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Best Golf Ball Retriever 2023

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Best Golf Ball Retriever 2023

Question: What’s more embarrassing than pulling a golf ball retriever out of your bag?

Answer: Asking your buddy for a sleeve of balls because you just hit your last three shots into the water. 

Are you a fan of golf ball retrievers? If you’re not, I’d be willing to bet that we can change your mind with one word … Money.

There’s a reason this golf ball retriever buyer’s guide is so important. A golf ball retriever could save you hundreds of dollars. Now that’s a return on investment! With the price of golf balls steadily increasing, the more you can retrieve, the more money you’re putting back in your pocket. 

Put aside your pride. Here are the best golf ball retrievers for 2023. 

Golf Ball Retriever Buying Considerations

Here are a few things to consider when reaching for a new golf ball retriever.

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Cost Versus Performance

While $40 might seem like a lot for a golf ball retriever, that’s roughly the same cost as a box of premium golf balls. Think of a golf ball retriever as an investment. Each ball you are able to save from a watery grave is another $2-$3 back in your pocket.

Even still, you can buy a great-performing golf ball retriever for less than $20. The best value golf ball retriever from Prowithlin is under $15.

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Durability

Solidly constructed golf ball retrievers will last for years. Both the grabbing mechanism and shaft should be able to withstand any and all terrain. From the woods to the water, your golf ball retriever needs to handle it all.

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Size

Consider the golf course you play most often. How big are the bodies of water? Are you often losing balls in hard-to-reach places? Ask yourself these questions to find the right size of golf ball retriever. Compact retrievers are easier to store but may not extend as far. Longer golf ball retrievers may take up more space in your bag but some have reach that extends to nearly 20 feet.

Best Golf Ball Retriever 2023 – Results

ProductExtension Ball Security Sturdiness Handle Storage Total
I GOTCHA Jawz2nd2nd3rd3rd3rd96.5
I GOTCHA Compact3rd2nd3rd3rd3rd96.25
I GOTCHA Standard3rd4th2nd5th6th96
Prowithlin Spring Release Golf Ball Retriever8th1st5th1st1st94.5
Search’N’Rescue Blue Rescue1st6th6th5th8th90.5
Callaway Ball Retreiver9th5th1st5th9th90.25
Search’N’Rescue Magic Gripper3rd8th6th2nd6th89.5
Prowithlin Golf Ball Retriever7th8th6th8th2nd87
Search’N’Rescue Orange Trapper6th7th9th9th3rd86.5

Golf Ball Retriever Features That Matter

Ball Security

Best Golf Ball retrievers 2023

What does Larry Fitzgerald have in common with the best golf ball retrievers of 2023? Ball security. Over his 17-year career, the Cardinals’ wide receiver dropped only 29 balls. That’s less than two drops per year. 

A golf ball retriever must have the same level of ball security. Nothing is more frustrating than making attempt after attempt to retrieve your ball and coming up empty-handed again and again. 

Successful retrieval of your golf ball should not be like an arcade claw machine where the only chance you have of snagging your intended target is sheer luck. The process should be both foolproof and failproof, similar to throwing a deep ball to Larry “Sticky Fingers” Fitzgerald.

While there are many different golf ball retrieval techniques and mechanisms, the best in this regard belong to I GOTCHA. Both the standard and compact models use a unique spring release system to “cage” the golf ball. 

Extension

Group Shot of the best golf ball retrievers 2023

In need of some extra length? The best golf ball retrievers offer impressive extension for long-distance ball retrieval. 

Keep in mind that often the “longest” golf ball retrievers are also the least compact. That said, the I Gotcha Jawz and I Gotcha Compact golf ball retrievers are among the most compact AND the longest overall when fully extended. These two strike a perfect balance between size and functionality. 

If you’re looking for the overall longest golf ball retriever, the Search’N Rescue Blue Rescue has a maximum reach of 19 feet. 

Ergonomics

Handles are important on golf ball retrievers.

Admittedly, “ergonomic” isn’t the first word we’d use to describe a golf ball retriever. But, by definition, finding a golf ball retriever that is comfortable and efficient to use is key. 

When we speak of comfort, we’re talking about the handle. The handle of a golf ball retriever is your only point of contact with the device. A good handle should be textured to avoid slippage when wet and should fit the hand nicely. 

The Prowithlin Spring Release golf ball retriever has the most ergonomic design. The handle has a great grippy texture as well as indents to allow the fingers to rest naturally. 

Stability

Winner of the best golf ball retriever

Can a golf ball retriever be stable? Sure it can! Due to the nature of the telescoping action of most retrievers, the shaft tapers off towards the ball retrieval mechanism. This can cause an excessive amount of bend when fully extended and when loaded with that Pro V1 you just saved from the pond. 

The best golf ball retrievers should maintain their stability, even when fully extended. A shaft that’s too thin or too whippy can make it harder to pick up your ball or may break after minimal use. 

The most stable golf ball retriever is the Callaway golf ball retriever. The I Gotcha Standard is also very stable and stout. 

More Golf Ball Retriever Tips

  • There’s no shame in using a golf ball retriever. Don’t let your buddies bug you. 
  • If you’re looking for something more low-key, you can get a ball retrieval attachment that screws into the butt end of your putter grip. This is great for picking the ball up out of the hole, too. 
  • Consider the environmental impact of leaving your golf balls in bodies of water. Retrieval can save you money and help the environment. According to studies, the mass of a golf ball is equal to that of three plastic bags or three plastic water bottles.
1
2023

I GOTCHA Jawz Golf Ball Retriever Review

97 overall

The Bottom Line

The I GOTCHA Jawz is the best golf ball retriever for 2023. It's sturdy, stable and the best of the bunch.

