A golf rangefinder measures distances to the flag. It shows players how to adjust golf skills according to the range and another variable such as slopes. The best golf rangefinders include practical features such as flag lock to easily get readings to the flag on the approach.
Other rangefinders are capable of delivering multiple advanced features such as automatic scanning on all factors influencing play such as distance to the green and distance to the flag. Accuracy is also important and it’s what separates good range finders from the best.
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Bushnell Tour V4 Shift (Slope) Golf Laser Rangefinder
Bushnell has always been among the most popular names in the rangefinder community. The device is highly capable and it can be used on different golfing events. For example, it may be used in simple play, training, and tournaments. To be accepted in tournaments, the rangefinder’s slope function needs to be switched off.
400 yards range with 5X magnification is offered in this rangefinder. It represents one of the short-range devices, mainly useful in small courses. But it may also be one of the devices which experienced players use as they don’t need to cover larger ranges and only check the flag closer on the approach.
Jolt PinSeeker vibrating alerts on flag lockdown is a function that helps lock the pin flag in place. The device looks for the flag while scanning and it locks to it when found also sending a vibrating alert. Without losing time and accuracy, the device now includes the vibrating alert to lock the flag or pin in position a bit faster with the pinsensor technology.
More than 36,000 courses are already preloaded on the device. Most commercial locations around the country and the world are covered by the scanner and its impressive functions. Even its 3D representation on these courses is accurate.
3D hole flyovers with front, center and back hazard distances are represented in the official Bushnell Golf App. Together with the smartphone, the rangefinder offers one of the top combinations for new and experienced players. Hole layouts and distances are visually represented on the official app.
Hazards are also visually represented on the app. Some hazards may also be measured with the rangefinder. But the app maps all of them so that players know what they need to avoid.
Compatible with the Bushnell Golf app
Vibrates on flag lockdown
Only covers up to 400 yards
Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder
Callaway is another top performer in the golf community. The manufacturer has an interesting selection of rangefinders and most of them are known for their physical resilience. With solid build quality and accuracy that matches the best performers, the device is worth the investment to golfers who take their game seriously.
A major advantage the rangefinder has above others is its compact size. It easily fits pockets and it can be carried around the course for the whole day. Those who need to handhold it often won’t find its weight troublesome either.
With a range of up to 1,000 yards and 1-yard accuracy, the rangefinder is among the top performers. It reaches further than most devices in this price range and it can cover some of the largest golf courses around the country. Most importantly, newer players can get extra help due to the extra reach with their flag scanning. The impressive 1-yeard accuracy also helps pinpoint the exact location of the flag.
The slope feature allows the device to compensate for uneven terrain. It shows players how they need to approach each section of the game according to the terrain they’re playing on. A few of these features together with the slope compensation function might not be legal in the tournament play. Players planning to join golfing tournaments simply need to check with the organizers if the device is accepted on course.
Birdie feature now chirps on flag lockdown is another interesting function. It sends out a chirp whenever a flag can be locked. Players scanning for the flag left and right might not even see it. But the audible alert ensures the flag is in sight and that players can easily see where they need to direct their efforts towards.
Water and fog proof construction make the rangefinder one of the top performers for physical characteristics. Even in foggy weather, it still performs well and its optics don’t fog up. The waterproof construction ensures the device’s longevity in case rain catches the player on the course.
Rubberized construction helps with a solid grip. Callaway is known for its rubberized finish which helps players hold the device a bit better. But the rubberized construction has other benefits in terms of durability as well. For example, the thick rubber exterior protects the rangefinder against shocks. It continues to work properly when dropped as the outer rubber case dampens shocks.
Impressive 1,000 yards range
Chirps on flag lockdown
Made with a rainproof construction
Reads distance in slope mode
Buttons are a bit too close together
Wosports Golf Rangefinder
The compact rangefinder is among the innovative small designs. Its battery is included in the device and it is powered by recharging. Those who’ve lost their batteries before don’t need to worry. With maximum rating for practicality, the device is made for those who play a lot. Traveling players are among those who are going to benefit from the design the most.
Traveling players can also benefit from the changing meter system. Meters and yards switching by pressing the mode button for 3 seconds are enabled on the device. Those playing outside the US are going to find it a bit easier to play by the metric system, especially in amateur tournaments.
An added scanning mode helps players of all skills. It looks at the immediate surroundings and automatically identifies the distance to the green or immediate hazards. The scanning mode is activated by pressing and holding the power button. Within a few seconds, players get all the distances displayed on the viewfinder.
