The Jawz line of best golf ball retrievers from IGOTCHA offers quick and dependable retrieval without worrying about latches or other locking materials getting in the way.
All three models available collapse to sizes under two feet, making them ideal for a junior golfer looking to minimize their bags’ weight. Older golfers will enjoy the ability to keep the retriever in their bag and not among their clubs.
The Jawz retriever allows you to grab your golf balls using their unique and patented ring system with gripping rubber teeth on the interior.
Instead of using a cup, the IGOTCHA Jawz reduces weight by utilizing the single ring design. The ring also allowed the company to create the shaft out of stainless steel for more stability and durability.
The handle does disappoint as we would have preferred an extended version that allowed for two hands to grip the golf ball retriever for better stability on long reaches.
That aside, the lightweight ring really helps make the IGOTCHA Jawz one of the lightest and most enjoyable retrievers to use on this list.
Mazel Telescopic Golf Ball Retriever
Most Secure Golf Ball Retriever
- Stainless steel shaft helps the retriever to stay stable throughout the retrieval process
- Automatic locking scoop design makes locking onto a ball easy to achieve
- Handle is wide with ridges to keep it secure in your hand during retrieval
- Short and compact, making it hard to use on longer retrievals
The Mazel is a low-cost alternative to the longer and more high-end retrievers, making it ideal for beginning golfers.
The retriever only runs six feet in length, and while that may be a negative to golfers who want more reach, at this price point, it is perfect if you are looking for a retrieval product that is more compact and easy to store.
The best feature of the Mazel retriever is the telescopic golf ball retriever at the end of the item. Rather than a ring or cup, the Mazel model uses a locking mechanism that surrounds the ball and secures it for reclaiming your lost ball.
A great alternative if you are looking for a retriever that won’t weigh down your bag, the Mazel Golf Ball Retriever is an affordable option that will stay durable for many years to come.
- Locking mechanism safely secures golf balls for retrieval back to your location
- Simple to execute with a 180-degree cup that locks the ball into the retrieval head
- Lightweight aluminum body remains durable and provides stability
- Budget model ball retriever does not provide the material and construction quality of top-tier retrievers
While not the flashiest golf ball retriever we’ve seen, the JP Lann offers several worthwhile options with lengths up to 18-feet.
Made from durable aluminum, the JP Lann retriever offers the player a simple to use alternative to more expensive models. The aluminum shaft at the heart of this retriever makes it lightweight, perfect for even the smaller junior golfer to use on the course without a problem.
Once you extend the JP Lann’s shaft, the retriever’s cup has a locking mechanism that holds the golf balls in place once you lock it in with the 180-degree cup.
Once you are done reclaiming your golf ball, the JP Lann collapses to roughly 44 inches in height, comparable to your driver’s overall length.
Although you won’t be blown away by this product’s construction or material quality, if you are looking for a budget-level golf ball retriever that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, then this is our choice as the most affordable on the market.
ProActive Sports Golf Ball Retriever
Best All-Around Golf Ball Retriever
- 18 feet in length, one of the longest golf ball retrievers on the market
- Hinged cup makes scooping the ball simple to secure
- Lightweight aluminum tubing for the body retracts easily into a collapsible frame
- At its length, it can be a little flimsy at full retraction
The ProActive Sports Golf Ball Retriever is one of the longest retrievers on the market, stretching to 18 feet in length at its longest point.
If you are looking for length in your retriever, then the ProActive model certainly ranks alongside the best we’ve tested for this list. Weighing just 1.6 pounds, the retriever isn’t too burdensome to carry, especially among your clubs in the top opening of your golf bag.
This retractable golf ball retriever uses a stainless steel body to stabilize the stainless steel cup with an automatic latch mechanism to secure the golf ball. A long rubber handle helps you keep the retriever stable throughout the retrieval process.
Sturdy and well-designed, the ProActive Sports Golf Ball Retrievers are a cut above other retrievers that stretch over 12 feet in length.
What Should I Look for in a Golf Ball Retriever?
The most important feature of a golf ball retriever is the enclosure that captures the golf ball and returns it to the golfer. Once a golf ball is found, grabbing it with the retriever’s enclosure and securing it are essential in the retrieval process.
Some retrievers offer a simple enclosure, forcing the golfer to scoop the golf ball from the side and then bring it back to the golfer. These enclosures can allow the golf ball to slip out, causing multiple attempts to recover the ball.
Other enclosures include a clasp, held firm by a spring that captures the ball and locks it in place, allowing for safe return. These retrievers are higher priced but offer more security on longer retrievals.
There are short and long ball retrievers for golfers to use on the course.
Golf ball retrievers with short shafts that typically measure around six feet are great for grabbing golf balls from short distances. Although they don’t offer the reach of an extended length ball retriever, a shorter shaft is more stable and less flexible than longer shafted retrievers.
