The only thing worse than hitting your ball into the drink or out of bounds is finding it but being unable to grab it. Enter our guide to the best golf ball retrievers, specifically designed to help you recoup more than you lose in a round.
The golf ball retrievers in this guide will focus on the extension length, retrievability, and price. Plus, I will highlight which retrievers are the best for recovering balls from the water, thick rough, and the woods.
To save you spending time trawling through golf ball retriever reviews, we’ll give you a quick teaser.
Overall, we believe the best golf retriever in 2023 is the Callaway Golf Ball Retriever. Thanks to its 15-foot extension, durable design, solid grip, and snap design, it makes for a really efficient ball retriever. Additionally, at just over $36 dollars it is well-priced too.
A golf ball collector is an excellent gift for yourself or your loved one who plays the game. We have also compiled a list of the 32 best gifts for golfers if you need some ideas for the perfect present.
Overview Of The Best Golf Ball Retrievers
|Best Overall Retriever||Best Budget Retriever||Longest Extension Retriever|
|Callaway Retriever||ProWithLin Ball Retriever||Pelican Retriever|
|Rating||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars|
Why Do Golfers Need a Golf Ball Retriever?
We all send a shot flying into a pond, a lake, or out of bounds sometimes – it happens. But if it’s a ball that is your ‘go-to’ ball, your best golf ball, or it’s just that you don’t have an endless supply of them, of course, you are going to want to get it back if it’s possible.
Plus, golf balls don’t float, so you need something to get in there and pluck out the ball.
The golf ball retriever does that to save you from braving the water. Some are shorter, and others have extensions to reach balls quite far away from the edge.
Best Golf Ball Retriever Reviews
1. Callaway Retriever – Overall Best Golf Ball Retriever In 2023
- 15-foot extension
- Ergonomic grip
- Durable and sturdy construction
- Snap design secures the ball without needing to scoop it.
- Includes a Dual-Zip head cover
- If grass gets caught in the spring, it will jam
- The ball does not feel secure in the retriever compared to a cup.
Topping the list for the best ball retriever in 2023 is the Callaway Golf Ball Retriever. It is on the list because of its durable construction and superb length. As a result, it enables you to recover balls from hard-to-reach places.
This telescopic golf ball retriever is constructed with high-quality aluminum alloy that resists bending for superb stability.
In addition, it extends 15 feet (4.57 meters) to optimize your reach. That comes in handy when you attempt to recover balls from the middle of a dam. Or through the out-of-bounds fence.
Unlike traditional retrievers that use a cup to secure your ball, Callaway added a stainless steel retriever. You position the retriever over the ball, and when it is in place, you push down, and the spring closes around the ball.
Furthermore, this golf ball retriever contains an Ergonomic Sure Grip rubber handle to enable maximum control and stability. Finally, to protect the retriever, Callaway added a Dual-Zip headcover.
The downside of this retriever is that the spring mechanism does not feel as secure as a cup. Plus, it struggles to operate in long grass, as the grass gets caught in the spring, and then it struggles to lock.
Overall, the Callaway golf ball retriever is reliable and offers excellent reach, thanks to the 15-foot extension. If you are after an easy-to-use, durable design, this has your name written all over it.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
2. ProWithLin Ball Retriever – Best Budget Ball Retriever In Golf
- Secure scoop cup design
- Includes two golf ball grabbers
- Works well in the water, long grass, mud, and woods
- Highly affordable
- Lightweight construction
- Only extends 9-feet
The ProWithLin Golf Ball Retriever offers optimal value for money. Despite its reduced extension length, it retrieves balls from the water, bush, and rough. That is why it earns my pick for the best budget ball retriever in 2023.
I will get the downside out of the way first because this product is full of positives. However, it only extends a maximum of 9 feet, which may rule out retrieving balls from the middle of a lake. If you are after a long golf ball retriever, skip this one and proceed to number three on our list.
The telescopic retriever is constructed from rust-resistant stainless steel. That means you can submerge it in water without repercussions. Plus, ProWithLin crafted a lightweight retriever to reduce the tool’s impact while carrying it in your golf bag.
An Automatic Locking Cup secures the ball once you retrieve it, preventing it from popping out. It performs optimally in water, mud, long grass, and trees. When the cup reaches the ball, press down on it, and turn it around, and it will sit securely in the cup.
Moreover, the retriever includes two golf ball grabbers, which you can attach to your putter to help yank the ball out of the hole.
