Best Golf Ball Retrievers

VD April 04 2022

Golf balls are expensive. Golf balls are lost every round. What if we told you there is an easy way to lose fewer balls and save money, but hardly anyone takes advantage? A golf ball retriever is the solution and we’re going to tell you why.

We’ll walk you through design features you need to know such as design, materials, handles, and more. We also have an in-depth look at what they are, how they work, and why you need one in your bag. By the end of the article, you’ll be an expert in all things ball retriever.

How does a golf ball retriever work?

A golf ball retriever appears to be a short handle (usually a foot or two) with a cup on the end. This small handle extends to various lengths and you then use the cup to pick up golf balls out of your normal reach.

The golf ball locks into the cup or other mechanism of retrieval and can then be reeled in by retracting the extended pole.

Why do you need a golf ball retriever?

Everyone loses golf balls, and everyone hates it. Most of the time, our misses are just into a hazard meaning we can see the ball, but not retrieve it. Walking away from $4 can be painful and an average price ball retriever will be worth the cost after a few rounds of carrying it.

How to Use a Golf Ball Retriever

Once you use a ball retrieve once it’s easy. If it’s your first time, here’s how it will go.

  • Extend the device to whatever optional length is good to retrieve the ball in view.
  • Use the cup or other mechanism to trap the ball.
  • Retract the pole or swing it off to the side.
  • Remove the ball and poof, that’s another ball saved.

Top-3 Picks

Callaway Golf Ball Retriever 

Callaway has a firm grip on the accessories market. Besides great clubs, they make tons of other products that make the lives of golfers easier. If you don’t like the look of a golf ball grabber in the bag, a Callaway headcover keeps it discrete.

The Callaway Golf Ball retrieves comes in either a 6-foot length or 15-foot length. Considering it starts at 2-feet, that’s pretty good extension. No matter your length choice, the ergonomic sure-grip handle ensures you can use it with ease even when full extended.

A stainless steel shaft means the retriever will not rust or bend even after years of fishing balls out of water or operating in bad weather.  

prowithlin Golf Ball Retriever 

Sometimes a simple design is best. Other times it’s a compact design. With the prowithin Golf Ball Retriever, you can have the best of both worlds.

Available in 6-foot length and 9-foot length, the golf ball retriever telescopic power is real with this one. It is also lightweight, coming in at under half a pound and adding hardly any weight to your bag.

There is a plastic, cup design head making it an easy-to-use product for even a beginner golf ball retriever user. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a golf ball grabber that can attach to any club butt end.

Pelican Golf Ball Retriever

Sometimes the best golf balls are just out of reach. When this is the case, you need a product with a telescopic pole that extends a bit further than the rest.

The Pelican Golf Ball Retriever comes in various lengths, including a 12-foot length, 15-foot length, and 18-foot length. At 18 feet (or even 12 feet), you’ll be able to reach far into the woods or water to retrieve balls that no one else can.

This product has an aluminum alloy shaft, which is essential for keeping weight low with the extended lengths.

Choosing the Right Golf Ball Retriever - Things to Consider

Shaft Length

Are you someone who is going to bring the ball retriever on the course solely to look for balls or someone who might opportunistically grab a ball on the edge of the woods? If you’re part of the first group, go with a longer length. If you’re part of the latter, a shorter product will get the job done.


A comfortable handle grip makes a world of difference. It can be difficult to wiggle a ball loose, so why complicate things even more with a handle that’s not comfortable? A non-slipping handle gets it done.


Ball retriever shafts are made of stainless steel or aluminum alloy. Shorter ball retrievers tend to be stainless steel, while longer ones are aluminum alloy. There is no “correct” choice but, we’ve found that stainless steel retrievers strand up better over time.

Ergonomic Design

This has to fit in your bag, right? Make sure to pick one out that won’t interfere with your clubs, alignment sticks, and anything else in your bag.

Look For Portability

Some options are small enough to fit into the large pouch of your bag. If you don’t want to clutter your club slots, make sure to pick one that is portable enough to fit this mold.

Ball Security

You need something that provides ball security once you pick one up. A poorly designed product will let the ball to fall out or require it to be perfectly square in the cup. This is not always possible, especially when extended.

Be sure to look for a ball retriever with a locking mechanism. This means picking up a ball once, not a few times.


The stronger the better. Quality materials mean the product is structurally sound. When the ball retriever is extended, you do not want the pole bending any more than it needs to. Stick with retrievers made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy and it will have a longer life than those made from bad materials.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a good length for a golf ball retriever?

Sometimes less is more. A 6-foot to 12-foot retriever gets the job done. It will not clutter your bag, regardless of length, but these are the most practical. When you get into the real extended lengths, it is hard to see what you’re doing and the ball retriever becomes difficult to use.

Having optional lengths is nice, but a comfortable handle and lightweight design should weigh heavier. And of course, an attractive price will always factor in too.

Who makes the longest golf ball retriever?

Pelican Golf makes the longest golf ball retriever on our list. We tend to steer people away from retrievers that stretch up to 18-feet, but this one is different. Their head design is user friendly, it has an ergonomic design, and a comfortable handle. Among the “long” ball retrievers, this one stands out.

Can you fix a golf ball retriever?

It depends. If your stainless steel shaft bends a bit, it might be possible to straighten it back out. If the shaft bends to a 90-degree angle, probably not. One thing to keep in mind is that the shaft needs to be able to collapse and significant damage will prevent this. It is also why you should be mindful of picking up objects heavier than a golf ball that might cause damage.

Handles can be replaced; retriever cups can be repaired. It is the telescopic pole you need to be worried about the most.

Does a ball retriever count as a club in your bag?

No, a golf ball retriever does not count as a club in your bag.