The best golf rangefinder will allow you to measure the exact distances you’re hitting the ball on the green. Getting this type of accurate data will be a huge benefit during subsequent rounds. Using it to get the true distance to any flagpole on the range, or to landmarks or other obstacles will tell you exactly how far you need to hit the ball and it can do wonders for your accuracy and overall game.
Features such as slope can work even more in your favor because it uses elevation to determine the true distance of a flag.
You’ll be able to begin applying what you learn about distance and accuracy to your game and you’ll see some major changes in your score almost immediately.
These rangefinders are commonly used on the green by beginners and pros alike. A pro can use one of these devices in their practice rounds in order to determine the distances to each flag, which can help them during tournament rounds. Knowing the yardage to certain targets can give any golfer a distinct advantage when it comes to choosing the appropriate club.
These devices use a class one eye safe laser beam to bounce the beam of light off distant objects. A rangefinder’s high-speed digital clock will measure the amount of time it will take for the laser to reach the target and return to the device. The advanced internal electronics instantly calculate the distance, which will be displayed in meters or in yards. It’s that simple.
Thanks to these rangefinders, a golfer can now find the distances to any target they want as long as there’s a straight line of sight between the target and the laser.
These days, as the golf rangefinder’s popularity continues to rise, you can find a wide variety of models to choose from. Of course, the lower priced models will offer only the basic features, but even these devices can be very accurate. The trouble falls on knowing which type of features you really need to improve your game and which features you can do without.
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top five models on the market. Each model stands out in their own unique way, whether it’s due to user-friendliness, an intuitive setup, best accuracy, or even the best value. We’ve picked models from each category that are designed to meet the needs of any golfer whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. We’ve also taken a look at models available in different price ranges, so even the golfer on a tight budget is sure to find a great model for the right price.
Rangefinder Comparison Chart
1. TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder: Affordably priced and fun to use, this highly accurate rangefinder features a decent range, a reputation for accuracy and comes equipped with a few pinsensor modes that really work to improve your game out on the green.
2. Bushnell Tour V4 Golf Laser Rangefinder: Packed with features and offering a new, lighter, ergonomic design, this is one rangefinder you’ll use frequently out on the green. User navigation could use some improvement due to the single button design, however, you’ll soon find yourself quickly switching from mode to mode as you enjoy all the bells and whistles this rangefinder has to offer.
3. Nikon Coolshot 40 Golf Laser Rangefinder: It’s a pleasant surprise to find so many useful features packed into such a small device. This sleek, compact model can easily fit into your pocket, but don’t let its size fool you. It comes equipped with a number of popular features and offers impressive accuracy, all in a sleek device that’s guaranteed to take your game to the next level.
4. SereneLife Premium Golf Laser Rangefinder: This is a basic, entry-level golf rangefinder that doesn’t offer many hi-tech features. However, the basic features it does offer are more than enough to improve your game. This model is also very user-friendly and budget friendly, making it the perfect choice for the beginner.
5. Bushnell Tour X Golf Rangefinder: A popular model produced by a brand you can trust, you’ll have a good time experimenting with all the feature this rangefinder has to offer including a red or black display, and Jolt technology. But if you’re on a tight budget you may want to pass this model by.
The Bushnell Tour V4 Golf laser rangefinder features pinseeker with Jolt technology, 5x magnification, a thousand yard range, is pro certified and tournament legal.
It’s also much smaller than you’d expect and will fit well in your hand, weighing in at less than six ounces. The average golfer should have no problem attaching this model to their golf bag and toting it around all day.
On the rangefinder you’ll find just a single button to control all of the features, making it easy to switch between both non-slope and slope mode. When the slope mode is switched on it will display the degree difference and slope adjusted yardage, which is displayed directly below the actual yardage. This makes it easy to view and it works very well.
This model comes equipped with Jolt technology, which causes the rangefinder to vibrate once the user has properly locked onto a target. With the combination of Jolt technology and the pinseeker feature, there will be no doubt that you’ve correctly locked onto your target. The yardage will pop up on the screen, providing you with the precise distance for your next shot.
The rangefinder’s magnification level is rated at 5x, which offers a much closer view, so you’ll get a better look at the flag pole. Bushnell has also revamped their patented focus mechanism. On past models, the user was required to rotate the eyepiece in order to ensure that a shot was in focus. But with the V4, you’ll get the single slide focus, which can easily be used with one finger.
The slope feature is a special mode that takes the initial reading of the target and provides you with the true yardage. As you continue to press down on the power button, you’ll find a reading for the adjusted distance. This distance is based on changes in elevation.
