When you are on a golf course, and you see your shots are consistently either too long or too short, it can be frustrating. You think that you have estimated the right yardage, but it was not in reality because the ball either bounce off or hits the back of the green, or fail to reach the green and even could finish up in a lousy sand trap. So, it’s maybe the time to search for a tool which can inform you accurately how much distance you have to where you want to hit the golf ball. So, knowing the exact yardages on the golf course is crucial, and it helps you to take better decision to lower your scores. Nowadays, it becomes much easier for golfers with distance measuring devices featuring GPS and laser technology. And we think that laser golf rangefinder can be the right tool to help you to achieve this goal.
However, A large number of golf rangefinder models (GPS and Laser) are available in the market from different manufacturers. The price range varies from $99 – $700+, and features also change with the price. So, you may be confused when trying to choose one according to your budget and needs. But nothing to worry, we will help you here to understand how to select the best laser golf rangefinder.
In addition, if you are in a hurry and don’t want to spend time on researching golf rangefinders, don’t worry, we prepared a list of the top 10 best laser golf rangefinders for you. We analyzed the features, performance, professional’s opinion, users reviews and also followed the buying guide we prepared here for you when selecting our best top 10 laser rangefinders.
Top 10 Best Laser Golf Rangefinders
Golf Rangefinders Buying Guide
The golf rangefinder market has changed significantly in recent years. The manufacturing process has been improved, and companies are now selling their products online directly to the customer, and pricing becomes more competitive than ever. As a result, you will have a large number of options for golf rangefinders. It’s undoubtedly good for everyone, but sometimes it can be misleading if you don’t give enough time to analyze the long list of rangefinders and user’s feedback. However, we did some extensive research on laser golf rangefinders and prepared a buying guide for you. In our buying guide, we will discuss some of the crucial things that you should know, and what essential attributes you should look within laser rangefinders before buying. Let’s get started!
What is Golf Rangefinder?
The golf rangefinder is basically a device to measure the distances. It has been designed mainly for use in golf. It measures the distance from your golf ball to your target accurately using either GPS or laser technology. So, you will find two types of golf rangefinder in the market, laser rangefinder and another one is GPS rangefinder.
Laser Rangefinders – Golf laser rangefinder sends a short laser pulse to your target object and measures the distance between you and your selected target by calculating the time it takes to bounce back to the device. The laser pules speed is fixed, so the device uses the known speed and calculates the rebound time to measure the distances. It takes a couple of seconds to show the range within the viewport. Some device has a “slope” feature which can calculate the adequate distances for uphill and downhill shots. Uphill shots will be shorter, and downhill shots will go far away. Additionally, some laser rangefinder models are likewise also used in hunting to measure the hunting distance.
GPS Rangefinders – Golf GPS Rangefinders uses satellite data to measure the distances. It coordinates the longitude and latitude to calculate the distance between your position and your target. But it can calculate a particular number of fixed targets, usually the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. Some also offer ranges to hazards like water hazards or sand traps, and this technology mostly found in golf GPS watches or handheld golf GPS devices.
Which Golf Rangefinder will Best for You?
It is complicated to answer this question in one word. There are many answers of this question found about golf rangefinders in different blogs, social media, and forums, some claims that GPS watch is best, and some prefer golf GPS handheld devices, others may say that laser rangefinders are best among all of them. So, getting more accurate and best answer is almost impossible. However, GPS rangefinders (Watches and handheld devices) can measure a particular number of fixed targets, but laser rangefinders can measure any targets using laser technology. As a result, laser rangefinders are widely used not only in golf courses but also used in other distance measuring activities like hunting.
How can Laser Golf Rangefinder Help You?
It does no matter whether you are an expert or amateur, you can measure the exact distance of the flag and play a perfect round with the help of golf rangefinder. If you do a little research on golf forums or social media like Facebook and Twitter, you will find how important the rangefinder is, even professionals are also using rangefinders in their tournaments. So, expert and amateur is not an issue here, and you should have a good rangefinder if you set your mind to shoot a perfect shot.
