2022 Golf Ball Retriever Buyer’s Guide

Do you have a ball retriever? For some golfers, owning a golf ball retriever is a must.

We understand there’s a stigma attached to the golf ball retriever but sometimes owning one can save you money.

According to Golf.com, more than 300 million golf balls are lost every year in the U.S. alone. You could safely double that number when you take into account how many balls are lost around the world. We don’t know how many of those are just left lying in plain sight in water hazards (Sorry. “Penalty areas.”) because they can’t be reached without a retriever.

So it’s safe to say owning one of the golf ball retrievers could save you money. Hell, you might even come out with a profit by the end of your round.

Whether you’re looking to buy a golf ball retriever today, seeking buying advice to get started or just want a closer look at what’s on the market, this guide will help you find the right ball retriever.

WINNER: I Gotcha

If you want the best golf ball retriever on the market, look no further than the I Gotcha. This golf ball retriever extends to 10 feet without the extension of your arm. It has a spring-loaded head which makes it easy to collect the ball in the water or in deep brush. These are just some of the reasons why I Gotcha was crowned Most Wanted Golf Ball Retriever of 2022.

  • 2nd in extension
  • 1st in ball security
  • 6th in sturdiness
  • 1st in handle
  • 3rd in storage

Features That Matter

Ball Security

You can’t retrieve it if you can’t secure it. Scoop designs work best for soft mud but the ball can fall out if the retriever turns upside down. Well-designed options like the I Gotcha excel at securing the ball but can struggle with softer ground.

Shaft Length

Size does matter! If you have a ball retriever that is too short, you won’t be able to reach balls deeper in penalty areas. Granted, you may never reach the one that’s in the middle of the lake but the longer the shaft, the greater your chance to retrieve your ball.

Ball retrievers that have the greatest reach are Callaway and Orlimar. Inesis wasn’t too far behind.

Handle

At full extension, some models get heavy and dig into your palms. Pick a retriever with a comfortable handle like the I Gotcha and Golf Ball Gopher.

Stability

When extended to full length, does the ball retriever droop or even snap? Some models like the I Gotcha are made from sturdier materials and hold their rigidity. Products that are lightweight tend to bend more and are less durable.

EXPERT TIP - Ball Security

If you are worried about your golf ball falling out when transporting out of a hazard, look for a retriever that has a lock mechanism associated with it for added ball security.

THE BEST GOLF BALL RETRIEVERS 2022 - FEATURES

 ProductDistance CoveredWeightRetracted Length
Callaway

Check Price
15FT1.5LB4FT
Golf Ball Gopher

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7.8FT1LB3FT
I Gotcha

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14FT1.1LB20.5 INCH
I Gotcha Executive

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6.9FT0.4LB15.5 INCH
I Gotcha Jawz

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14FT1.2LB21 INCH
Inesis 100 Telescopic

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14.7FT1LB3.7FT
Orlimar

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15FT1.1LB4FT
Pro Active Sports

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9FT0.4LB19 INCH
Search N Rescue Blue Rescue

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14FT1.7LB4FT
Search N Rescue Orange Trapper

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9FT0.4LB20 INCH

More Tips

  • To allow more room to get your clubs in and out of your bag, pick a ball retriever that is small, compact and fits in your side pocket.
  • If you play a course with a lot of water, a ball retriever might be a must. Otherwise, skip it.
  • To prevent bending, look for a model with a high-quality shaft that keeps its rigidity.

How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect golf ball retriever to fit your needs.

To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

Ball retrievers are tested head to head using rigorous protocols.

The metrics we consider when rating Golf Ball Retriever include Extension, Ball Security, Sturdiness, Handle, and Storage.

 

THE BEST GOLF BALL RETRIEVERS 2022 - RESULTS

 ProductExtensionBall SecuritySturdinessHandleStorageTotal
I Gotcha

Check Price
3rd2nd6th1st3rd85
I Gotcha Jawz

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3rd4th6th1st3rd83
Golf Ball Gopher

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9th1st2nd1st6th80
I Gotcha Executive

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10th2nd2nd1st1st79.5
Inesis 100 Telescopic

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1st7th2nd9th7th79
Search N Rescue Blue Rescue

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3rd5th6th1st7th79
Callaway

Check Price
1st5th9th7th7th78.5
Orlimar

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3rd9th1st7th7th78
Search N Rescue Orange Trapper

Check Price
7th8th10th1st3rd78
Pro Active Sports

Check Price
8th9th2nd9th1st74.5

What do I need to know about a ball retriever?

Q: Why do I need a ball retriever? They seem stupid!

A: There is definitely a stigma attached to ball retrievers but they will save you money. More than 300 million balls are lost every year in America alone. The average premium ball costs around $4 so the cost of lost balls adds up quickly. If you can retrieve a couple of dozen balls (or more) a year, it might be worth the sideways looks from your playing partners.

Q: Does a golf ball retriever count as a club?

A: A golf ball retriever or an umbrella does not have a shaft or a head. Therefore, it does not count as a golf club.

Q: Is a longer ball retriever better than a shorter retriever?

A: Almost always. It’s obvious enough: a longer ball retriever gives you more reach which means fewer lost balls and perhaps a few extras for the shag bag.

Q: Aren’t all golf ball retrievers the same?

A: No. Some have a scooping device to collect the ball while others, like the I Gotcha, have a locking mechanism for easy collection and added ball security.

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