Switching between modes and units of measurement will require some patience, especially if you’ve never used a golf rangefinder before. There’s only one button on this device that controls everything, so it can be frustrating at times to cycle through all the other modes and options. When attempting to switch modes you’ll need to hold down the power button until you feel vibrations. The device will vibrate a few times for each mode and the screen will display which mode the device is currently set on before moving onto the next. While at first, this process can seem a little tricky, after you do it a few times it’ll become second nature.
Bushnell is a company that continues to produce only the best golf rangefinders on the market. With the V4 you’ll get a model that’s faster, lighter, and smarter, and it offers some pretty great features such as a rainproof design, Jolt technology and a great ergonomic shape that makes this model so comfortable to use. All of these great features are reflected in the price, but for what you’re getting and the added edge this device is sure to give you out on the green, the higher price is totally worth it.
The Coolshot 40 golf rangefinder by Nikon features a range of almost six hundred yards, the Hyper Read feature, which provides the user with a faster read time of just half a second, and the patented first target priority technology which works to accurately and quickly identify flags from background obstacles.
The 40 is a sleek, smart-looking compact rangefinder that offers up to date technology in a well-built solid device that will definitely be an asset out on the course. The fact that the closest distance is automatically displayed using the eight-second scan simplifies the process of locking on the correct target, just as long as you don’t catch the lip of a sand trap accidentally.
The device is equipped with everything you’ll need in order to receive accurate distances and faster readings. The built-in battery meter is also a welcome addition.
This rangefinder works with a CR2 lithium battery, which features longer battery life. It also comes with an automatic power shut-off function that powers down the device after just eight seconds of inactivity.
The eight-second continuous measurement feature is also pretty popular. Just hold down the power button and the device will continue to measure the range for a total of eight seconds. This feature will help the golfer to accurately measure the distance to trees, or any other type of obstacles.
While not waterproof, this model is labeled as rainproof and can easily handle medium or severe downpours.
The eighteen-millimeter eye relief will allow for comfortable use throughout the day.
The target priority setting is another top feature that enables the user to lock in on a group of objects. This ensures a highly accurate measurement of the distance to the flag.
This rangefinder is so compact that you’ll be able to fit the entire device in your hand or slip it into a pocket, which is a huge bonus for consumers.
With only a couple of control buttons, this model is very user-friendly and intuitive.
The Coolshot has even been approved for tournament use and is endorsed by the US Gold Association.
Offering high readability, the device is equipped with a large, bright LCD display and large viewfinder, making it easy to scan the terrain and read results, even in bright sunlight or cloudy conditions.
Some golfers felt that this model was less durable than metal reinforced models.
In terms of price, it’s on the higher end of the scale, but when it comes to value, it offers plenty of game-changing features.
One of the biggest advantages this golf rangefinder by Nikon offers is its compact size and the wide range of useful features that can help improve your game and take it to the next level.
Often, golfers on a tight budget must do without a rangefinder that offers plenty of bells and whistles and instead, will have to make do with a model that’s available at a lower price in its most basic form. But TecTecTec is working to change all of that, thanks to their lower priced, yet innovative devices. Like other Tectectec models, these rangefinders show us you don’t have to live without the type of features that really add value to your game when using a budget-friendly model.
The TecTecTec VPRO500 golf rangefinder isn’t a high-end device, yet it still provides many of the features you really need out on the green. Highly accurate, this laser rangefinder has a range of five hundred and forty yards when placed in the continuous scan mode. The popular pinsensor feature allows users to measure overlapping obstacles accurately. The optics are easy to read and multilayered. It provides clear, sharp images and works well in a variety of weather conditions. It offers a 6x magnification and boasts a one-yard accuracy.
The durable body is both dust and water resistant, making it perfect for other activities including hunting and surveying and hiking.
This model really offers impressive value for the price. It runs on a non-rechargeable CR2 cell battery and has an average battery life of one year. However, the length of the battery life will also depend on how often you use it.
When it comes to accuracy, this rangefinder has no problem effortlessly closing in on a pin using the pin finding mode. This is definitely a rangefinder that’s designed for the golfer on a budget, but the manufacturer doesn’t skimp on the fun features.
Overall, this model is incredibly easy to operate and the screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight.
This rangefinder also features a few unique modes for finding a flag. The first mode is called first target priority. This allows the user to locate a flag even when a busy, cluttered backdrop is behind it. The next mode is called distance target priority and it works by telling the user how far away any background obstacles are. The last mode is called pro scan and it’s very useful if you’re trying to determine the distances of non-flag objects.
This model does a great job of mimicking higher priced rangefinders on the market and offers you a taste of some of the top notch features that can really help to improve your golf game.
While labeled as water resistant, it’s not exactly waterproof, however, it can handle a decent downpour with ease, it just cannot be submerged in water.
This TecTecTec rangefinder is worth every penny as it bundles essential features including accuracy, user-friendly operation, pinsensor technology, and high readability, into a compact, sleek model that’s powerful, accurate and fun to use. It really stands out due to its ability to provide accurate readings against busy backgrounds and it’s offered at a budget-friendly price, despite its many hi-tech features.
