This touchless ball retrieval solution is a Cool Golf Thing

It's a rare time where you'll want to hook it.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the coronavirus pandemic continues to coax creativity out of golf course operators when it comes to finding ways to keep golf courses open and as safe as possible. One place that creativity is happening is at the cup, where flagsticks and cups themselves are seen as potential vectors for the virus. As soon as the pandemic started threatening courses with closure, superintendents sprung into action, raising, inverting and stuffing cups with things like sawed off pool noodles to make a holed ball easy to grab without golfers' fingers touching anything else.

At Cobblestone Golf Course, a popular municipal layout outside Atlanta, there is a new solution that might be the best yet. It's a little steampunk, but the slide-whistle-looking contraption, called the Golf Ball E-Z Lyft, enables any golfer to remove a ball from a cup by touching their putter to the hook and gently lifting upward. The convex cup inset lets the ball fall out without any skin-to-cup or skin-to-flagstick contact whatsoever. A set of 18 devices costs just under $500. Unsurprisingly, the course's tweet of a video showing how it works has gotten significant pickup by golf media in the last day or so.

Who knows how long these solutions will be necessary in order to keep golfers safe, and if they'll need to be augmented or adjusted in the face of some future threat. We can be sure of one thing, though: when things get weird, the creative go viral.

1 Min Read
April 10, 2020
He put it on and pulled it off.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
53 Comments
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Why do we overreact about touching flag sticks and rakes on a golf course? The sun’s uv rays kill any virus in a few minutes. I thought Covid-19 was an airborne virus. How would we get the virus by touching a golf ball, cup, flag stick or rake?

Commented on

This product breaks after very little use.the wire bends and the plastic base sticks! Our total membership revolted!!! We replaced this with a product called gimmielift (www. Gimmielift.com) solution. Much better product. Solid.

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As chairman of our Greens Committee, I had our Supt. install these a couple of weeks ago. The Supt. liked them because it was easier than cutting a noodle or pvc plastic and the greens crew doesn’t have to deal with putting them on and taking them off all the time. It keeps the cups cleaner. The major of players like them and the only complaint so far is that the wire has knocked Out some putts and chips from going in. They have to touch the flagstick to move the wire away. In an imperfect world during imperfect times, the solution is for someone in the group to bring a towel to the green and use it to lift the flagstick and turn it away.

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We installed them at our course and took them out within 2 weeks. Not worth the money spent - didn't last. Not well built.

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How much??????

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hi Tim.... as you seem to cover most all of the new products, innovative stuff, etc on the market for golf.... here is a question for you: do you know of any contraption that i can actually put into a putting cup on my practice green....and when i make a putt in the hole, the contraption will actually pop the ball out of the hole... up and out for me. And will reset itself (the pop up mechanism)... so it must work on a battery of some kind. essentially i wont have to bend over to get my putts out of the hole... and also covid friendly ! I hope you can find such an animal....! hope to hear what you come up with! thanks! Thomas

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I am told that this is not USGA approved....probably due to that wire lifter which could deflect the ball when putted. Maybe one with the rod inside the flagstick would be legal (but much more expensive). I would think that a foam insert as someone suggested would also be illegal because it would effectively make the hole shallower and again the ball could bounce out.

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Good morning, if possible can you let me know the cost for one, and if there woudl be a discount if 18 or more were purchased

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For about $20 canadian all you need is a 6ft piece of ABS pipe, a small can of ABS cement and a thin peel and stick foam sheet. I made nine
3 inch spacers in about 2 hrs. So double that for 18 holes. Installed them today and they worked perfect. Drops the ball about half a ball width into the hole. Self centers and doesn't float when full of water.

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Please note that this is not safe at all. Everyone touches their putter everytime they take it out of their bag. Then then putter touches the lifter. Then the player puts the putter bag in their bag.

If one person has covid on their hands, they could spread it to every single golfer. The virus can live on metal and other surfaces for hours to days.

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Commented on

So use ur foot. Or better yet, Stay home.

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This touchless ball retrieval solution is a Cool Golf Thing