Every single gadget out there is presented in a way that you think you will perform ten times better than before. While rangefinders do help a lot, not all of them are that good as they claim to be. You won’t land those shots perfectly just by picking some random rangefinder you come across.
The devil is in the details, and some details are very important to distinguish better rangefinder from the worse. Only if you look closely and you know what you should be looking for you can get the best golf rangefinders out there.
Golf rangefinders in detail
As we all know, distance is something we always have to take into account if we want to land a good shot. Before the advancement of the technology the distance was estimated by using the environment, and that can’t be accurate at all.
Sure, some professional players are better at it, but the difference between an estimation of a human eye and a digital device is huge. Golf rangefinders are made to correct these mistakes and make the shots more precise. Of course, rangefinder won’t help you if you don’t have a good swing, but if you mastered your swing based on the distance the ball has to cross, you will know exactly how to hit it if you know the correct distance.
Golf rangefinders are portable devices that can be carried around easily. There are two types of rangefinders, the ones that rely on GPS and the other ones that use the laser to measure the distance. Both can be good in measuring the distance, but neither type is perfect.
How will a rangefinder improve your game?
Most of the golfers carry one with them; you must have noticed that. And you might wonder does that thing really help that much and how?
Fast estimation = faster game
You will speed up your play a lot if you use the rangefinder to calculate the distance. These devices can estimate the distance in a matter of seconds. Say goodbye to markers, just check your rangefinder and swing away. You will make all decisions faster when you know what distance is in question. You will know how to swing and what club to use much faster because the estimation process will be done in few seconds.
Calculation of elevation
A lot of golf rangefinders available today can compensate for elevation, which is extremely useful. Yard markers are not much help when you need to estimate the distance with some elevation or slopes in front of you.
Most rangefinders are very accurate in the calculation of slopes and can pinpoint the exact distance ahead of you. But you need to take into consideration that this feature of rangefinders is not allowed on most of the professional tours. Try the feature out in your casual games, and check which professional tours allow and which don’t allow this feature of the rangefinder.
More confident swings
When you know exactly how much of distance your ball has to cross, you will be more confident in your shots. If you’re the type that has a difficulty making the shot with a larger distance in front of you, this gadget might help you land that shot.
This confidence and decision making can become your norm, and you might even try making that perfect shot with your rangefinder turned off. As the time goes by, you will get the feeling and perspective of the distances you might even try to guess the exact distance before checking out the rangefinder after some time of using it.
With each shot you make at each distance measured, you will know what shots you need to improve to make your game better. With the golf rangefinder, you will be able to monitor your flaws and correct them by simply logging your shots at various distances.
Write down the distance measured, the club used and the results after you make the shot. After you get some fair amount of data collected, you will know what to improve and what to work on to get better at it.
How to tell the best Golf Rangefinder from the average?
Pay attention to
The rangefinder has to cover long ranges, because why would you need a device for a short-range estimation? You can do that fairly well without help. Most of the rangefinders cover more than 400 yards, but some can cover even more than that.
Weight, size, and portability
Yes, all of them are portable, but some are smaller and weight less than the others. Some GPS type of rangefinders are even made like watches, so you can wear them on your wrist. The small and lighter the device the better, although the compensation of the size and weight for some extra features could be considered.
Ease of use
The device should be easy to use some can get pretty complicated. Of course, the people who already came across these in the past would know to find their way around, but for people who are just starting to use this kind of technology, it would be as beginner friendly as possible.
Some rangefinders offer more features than the others, which is an important thing to consider and it earns them a few extra points. But, take everything into consideration. Because what good is of those extra features if the device is too big or is of poor quality compared to the other one that doesn’t have that many features but does the job and it will last longer?
Be sure that the rangefinder you liked is approved by the USGA and that you won’t be restricted from using it. Most of them are, and the ones that are not could be used only in casual games but not in the professional ones.
Of course, the first thing that narrows down your choice, as it is with everything else, is your budget. Determine the maximum budget for your new rangefinder and eliminate those that brake it, and continue the selection of the ones that fit it.
If you can to go for the most expensive option, then go for it, but if your budget is limited at the moment, there are some of the cheaper versions that will satisfy your needs as well.
