Like a hawk sailing into the sunset, your “perfect pull” from the tee box has that ace disc flying off into out of bounds. Was your form off, did the wind catch it, did you round or grip-lock?
This is no time to analyze what went wrong. You’re expensive plastic is slowly sinking into the deep dark sludge pond to become an alligator chew toy. As those birds defecate on your shiny one of a kind dyed-disc up in the tree, you stare in aghast wondering just how to get it back. Time to figure out the best disc golf retriever and take action.
What Is A Disc Golf Retriever?
A disc golf retriever is in its simplest form a tool with attachments that allows disc golfers the ability to save their favorite discs from a precarious situation. The pole can help retrieve a disc from a water obstruction, tree, or even out of the poison ivy infested wooded section of the disc golf course.
This ideal tool can reach anywhere from 10-20ft and typically has a few head attachments to suit the need of the particular situation. As the name implies, the stick-like instrument is used to retrieve lost disc golf discs.
Types and Style of Disc Golf Retrievers
There are 3 main types of popular disc retrievers on the market today. Each has its merits and use cases. We will briefly touch on the various types below:
- String and Drag: This style of retriever reminds us of a grappling hook. The idea being that you throw the hooking end out into the water, and pull it back with the attached rope, dragging it on the bottom and latching your disc to bring it home. So if you have those Batman slinging abilities this might be the type for you.
- Hook: The name says it all…this telescopic pole is designed to pack away when not in use and extend out to 20ft for maximum reaching ability. Most have at least one hooking type of head attachment but some come with multiple types for those tricky high tree retrievals.
- Clamp Style: More related to the head attachment itself, this style uses a spring loaded jaw attached to a pole to latch onto your disc and bring it home.
Why Do You Need a Disc Golf Retriever?
So you bought yourself a starter set after reading our Best Disc Golf Set for Beginners article. Or perhaps you decided to invest a bit more and get some nice premium plastic for those discs that are scoring you birdies at the local course. But then the inevitable happens…and yes, it happens to all. Beginners and pro alike have or will inevitably lose a disc.
Unless you plan on taking a cool bath during your round of disc golf you’re going to need something to help fish out the “practice shot”. Of course, you’re welcome to go for it, I will be there with my camera in hand ready to post on #dgfails and tag your friends in to watch. I jest of course, you earn that beer from your buddy shall you make such an attempt. In all seriousness though, as more disc golf courses evolve, hazards such as water become more relevant. This is where most use cases come into play for that new disc golf retriever.
Don’t get me wrong, play long enough and your disc will be just out of reach up in a high tree or two. And there are times when it will land in a patch of poison oak or ivy. I have even seen a “friendly” water moccasin curled up guarding the plastic UFO invader. FYI, he kept that one, don’t disturb the wildlife…trust me, your extension pole does not make you a certified snake wrangler.
Regardless of the situation, if we haven’t made our point as to why you need a disc golf retriever clear enough, consider the gifting option. You need a gift to give and your friend has all of the disc golf accessories out there…bags, towels, water bottles…what’s next? Well if they or you have it all, might as well add one of these to step up the disc golf game. At the low end they can range from $12-20, so not a bad option for the upcoming birthday.
6 Best Disc Golf Disc Retriever Review
So now that we know a little bit about these handy tools, let’s queue up the product comparison chart to help summarize some of the disc retriever options:
Disc Golf Retriever Comparison Chart
|Product Name||Type/Style||Attachments||Length/Reach||Use Case|
|Kwik-Stick XXL||Hook / Telescoping Pole||1||18in – 22ft||Water / Tree|
|Hive Disc Claw||Hook / Rope||1||25ft||Water|
|TolleSonne||Hook / Telescoping Pole||3||16ft||Water / Tree|
|Rouge Iron||Hook / Telescoping Pole||3||16ft||Water / Tree|
|Bird Dog||Hook / Telescoping Pole||3||15ft||Water / Tree|
|Infinite Discs Rescue Retriever||Hook / Telescoping Pole||1||22in – 16ft||Water / Tree|
The inzone Disc Golf kwik-stik xl hook golf disc is known as one of the easiest and quickest disc golf disc retrievers on the market. It can extend from 18 inches up to 22ft! With that amazing amount of reach no matter how deep or how high you may have misplaced your disc, it should be retrievable. The hook head attachment is made of stainless steel. Light weight enough to manage, but should also be strong enough to push away branches or obstacles keeping you from latching the precious plastic ring. The Kwik-Stik is an excellent tool for disc golfing and user-friendly. After 4 uses you will have practically paid for this great addition to your disc golf bag.
The Hive disc golf accessories disc claw retriever is a different disc golf retriever type and one of the most compact portable units on the list. Made of rope and a metal “claw” attachment that allows for a foldable device. This design has long been a standard for retrieving discs that end up at the bottom of water hazards. The claw head portion is designed a bit thin so that when you are trying to grab discs, the disc is the only thing it can reel in.
The Hive Disc Golf Claw folds up to a compact unit that can fit in any bag, and the rope found in the retriever is capped off with a metal ring that makes it safe when you are tossing it into the water. Thus, you don’t accidentally throw the whole thing into the water. This disc golf retriever is a great option and simply a must-have tool for disc golf lovers. Best of all it’s one of the cheapest on the list.
