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The golf ball retriever, on the surface of it, seems like a pretty pointless product. However, as i am sure many people realise, golf is a very tricky game and attempting to retrieve lost balls is always helpful, especially if you are playing with something like a Pro V1, where they cost a lot of money if you are losing them regularly. However, unless you play on a course which has a lot of water, i cannot really see the point in the product, as if you have found it then you are probably stood on top of it, in which case an 18 foot ball retriever is probably not really necessary is it? Thus, i concur with other reviewers that i probably wouldn't buy this, and think that it will just add weight to your bag.
Basically, this product is a long pole, which has a kind of mesh ball on the end of it. The mesh is important as it ensures that you can get under semi porous surfaces such as mud or sand, but to be honest, i do not see the issue with just walking over and picking it up. The product possibly becomes more useful if you dip your tee shot into a lake, but to be honest, the chances of finding your exact ball are pretty slim, and you will probably just end up with any old ball from the bottom of the lake. The pole does extend to 18 feet, but then will go back into your bag at a typical club length after lots of folding.
This is the other issue, in my opinion. It is a bit of a faff to get in and out, and then to fish by the side of the lake trying to get your ball back. I play at a golf club where it is constantly quite busy, so slow play is always discouraged. I personally think using this regularly would slow down your game big time, and so you would quickly annoy the people behind you with slow play. At the end of the day, if you want to go fishing, then do not bring your clubs onto the course!
The one good thing about this product is that it is fairly cheap. They are on sale at my club for just £9.99 and are widely available on the net for a similar price, so if you want to completely ignore my review and go out and buy one, then you can, for a fairly cheap price; although i stress that i do not really see the point of doing so!
I really cannot see the use for this product, so that stops me from giving it a good review. However, it does everything you ask it too, and is perfect for its purpose. Thus, in my opinion, it is not the product that is the problem, but the whole concept of having to buy a golf ball retriever for your round!
Now you might be wondering why this wonderful Dooyoo golfer is doing a review of a piece of equipment which suggests that he might have a few wayward shots every now and again. Well let me tell you that once that huge machine at CERN has found the basic building blocks of the universe, it can be re-programmed and sort out some truly important questions, like why does a golf ball find the only place on a golf course where it is impossible to get too without getting wet, muddy or both.
This is one of those strange pieces of equipment which tends to be bought for a player rather than that player going out one day and think "hmmm" must get a piece of equipment to get my ball out of a ditch. No they tend to be birtday or Christmas gift for those golf obsessed golfers. THey don't cost a huge amount and have a certain comedy value because they do suggest that your game is perhaps less Tiger Woods and more Tiger Lily.
This piece of equipment looks bizarrely like at first glance like someone has attached a hamsters exercise globe to a telescopic metal tube. The end is a three quarters complete wire net which is attached to a long pole which can be extended up to 18 meters, the end is designed to be able to get under the ball and is porous because the kind of places which this piece of equipment is used tends to involve water or mud. Once used, the pole folds back to a short tube with the net at the end and can be stored in the golf bag without too much trouble.
This isn't an essential piece of golfing equipment, its a nice thing too have especially if your like me and like to use the same ball throughout his round. This suggests a degree of control over my shots and a decent handicap, that would be a bit of a fiction but I do enjoy playing and occassionally this piece of equipment is used.
Thanks to my wife for buying me this piece of equipment as a Christmas present a few years ago, as she's never seen me playing how does she know about my left hook of the tee?
Anyone who plays golf will know how very frustrating it can be when you loose a good quality golf ball in the rough or in water. Sometimes you can inadvertently find someone elses lost golf ball when searching in the longer grass and amongst wooded areas of play, but still not find the one you yourself have lost.
Other times you strike lucky and find the missing ball and can continue on without too much fuss. However when it comes to hitting a golf ball into the water during play, there is little chance of recovering it unless you have the right type of ball retrieving equipment. Thats where a good quality golf ball retriever comes into its own.
There are many types of golf ball retrievers you can choose from including the Longridge 18m extendable golf ball retriever. Having bought one of these, I can say that it has proved to be a valuable addition to the selection of items packed into your players golf bag.