Fast of all, laser rangefinder allows you to aim directly to a target and gives you the exact yardages within a couple of seconds. This error margin of new rangefinder laser technology is too low that it’s lower well than the margin of error in your shotmaking. So, it means that using a laser rangefinder is always going to help you better than your guesswork. Here are some more benefits you can get from laser rangefinders,
Increases the Speed of the Game
The laser rangefinder will measure the distances to any point within a few seconds, and It’s essential to improve the game speed. So, you don’t need to waste your time on estimating the distance using markers if you use a rangefinder. As a result, you are also able to select your club fast as you already know what range you want to hit, and you can enjoy and play more golf because everything is quick.
Slopes and Elevation Compensation
There is a slope compensation feature in modern laser rangefinders, which is very helpful for golfers. Though most of the professional tours don’t allow to use this feature, sill it can add some value to your game. You will get more accurate distances with slope compensation feature as it takes slopes and elevation into consideration when measuring the range. Slope compensation is almost impossible if you try to do on relying yard markers.
Will Improve Your Confidence
Laser rangefinder will help you to improve your confidence with every shot you take as they eliminate your doubts on distance and club selection. Also, you will able to give your best effort if you have any doubt in your mind when making a shot. As you already know the target distance from each clubs, so it will be easy to reproduce it.
A golf rangefinder is not only providing your distances from the flag or green but also an excellent data collection tool. The more data you can collect, the more you can do better because you will know where you need improvement. Some of the rangefinders allow you to upload your game data like scores to your PC/Mac for post-data analysis and save them for future reference. However, A laser rangefinder can improve your overall performance significantly because it lets you know the distance, so you will know which club you need exactly for your next shot. It’s a huge advantage when you are on the course.
Top Laser Golf Rangefinder manufacturers
Four companies are playing key roles in the rangefinder industry. They are
Bushnell is the most renown company in laser golf rangefinder market and controls a large number of market share – claiming 99% of PGA tour players are using their products. This company is founded in 1948 and was acquired by Alliant Techsystems in 2013. It was formerly a public traded company owned by Honeywell. Bushnell headquarter is situated in Overland Park, Kansas, United States. One of the best laser rangefinders from Bushnell is Bushnell Tour V4 with JOLT technology. JOLT is a new technology that Bushnell added in their latest model laser rangefinders. It provides short vibrating bursts to reinforce that the PinSeeker technology of rangefinder has isolated the target and locked onto the flag.
Leupold is an outdoor optical product manufacturing company and has naturally made the expansion into golf. This company is founded in 1907, and it’s a family-owned business running from five generations. The primary Leupold golf rangefinder line is GX series and entry-level Pincaddie also included. The headquarter of this company located in Beaverton, Oregon, United States.
TecTecTec is a newcomer in the rangefinder market. There is little information available about this company. According to their website, they start their operation from 2014, and headquarter is located in France. Also, they have representation in Texas, Houston, and Bali. From the beginning of the company, TecTecTec has become a pioneer in technologically advanced and affordable laser rangefinders. One of their most successful budget friendly and entry-level laser rangefinders is TecTecTec VPro500.
Nikon is a famous company for cameras. They started marketing their own rangefinders brand COOLSHOT after producing rangefinders for Callaway from several years. The current models of Nikon laser rangefinders are the COOLSHOT 20, 40 and 40i.
Things to Consider before Buying a Laser Golf Rangefinder
You can get a significant advantage on the golf course if you can afford to have the best laser golf rangefinder with you. The very worst thing can happen when you are on the course is that you hit a perfect shot according to your estimate, but the ball either sail over the back of the green and bounce off, or either too long or too short, it’s irritating. If you want to avoid this situation and want to take your golf game to the next level, decide today whether you will take advantages of laser rangefinders or not. If you want, then you should consider the following things before buying a rangefinder,
It’s most important to consider the features before buying a laser rangefinder because they are the things that confirm the value what it will offer you. Apart from the basic features of those devices, you should consider the advanced features to get the best results like JOLT technology, EPS as well as Vivid display. If you decide to buy one with many advanced features then you can think about Bushnell Pro X7, it has 7X magnification, Pinseekrer, and JOLT technology.