The TolleSonne Disc Golf Retriever is relatively new to the game. Besides having an odd name the product itself is gaining ground on the competition. Both the attachments and the pole itself are made with stainless steel. It comes with 3 head attachments designed for the various situations you might find your disc in. The attachments are covered in a plastic material for gripping the discs better. At full length we experienced little to no wobble unloaded, but with a disc hooked and pulling out of water there was a bit of sag. The TolleSonne Disc Golf Retriever will retract down to 1.4ft making it easy to stash. At the current price it’s a good value for money, the retriever has proven to be a good companion so far.
Similar to the other hook & pole options on our list, the Rogue Iron has been around awhile and is well established as a quality retriever. Rightfully so, with over 200+ 5 star ratings from the discernable disc golf crowd, you’re sure to be happy with this purchase. The unit extends to 16ft and packs down to 16inches. It comes with 3 head attachments all covered in rubber to grab the discs easily. At full length the Rogue Iron sags a bit but so do all of the other options. Perhaps the best feature is the lifetime warranty, making it a better option than those similar in design. The company also seems willing to listen to its customer and update the design as needed, having added wing nuts for the attachments back in 2021.
Sunken golf discs stand a chance to be recovered with the proven Bird Dog Disc Golf Retriever Pole. This unit is another popular and well reviewed extension pole with multiple attachments that will reach out into the murky water hazard and rescue discs from becoming plastic lily pads. The pole extends to 15ft and is made of stainless steel. It also comes with a drawstring bag to throw in after coming out of the swamp water. The design is tried and true for retrieving sunken discs from the bottom of a pond.
Like a few options on our list, the Infinite Discs Rescue Retriever is a pole retriever. I don’t know if it’s made with surgical stainless steel but the unit seems to be made with some of the best material and feels sturdy. The pole is compact enough to fit into your disc golf cart or backpack. It extends to a length of 16 feet to snag and drag your discs back to safety.
Wet Disc? Get A Flight Towel!
There are a ton of options on Amazon for Disc Golf Towels ⬅︎ just click it! Let’s face it, if you’re pulling a disc out of the water you better have something to wipe it off. And while there are some nice towels in the link above, are favorite is the Flight Towel…
What is a Flight Towel?
This company was started specifically to fit the needs of disc golfers. They create their towels to fit where we need them. Using a centered carabiner design the towel will hang from a bag or pocket and not touch the ground. Flight Towels utilizes recycled disc golf discs to create the products and even work with makers such as @trashpandadiscgolf for recycling discs. Grab yourself a premium Flight Towel below:
What To Look For in a Good Disc Golf Retriever?
When you are thinking about getting any of these best disc golf retrievers, it’s important to consider aspects that can be crucial to your decision-making process. However, all of these items are made from high quality materials and none of them should let you down. It’s a good idea to consider these factors before buying a disc golf retriever
The hook attachments are what grab the disc from the water, tree, or whatever obstacle to get in your way. So if you get a retriever with weak hooks, you’ll spend more time trying to get your disc golf than actually playing. Go for a unit with sturdy made attachments. Read some of the reviews and look for companies that back their products.
Some poles are made out of stainless steel. I highly recommend something of this design vs the tent pole style. Sure, all telescopic poles are going to sag a bit when they get fully extended. But, if it’s been awhile since you put up a tent, well let me save you some frustration and suggest you keep away from that design. Don’t get me wrong, the tent pole style may be foldable and pack away, as well as being light. But the minute you have to shift some pond mud or move a tree limb to get your disc is the minute that retriever ends up in the bottom of the pond. The steel poles are easier to use and move smoothly in grass and trees, as well as underwater.
Lets face it, if it only goes 6ft then did you really need it in the first place. The purpose of the poles is to reach beyond what the ordinary person is comfortable achieving. If your disc is 10ft out from the edge of the pond, you’re going to need something that at least reaches 12ft to give you that extra length and not dunk you new disc golf shoes in the water.
We talk about grip all the time while disc golfing…so expect most of these units to have a decent handle with a padded grip. However, read up some of the reviews and make sure no one is complaining about major defects. That last few inches of reach could be the difference between success or complete failure.
I prefer the pole style to have a slight grippy pad at the end and the rope style to have some mechanism for knowing where the end of the rope is, less it all ends up in the pond. You should carefully check the handle quality, make sure it’s not made out of cheap stuff, but that shouldn’t be a problem as all items listed here are 100% guaranteed. The handles are built to last and might never fall off. If they do, well buying it off of Amazon not only gives you the best price, free shipping, but also easy return.
All of the units in our list fold down or retract into itself making them very portable. You might take note though of how the rope styles can totally wrap up but then be of an odd shape. Depending on your bag style, note the dimensions and make sure there is space. The pole styles seem to slide in the side pockets or slightly opened flap pretty easily. I will say too, from personal experience, I find uses for that pole all the time…whereas the rope, not so much. Though the rope versions do seem to reach out a bit further.
Speaking of Retrieving…
If you haven’t checked out some of our other articles on Disc Golf Dash I hope this one gives you an idea of what we’re all about. We retrieve information about the sport and help beginners find good products, places to play, and tips to improve. All of the items on this list are used in the community and I would expect to perform well. Of course there are the outliers and I get a bit nervous at times making suggestions. For every 100 perfect unit there will inevitably be 1 that the head attachment doesn’t screw in all the way or the rope isn’t strong enough to one’s liking. Stay positive and comment here if you find something that works better. It’s about growing the sport and supporting the community, coming together to make a great experience for all. Until next time…