What is a golf rangefinder? The purpose and how it helps your shot

Golf Rangefinder

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A Rangefinder is a device used to measure the distance from the observer to a target, in a process called ranging. It can be used on different fields like golf, hunting, forestry etc. A rangefinder is a hassle-free device, that needs no prior experience before it can be used.

The primary feature of a rangefinder is providing an accurate distance between you and your target, thereby eliminating any guesswork. Rangefinder is an essential device that every golfer should have.

The importance of a Rangefinder.

Rangefinder have become one of the most sought after golf gadgets in the last 10 years. Rangefinders are one of the most valuable pieces of equipment golfers can buy to improve their game.

Furthermore, a rangefinder is a great tool to be able to see targets you’d have trouble seeing with the naked eye. They essentially work as a set of binoculars, which will allow you to see if the group in front of you is at a safe distance for you to hit your next shot.

What is a laser Rangefinder?

A laser rangefinder is used to provide golfers with accurate yardages from long distances. Rather than estimating the yardages from yardage markers and the angle you are playing the golf hole.

It is important to know your yardages if u want to be a better golfer. By owning a laser rangefinder, you will be able to collect your club data. Also laser rangefinders are brilliant at getting hazard info like fir-way bunker, tree and water hazards.

Certain attributes to look for in a Rangefinder.

With so much information and new equipment coming out all the time, it is important to have your golf laser rangefinders up to date. Moreover, if you are an amateur listed below are some of the crucial and essential things to look for in each device before buying them.

  • Accuracy: The most important function of a rangefinder is distance measuring. You have to have the correct yardage for your intended shot. This is the most important feature as it determines the outcome of the game.
  • Distance range: This device allows you to get closer without moving an inch. Another great benefit of a Rangefinder is that it is easy to use. You do not need prior experience or hours of practice to understand how this device works. All that he/she has to do is to point the laser on the target. After doing this, you can leave the rest to the rangefinder. However, a long Rangefinder is worthless if you cannot see the target from where you are. Be sure to have a large magnification to see far-away targets.
  • Battery life: This is almost a non-issue as the typical battery life can last six months to a year unlike wearable devices like a golf watch. Also, some companies like a precision pro, offer free batteries for life when you register.  So before buying a Rangefinder one should check the battery capacity for excellent use and ensure it is original.
  • Slope measurement capabilities: Rangefinders cannot tell you the precise distance but they can tell you if your shot is down or uphill. Also, they are illegal to use during the tournament so it is advisable to turn it off for competitive events but one could use it during practice. They are usually a bit pricier and certain models come with the slope compensation features.

Are cheap golf Rangefinders any good?

Golf Rangefinders are nifty equipment for those who take their game seriously. The cheaper ones are not actually on par with the more expensive models so before making that investment, it is best that you think through how often you are going to use the device.

However if you are strapped for cash you can also go for secondhand golf Rangefinders. They are often cheaper than brand new ones, and some are even sold as good as new. Below are some of the golf Rangefinders that are affordable and one can use during practice and tournaments.

1. Bushnell tour v4 jolt golf laser Rangefinder:


Bushnell is a trusted name in the world of golf Rangefinders and been around quite a long time. Bushnell jolt technology provides you with shot vibrating bursts to reinforce the laser is locked onto the flag.

This is great because you would not have to double-check your distance to make sure your yardage is correct. The tour v4 is perfect for players of all abilities but costly.

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2. Nickon coolshot golf Rangefinder: 


They are a well-known brand that’s been in the game for a long time due to the fact that they are loved for their quality and their affordability.

It provides incredibly fast and accurate distance measurements for every shot. Also, It is portable to carry anywhere and it is affordable.

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3. Precision pro NX7 laser Rangefinder:

Precision Pro

This is an excellent choice in finding the perfect Rangefinder to fit your game. It measures within one yard of any target. It delivers distances quickly and accurately.

For golfers, confidence is a wonderful thing. Confidence to know you hit your desired target. The rangefinder gives a short vibration after successfully measuring the distance to let you know the number on the display is the right one.