Ultimately, the ProWithLin Ball Retriever is affordable with a secure cup design. If you are on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing length, this is the one to think about.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
3. Pelican Yellow Nylon Cup Retriever – Longest Golf Ball Retriever
- Maximum length extension
- Easy twist and turn lock
- Light construction
- Rust resistant
- Comfortable grip
- It takes time to learn how to retrieve a ball when extended to 18 feet.
- When it is fully extended, it can become slightly flexible.
If the water hazards at your home course are wide and the fairways are narrow, a long golf ball retriever is vital to reach every area possible. The Pelican Retriever ticks this box with its 18-foot Yellow Nylon Cup Retriever.
This golf ball retriever extends longer than most options on the market, with a maximum range of 18 feet. Although that is a handy feature, it takes time to perfect the art of recouping a ball while fully extended.
To secure a ball, you twist and turn the cup, which is simple and hassle-free. However, if you twist it in the wrong direction, it will unlock the cup and cause your ball to fall out.
Added to the length and security of the Pelican Retriever are its lightweight and durable aluminum shaft and rust-resistant. Plus, a comfortable grip improves your handle on the retriever for extra stability and control.
In summary, the Pelican Yellow Nylon Cup is about length, which suits those looking to retrieve balls deep from out of bounds or in the drink.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
4. ProWithLin Spring Release Telescopic Retriever – Best Golf Ball Retriever For Water
- Performs optimally in the water
- Simple spring closure system
- Light composition
- It only extends a maximum of 9 feet
- Not ideal for retrieving balls in the long grass, mud, or woods.
If water hazards engulf your home course, you need a retriever specifically designed to handle the drink. Therefore it must allow an easy pick up of the ball and be rust-resistant. The ProWithLin Spring Release does all this and more, which is why it claims the title for the best golf ball retriever for water.
The spring-release construction of this Telescopic Golf Ball Retriever enables you to easily capture and secure the ball in the water. When you have identified your ball, place the top of the retriever over it, and push down. That will activate the ABS loop that secures the ball from all angles.
ProWithLin constructed it with a stainless steel shaft to further enhance its ability in the water instead of an aluminum shaft. That means it enjoys an extended lifespan, even when consistently used in the water hazard.
In addition, the retriever is sold with a complimentary golf ball grabber that enables you to collect the ball out of the hole without bending down.
Finally, the ProWithLin Water Golf Ball retriever is a light composition that does not weigh down your bag. Plus, it is highly affordable.
If you spend more time retrieving balls from the drink than you do from the woods, then the ProWithLin Spring Release Telescopic Retriever is the best option in 2023. Simply put, it is the best golf ball retriever for water on the list.
Rating: 4 Stars
5. IGOTCHA Executive Golf Ball Retriever – The Reliable Alternative
- Retracts to 15 inches
- Easily hides in side pocket of bag
- Very portable
- Doesn’t reach further than 10 feet
The telescoping shaft allows for convenient portability as it can easily be hidden in the side pocket of your golf bag. It retracts to just 15 inches to support this too.
The IGOTCHA golf ball retriever is a solid alternative to the above options, combining many of their qualities. It isn’t hugely short, but neither does it have a great reach. If you want to switch up your golf retriever and want a reliable option, this is the one for you.
Rating: 4 stars
6. Search N Rescue Mini Hide-Away Golf Ball Retriever – Best for Short Distances
- Highly visible underwater thanks to orange head
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to use
- Only 6.5 feet
The Search N Rescue retriever comes with a stainless steel telescopic assembly. It is colorful to allow for high visibility underwater. There is also a heavy-duty spring design to enable durability. It has a reach of just 6.5 feet and collapses down to just 16 inches.
Turn it over and pull the reset trigger when you want to retrieve a second ball.
Despite the Search N Rescue not reaching very far, when getting balls close to the water or out of bounds, the orange head and high visibility make it very effective and easy to use. For the price, it will do a good job from a short distance.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Our Research Parameters
Golfspan is independent and not pressured by manufacturers to recommend products. We were not paid for the golf ball retriever reviews in this article. These retrievers were selected by our team, who have over 100 years of experience playing golf and thousands of hours reviewing products. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase something through our retail links.
Twenty-one products were considered from 9 brands on:
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Golf Ball Retriever
If a golf ball retriever is on your radar, I suggest looking at their maximum length before anything else. That will help you determine whether you can reach the out-of-the-way places to retrieve your ball and ensure it is a golf ball retriever that works well in water.
