Long gone are the days you could only eyeball and guesstimate yardage during a round. Nowadays, all a golfer needs is a rangefinder and the calculations are well taken care of.
Distance control is undoubtedly one of the nuanced elements that can really help you to play your best golf. If you are ready to up your game to the next level, we have prepared an in-depth review of the best golf rangefinders for you.
When you are looking for a golf rangefinder, you want a device that can perform optimally, reliably and also falls within your budget. Your price range ultimately determines the features and functionalities you should expect from a rangefinder.
Best Golf Rangefinders
Here are 5 outstanding options on the market when you are looking for the best golf rangefinder:
1. TecTecTec ULT – X Golf Rangefinder
This is the best value rangefinder and a pretty neat upgrade to its forerunners, offering great value for its price. With its 6x magnification, the ULT-X immediately locks onto flags within 450 yards and hazards at 1oo yards out.
It produces haptic feedback as soon as it locks on a pin, a rather convenient feature for any golfer.
- 400-plus yard range.
- Scan mode – Gives instant and precise distances to all targets.
- Pinsensor with vibration – Allows for accurate measurements on targets which might be overlapping.
- Easy to disable slope feature.
- Resistant to moisture.
- Comes with a solid case, quality batteries and a 2-year warranty.
- Lacks a magnetic clip.
2. Precision Pro NX7 Laser Rangefinder
This is an equally remarkable option when you are looking for an ideal rangefinder. It works out within a yard of the distance to the target, more so as precisely as up to a tenth of a yard.
You only have to hit the only button on the gadget twice for intended results. The first press displays crosshairs on the target whereas the second produces the distance.
- Comes at an affordable price point.
- Produces a vibration once the target is locked.
- Performs quite fast and accurately.
- Water-resistant and shock-proof, hence incredibly durable.
- Measures within a range of 400 yards with up to 6x magnification.
- Has a solid case, quality batteries, a clear instruction manual, a cleaning cloth and a 2-year warranty.
- Trade-in option in case you need an upgrade later.
- Hard to pick a downside with this device.
3. TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder
The VPRO500 is indubitably one of the most popular rangefinders on the market. First and foremost, the price is reasonably affordable, it looks sleek and still gets the job done exceptionally well. It is also equally reliable as it is friendly to your pocket.
- Has a range of 540 yards – Includes a continuous scan mode for distant yardage, accurate up to within a yard.
- Pinsensor feature for quick and accurate measurements.
- Clean display showing only the important details.
- Weighs just 185g making it easily portable.
- Has a straightforward set-up, including a hard pouch, CR2 battery, and a cleaning cloth.
- TecTecTec also offers a two-year guarantee.
- Might not be as accurate as pricier rangefinders on the list.
4. Bushnell Tour V4 JOLt Golf Laser Rangefinder
Bushnell is one of the best and most trusted brands as far as rangefinders go. In comparison to other options featured on this list, the Bushnell Tour V4 is not only smaller but also more advanced.
This is a high-quality rangefinder with unparalleled accuracy. It has pinseeker equipped with JOLT technology and short vibrations for precision. While it falls on the higher price range, the Bushnell Tour V4 would still be an ideal device for any golfer.
- Compact design – Easy to hold in your hand or pocket.
- Unrivalled speed and accuracy in identifying targets and working out yardage.
- Comes with a sleek carry case, including a quality battery and a 2-year warranty.
- Includes a useful and convenient Bushnell golf app.
- Magnification is only up to 5x.
- Its small size makes it more difficult to keep steady and much easier to misplace or lose.
5. Nikon Coolshot Golf Rangefinder
If you are looking to keep your budget on the lower end but still get the most out of a rangefinder, then Nikon Coolshot is the device for you. It produces measurements fairly quickly and accurately.
- It weighs only 4.4 ounces, hence incredibly compact.
- Accurate measurements to flagsticks.
- By only hitting the button once, it scans measurements for a continuous 8 seconds giving you distances to several targets.
- Includes a case, battery and a one-year warranty.
- The small size makes it easy to lose.
- Isn’t as durable as other options on the list.
How Does a Golf Rangefinder Work?
A rangefinder functions the same way a pair of binoculars does. A golfer looks through an eyepiece to pick out an intended target. On hitting a button, the rangefinder emits a laser towards the point of focus, then works out the distance.
Some of the rangefinders on the market include more detailed functionalities. Some can calculate the changes in elevation that help with uphill or downhill shots. Others also include angle range compensation, assisting a golf player to adjust and align their shots.
What Should You Look for in the Best Golf Rangefinder?
New gadgets are always coming out, each marginally improving on its predecessor. It is essential to ensure that you are adequately informed before you settle on one choice. If you are new to this, these are the up-to-date aspects you should have in mind prior to purchase.
This is certainly the most critical factor to consider. A rangefinder’s primary function is to measure distances. Therefore, it is important that it provides the correct yardage as accurately as possibly.
Typically, most rangefinders on the market produce fairly accurate measurements. In fact, the degree of precision of these gadgets has been getting increasingly pin-point with new technology.