Long golf ball retrievers have long shaft lengths. Usually, these shafts are lengthened by collapsable pieces that fold into each other.
The longest shaft lengths on golf ball retrievers can measure up to 18 feet, giving the golfer five yards of extension for securing a hard to reach golf ball.
Long retrievers are great for grabbing golf balls that are submerged, jammed in muddy areas, or across barriers that golfers can not move around. Long retrievers collapse down to lengths that easily fit in golf bags.
One of the essential elements of the handle is the grip. Some retrievers offer a grip similar to a golf club with moderate tackiness that keeps the product firmly inside the hand.
Other retrievers offer oversized grips that are ridged but ergonomic for a custom fit easy to hold.
The handle is usually made from composite rubber materials that offer flexibility, cushion, and tackiness. Golfers need handles that will wear well over time, provide comfort while holding, and create the grip needed to leverage the retriever when collecting the golf ball.
Retrievers also need handles that work well in all types of weather conditions. Grips that offer the same grip in the rain as in dry conditions are a bonus for golfers looking for a retriever that meets high standards.
The stability of a retriever is measured by how solid the product performs when retrieving a golf ball. Since most golfers believe that the quality of the shaft anchors stability in a retriever, golfers should judge how the shaft performs when fully extended.
Retrievers with a short shaft offer more stability than longer-shafted retrievers. Since most shafts are made from aluminum, the shorter ones have more strength with less flex. The longer retrievers need more flexibility to help the enclosure reach golf balls farther away.
Easy to capture enclosures also offer premium stability and reliability. Cheaper retrievers force the golfer to scoop the ball to secure it, but high-quality enclosures use modern innovations to provide easy methods to bring a missing ball back to the player.
The material quality used on a golf ball retriever is crucial to its overall performance.
A retriever is made with three essential components: handle, shaft, and enclosure. If each component is made with high-quality materials, then the retriever will provide high performance and a pleasing experience.
The length of the shaft of the retriever also plays a huge role in the product’s ability to quickly grab and retrieve a ball.
Longer retrievers need shafts that are made from high-quality materials to maintain stability. Since the shaft is long, it must stay relatively rigid to make grabbing the ball easy to accomplish.
Shorter retrievers have more room for error, making the quality of the shaft’s material less critical because they typically offer a short, stiff arm to reach errant golf balls.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Golf Ball Retriever? How Does It Work?
A golf ball retriever works by securing the golf balls inside either a cup or rubberized ring at the end of the product.
When a golfer hits their ball into a hazard, whether in shallow water or perhaps high grass, a retriever can remove the ball without the golfer getting their shoes wet or needing to walk in an area where snakes might be nesting.
The retriever, typically collapsible, extends to its maximum length, then the ring or cup at the end is placed onto the golf ball. If it is a cup system, the golfer utilizes the latch that secures the golf ball, then flips it over and brings it back to its location.
The same is true for the ring, as the golfer lowers the gripper onto the ball, locks it in place, and brings it back to safety.
Most of the best golf ball retrievers use the cup system to secure and lock the ball in place as you bring the retriever back to your location.
First, you must extend the retriever to the length you believe will reach the golf ball. Since most best golf ball retrievers run in length from 10 to 20 feet, you might not have to extend the shaft to its full range to reach the golf ball.
Next, center the cup or ring around the ball and push down on the ball. Most golf ball retrievers use a latch system to secure the golf ball, and it must lock into place.
After the ball is secure inside the cup, pull the ball back to your location, and retrieve your golf ball.
Why Should I Buy a Ball Retriever?
There are a few scenarios you may encounter on a golf course where a golf ball retriever will come in handy. It can help you reach and gather golf balls in areas of the course where walking to the ball might be impossible or, at the very least, problematic.
For example, you should consider buying a golf ball retriever if you like to find and retrieve golf balls from the banks of water hazards or areas of deep rough.
If you play on courses with fenced houses, a retriever will help you add a few more feet to your reach to grab the golf ball.
Is a Longer Ball Retriever Better Than a Shorter Retriever?
A longer golf ball retriever offers advantages over a shorter retriever. The most obvious difference is that you can reach golf balls from longer distances with a longer retriever when compared to a shorter model.
For golfers who play courses in neighborhoods with fences and other obstacles, a long golf ball retriever can help access balls that have drifted farther than a few feet away from the boundaries.
When dealing with large water bodies, a longer retriever can help scoop golf balls that have become submerged, but the golfer can see the ball clearly, making it easy to recover.
A shorter retriever works well if your ball is close to a water hazard and you want room to grab the ball without getting wet or possibly getting mud on your shoes.
While you will sacrifice the ability to grab golf balls further away, a shorter retriever also stores easily in your golf bag and a garage during the offseason.