When you think of golf equipment, what do you think of first? Maybe drivers and putters? What about golf balls, bags, shoes, and clothes? Without a doubt, there’s a lot of equipment you need to collect. And to get accurate ranges on the green, you can add a golf laser rangefinder to your shopping list. But don’t settle for a rangefinder that isn’t up to snuff. Here’s our guide to the best golf laser rangefinders.
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Do You Need A Rangefinder?
Okay, let’s back up for a second. Do you actually need to have a rangefinder in your bag in order to play golf? Of course not. You can get by playing the old-fashioned way, relying on markings on the course to get you around. And that’s just fine. There is still plenty of fun to be had out on the links without this piece of technology at your disposal. If you are serious about playing at a higher level, however, picking up a laser rangefinder really is a worthy investment.
How It Works
To use a laser rangefinder on the golf course, you simply point the device at the object you would like to measure, press the button, and read the display. It couldn’t be much easier. Early golf rangefinders could be difficult to use in terms of actually locking onto your target and getting a proper reading, but that problem is mostly a thing of the past. Today, the best laser rangefinders (check them out below) will make it quick and easy to take the measurement you need for your shot.
Typically, you’ll be measuring the distance to the flag, but you are not restricted to reading flag distance only. Anything that you can bounce the laser off will work. This includes trees, bunkers, your buddy running down the green, and much more. With a little bit of practice, you can easily use your rangefinder to gain a clear understanding of the distance to a variety of relevant objects before taking a given shot.
Laser Rangefinders vs Golf GPS Devices
Before we discuss some of the top golf laser rangefinder models, we’d like to quickly explain the difference between a rangefinder and a GPS device. Both of these products measure distances on the golf course, but they go about it in different ways. With a rangefinder, you’re using a laser to measure the distance between where you are and the object in question. On the other hand, a golf GPS unit involves satellites and pre-recorded maps to establish distance. Basically, the GPS determines where you’re standing based on your coordinates, and it also knows the coordinates to many locations on the course. With a little bit of behind-the-scenes math, it is able to provide an accurate measurement.
So, which is better? It’s not that simple. Each has some advantages and some disadvantages. With a rangefinder, you have the flexibility to measure anything out there in front of you, and you can measure directly to the hole location on that given day—something a GPS can’t do. On the other hand, there is no work to be done with a GPS unit. You just look at the screen and read the distance. Also, GPS devices typically offer measurements to the front, middle, and back of the green, which can sometimes be hard to determine with a laser. In the end, both options are perfectly viable, and you’ll need to decide for yourself which one is best.
Best Golf Laser Rangefinders
If you’re looking for a great rangefinder to add to your arsenal, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best golf rangefinders on the market today:
Bushnell Pro X2 Golf Laser Rangefinder
To many golfers, Bushnell is the leading name in this market. They were one of the first companies making rangefinders specifically for golfers, and their products have always impressed with both build quality and performance. The Bushnell Pro X2 lives up to that reputation and is a model that is definitely among the best of the best.
- Toggle between standard and slope models, depending on your needs (and tournament rules)
- Option to pick between black and red interfaces
- Completely waterproof body casing for those rainy days
- Measure up to 1,300 yards, and up to 450 yards measuring the flag
- 6x magnification
Leupold GX-5i3 Digital Golf Rangefinder
Leupold rangefinders have a great reputation for quality and performance. No discussion of the best rangefinders on the market today would be complete without a look at the Leupold GX-5i3, which contains a number of features and conforms to USGA rules making it legal for tournament use.
- 6x magnification for a clear view
- Fog mode to help you get accurate distances on foggy mornings
- One-touch scan mode
- OLED display
Garmin Approach Z80
We mentioned earlier in the article that you will need to decide whether you prefer a rangefinder or a GPS device for your distance measuring needs. Or maybe you don’t! With this hybrid product from Garmin, you can get the best of both worlds—a quality rangefinder with built-in GPS capabilities.
- Read the distance to the flag to within 10 inches, as much as 350 yards away
- 41,000 courses around the world included for GPS functions
- Image stabilization
- Ability to disable slope to make the unit legal for tournament play
Bushnell Tour V4 Shift JOLT Laser Rangefinder
The JOLT feature within the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift JOLT is an interesting piece of technology. It recognizes when you have locked on to the flagstick with your measurement and provides a quick vibration to indicate that you’ve found the target. That means you’ll have more confidence than ever before that you have found the right distance, so you can pick your club and swing away without a second thought.
- Read objects up to 1,000 yards and the flag up to 400 yards
- Accurate to within a single yard
- 5x magnification
- Designed to provide a stable grip
- Haptic feedback on target find
Nikon Coolshot Pro
No one likes slow play on the golf course. This product from Nikon will help you to keep up the pace. It can display your distance in just a fraction of a second, letting you move on to the other planning required before making a swing.
- 6x magnification provides excellent view of target
- Continuous scanning of distances for 8 seconds
- Green LED on unit confirms slope function is not in use
- Accurate to ¾ yard on measurements within 700 yards
Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder + GPS
To wrap up our list, here’s yet another rangefinder that offers GPS capabilities—this time, from Bushnell. While you might expect to pay a hefty price for such a versatile device, you’ll be surprised to learn that this is one of the more affordable units we have included in this list! Definitely a great value.
- Laser rangefinder reads flag up to 400 yards away
- JOLT technology included (haptic feedback on target acquisition)
- Accurate to within one yard using laser
- GPS includes more than 36,000 courses
- Exterior readout makes it easy to use GPS information
Shop More Golf Rangefinders
When you are ready to order a great laser rangefinder, the team at PlayBetter will be happy to serve you. We offer competitive prices, great customer service, and a wide selection. Don’t put off your quest for lower scores any longer. Order today for Free 2-Day Shipping and 60-Day Returns on most products!