2020 BALL RETRIEVER BUYER’S GUIDE
MyGolfSpy is consumer first. We tell you which drivers work for your swing speed, the best irons to take your game to the next level and the best balls on the market. So if you’ve dialed in your game, why would we be content to let any of that equipment sit at the bottom of the lake or in some questionable rough? Protect your investment! Get yourself a ball retriever. They might have a stigma equivalent to being the pocket protectors of golf but you’ll be saving money.
Whether you’re in the market for a new model or just curious how many variations of golf ball retrievers exist, this guide is for you.
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.
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.
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.
Handle: At full extension, some models get heavy and dig into your palms. Pick a retriever with a comfortable handle.
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.
- To allow more room to get your clubs in and out of your bag, pick a ball retriever that is small and 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 high-quality aluminum to keep its rigidity.
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. According to CNN and Golf.com, more than 300 Million balls are lost every year in America alone. The average premium ball costs around $4. 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: 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: Not all golf ball retrievers are the same. 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.