The range of the device is up to 650 yards. The strong laser delivers accurate readings even on the fog. But the distance measurement is about average so the device might not work for new players. Those seeking to improve their golfing skills might need to look at alternatives which reach up to 1,000 yards instead.
6X magnification allows the user to view all objects considerably closer. The viewfinder shows magnified images with stabilization. At maximum zoom in, the viewfinder is the most suitable for flag or pin lockdown.
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Made with built-in batteries
Designed with an adjustable viewfinder
6X magnification optics
No rubberized protection
Proadvanced ProMini Range 750
The durable rangefinder is among the top options for those playing and traveling in adverse weather conditions. Suitable for the best protection design fans, the device is manageable in all lighting conditions. Players who might share the same rangefinder also find it interesting due to its durability.
Made with an all-white design, the rangefinder is elegant. Players who like to look sharp on the course are going to prioritize such devices, gloves, and other accessories. But it’s not all about looks with these rangefinders. They also include some of the most popular key features used by golfers.
Image stabilization is the most important optical characteristic. As its name suggests, it stabilizes the image using the built-in lenses. This means that even when fully zoomed in at 6X, the images are not shaky and players without the most stable hand grips are going to be able to see the furthest objects.
0.5 yards accuracy places the device among the top performers in the industry. While most alternatives aren’t as accurate, the rangefinder is among the leading options for those who can’t afford estimative data. Among such players, the most experienced golfers find the devices particularly appealing. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most popular rangefinders for pre-tournament practice.
With an IPX3 rating, the devices offer reliable results in terms of overall durability. While the waterproofing rating is not the best, it still adds weather sealing to the construction of the device. Most of its direct alternatives in this affordable price range don’t include weather sealing. However, the device is only protected from water drops and might not survive full water submersion or any accidents where its dropped and fully submerged.
750 yards range places it among the mid-performers in terms of range. The device manages to deliver good coverage without sacrificing accuracy. It offers one of the most accurate devices on a medium to long-range coverage.
A belt clip has been added to the device. It represents a simple accessory that allows players to keep the rangefinder within easy reach as often as needed. Without needing a carrying case, the rangefinder allows the user to access it and store in on the belt quickly.
From -10°C to 50°C operating temperature, the rangefinder is among the durable devices for all weather conditions. Even the battery life is not affected at low temperature which means the rangefinder can be useful in all conditions.
Made with an elegant design
Top reading accuracy
Made with image stabilization
Only available on white
Wosports 800-Yards Rechargeable Golf Rangefinder with Slope
Additional costs might be required with a few rangefinders. From protective cases to cleaning products, there are a few accessories golfers need to consider alongside the device itself. But Wosports’ rangefinder already includes these accessories. The best part is the rangefinder is responsive and it comes with solid accuracy alongside an interesting pack of accessories.
With a yard range from 5 to 800 yards, the rangefinder is reliable on all golf courses. Without a doubt, its laser reaches a bit further than the average alternative. But at the same time, the device maintains solid accuracy even with increased range.
At 800 yards, it needs to find reflective surfaces as measurements are easier. But up to 700 yards, it is more responsive adding to the feeling of a quality product which quickly finds and locks the flag on the green.
1-yard accuracy recommends it among the leading performers for those who need precise readings. Since it’s not the most expensive rangefinder, it suits both experienced and new golfers. While its accuracy would normally recommend it for the most experienced user otherwise, its low Amazon price point and extras also make it attractive for those just starting their golfing adventure.
Flag locking vibrations are sent out when locked. This means those who don’t have experience finding the flag at a greater distance can use vibrations to identify when the flag is in position. Furthermore, the vibrating alert can also be canceled for those who’re not into such extras.
With a weight of just 0.52lbs, the golf rangefinder is not the heaviest in its class. However, it’s still a lightweight performer golfer can carry around the course. With heavy golfing clubs, the last piece of equipment players need is a heavy rangefinder to put extra pressure on the back.
Rechargeable batteries power the rangefinder. It only takes a few hours for the device to be fully charged. Most players recommend charging the device a night before going out on the course. There’s a micro-USB cable in the pack which powers the batteries and which can also be connected to the car’s battery for quick charging.
A wristband and wiping cloths are included in the pack. Keeping the rangefinder clean is important. Its optics should be cleaned as often as possible. Furthermore, the included wristband also offers a quick storage solution for those who want to keep it within easy reach.
With an included carrying bag, the rangefinder might also be stored in the golf bag with other golfing gear such as sunglasses and gloves. Fully protected from scratches, the rangefinder benefits from its custom-fit carry bag.
