Nikon Coolshot 20 Golf Laser Rangefinder Review 

 December 11, 2019

By  Golf Rangers

Nikon is a well-known camera manufacturing company and making different types of cameras for many decades. So, it’s natural that a camera most probably comes first in your mind when thinks of Nikon. But do you know, Nikon is in the golf laser rangefinder market for a very long time. Previously they were the laser rangefinder manufacturer for Callaway. However, from our research, we found that Nikon Coolshot 20 golf laser rangefinder is one of the best laser rangefinders in the market.

An extremely compact design, easy to use, and affordable price tag make Nikon Coolshot 20 popular among the golfers. Also, It’s fully waterproof and compatible with any obstacle along with atmospheric while on the golf courses. Many unique features and technology set Coolshot 20 rangefinder apart from many other rangefinder models available in the market. It’s First Target Priority Mode and 8-Second Continuous Scan Mode can give accurate measurements for up to 550 yards. It’s also a USGA approved rangefinder.

Let’s jump into the CoolShot 20 golf rangefinder details to find out what more this perfect and small unit has to offer.

Nikon CoolShot 20 Rangefinder

Key features

4.5 / 5

Compact, lightweight (approx. 125g) and ergonomic design.

Measurement range: 5-500m/6-550yd.

First Target Priority mode for displaying the distance to the closest subject when measuring overlapping subjects

A single press of the POWER button provides 8-second continuous measurement, which enables measurement even with slight hand movement.

High-quality 6x monocular with multilayer coating for bright, clear images

Long eye relief design affords eyeglass wearers easy viewing

Dioptre adjustment function

Rainproof — JIS/IEC protection class 4 (IPX4) equivalent

Wide temperature tolerance: -10°C to +50°C/14°F to 122°F

First Impressions

The Nikon Coolshot 20 is apparently a very nice looking golf laser rangefinder. The first thing you will notice about this device is its size. It’s not big and chunky like many other laser rangefinders available in the market. It’s just 9cm by 7cm and is one of the smallest rangefinders on the market. Also, this device is 2 cm shorter and 55 grams lighter than its predecessor original Coolshot rangefinder. It’s the most compact model among the Nikon golf line. Since this rangefinder is small enough and thin, it will fit comfortably into any of your trouser or jacket pockets, or you can carry in your hand like a smartphone on the course. So, you don’t need to look for your bag when you need the device between shots.

Easy to Use

Nikon Coolshot 20 is very easy to use, you don’t need to be a tech-savvy out there. Just point the rangefinder to your target and push the rear button, you will get the distance on the screen within 8 seconds. Also, the device will turn off after 8 seconds automatically to save the battery. The front button is for changing the measuring system from yards to meters, and it’s very simple and intuitive to use.


The measuring range you will get on the Nikon Coolshot 20 is pretty impressive. It will provide an accurate distance measurement from 6 yards to 550 yards. But surprisingly, the older version displays distance measurements in precise half yard increments, which you will see more in higher-end rangefinders. However, It’s not clear why Nikon downgraded the newer version.

6X magnification

One of the most important features you should look into a laser rangefinder is the magnification capacity. Nikon Coolshot 20 comes with 6X magnification capability, which is accurate up to 500+ yards. This feature will help you to see what’s ahead, including long-distance targets clearly before you swing. Moreover, if you have poor eyesight or wears glasses, Coolshot 20 is the rangefinder that you can use easily with glasses or can adjust the focus on the eyepiece to get any short or long distance reading with the naked eye, which is a useful feature.

Also, Nikon uses its renowned optical technology on this laser rangefinder. The multilayer coating provides superior light transmission across the entire visible spectrum. It reduces the loss of light due to reflection, which ensures a more natural, clearer, and high contrast views.

First Target Priority Mode

Nikon uses the revolutionary technology “First Target Priority Mode” in Coolshot 20. This technology allows you to get the distance of your closest targeted object easily, accurately, and quickly from the background chaos. Also, it can focus on one object, even if background objects are too close to your target. The distances are shown in 1 yard/meter increments on the screen clearly in good-sized numbers. This feature is extremely helpful when measuring a distance to a flagstick in front of a group of trees.

However, it’s very easy to target flag or other objects up to 200 yards, but sometimes it takes little more time to recognize flag over 200 yards like its predecessor Coolshot, especially in windy conditions.

8-Second Continuous Scan Mode

Since you can’t locate your target easily with chaos in the background, so Nikon Coolshot 20 is designed to prevent this problem by adding the 8-second continuous scanning feature. This is an outstanding feature that allows you to measure distances to several objects at the same time. Just a single press of rear power button provides 8-second continuous measurement of small or thin or multiple objects and give distances to trees, mounds, pins, and hazards.

Ergonomic and Weather Resistant

The extremely compact, lightweight, and ergonomic design makes this rangefinder easy to handle. You can also carry Nikon Coolshot 20 in your hand or pocket easily without thinking of extra weight.

You can use Coolshot 20 in any weather condition. The materials and technology used in this device will allow you to continued use during inclement weather. This laser rangefinder has an extensive temperature tolerance capability, and it’s 100% waterproof. So, you don’t need to put it away due to poor weather conditions. It will work fine, and wet hand or rain water will not cause any damage to your device.


Coolshot 20 is a versatile tool, and it can range or provide measurements for any object within sight like hills, bunkers, lakes, trees, doglegs, golf carts, and eventually the flagstick. You don’t need reflectors or satellites to find a distance to any targeted object.

Battery Life

Nikon Coolshot 20 required one DC 3V CR 2 lithium battery for powering and included with the package. The battery life of this device is pretty impressive. Since the device automatically turns off after 8 seconds scanning, it extended the battery life. So, your rangefinder battery will not die in the middle of your game or have to recharge very frequently. Even some said that you could use this device for several months with average levels of play without recharging.

Pros & Cons

Good & Bad of Nikon CoolShot 20 Golf Rangefinder


  • Extremely compact, Lightweight and Portable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Affordable Price.
  • Compatible with the poor weather conditions.
  • 6X Magnification.
  • 100% waterproof.
  • USGA approved, Tournament legal.


  • No pin technology
  • Can’t deliver accurate distance if used with shaky hands.
  • Takes much time to calculate distance over 200 yards, especially in windy conditions.
  • Slope adjustment feature unavailable. You can check Nikon Coolshot 20i rangefinder for slope feature.


Finally, Nikon CoolShot 20 Golf Laser Rangefinder is one of the cheapest rangefinders in the market. It’s unique features, accuracy, and rainproof capability will return a great value of your money. It’s powerful and compatible with any weather conditions. Overall you can buy this great, basic golf laser rangefinder for regular use if you are looking for a budget-friendly rangefinder.

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