Rangefinders with elevation and slope mode
If you are playing in the PGA or USGA, then avoid the golf rangefinders with the slope mode. There are regulations that prevent the players from using this feature. But, if the rangefinder has this feature which can be turned off, then you should be fine.
The reviews of the selected few Golf Rangefinders that deserve some attention
#1 Bushnell Pro X7
This rangefinder is pretty easy to set up and use. It has a clean and good looking design with a solid build to it. It’s very accessible and easy to carry with you. It’s made of quality materials which can be seen at the very first glance.
It is not the smallest one you can get, and it is a bit pricey compared to the other ones available, but it offers great quality, sturdy build and it is waterproof. You would expect it to have a lot of features being one of the pricey ones, and it actually does have a fair amount of them.
The features you can get with this one are Slope Feature, Jolt Technology, Vivid Display, 7x Magnification, and E.S.P.
Slope feature is one of the most wanted ones among non-professional players, and the professional ones would like to use it as well if only it wasn’t prohibited. It gives you the accurate measurements of the elevation in front of you.
Jolt Technology is implemented to give you the feedback in the form of vibrations when you lock the pin. It also helps you target the pin fast and easy. It removes the annoying situations when you lock on the tree or something else near the pin.
Vivid display technology enables the clear vision under any conditions. It doesn’t matter is the day sunny or cloudy, you will still be able to read the information on the rangefinder perfectly.
Most of the golf rangefinders have the ability to magnify the vision 6 times, but this one can go one step further.
The last feature is the E.S.P. which gives the rangefinder the ability to calculate the distance with speed and precision.
- 1Easy to use and setup, it will take you only about 10 minutes
- 2Quality build, the device is sturdy and long-lasting
- 3Quality build, the device is sturdy and long-lasting
- 4It’s waterproof
- 5It has the elevation calculation
- 6Vivid display that is clear to read in any circumstance
- 1It’s more expensive than the other models available today
#2 TecTecTec VPRO500
If you look for something that is accurate but also not expensive as well, this one might be the one. It can accurately measure the distance up to 550 yards. It’s pretty compact and well designed with a coating that makes it pretty nice to the touch and comfortable to hold.
It’s very versatile and useful gadget, with limited features, but that is to be expected at this price point. Even if it’s not the most advanced golf rangefinder out there, it might satisfy every basic purpose a rangefinder should have, and you can be sure it won’t break your budget.
Some of its features are high-tech optics, auto-target acquisition, and trio modes. The optics on this device are possibly its best trait. It has a 6x magnification with its multi-coated optics, but it’s not completely waterproof.
Auto-target acquisition is something you wouldn’t expect from an entry-level gadget like this one. It can ignore the signals coming from all the objects around the pin, and focus only on it. It locates the pin using the trio modes which enables it to focus the flagstick and ignore the distractions.
It’s important to mention how compact and lightweight this device is. Those traits certainly attribute to its value. It’s one of the lightest models out there, and it is very easy to carry it with you. And even though it’s so compact and light, it is pretty sturdy and well built.
The whole thing is padded, so it endures any accidental drops. The top and the bottom surface of the casing provide a solid grip with the non-slip coating.
- 1Very compact and lightweight, you can carry it with you easily
- 2It’s easy to use and easy to set up
- 3It’s precise in locking on the target, and it’s accurate in determining the distance
- 4Pretty affordable
- 5Durable and sturdy, very well built
- 1Not completely water resistant
#3 Bushnell Tour V4
Bushnell rangefinders are quite popular, and they have a very good reason to be. This one has some nice features that brought it to this list. It has the Jolt technology paired with PinSeeker that makes the device vibrate when you pinpoint the flag and lock on it.
It has 5x magnification, which is less than the average rangefinder has usually they have 6, but it has Slope tech and the system for fast focusing. It can determine the distance up to 1000 yards. It’s compact and in fairly small dimensions, with an attractive design.
It’s comfortable to hold with grips on the top and bottom. On the top, you can see the red button which is used to control everything on this rangefinder, which is an excellent feature for golfers who are just starting to use these devices. Very easy to use.
Jolt tech and PinSeeker work very well together. The PinSeeker lets you locate the flag even if you don’t see it. And when you lock on it, the device will vibrate using the Jolt tech. It does have only 5x magnification, but it has a Fast Focus feature which reduces the usual time needed to focus on the target.
