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BEST GOLF RANGEFINDER CHOICES FOR IMPROVED DECISION MAKING ON THE COURSE
Playing on an unfamiliar golf course presents its unique set of challenges. Golfers who are familiar with the configuration of the course will have an advantage over you. A great way to improve your game and get an edge even when playing on an unfamiliar course is to use a rangefinder. Here is what you need to know about choosing the best golf rangefinder.
A FEW THINGS TO
CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A GOLF RANGEFINDER
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It’s important to understand how these products work and to compare the pros and cons of the different technologies used.
HOW DO GOLF RANGEFINDERS WORK?
There are two different types of rangefinders. Here is how each type works:
HOW SHOULD YOU USE A RANGEFINDER?
You would typically use a golf rangefinder when beginning a new hole. You can use the rangefinder to assess the distance between the tee box and the hole. You can use the rangefinder again if you find yourself faced with a difficult shot where you need to assess slope or distance.
GPS rangefinders will display distance and slop information based on pre-loaded data. These rangefinders are very easy to use and don’t require you to take any actions to access the information you need.
If you use a laser rangefinder, you will have to look through the viewfinder and aim at a target such as a flagstick. It's important to keep your hand steady so that you can get an accurate reading.
You need to get the laser beam to reflect on the target at which you are aiming. It might take a few tries before you can get the beam to reflect on the flagstick. Using a laser rangefinder gets more comfortable with experience.
If you are using an optical rangefinder, you will have to look through the viewfinder, focus on a target and read the distance on the scale built into the device.
WHICH TECHNOLOGY IS BEST FOR YOU?
Compared to optics rangefinders, laser and GPS models are easier to use. If you decide to use an optics rangefinder, you will need to read distance on a scale. Assessing slope is more complicated.
GPS rangefinders are much easier to use provided that you have access to data for the courses where you usually play. These devices use databases where golf clubs can upload their course data. Most clubs share their data, but some small golf clubs don’t participate in these projects.
Find out if the clubs where you are likely to play share their data online. A GPS rangefinder would be useless if your usual golf club hasn’t uploaded their course data in any database.
Laser rangefinders don’t rely on pre-loaded data and only require you to aim at a target. You can assess the distance and slope by merely pressing a button.
The downside of optics and laser rangefinders is that you might not be able to use them in overcast conditions. However, you might not be outside golfing if the weather is cloudy.
Another potential downside of using a laser rangefinder is that you need to have a reflective target. Small targets aren't easy to aim at, and it can be challenging
to get a reading if a target doesn't have a reflective surface or has an odd shape. You will also have to adjust your angle if you are using the rangefinderon an incline.
The best golf rangefinder also depends on how much you are willing to spend and how
often you will use the device.
CAN YOU USE A RANGEFINDER DURING A TOURNAMENT?
You can use some laser and GPS rangefinders during official events. You can also use a tablet or phone if your GPS rangefinder comes with a companion app.
Keep in mind that official rules prohibit the use of some features. You can use a rangefinder to measure the distance between your position and your target or calculate the distance for slope.
You can only use products that the USGA reviewed and approved. However, while previous rules banned the use of any device that had features you weren't allowed to use, new rules permit you to bring a device as long as you turn some features off.
WHAT ARE THE TOP FEATURES TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A GOLF
Here are a few features to consider when choosing a rangefinder:
HOW DID WE
CHOSE AND REVIEW GOLF RANGEFINDERS?
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We compared different rangefinders that use laser and GPS technologies. We looked for features that make these devices easy to use and that contribute to improving your game.
We did some research to get a better idea of which products are popular among golfers, and which rangefinders have the most significant impact on their games. We also looked for devices you can use during official tournaments.
HOW MUCH DO GOLF
RANGEFINDERS TYPICALLY COST?
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If you are shopping on a budget, you can find rangefinders in the $ to $$$ range. These devices don't have any advanced features, but some models are a good compromise between price and durability.
There are more options to consider in the $ to $$ if you are looking for a reliable rangefinder that delivers accurate readings. If you are willing to spend more, you will find devices in the $$$ and above price range with advanced features.
TOP SIX BEST
These are the product we think you should consider if you want to start using a golf rangefinder.
VPRO500 GOLF RANGEFINDER
- 2019 UPGRADED LASER RANGEFINDER; Our VPRO500 Laser Rangefinder is a...
- NEW PINSENSOR TECHNOLOGY; provides fast measurement with 1 yard...
- THROUGH THE LENS DISPLAY; premium, ultra clear, multilayered optics...
This performing laser rangefinder uses a sensor to help you lock onto your target. We like the scan mode that makes it easier to find your target since the device will continuously scan for objects in the viewfinder. The targeting system also allows you to lock onto more than one object if you need to measure several distances for a course.
You can use it to measure distances up to 540 yards away. The water-resistant and
durable design is a plus.
We like the viewfinder because it makes distances very easy to read. The battery lasts for several hours, and the rangefinder is very easy to use thanks to its textured grip and simple controls. It only weighs 6.5 ounces.
You can purchase this rangefinder on Amazon. There is a 30-day money back guarantee in case the product doesn’t meet your expectations, and the manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.
PRO GOLF LASER RANGEFINDER
- Slope feature measures angle of incline/decline and automatically...
- 6x magnification; range 5-1000 yards with +/- 1 yard accuracy
- Pin acquisition technology (P.A.T.) quickly locks onto the pin from up...
This laser rangefinder is a quality product from a well-known golf equipment manufacturer. We recommend it because Callaway has an excellent reputation.
We like the colorful design of this rangefinder and the comfortable grip. You will find some simple controls on the top of the device.