Distance Measuring capacity
It’s also crucial to know the distance measuring capacity of the golf laser rangefinders for a golfer. It determines how useful it will be for him or her. Most of the laser rangefinders can measure more than 400 yards, but Bushnell Tour 4 JOLT can measure up to 1000 yards, and it’s much more than most others in the market.
Size and Weight
You are most probably going to walk for several hours with your rangefinder throughout the course, and you can feel fatigued if it’s heavy. The device should ideally be small and compact, and this will also make the rangefinder easy to carry. So, considering weight and size is essential. However, you can check Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder if your primary concern is to buy a lightweight and compact laser rangefinder.
A laser rangefinder is worthless if you can’t get a clear view of your target on your rangefinder viewport from the point where are. So, it’s essential to make sure the rangefinder has large enough magnification (at least 5X) to see long range targets. The Precision Pro Golf – NX7 Pro Slope Golf Rangefinder has 6X magnification capacity.
This is the latest feature that added in 2nd generation rangefinders. This feature helps you to target precisely when your hand may move slightly. Image stabilization feature ensures the focusing laser will not move from the target ever. Most of the latest laser rangefinder has this feature. Although some senior golfers are not supporting this feature, it’s getting popular.
It’s also essential to know whether the device is USGA approved or not. This will certainly ensure that you can use it for tours, but it may not be vital for you if you only require something to use while playing with your friends on the weekend. Therefore you can consider rangefinder like Bushnell Tour Z6 with JOLT technology because it’s a USGA approved laser rangefinder and has impressive user rating as well.
Ease of Use
Experienced and professional golfers usually don’t face any problem while using any rangefinder, but it may not be the same in the case of newbies. Some device functions are relatively complicated and make complexity when you are on the green. So, it’s essential to choose a laser rangefinder which is easy to use. For example, you can consider Nikon Coolshot 40i, and it’s a very easy to use laser rangefinder for newbies.
It’s undoubtedly important to consider the budget when deciding to buy something, and the rangefinder is not an exception. Many options and brands are available in the market, and you should choose the best according to your budget. However, if you are on a tight budget, then we can suggest TecTecTec VPRO500 for you. It’s user’s feedback is impressive and a very effective laser rangefinder. It gives accurate distance up to 500 yards.
You should read the user’s reviews before purchasing any product, and the same condition applies to golf products too. So, Customer reviews play a vital role in buying any golf product. Customer reviews will let you know what other users are saying about a particular model of laser rangefinder that you are thinking to buy. Thanks to Amazon to allow us to read their customer reviews. As a result, you will get a better idea about the product quality and effectiveness from other user’s practical experience.
You should check the battery life of the laser rangefinders before making any purchase decision. If you don’t do that, there is a possibility that your rangefinder may stop working in the middle of the round. Also, you should look for the availability of the battery if you need to replace afterward. Although, some laser rangefinder model like Precision Pro Golf – NX7 gives lifetime battery replacement service with product registration. And it also offers 2 years of product warranty. Likewise, you should check the product’s water resistant capacity as most of the golfers caught in the rain more than once.
Mistakes to Avoid before Buying a Laser Golf Rangefinder
Once you decided to buy a golf laser rangefinder for you then you should avoid the following mistakes,
Not Doing Proper Research
Most cases, people are not doing proper research on golf rangefinder before buying. They even don’t know anything about the price, qualities, features, and available best models. So, they choose the incorrect option most of the time. As a result, it often leads them to buy poor and inefficient laser rangefinder. Thus, it’s crucial to do proper research before purchasing the best rangefinder to get the best value of your money.
