Best Golf Ball Retrievers 2024

We run through the best golf ball retrievers so you can save golf balls and save money

Best Golf Ball Retrievers
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Best Golf Ball Retrievers: Quick Menu

Is there a worse feeling in golf than seeing a brand new, shiny Pro V1 head perilously toward a nearby lake? Probably not, right? Losing golf balls can be an annoying - and expensive - habit to fall into and, if you're regularly finding water hazards, you probably feel less inclined to use a better, expensive golf ball. That's where the humble golf ball retriever, one of the best golf accessories you can buy, comes into its own. They may not be the most fashionable item to have in the bag, but they can save you countless nearly-lost golf balls and some extra cash along the way. They come in a range of sizes and colors but all have a clever mechanism at the end that can grab golf balls from pretty much any awkward position you may find it on the golf course. Below are some of our favorite golf ball retrievers ranging in price and size so you can find the right one for you. Whichever one you go for, these accessories quickly pay for themselves. But if you're currently running low on golf ball stocks, why not also check out our guides on, the best value golf balls, the best golf balls for high-handicappers or our guide on the best cheap golf balls

Best Golf Ball Retrievers

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The List

How we test golf equipment

We always test all golf equipment thoroughly and make sure we find the best golf products for that category. By testing everything properly we can give you the best idea of what a product is like and if it is worth buying. We always put products to the test in the real world, making sure they function out on the course as they say they do. 

When testing golf ball retrievers we often just play golf because we all hit shots into hard to reach places out on the course! For the better players in the team though, we even make sure to throw balls into woods and water and then retrieve those balls to see just how effective that retriever is in different situations. This then gives us an idea of performance when it comes to length, durability, strength, and also how easy it is to actually use. All our writers play golf to varying levels and play a lot of golf giving them a great idea of what different levels of golfers would require from a product. 

How to choose a golf ball retriever

It may not seem like it but there can be lots of tech packed into the best golf ball retrievers you can get. So when it comes to buying one there are a few things you should consider before committing. 


Most retrievers will differ in length so you need to think about what situations you are usually in and what length would be best for it. There is no point needing a 10ft retriever and buying a 6ft one. 

Ease of use

An easy-to-use ball retriever is crucial, whether this is the way it unfolds or retracts it needs to be easy to use. This is important in golf especially when keeping up the pace of play, nothing is wrong with retrieving a lost ball but it shouldn't hold up someone else's round. The scooping system can be tough to use on some ball retrievers so pay close attention to this on the one you want, as it may not be right for you. 


Weight is important as you do not want something too heavy so you should go for a lightweight one but if this compromises strength then you shouldn't bother. Especially on the longer ones as they just bend or snap if they are extended out too far and not strong. It also needs to deal with getting banged up along the way as it is likely it will collide with things while trying to get to your ball. 


How easy is it to collapse down and can it easily be stored in your golf bag? Ultimately you don't want to have to carry the retriever in your hands all day so be aware of how different models can be stored and how much room they might take up. We would always recommend models that can just slot into where your clubs go. 


Finally, be aware of how much you are willing to spend on a ball retriever. It is worth noting that spending a little more here could save you money down the line on golf balls and picking a good retriever that lasts a long time will stop you from having to replace a low-quality model in the future. 


Do you need a golf ball retriever?

If you are a golfer that plays on a course with lots of water and/or you lose a lot of golf balls then a ball retriever could be worth getting. They can easily slot in your golf ball so if you do find your golf ball in an area in which you can't reach or it is wet, then a ball retriever will allow you to get you ball back. This could save you a lot of money indeed, especially if you game a premium golf ball.

What is a good length for a golf ball retriever?

This will ultimately depend on how much length you want from your ball retriever but as a basic number we think a ball retriever should at least extend to six feet. Of course, with many of the models we selected in this guide, they extend a lot further so it is worth you thinking about your optimal retriever length.

Is a ball retriever considered a golf club?

As specified in Appendix II of the Rules of Golf, a golf club is required to have a head and a shaft. Umbrellas or ball retrievers carried by players are not counted as clubs as these objects do not meet both of those requirements, even though they might have golf grips on them

Can I fish my golf ball out of a lake on the golf course?

Yes you can! That is why it is sometimes important to carry a golf ball retriever. But you may want to be careful not to retrieve any more balls than your own, as you may be pulling another players ball from the water. 

If you're a golfer who is prone to losing your golf balls in the lake, then a golf ball retriever might be a great purchase for you. But why not also check out our guides on the best value golf balls and best cheap golf balls, if you're golf ball stocks are running low. 

Dan Parker
Staff Writer

Dan has been with Golf Monthly team since 2021. He graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe, golf bag and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 6.5 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 

Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth 2 15°, Ping G425 Max 21°

Hybrid: Ping G425 

Irons: Cobra King Tec Utility, Ping i230 (5-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

With contributions from