Being a very wanted feature, this one is also packed with Slope technology to compensate for slopes and elevation on the course while determining the distance. It’s powered by a 3-Volt battery which can be charged later. Some additions worth mentioning are the case that comes with it, so you can carry it easily and the two-year warranty.
- 1Lightweight and compact with an attractive design
- 2It has Jolt tech and PinSeeker which makes it stand out
- 3Very quick focus
- 4Extremely easy to use, one button controls everything
- 5Extremely easy to use, one button controls everything
- 1Extremely easy to use, one button controls everything
- 2The battery can give you some troubles when you try to insert it
#4 Bushnell Pro X2
Yes, another one from Bushnell. They are the most popular ones, and Bushnell has a lot of models. Almost one for everyone. This one right here is one of the expensive options compared to the other models. It surely isn’t meant to be the entry-level device. It can get pretty complicated for use because it’s aimed at the golfers who already used some rangefinder for a longer time.
The design is not that attractive as the others, and it’s pretty robust, it looks like an armored vehicle, and for a reason too. It’s very durable and sturdy it’s made to last long and endure some bumps and falls. It has a lot of features which you already could see on the other Bushnell models, like PinSeeker, Jolt, and Dual display.
What makes it stand out are its stable grip, armored casing, and Slope-switch technology. Just as all the other models, Jolt and PinSeeker work very well on this model as well. It locates the pin very easy and when it does you will get the vibration feedback from it.
The dual display is a great feature to have, so you can adapt to different weather conditions. One display is red, and the other one is black, so no matter what kind of weather or lighting you will be exposed, you will be able to read the data with ease.
It’s known that rangefinders could give some inaccurate readings if your hands are shaky when you try to determine the distance. The stable grip on this model makes it easier to hold and harder to slip in your hands, so you can have a firm grip when you’re trying to get some data.
You already saw a few examples of rangefinders with Slope tech, and you already know that it might be prohibited. What’s great about this one is that it can be switched off, so you don’t have to worry about that. And the last advantage of this model is its completely armored casing which resembles something made by CAT it’s that level of protection.
- 1Very sturdy and durable with a lot of protection from the armored casing
- 2Dual displays make it ready for all lighting and weather conditions
- 3Long range with accurate measurements
- 4The Slope compensation feature can be turned off
- 5The Slope compensation feature can be turned off
- 6It has PinSeeker and Jolt features
- 7It’s waterproof and allowed on tournaments
- 1Not suitable for beginners
#5 Nikon Coolshot 20
You know about Nikon cameras and their quality with the pricing. Well, turns out they make golf rangefinders as well. But, surprisingly this one is not expensive, considering the brand behind it. It’s very lightweight and compact with a sleek design with white color dominance.
It can completely fit in your pocket, and it’s easy to use as well. Some people even might not like its small size, because you might not get a firm grip on it. It’s packed with enough features, but not as much as the high-end models.
It has an 8-second continuous measurement, first target priority mode along with 6x magnification. To top everything, it’s also waterproof.
The Nikon Coolshot 20 can brag about its versatility, since you can use it to measure the distance of any object you like, including lakes. The first target priority mode allows you to get the distance to the object you targeted first when there is a lot of other objects around it.
The 8-second continuous measurement helps you get the range of smaller targets when you push the button, it measures for eight seconds until it gets the right distance. You can use this rangefinder in any type of weather, and you can be sure it will last through it, moist conditions included. You can even drop it in the water, and its waterproof casing will protect it.
- 1Pretty small and compact, it can fit it in the pocket easily
- 2It’s easy to use and very beginner-friendly
- 3Good price
- 4It’s approved by USGA, so you can use it in tournaments without worrying
- 5Waterproof Casing
- 1It lacks Slope compensation
- 2Its small dimensions can be troublesome for some people
You probably noticed that all of these devices are laser-types, and that’s because they are so much more accurate than the GPS-ones, and so much faster that they just blow them up and eliminate them completely so they can’t even be considered to be the best golf rangefinders.
With all the golf rangefinders on this list, some should be considered the best, and in my opinion, it’s the Bushnell Tour V4. Its compact dimensions and light weight make it easy to carry, it’s very easy to use, and it has all the features you might need. The thing that it only has 5x magnification can be ignored considering all the other features you get for the price.