The shortest golf ball retrievers measure 6 feet and rise in intervals of 3 feet. The longest retriever I have encountered is 18 feet or 5.5 meters for those operating on the metric system.
Although extra length gives you additional range from which to retrieve balls, that can cause the mechanism to destabilize and bend.
The scope or cup is the part of the retriever that enables you to collect and secure the ball. There are two prominent designs: a cup and a spring. A cup requires you to scoop the ball up to position it into the safety net, whereas a spring snaps closed over the ball to fasten it for the journey back to you.
You want to ensure that your golf ball retriever features an ergonomic grip that is easy and comfortable to hold. If you struggle to maintain a solid grip, it may slip out of your hand and fall into the water — leaving you without a ball and a retriever.
When fully extending the golf ball retriever, it should always remain firm and stable, ensuring optimal control. However, if the retriever bends significantly, it becomes difficult to cleanly lift your ball into the cup, leading to wasted time, frustration, and minimal balls recovered.
Most golf ball retriever products are relatively light, but it is worth checking the specs before purchasing them. You will carry it in your golf bag, clubs, apparel, and valuables. Therefore, make sure it is as light as possible to complement the mass of the rest of your equipment.
Those were your options for the best golf ball retriever for 2023 and ones that will certainly help in 2023 too. The list contains a mixture of options that best suit water and land retrieval and all budgets. Regarding budget, the ProWithLin Telescopic Golf Ball Retriever is best for those looking to save a few pennies.
If you are looking for maximum length from your extendable golf ball retriever, think carefully about the Pelican Golf Ball Retriever.
Furthermore, golfers looking for a prime water retriever are best off with the ProWithLin Spring Release construction. In addition, the ProActive Sports Retriever is crafted for use in mud, long grass, and swamps.
Overall, if you wondered ‘what is the best golf ball retriever’? The spring release closure Callaway won the best golf ball retrievers race this year and gets the best golf ball retriever review this time around.
Those seeking a durable construction with ample length and security should research the Callaway Golf Ball Retriever.
It is a really handy golf gadget to have and one that makes your life a lot easier if you are prone to a pond shot or two.
Ball Retriever Golf: FAQs
What Is a Good Length for a Golf Ball Retriever?
From my experience, you can never have enough length. The more, the merrier. Although an 18-foot retriever is preferable, I suggest going no lower than 15. However, it also depends on the areas you are trying to recover balls from. If you only have little creeks running through your course, a 6 to 9-foot retriever may be sufficient.
As a result, I would encourage you to look at something like the Callaway Golf Ball retriever that extends to 15 feet.
Which Brand of Golf Ball Goes the Farthest?
Bridgestone and Maxfli are the two brands that stand out as solid distance golf balls. Bridgestone is ideal for advanced golfers who generate sufficient clubhead and ball speed to launch them. Conversely, Maxfli helps slow swingers achieve consistent yardage in their long game.
That said, the distance a golf ball travels depends on the player hitting it. For example, Bryson DeChambeau plays a Bridgestone Tour B X ball with a relatively high compression rating. Although he drives an average of 322.1 yards, the average golfer would not come close to that with any ball they use.
The bottom line is that your distance comes down to your ability to generate clubhead and ball speed. If you swing a driver above 105 mph, a Bridgestone Tour B XS may help unlock additional distance. Contrarily, the low compression MaxFli SoftFli promotes consistent distance for the slow swingers among us.
Does a Ball Retriever Count as Club?
A ball retriever is not a golf club. The USGA explains that a ball retriever is not considered a golf club. Therefore, it would not mean you would have to reduce the number of golf clubs in your bag.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Retriever Make?
According to Indeed, the average diver makes just over $50,000 annually. But Sam Harrison, a golf ball retriever, generates an average of $150,000 per year collecting golf balls, as stated in an article with CNN. He explained that he collects an average of 5000 balls per lake on a golf course and sells them for $0.75 apiece. That adds up to $3,700 per lake.
Are Golf Ball Retrievers Worth It?
Yes, it is worthwhile carrying a ball retriever to recoup your ball when it is within reach. Otherwise, you are throwing dollars down the drain. In addition, it helps when you can employ the retriever to claim a ball that you found.
Is a Longer Ball Retriever Better than a Shorter Retriever?
In short, yes. A longer ball retriever is a much better option than a shorter version simply because it can reach further. It’s all well and good having a golf retriever, but if it only reaches 6 ft and your ball is 15 ft away, it’s not too much use.