This nifty ball-retrieval device snaps onto flagsticks and promotes safer play

pickcup photo

PickCup can fit to any type of flagstick.

Courtesy Photo

Golf courses around the globe are starting to think differently in regards to safety on the course.

With clubs altering their day-to-day plans due to COVID-19, we’re seeing all sorts of handy gadgets making the game more safe — and we just found another. Enter PickCup.

The initial idea for PickCup came when the R&A and USGA revised the Rules of Golf in 2019 and permitted golfers to putt with the flagstick in. With players putting with flags in, some golfers were sticking their hands in the cup to retrieve their balls without removing the flag, which is an easy way to accidentally damage the lip of a hole. PickCup was partly made to fix this problem, but now it serves a second purpose as greenskeepers are looking into ways to social distance at golf clubs and limit what everyone is touching.

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PickCup, which was created by Pitchfix, is essentially a plate that looks like the bottom of a cup and can be easily fastened to any flagstick. After it’s clipped on just below the lip of the cup, it serves as a ball retriever. Putt into the hole, lift the flag and out comes the ball. You no longer have to bend over to pick up the ball. You also limit the amount you touch or damage the lip of the cup and can even speed up play. Or, to even further limit contact, slide the plate up higher toward the lip of the hole, and when the ball falls in you can easily pick it out with your thumb and pointer finger without even having to touch the flag or reach deep into the cup.

According to its website, PickGolf also conforms with the Rules of Golf, so it can be used in tournaments. For more information or to buy your own set, click here. Sets (with 20 plates) are listed at $275.


Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at