10 Best Ball Retrievers | March 2017

Yes, good golf balls are VERY expensive, especially if yours seem to be magnetically drawn to water, like ours! Now you don't have to lose even more money on the course by leaving them behind if you use one of these golf ball retrievers. They'll pick up balls easily from water, bushes, rocks and mud. Skip to the best ball retriever on Amazon.
10 Best Ball Retrievers | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
When you're on a budget, but need an extended hand, look no further than the Ecoolbuy Retriever. Its small and compact design is simple to carry and fits conveniently into a soft bag, but it may not last for the long haul.
The ProActive MB-HC-24 works like a charm without any frustration. It is made with a lightweight aluminum tubing, plus it has a hinged cup design that easily traps the ball and releases it with a simple tap.
The Orlimar OR07237 helps to avoid any unnecessary back or hand strain thanks to its telescoping handle that can reach up to 15'. Plus, it can stand upright in your golf bag for easy access right at your fingertips. Easily keep it upright in your bag too.
The INTECH Retriever offers a simple, but super effective design, with a fluorescent orange head that is highly visible when underwater. Its solid and sturdy construction can withstand continuous use year after year.
  • comes with a 1 year warranty
  • twist and lock extending mechanism
  • doesn't collapse to a small size
Brand Intech
Model I99062
Weight 1.4 pounds
The Callaway 15th Club is a worthwhile investment that will come in handy on the course. It only takes minutes to retrieve a ball and is the perfect weight for easy maneuvering whether you're a beginner or a pro.
  • has a well-balanced feel
  • rings hold the ball securely
  • the tubing fills with water
Brand Callaway
Model C10400
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rescue your golf balls in an effortless way using the ultra lightweight Champ Pro-Lite. It has a 9' telescopic shaft, comes with a convenient carrying case and can even pick up a ball from the golf hole.
  • effective from most angles
  • patented lock traps the ball nicely
  • collapsing pole is not super durable
Brand Champ
Model DBR002
Weight 7 ounces
The JTD Enterprises Search And Rescue is one of the highest quality ball retrievers on the market thanks to its patented wide head design that resists corrosion. It also offers great control with tubes that lock at any length.
  • hand assembled in the usa
  • no breakable locking devices
  • large basket can pick up multiple balls
Brand JTD Enterprises
Model TB-18
Weight 2.5 pounds
Expect nothing but the best from the premium Callaway Golf Pocket. It is made with a high quality aluminum alloy that will not bend when fully extended, and it has an innovative dual-zip headcover for protection when not in use.
  • ergonomic textured grip handle
  • stylish and functional
  • heavy duty construction is built to last
Brand IZZO Golf
Model pending
Weight pending
The Signstek Retreiver offers superior quality and performance without the high price tag. Its stainless steel shaft is strong but lightweight, and an automatic locking device on the scoop prevents the ball from dropping out.
  • comfortable handle is easy to grip
  • simple to operate
  • efficient telescoping design
Brand Signstek
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Trust the IGOTCHA XL to get you back in the game quickly and easily. It extends to an impressive 9' 10" long and collapses to a mere 19" long, so it can fit in the long side pocket of your golf bag when not needed.
  • works in water, bushes, rocks and mud
  • has a very simple ball release
  • heavier weight material does not bow
Brand I Gotcha Golf
Model pending
Weight pending

The Confusing History Of Golf

The true origins of golf have been debated for years, with no clear answer in site. Golf-like games have been played in a number of different cultures over the years. As far back as 100 B.C.E., there was a Roman game known as paganica, in which players would hit stuffed leather balls with bent sticks. Some historians site this as the true origin of golf, but others point to Chuiwan, a game from Song Dynasty China in which players also hit a ball with a stick. Another early game that might have been a precursor to golf is cambuca, an English stick-and-ball game from the 12th century.

Because references to golf-like games have been found in various cultures through the years, it is difficult for historians to say with confidence where it started. Until recently, it was often accepted that Scotland held the origins of what evolved into modern day golf, but new evidence now supports the theory that it was first played in the Netherlands, before migrating into Scotland. The earliest picture of people playing golf was found in a book written early in the 15th century in France. It was owned by the duchess of Burgundy and predates any reference to golf in Scotland.

Whatever the true origins of golf may be, it is known that it was extremely popular in Scotland and had to be outlawed by the Scottish parliament in 1457, as it was interfering with the military's archery training. In 1500, King James IV lifted the ban on golf because he was a fan of the sport and often liked to play it himself.

In the 17th century, golf became a popular pastime in England, and the first British Open was held in 1860. Around this same time, golf's popularity was spreading throughout the western world. North America's first permanent golf club, Canada’s Royal Montreal Club, was established in Montreal in 1873. The United States quickly followed suit with a permanent 18-hole golf course of their own, built at Wheaton, Illinois' Chicago Golf Club in 1893.

The Golf Ball Retriever

Golf ball retrievers are used to retrieve golf balls that might otherwise have been out of reach, in water hazards or deep rough, for example. They have a telescopic rod, with some extending 20 feet or more, and some kind of head on the top that is capable of picking up balls. Most pick up balls by using a simple scooping action, but some models are designed to be pressed down on top of a ball. These models often have some way to secure the ball in the head so it doesn't fall out when the retriever is lifted up. Golf ball retrievers are invaluable if one often plays on courses with deep water hazards.

The golf ball retriever was first patented in 1964 by Harvey G Wysong. Before he created the ball retriever, it was common for players to abandon balls hit into water hazards. Golf courses would either hire divers or drain the water hazards periodically to retrieve the balls, which they would later sell back to players as used balls.

In 1976, Anthony F. Piazza patented a vacuum-based golf ball retriever. It combined a tapered receptacle with a vacuum pump that could be pressurized to suck up golf balls into the receptacle. A lever was incorporated to release the vacuum pressure when it was time to drop the ball.

Piazza thought this would make retrieving balls easier, and allow for players to retrieve balls from putting green cups without having to bend over. While this style of retriever did enjoy some measure of success, they are currently difficult to find with players often choosing to use the simpler scoop style retrievers.

Picking The Right Ball Retriever

When choosing a golf ball retriever, players must often make a compromise between length and portability. On one hand, it makes sense to purchase the longest ball retriever available, but this can make them difficult to transport in a golf bag. Before purchasing a retriever, players should measure their planned storage place to ensure it will fit when fully retracted. This may be a side pocket on a golf bag or, if there is additional room, in a club slot.

The build material should also be taken into account when purchasing a ball retriever. Since they will regularly be exposed to water, one should look for one made out of stainless steel or aluminum, as these metals will not rust. If picking a stainless steel model, double check the weight. Overly heavy ball retrievers will be unwieldy and difficult to use when fully extended.

If you are worried about the ball falling out after being retrieved, look for a model that has some kind of locking mechanism to keep the ball securely in place. If you like to scour the water hazards for balls other players have abandoned, consider a retriever with a head designed to pick up multiple balls. Some may have room to hold two or three balls at a time. This allows you to retrieve more balls with less effort.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information