Is a golf ball retriever the missing piece of equipment from your golf bag? It very well could be, but it could also be a purchase that just sits in your bag and rarely gets used during the golf season. It could be similar to that expensive mallet putter you used once, before reverting to the simple face putter you tried to replace.

The idea of the ball retriever is simple. It is a long, extendable rod with a cup on its end that scoops up golf balls that have been hit into a water hazard. A ball retriever sounds very practical. Problem is, a retriever can be pricey and a simple internet search of ball retrievers, shows varying prices from $12, for a lower end product, up to $31 for a Callaway brand, 15-foot retriever.

Reasons to buy a ball retriever

The No. 1 reason for golfers to buy a golf ball retriever is down to budget. Sure, it may cost you $14.99 to get a decent ball retriever, but over the long haul, you will pay less money for golf balls. One box of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls can cost nearly $50. If you lose one or two of those on your golf day out, it can ruin the entire day. A retriever can prevent you from losing that golf ball investment.


Adding a retriever to your bag really depends on the courses you play. If your regular course or courses are dry with sand traps, rather than water hazards, you won’t be getting much use from it. However, if you play courses with streams, creeks, ponds or even water-filled ditches, and you often try to find a lost golf ball, it’s is a good idea to pack one.

Finally, a ball retriever won’t just fish your ball out of a water hazard, but it will nab any other balls that have been hit into the wet. Before long, you could have an entire bag full of golf balls to play with. You won’t need to spend money any longer on golf balls as you will be able to use the ones you have found.

Reasons to resist a ball retriever purchase

So, you have seen your golf buddy’s collection of high-quality golf balls that have been fished out of course water hazards. Is it time for you to get one?


Of course, the cost is a put off to buying a ball retriever, not to mention the space it takes up in your bag. It is important to know what kind of golfer you are and is losing a ball a common occurrence? If you don’t send balls into the water on a regular basis, it may not make sense to add a retriever to your club set.

It is also important to think about the course or courses you regularly play. Are there water hazards throughout the course? If not, there is no reason to have a retriever for the off chance you hit a ball into the hazard.


According to some reviews on ball retrievers, they do break easily, so golfers must be careful when using them. In no time, you could snap a $25 retriever just trying to fish out a $2 ball. It is also useful to remember that the regular golfers at the course you play may have a laugh at your expense.

A golf retriever is really down to your golf game. If you frequently play courses with water hazards and have a high percentage of hitting the ball into the water, it is a good item to have in your bag. For everyone else, spend your money on something else.