Straight distance and slope measurement compensation offer combined readings on the viewfinder. Users always know what the distance to the target is even with uneven terrain golf courses.
Made with an anti-slip case
300kmh measurement speed
Made with a flag lock mode
Not the most compact device
Bozily Golf Rangefinder
It is convenient and practical to have a rangefinder that you can carry all around. The Bozily Golf Rangefinder is handy and comes with a small case that fits in any golf bag side pocket. It is easy to operate with just two buttons. It is also water and fog-resistant, has a long battery life, and strong optics.
The rangefinder is one of the best in the market that uses the latest technology which makes it more accurate than any rangefinder. The digitally-enhanced accuracy helps in finding the distance to flags, trees, or any hazard within ±1 yard. This Bozily model also offers magnification up to 6x through its view piece that can measure up to 1,000 yards. The rangefinder compensates for both incline and decline within ±45 degrees through the slope adjustment which ensures reliable measurement.
This also includes 4 Scan Modes: general, golf, vertical, and speed modes to ensure accuracy in different situations. This feature also helps in analyzing the course ahead and has multiple application methods that include assistance in the continuous scan mode, angle measurement, easy distance reading, and fast focus system. Its flag pole lock technology is great in finding the exact distance to the pin easily. The device has a jolt alert function which signals the device has been locked to the flag.
The Bozily Rangefinder has been receiving decent reviews from users looking for quality and value for money. They have been raving about how accurate this device measures distances, and how this is a great addition to the course. The rangefinder helps in winning games, as well as adding knowledge and skills for beginners. According to the most experienced players, this device is a game-changer as it also helps the adjustments in elevation, especially in courses with a lot of hills.
Accurate measurement at ±1 yard
Offers 6x magnification through the view piece
Accurate up to 1,000 yards
Flag lock technology
Slight shaking can put accuracy off
Short battery life
Gogogo Laser Rangefinder
As one of the most affordable rangefinders in its class, Gogogo’s release is one of the most interesting choices for those new to golf. Without investing in expensive equipment, golfers may be able to use some of the most popular rangefinders features seen in premium alternatives for a quarter of the price tag seen elsehwere.
Reaching distances of up to 650 yards, the device is ready to offer reliability on any course across the country. Its accurate readings mean that it’s now reliable for any skill level. Even experienced players might use it.
Since it doesn’t include slope compensation features, the device might also be used in tournaments. Professional golf players can use the rangefinder as a backup in pre-tournament training as well. But the device might still not be legal in top tournaments so players need to ask administrators even before taking the simple device to a golfing event.
Using 2 AAA batteries, the rangefinder can be powered all day long. The 2 batteries are not included, unfortunately. Only quality batteries should be used to power the compact device.
Weighing only 184 grams, the device is one of the lightest performers in its class. It offers all the essential features in a compact design. But this lightweight comes at a certain cost. For example, the rangefinder has now a waterproof rating. It lacks a rubberized casing to protect it against shocks. It’s also made without a rubber grip which means it can potentially slip out of the hands.
Vibration-enabled functions make up for the lack of physical characteristics. Similarly to the popular Tectectec VPRO 500, he device vibrates whenever its locks targets such as the flag. But at the same time, this function guides new users to be able to find and lock the flag quickly on their own.
Lightweight at just 184 grams
High accuracy readings
Uses high-quality 2 AAA batteries
Not made with water sealing
What to look for in the best golf rangefinder
Choosing a new rangefinder is not complicated. All golfers need to do is ensure the devices meet a minimum standard for today’s modern game. There are a few cheap rangefinders that don’t meet the minimum recommendations. But most popular brands sell reliable products which normally last for years.
One of the essential roles of the GPS rangefinder is to measure the range to the green. But if the device is not properly designed, it suffers in all key areas such as in usability. For example, rangefinders can come with crammed buttons that easily confuse users. Most of these consumer-level devices are made with a power button and function buttons located on the top side of the product.
But these buttons can be easily triggered accidentally if they’re too close together. This is one of the main complaints golfers have when it comes to powerful devices. The best solution, in this case, is to simply stick to the devices without too many buttons which are easy to operate in the first place.
The range is arguably the most important feature, together with accuracy. As a result, there are a few categories that can be represented according to the range they cover as follows.
- <500 yards
Devices which cover a range of up to 500 yards are considered short distance releases. These rangefinders are good for those just starting. But at the same time, the devices offer a bit more reliability when it comes to accuracy.