Pros

Soft touch handle, great extension, and super compact. It holds the golf ball securely, too.

Cons

Build could be a little more sturdy.

"It's all in the name. This thing is as good as they come."

Do you use a golf ball retriever?

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2
2023

I GOTCHA Compact Golf Ball Retriever Review

96 overall

The Bottom Line

The I GOTCHA Compact golf ball retriever is one of the best. It's all security is top notch.

Pros

Great ball security thanks to the spring loaded encapsulation system.

Cons

Can bend a little when fully extended.

"The spring release head makes the whole process safe and secure."

Do you use a golf ball retriever?

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3
2023

I GOTCHA Standard Golf Ball Retriever Review

96 overall

The Bottom Line

The I GOTCHA Standard golf ball retriever is sturdy and secure. While bigger than some, it still does the job very well.

Pros

Fantastic ball security and a very sturdy shaft.

Cons

Handle felt a little big for the hand.

"Long and sturdy. No nonsense. A functional golf ball retriever."

Do you use a golf ball retriever?

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4
2023

Prowithlin Spring Release Golf Ball Retriever Review

95 overall

The Bottom Line

The Prowithlin Spring Release golf ball retriever is the best value golf ball retriever for 2023. This budget pick is an all-around performer.

Pros

The most comfortable handle and a great ball security system. THe most compact of the bunch, too.

Cons

Wasn't as sturdy when fully extended.

"I love the handle. Super comfortable to use!"

Do you use a golf ball retriever?

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5
2023

Search’N Rescue Blue Rescue Golf Ball Retriever Review

91 overall

The Bottom Line

The Search'N Rescue Blue Rescue golf ball retriever is long and sturdy. This golf ball retriever has massive extension.

Pros

Very sturdy, even when fully extended. Maximum reach of 19 feet.

Cons

Not as compact, and grabbing mechanisms struggled at times to pick up the ball.

"No ball is too far gone with the Blue Rescue. This thing is a mile long."

Do you use a golf ball retriever?

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Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.

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More Top-Performing Golf Ball Retrievers

Looking for more detailed information on golf accessories?

More Top-Performing Golf Ball Retrievers

Looking for more detailed information on golf accessories?

Best Value Golf Ball Retriever

Prowithlin Spring Release Golf Ball Retriever Review

Check Price

Best Long-Range Golf Ball Retriever

Search’N Rescue Blue Rescue Golf Ball Retriever Review

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Most Durable Golf Ball Retriever

Callaway Golf Ball Retriever Review

Check Price

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      Michael D. Wood

      11 months ago

      Good golfers DO NOT USE BALL RETRIEVERS. If the ball went in the water its infested with stupidness. Oh, could you imagine a PGA tour pro pulling a golf ball out of the water using a ball retriever. Just carrying a golf ball retriever is exhibiting a defeated attitude. A “HACK” maybe carries one, a good player doedn’t.

      Reply

      David

      11 months ago

      Bought my I Gotcha maybe 20 years ago and still works great. Vast majority of balls I grab are other golfer’s brand new Pro V1’s.

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      11 months ago

      At $40 a pop and roughly $40 per dozen, you’d have to lose a dozen golf balls in water AND close enough to shore to retrieve, just to break even.

      I don’t think I’ve lost 12 balls within sight of shore BUT beyond my reach over the past decade (144 rounds), at least. In the middle of the lake, sure. But within reach of a retriever? Not 12, that’s for sure.

      Reply

      Joe Perez

      11 months ago

      Interesting point, but sometimes you lose ball in thickets, shrubs and bushes too, where you cannot reach with your hand, or may think twice about putting your hand to begin with (think “uncle no-shoulders”).

      Reply

      Josh

      11 months ago

      Ball retrievers aren’t for the guys throwing Costco balls 50′ into a lake on a shitty drive – they’re for the folks who roll a ProV or Chrome-y one off the end of a tight fairway or green into the water, or for that hole on your home course with a canal running down the middle.

      I’ve had half a dozen retrievable balls this year alone, and I’ve asked if anyone has a grabber every time. Finally bought my own (the prowlwithlin, 2 days before this article went up lol) to avoid the slowdown and hassle. 22$ on Amazon is less than 2 sleeves of quality balls…

      Reply

      Mike

      11 months ago

      I bought the “top rated” a few years ago. Piece of JUNK. Telescoping mechanism broke after a year or two) not sure how that happens!). I think it only gets high marks because it’s compact. Get the simple one w/ the orange tip (no springs).

      Reply

      Craig H

      11 months ago

      I enjoy looking for golf balls so I’ve had several ball retrievers over the years. I’m still searching for one that I could recommend with no hesitations. Overall I agree with the choices of the top rated ball retrievers but the reviews don’t mention a couple of problems that you might encounter. 1) The extensible shafts can corrode over time so the extensible shafts won’t extend; and 2) where the shaft attaches to the “grabber” won’t tolerate much pressure. It can bend or break if you are trying to get a ball out of muck, rocky holes or vegetation. (Rusting is a bigger problem if you have to deal with salt water, like near the coast.)

      I’ve currently using my Callaway retriever, which works fine but it’s both heavy and ~3 feet long when collapsed so it doesn’t fit in a pocket of your golf bag. If you carry a bag, you’ll be inclined to leave it in the car.

      Reply

      Ken Venezio

      11 months ago

      Wish I had seen this earlier in the week. I just sent mine in to get regripped.

      Reply

      BH

      11 months ago

      I applaud this comment.

      Reply

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