Previously we bought a smaller golf ball retriever from the same maker, which is quite handy and light and comes in at almost £5 cheaper than the larger 18m retriever, which retails for between £14.99 and £17.99. The smaller retriever is fine for use on courses with smaller water hazards, but when playing at some courses with larger deeper expanses of water it often proves too short to use to any great effect.
The Longridge 18m retriever on the other hand is mostly more then able to reach and retrieve golf balls that have fallen foul of the water on these larger expanses of water but it is much heavier to handle and so not as ideal as it could be. This is a bit of a design fault really, as is the fact that the rubber handle and shaft of the retriever is rather bulky and can take up a little too much room in an over stuffed golf bag.
The best compromise would have to be a lighter version of the smaller £9.99 retriever that we have that could stretch just a few more meters than the 9m it already can. So whilst the larger 18m reach product can work well it does need a bit of tweaking in order to make it the uber product that golfers want.
The way the retriever works is so very simple as its a telescopic wand type item that is easily extended and retracted. The circular metal bit that you grab the ball with, holds the golf ball firmly and means that there is no fiddling about once you have it in your grasp. This is an improvement on some of the older type retrievers that you had to twist and flip in order to pick up your golf ball.
Once you have extended the retriever it does feel cumbersome and if you are fishing about with it for any length of time it can be tiring on the arms. Having said that it more than pays for itself by being able to rescue golf balls that would previously have been lost forever. When storing the item in your golf bag its around the same length as a driver and its rubber handle means you don't knock your clubs and club head covers against it too much.
In summary I feel that the idea of the product is fantastic. It can stretch and retrieve well, but is a little cumbersome. Its very well made and feels strong and sturdy, but if it had been just a little lighter it would have been easer to handle.
As far as rating the product, I feel that this deserves a 3 star rating. It has more than paid for itself by saving many of the lost balls that were hit into the water and so is a product worth buying.
With the price of top quality Golf balls being around three pounds each and even lesser quality "Budget" balls being at least a pound or so, this telescopic ball retriever is a gadget you really ought to have in your bag. Just think, how many times have you been unable to reach your "Lost" ball even though you could see it quite clearly? Not just in Water, but under a hedge, in a thicket, over a ditch....... there are so many possibilities. My advice is buy one of these and I reckon that within a handful of rounds you will be "Quids in".
This retriever is a 6 section, Graduated Aluminium tube pole with a sturdy "Locking" ball cup on the business end and a decent plastic Handgrip on the other. The maximum reach (Extension) of this particular retriever is 18 feet, although they are available in other, shorter, lengths of 9, 12 and 15 feet. I must admit that I have no real idea why you would ever buy a shorter one because if you only need to reach twelve feet, you only need extend to 12 feet....
Now what's it like in use?
Well the operation is straightforward (Just like pulling out a telescopic Radio aerial), once you have got the hang of locking each section off when extended. This is a little Fiddly for a few minutes until you have the technique right. It is accomplished by a simple internal locking mechanism which is engaged by making a slight turn of one section relative to another. Simply grasp one section in the left hand and another one in the right, twist and they are locked together - simple and effective. Unlocking is just as easy and quick, simply turn the other way. This action takes about two seconds per section. Obviously just extend as many sections as are needed in order to get to the required length. All you have to do then is reach out to your ball, put the End Cup over it, press lightly down; in fact the weight of the retriever will generally do this for you, and pick up the ball. (There is a clever little locking device in the cap which holds the ball safe once it has been picked up), remove your ball, unlock the sections and replace the retriever in your golf bag.
All in all about a 30 second job once you have the hang of it - now that is a small price to pay when that ProV1 cost you Three pounds isn't it?
When fully extended to Eighteen feet it is a little unwieldy - to be expected I think!
It also "Sags" a bit at that length, but take care in using it, do not "Knock it" about, and it is fine.
The metal gets a bit cold to the touch - minor point.
The Handgrip could be a bit "Meatier" but is perfectly adequate all the same.
Other than the above it's fine.
Other interesting odds and necessary info.
The retriever - when unextended is about the length of your Driver so fits in your Bag quite unobtrusively, it is about an inch in diameter, and weighs around a pound. None of which causes the slightest problem in a normal Golf bag.
Should you buy one, and I recommend that you do, it will be one of the best £15 or so that you will ever spend, look after it and you will save a fortune over the years.
Enjoy your Golf...