The main advantage of short-distance rangefinders is they can offer unmatched accuracy within 1 yard. Most of them can be used for high-precision results. Furthermore, these devices are then used as a backup for those selecting various clubs according to distance, wind and other variables for maximum results.
- >500 yards
Most rangefinders cover distances between 500 and 1,000 yards. They combine reach with accuracy without too many sacrifices. While some of them may easily be used with accurate readings, others begin to suffer, especially those with inferior optics.
In this range, internal stabilization is as important. Without stable images, even the furthest magnification cannot be of great use. But most users can simply rely on internal and digital stabilization for product releases in the past couple of years.
- >1,000 yards
Things change beyond the 1,000 yards mark. At this point, most rangefinders simply lack the stability needed for accurate distance results. In case the weather is not perfect, they’re simply unable to find and lock flags and pins at such a distance.
This is the main reason why even these rangefinders might not come with clear results past the 700-750 yards limit. But in other cases, it’s crucial to test out the accuracy of these rangefinders before heading out to a golf tournament. Most rangefinders struggle to offer the most accurate readings and maximum range.
Accuracy can either make or break a rangefinder. The days of 4-5 yards accuracy are now long gone. No golfer wants to sacrifice accuracy. Some have even expressed their opinions on not needing the best materials in favor of accuracy.
It’s true that once a golfer tries out a high accuracy rangefinder, there’s no way back to a low accuracy device even with better construction. Professional golf players are among those who value high accuracy the most.
High-end physical construction is also important for frequent users. Not all materials are the same and not all products are made to the same standards. IPX rating refers to weather sealing. But this rating is different and it can be missing from some rangefinders altogether. In most cases, it’s simply not the best idea to choose a product without water-resistant materials if planning to use the rangefinder for a long period.
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But weather sealing is not the only physical trait which users need to take into account. For example, there are a few other important traits to consider such as anti-shock protection. Most golfers need the freedom of having this mild shock protection for added durability.
Rubberized finishes are normally used to offer different levels of protection against dropped rangefinder damages. But rubber protection also costs more and this is why it’s not seen on the most affordable laser golf rangefinders. Those who want to use such products normally have to choose top products from alternatives such as the Nikon Coolshot 20, NX7 Pro or manufacturers such Bushnell or Callaway, companies specializing in golf products.
Slope compensation measurements
Slope compensation calculates the range to certain objects regardless of the terrain angle. The difference is compensated digitally and golf players get to rely on it in various scenarios.
This function is not legal in most tournaments. Players planning on using their device in an official USGA golf tournament need to choose devices that can toggle this function off. It there’s no such versatility, tournament organizers might not allow the use of such a device.
Most golf rangefinders come with no accessories. It’s rare to even find a golf rangefinder with a belt clip or a protective carry bag. While these are rare, it might be worth spending a bit more time researching these products as all accessories cost more as they’re sold separately.
Batteries are the most important here. There are two main options here. Rechargeable batteries are normally built-in and they can’t be removed. These batteries normally recharge via a micro-USB cable. But standard AAA batteries may also be used on some rangefinders. They are normally not included and they need to be purchased separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a golf rangefinder?
A rangefinder is a device that measures the distance to certain objects on the golf course. Most of these are flags on the green and obstacles such as ponds or forestry. Are golf rangefinders needed to play golf? No, rangefinders are not required to play golf. However, they represent a top learning tool to improve core golf skills.
Part of their appeal is based on making the right decision when it comes to clubs. Many players don’t know which clubs to choose when trying to reach the green. Laser rangefinders are the most useful in this situation.
How to use a golf rangefinder?
A golf rangefinder mainly comes with at least 2 buttons. With one power button and one function button, they are very easy to use. The function button might be multi-purpose. Easy to use, these buttons can be held for around 3 seconds to scan the environment for ranges to multiple objects. A short press might only be used to lockdown an object, usually the flag, once seen in the center of the viewfinder. It’s also on the viewfinder that golf players can see the exact distance to the flagstick. Its normally shown in yards but the best rangefinders might also show it in meters alternatively.
Which is better golf GPS or rangefinder?
A golf GPS comes with pre-loaded courses. It may show a graphic 3D representation of the green. But a rangefinder shows the exact distance from where the player is situated. These two devices are not mutually exclusive. They can be used together for the best results.
The classic golf GPS such as those made by Garmin can now be replaced with a smartphone mapping app. These are now more complex and they can show a graphic representation of the green directly on the smartphone without requiring players to purchase a separate gadget. A rangefinder might be used together with a smartphone for the best results and planning.