Instructables
Picture of Golf Ball Picker Upper
A friend began to tell me about pulling a muscle in his back because he tried to lean too far out of someone's golf cart while picking up golf balls on the fairway. He mentioned someone who had a grabber tool similar to those often used by senior citizens to pick up items off of the floor, but the grabber my friend had seen was designed to pick up golf balls. I began to think about how I could build one for him.

For this project I used:

Materials
  • 1/4 inch steel rod
  • 1/8 inch steel rod
  • Flat washers
  • 1/2 inch electrical conduit
  • 1/8 x 3/4 inch strap iron
  • Wood for the handle
  • Screws and "T"-nuts for holding the handle

Tools
  • Angle head grinder with a cutting wheel
  • Grinder
  • Hacksaw
  • Electric drill
  • Bits
  • Flux core wire welder
  • Spring clamps
  • Vise
  • 1 1/2 inch aluminum angle
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer


 
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Step 1: How it works

Picture of How it works
My picker upper is a 2-part cage from welded 1/8 inch steel rod. One of the halves can rotate about the 1/4 inch axle so that the cage can open. The other half is fixed to the 1/4 inch axle and cannot move. See the next step.
mcraghead10 months ago
Very nice!
I have a duck who likes to lay her eggs in silly places... this might be the perfect solution. Great work!
Phil B (author)  mcraghead10 months ago
Thank you for looking and for commenting. A little practice is needed, but not much. My friend needed to pick up balls from a moving cart. You probably can pick up the eggs a still position. This pick up tool can be quite gentle. It should work for you.
rimar20002 years ago
Phil, interesting your contraption. I use one picker like that of iceng, a cheap chinese with a lever that close a pair of fingers. I use it to collect apples from the grass; sometimes the apple slides and falls, but it is matter of habit.
Phil B (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Osvaldo,

You have a tool similar to what I planned to build. I saw a factory-made tool like you have, but the store price was much more than I thought it would be and the parts were only plastic. Like you say, practice makes using these tools a habit. I discovered just a little practice makes it easy to use this simpler tool that has only one moving part.

I mentioned my friend knows a man who has a tool similar to yours. But, it sometimes locks up and stops working. Then the owner must work with it to make it work again.

Thank you for looking.
drissel2 years ago
Table tennis players with stiff backs most commonly use a length of PVC pipe with a rubber band running between two small hole near one end. Push down on the ball ... the rubber bands give and trap the ball. Tip the pipe; the ball rolls out.

Regards,
Bill Drissel
Phil B (author)  drissel2 years ago
Bill,

That is a clever and simple solution.

While talking with my friend and watching him practice with this pick up tool, it became apparent there may be times when he might use the tool standing rather than sitting in a golf cart, as if walking rather than riding in a golf cart. What you describe would be ideal for picking up balls while standing. But, if reaching for a ball off to the side as while riding in a golf cart, the picture changes. My friend has a pickup tool with a telescoping shaft and a plastic ring on the end. The ring has a narrow choke point that will slide over the ball and hold it if the ball is struck from above with the plastic ring. But, it appears golfers are always looking for a better pickup tool. It reminds me of my brother and his turkey hunting. No matter how many turkey calls a hunter has, he is always looking for a better one.

Thank you for looking and for commenting.
iceng2 years ago
Neat pick up tool !
At my age bending down is no fun ;-o
Use this red one after grand kids...
PickUpTool2.jpg
Phil B (author)  iceng2 years ago
Thank you for your reply. My friend and I are both mid-60s in age. He recognizes his back problems are age-related. The device you show in your graphic is similar to what I had in mind. I had planned to use a bicycle brake cable with its sheathing for the trigger coupling. I also bought a small spring that seemed to offer just about the right tension.

My friend is sure 30 inches is long enough for what he needs. I will not be surprised if he comes back and asks me to weld in a piece to make it a little longer.