2. Ease of Use
A rangefinder has a rather straightforward function. All you want is to find out the precise distance to your target. It must, therefore, be relatively easy to use.
Similar to accuracy, finding a rangefinder that is easy to use is not much of a problem. Over the years, they have become more user-friendly and consistent. More often than not, all you need to do it is pull it out and hold it in one hand, press a button once or twice and get a precise measurement.
3. Distance Range
Before you buy a rangefinder, it is important to know the maximum distance you can measure. Most laser rangefinders contend a capability to shoot 1000 yards. However, this is somewhat improbable considering typical magnification would not be sufficient to see targets that far away.
The more magnification power your rangefinder packs, the easier the game gets for you. To see targets that are far away, it is recommended to get a rangefinder with at least 6x magnification. This should give you enough range in a regular golf course.
Typically, a golf player pulls out their rangefinder at least 30 times for every round of play. The number can be significantly higher on courses that have several doglegs and hazards.
You will handle your rangefinder severally during play. It’ll even be rained on sometimes. Therefore, it must have a solid build that can withstand the tossing around and occasional mishandling.
Ideally, a proper rangefinder should last around 3-5 years without losing its precision.
When you are using a rangefinder, you want as much clarity on your target as possible. The images should also remain clear even under 6x magnification. This works most effectively with a focus adjustment feature.
A proper display should achieve two key things: One, it should produce crystal clear images. Second, yardage readouts should also be clear and easily readable.
6. Battery Life
The last thing you want during a round is pulling out your rangefinder only for the display to dim out abruptly. Worse still, it could happen on the one day you didn’t bring a backup.
At this point, you can only either pace off the yardages for the remainder of the round or nag your playmates, asking them to shoot for you incessantly.
Furthermore, rangefinder batteries are somewhat pricey. Hence, you need a rangefinder whose batteries last several weeks.
7. Slope Measurement Capabilities
Modern rangefinders are equipped to do more than just give you exact measurements. Improved functionalities mean they can also help you to determine whether your shot is downhill or uphill.
If your budget is on the higher end, you can get a rangefinder with slope compensation technology. However, this feature is not allowed during tournaments.
8. Water Proof
This is mainly for golfers who often play in wet weather conditions. Hence, water-resistance makes a massive difference when they are picking out a rangefinder. You want one that won’t spoil as soon as it gets rained on.
Rangefinders come at relatively high price points. Therefore, you must also consider how you intend to store your gadget in between your rounds. You need a solid case that can withstand wear and tear, to help you to prolong the rangefinder’s lifespan.
10. Price and Aesthetics
The look of a rangefinder might be on the periphery but it can equally be considered. If you want one that looks fancy, you must then be prepared to fork out a little bit more.
Which leads us to one of the most significant factors; price. The amount of money you are willing to spend on a rangefinder is ultimately what determines the one you’ll get. With a $250 budget, you can get your hands on a pretty solid and effective rangefinder.
Alternatives to the Best Golf Rangefinders
Some golfers might be looking for something different to accomplish the same objective. New technology offers two viable alternatives to shoot your yardages:
- Golf GPS Watches – These offer the same functionality as a traditional rangefinder, plus the added convenience of simply strapping it on your wrist. Moreover, golf GPS watches tend to be less pricey.
- Golf GPS Devices – This is the second option for people who find rangefinders cumbersome but also prefer not to wear a watch while playing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Golf Rangefinders?
1. How important is slope calculation in a rangefinder?
This can be a bit of a hazy question to answer. Calculating elevation with a rangefinder is normally prohibited in golf, especially in tournaments and recreational play. Nevertheless, you can still use a rangefinder with this feature if you agree with your playing partners beforehand. This exception is referred to as a “Local Rule”.
More often than not, rangefinders have a pre-set tournament mode. You can turn this on to disable slope compensation when necessary. However, you might need this feature on some occasions, for instance, when you are practising rounds for a tournament. This will certainly give you an advantage over an opponent who is merely guesstimating.
2. What type should I get? A laser rangefinder or a GPS unit?
At the end of the day, this is entirely up to your preferences. On the one hand, some people prefer laser rangefinders due to their precision in measuring the distance to the intended targets.
On the other hand, GPS units provide much more information than just yardage. Viewing a hole overhead will undoubtedly help you to formulate a better strategy, even in plays with blind shots.
However, the accuracy of GPS units cannot hold a candle to a laser rangefinder. The measurements can deviate up to 5 yards off and get worse in cloudy weather. Furthermore, GPS units consume plenty of charge which might run out during play, especially if you are in a slow round.
You can definitely consider having both devices, as long as it doesn’t slow you down too much. But if speed and accuracy are your priorities, you are best equipped going for a rangefinder.
Hopefully, this review has sufficiently informed you on finding your best golf rangefinder. Ultimately, this makes a world of difference in improving your scores on the golf course. Fortunately, you have some pretty terrific options to choose from.
When picking out a rangefinder, you should preferably have price, features and durability as the most essential aspects to consider. All the options we have provided above meet this criterion. They will more than likely help you play the best golf of your life!