Also, The NX7 pro slope golf Rangefinder is fast and precise, giving golfers accurate distance on uphill and downhill shots.

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The introduction of technology into golf has made the game much enjoyable to interested parties. Originally, the technology behind these devices was not made for golfing. GPS was created for location services while laser tech was meant for distance reading.

However, this does not in any way under emphasize how much both have changed the game of golf. Adding both GPS and lasers Rangefinders to the sport revolutionized play that with any of this gadgets an amateur can up his game in a short while.

GPS Rangefinders: Require less time to determine your distance to the hole or other points on the golf course because they measure to know points about the course.  GPS and because it makes use of GPS technology, users do not have to focus the unit at a stable pace to find the target.

It can produce the layout of the course hole easily and it can be activated and proceed to determine the needed readings. Most GPS rangefinder comes as golf GPS watches or golf GPS handhelds. Rangefinders are capable of offering precise distances even on green locations

The laser Rangefinders:  It does not call for a certain course to be charted but they can take longer to get a distance measurement than a GPS-based rangefinder and are only as accurate as the golfer using the device. Laser Rangefinders for golfing are simple to set up and put together whenever needed.

These devices have lengthy battery life and have a light, portable size which makes them a breeze to carry around. It features excellent accuracy as well which makes for better target-spotting and has a higher magnification level.

Is slope on a rangefinder worth it?

Using a Rangefinder during practice rounds, that is when a slope feature comes in very handy. The more sophisticated device factor in the uphill or downhill trajectory of a shot and then factor in the slope for accurate yardage reading.

Even though one cannot use slope during tournament play, using slope while practicing can really help a golfer determine how elevation change affects their shot-making.

More practice focusing on how different approaches counteract slope will definitely instill confidence during tournament play.

Advantage of a Rangefinder with slope.

A Rangefinder with slope has the potential to improve your score but it still heavily depends on your playing ability. The main premise behind a rangefinder with slope is that it takes variation of elevation into account when it calculates the distance between you and your target.

This is typically done with the help of a laser that is shot out of the rangefinder once you pull its trigger (or push its button). The laser will bounce off the target and be received by the rangefinder calculating the distance.

However, with the slope function enabled, the rangefinder will also calculate the angle of the return of your ball.

Usefulness of a Rangefinder with slope.

With all of that being said, a Rangefinder with slope does the entire calculation for you so you can spend more time adjusting your swing and less time worrying about variations in elevation.

Being able to have a general idea of the true distance between you and the flag, with the slope being taken into consideration, it can help you save dozens of strokes by the end of the game.

USGA Rule against Rangefinder using slope.

However, a Rangefinder that calculates slope may work against you, depending on where you play. According to the USGA, using any type of Rangefinder with the slope function enabled is illegal and is grounds for immediate disqualification.

That is why a professional golfer uses a rangefinder to measure distances on flat ground rather than with obstacles in the way. However there are exceptions to this rule. The USGA has also declared that Rangefinders and other devices can be used and shared by golfers using a local rule exception.

Basically, what this means is that local clubs and courses can lift USGA rule 14-3 for tournaments allowing players to use distance-measuring devices. Players who use these devices are allowed to share with other players during the tournament.

So according to the USGA, once the local rule is in effect, you may use any application or device to measure distance, provided you do not use any feature on the device that, if used, would be a breach of rule 14-3.

Function of a laser Rangefinder.

Laser Rangefinders’ key purpose is to measure distance to your target. However, over the last few years, manufactures of rangefinders have become more innovative and added more and more technology to their devices. Slope is one of the most sought after technologies in a laser rangefinder.

It’s one of its key advantages that a laser rangefinders can provide over a GPS device. A slope edition Rangefinder gives you the distance to the flagstick, and the degree of elevation to the target.

When choosing a Rangefinder one should consider many aspects such as price range functionality and durability. As you can see you can tell, there are so many awesome choices out there when it comes to finding the best golf Rangefinder to help you hit better approach shots and improve your scores.

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