Ignore the Reviews
Most of the people often ignore other people reviews because they are probably wrong. As you already know the importance of reading reviews from our previous discussion. So, it’s crucial to check the reviews from the authentic sites where real user share their experience and their opinion on golf rangefinders. It will definitely help you to find the best laser rangefinder and will return the best value of your money. However, if you are not considering the experienced people reviews then it will possibly lead you to buy the wrong product.
Buying Unauthentic Brand’s Product
Brand means a lot here if you have decided to purchase a laser rangefinder. Buying an unauthentic brand’s rangefinder may end up in a poor quality product. So, it’s always better to think about reputed and reliable brand to buy laser rangefinder. We have already informed you that the four most reputable companies for laser rangefinders are Bushnell, Leupold, TecTecTec, and Nikon. They supply quality products and also have excellent customer support.
Tournament Legal Golf Laser Rangefinders
This type of rangefinders are basically specified for the tournament, and you can’t use any other kind of rangefinder there. Even you are not allowed to use “slope” features of rangefinder in any professional golf tournaments. So, ignoring this type of rangefinder may create a problem if you are interested in participating in any professional tour. However, we will discuss more on “tournament legal” and “Slope Vs. Non-slope” below.
What is Slope vs. No-Slope?
If you are a science student, then the slope and non-slope most probably remind you trigonometry classes of your high school. However, golf rangefinder basically does the distance calculation for you and for understanding the difference between slope vs. non-slop then we need to know how it works.
The fairways have both ditches and hills. They have constructed following such a method to test your measuring abilities while you hit. The distance among golf ball and flag is horizontal in a plane ground. But if the flag is on a ditch or hill, you have to think about that additional elevation or depression. Laser rangefinder featuring slope compensation technology measure this vertical elevation using the trigonometric equation and adjust the horizontal distance. This adjusted distance is called “slope compensated range” or just “slope”.
Golf laser rangefinder models like Nikon Pro Stabilized, Bushnell PRO X2, Precision Pro NX7PRO, Leupold GX 5i3, and TecTecTec VPro500s has slope feature, but non-slope rangefinders are tournament legal. Bushnell Tour V4, Leupold GX 4i, Nikon Coolshot 80VR are few names of non-slope laser rangefinder models.
What is Tournament Legal?
The meaning of “tournament legal” term is whether you can use a rangefinder or not in any golf tournament. According to USGA 14-3 regulations, you can’t use any rangefinder featuring DMD.
In that regulation, it’s clearly stated that “during a stipulated round, the player shall not use any artificial device or unusual equipment for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions which might affect his play”
So, you can’t use any devices for handicapping purpose. It’s not allowed in any tournament to use a device which can also measure any other things except range. Even you can’t use any such rangefinder features that measure wind speed or recommends a club for a specific condition.
But on a separate note, we found that USGA has made some significant changes in game rules as a part of rules modernization. We see that Rule 4.3 is now allowing golfers to use DMD featuring devices to measure distances. And it’s also stated that a committee may adopt a local rule banning such use of DMDs. Moreover, USGA has clarified rangefinder rules 14-3 in a USGA-R&A Joint Statement.
However, our recommendation is to study the USGA golf rules and read their DMD FAQ section before buying a rangefinder for you. So, you can learn which functions are allowed and not allowed. Also, if you have a high-end feature jammed rangefinder, then you will know which functions you have to turn off to make it tournament legal.
While playing golf, you have to do a lot of calculations before taking every shot as it’s a game of accuracy. And A reliable rangefinder can make it easy.
We did an in details research on a large number of laser rangefinders including their pros and cons, user reviews and expert opinion. From our research, we narrow down our top selections and finally got out top 10 laser golf rangefinders for you. So, you can either select your laser rangefinder from our list or can find something best for you following our buying guide.