The slope feature makes this rangefinder interesting. This feature measures the angle of an incline or decline. It’s a valuable feature if you want to challenge yourself on a new course.
The 6x magnification will help you lock onto a target. The device has a range of 1,000 yards and quickly lock on the pin even from far away.
The device emits a sound to confirm that you have locked onto your target. There is a feature to measure the distance between your position and different targets easily.
We like this rangefinder because it’s very performing, it comes with a slope feature and the reviews are excellent.
You can currently get this Callaway rangefinder on Amazon for $$ instead of $$$. Callaway offers a one-year limited warranty on this product.
- Multi Functions: The Golf Range Finder is a function-enhanced models...
- Golf Slope Mode: golf trajectory compensation calculates and adjusts...
- Precision & Convenience: provide detailed accuracy to 1m in distance...
We recommend this laser rangefinder if you are shopping on a budget. We think this product is an excellent option if you want to start using a golf rangefinder to improve your game but don't golf often enough to justify spending more than $$.
This rangefinder comes with a flagpole lock feature. You can easily aim thanks to the 6x magnification feature. It has a range of 700 yards.
You can use this rangefinder for hunting and other outdoor activities. It’s sturdy and versatile but lacks features that would be helpful on a golf course except for the flagpole lock feature.
For instance, the rangefinder comes with fog and speed modes. These aren’t features you will ever use while golfing. You can also switch between meters and yards.
This rangefinder works best on a flat surface. There doesn’t seem to be a way to adjust your angle when measuring distance on an incline. In spite of the limited feature, this rangefinder will come in handy if you want to use distance and data to change the way you approach golfing.
The manufacturer sells this product through Amazon and offers an 18-months warranty. We feel confident about recommending this rangefinder as a budget option because of the warranty and sturdy design.
2 GOLF GPS RANGEFINDER
This small GPS rangefinder is going to become your go-to accessory on the golf course. You can clip it to your belt and press a button to hear the distance to the front, center, and back of the green. We like the contrast of the display that makes numbers easy to read when you are outside.
The device also displays the distances on the small screen. The controls are straightforward. There is a large button you can press to hear the distance information and a volume button on the side of the GPS rangefinder.
It's convenient and simple to use but somewhat limited. The battery lasts for two rounds, but this rangefinder doesn’t have any additional features outside ofreading the three pre-loaded distances for your course.
This GPS rangefinder is currently on sale on Amazon. You can get it for $86.97 instead of the usual $$. The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
PHANTOM GOLF GPS
This rangefinder is another compact GPS device similar to the Golf Buddy rangefinder. However, there are more colors to choose from, and this GPS rangefinder has more pre-loaded data.
You can use it to access the distance to the center, front, and back of a hole and can also find up to four hazard distances per hole. The additional distances will help you plan how you approach each hole.
The battery lasts for two rounds of golf, and the device has a built-in magnet so you can attach it on a metal surface. It also comes with a clip if you would rather carry it on your belt.
There is data for more than 36,000 courses pre-loaded into the rangefinder. Unlike the GolfBuddy, this rangefinder doesn't come with a talk feature and will merely display data on a screen.
You can sync this device with your phone thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity feature. There is a free Bushnell Golf app that you can download on iPhone or Android. The app adds a lot of interesting features such as displaying 3D maps of courses, keeping track of scores, and even booking tee time in advance. You can pair the app with the Bushnell golf watch to record data for your swings.
This GPS rangefinder is currently on sale on Amazon. You can order it for $ instead of $$$. Bushnell offers a one-year warranty for this device.
G30 GOLF HANDHELD GPS
- Sleek, compact handheld golf GPS with 2.3-inch color touchscreen...
- High-sensitivity GPS acquires satellites quickly to show distance to...
- Preloaded with more than 40,000 courses worldwide
This GPS rangefinder has a larger display compared to the two other models we looked at. The 2.3-inches display gives you access to detailed and colorful maps of 40,000 different pre-loaded courses.
This rangefinder uses a satellite connection to find data for the course where you are golfing. It displays distances to greens, hazards, and more.
We like the colorful course maps. The visual element of the display gives you a better idea of how to approach each hole.
The touchscreen display is very easy to navigate. You can adjust the pin location to make the distances more accurate.
There is a scorecard feature built-into the rangefinder and you can sync it with your Smartphone to receive text messages and other notification on your GPS rangefinder. You can also sync it with other Garmin devices such as the swing analyzer that clips right onto your club.
We think this GPS rangefinder is bulkier than other models but it stands out thanks to the quality of the display and colorful course maps.
You can currently get this GPS rangefinder on Amazon for $$ instead of $$$. Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty on this product.
RANGEFINDER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
The best golf rangefinder depends on where you usually play golf and how much you are willing to spend on this device.
We recommend that you contact your golf club and find out whether or not your club participates in programs that collect course data. GPS rangefinders come with pre-loaded data for thousands of clubs, but not having the data for the club where you usually play would make one of these devices useless.
If you are shopping on a budget, we highly recommend the WoSports Gold Rangefinder. This sturdy and affordable rangefinder will help you get used to aiming with the viewfinder. You can use this device to see if measuring distance has an impact on your game.
If you are ready to invest in a more performing laser rangefinder, we recommend the Callaway 300 Pro. This rangefinder will help you calculate distance and slope, and the range is significantly higher than what other laser devices deliver. We feel that the quality of the product justifies the higher price tag.
If you would rather invest in a GPS rangefinder, we think the Bushnell Phantom GPS rangefinder is a great option due to the additional features that you can access through the companion app. We also like the fact that this GPS rangefinder display data for the distance between your position and the different hazardsyou will encounter on a hole.