SereneLife isn’t a company that you’ll hear a lot about. This is mainly due to their lower prices and more basic models, although they do produce golf rangefinders that are a lot flashier than their premium model. But we decided to dig a little deeper and look at this basic rangefinder simply because it received quite a bit of attention online from golfers of all skill levels.
The SereneLife Premium golf rangefinder features the Pinseeker mode, which locks onto a target, accurately determining the distance. The rangefinder’s simple to use one-button operation allows you to quickly lock onto a target, just aim and hold down the button. Users describe this rangefinder has lightweight, accurate and easy to use.
Considering the price, it comes as no surprise that this is one of SereneLife’s top selling models.
The rangefinder features a range of five hundred and forty-six yards and offers 6x magnification. It also comes equipped with a twenty-four-millimeter objective lens and has a reputation for being highly accurate. The coolest feature on this model is its Pinseeker mode, which locks onto a target flag instead of an obstacle in the background.
This rangefinder is surprisingly light, yet it still offers a powerful setup. The simple button trigger to navigate functions allows you to breeze through the user menu in seconds. With a decent distance range, this model is also considered especially accurate within a few yards.
Golfers who are familiar with SereneLife’s higher priced competitors found this model comparably accurate and just as easy to operate. However, during use, make sure that when you’re ranging to the pin that you hold the button down for a few seconds while focusing on the flagpole. Initially, most users will quickly push the button and release it, but this can lead to inaccurate readings.
The large display screen is decent for the price and is highly readable in most lighting conditions.
Navigating through the modes and controls is pretty simple, even if you’ve never used a golf rangefinder before, which is why we feel that this model is the best choice for the beginner.
This is a rangefinder that received some mixed consumer feedback, but ultimately, we found that any negative feedback was often a result of the golfer failing to read the user’s manual. Many golfers who felt that the device provided erratic readings or readings that weren’t accurate typically experienced this issue because they failed to hold down the control for two to three seconds during a scan. These instructions are clearly stated in the instruction guide.
This isn’t a flashy model that offers a lot of features. It’s also considered an entry-level golf rangefinder, which is what makes it perfect for beginners. It’s priced reasonably and offers a very intuitive user-interface and targeting accuracy. While it doesn’t come equipped with any bells and whistles, the features it does offer is more than enough for the avid golfer looking for a slight advantage out on the green.
Bushnell has been a leader in laser rangefinders over the years and the Tour X Jolt is one of their premium models.
It offers many of the features that have been successful in other Bushnell rangefinders, but the big change is the addition of interchangeable faceplates to disable or enable the elevation measurement feature in a manner that’s earned the approval of by golf’s ruling bodies.
The Bushnell Tour X golf rangefinder features dual display technology, which allows you to switch between the vivid black display or the bright red display, based on your preference of the current lighting conditions. Like many Bushnell products, this model also comes equipped with the popular pinseeker with Jolt technology, a feature which vibrates once you’ve successfully locked onto a target.
This model also offers a range of one thousand, three hundred yards and a magnification of 6x.
The Tour X is a decently sized rangefinder that will fit very nicely in your hand. The contoured rubber grip located on the bottom and top offers protection against scratches, bangs, and damage, which gives this rangefinder a more durable feel.
Like with most models made by Bushnell, this model is very easy to use. Simply point the device at your target, pressing the red button found on the top to activate the targeting technology. Hold the button down again and it will lock onto your target. The Jolt feature vibrates a little so you know for sure you’ve locked onto the flag instead of obstacles found in the background.
The display itself is very clear and easy to read, thanks to the high magnification.
This device not only picks up the correct target, it does so with speed. The laser has a reputation of being five times faster than past models, and it’s accurate enough to read distances down to the yard.
The other feature we really loved was the ability to change the display from red to black. This is controlled using the vivid display sliding switch found below the viewfinder located on the back of the rangefinder. You can also adjust the brightness of the red text, choosing from four different brightness options. Hands down, the red setting is the best choice in brighter lighting conditions.
The B logo found on the left side of the device works as the mode button to switch between meters and yards or to change the vivid display setting.
Below the vivid display switch, you’ll find the battery compartment for the CR2 lithium battery. It features a flip-up handle that allows the user to simply unscrew the lid to change out the battery.
Above the viewfinder is the adjustable focus wheel, which you can use to adjust the view based on current lighting conditions. Its location above the eyepiece makes it simple to use.
With purchase, consumers also get a free tough carry case that provides good protection during travel.
The biggest complaint about the Tour X is the price. Bushnell is known for their higher priced rangefinders. But it’s hard to argue the high price when you get a number of features that make this device worth every penny.
For some, this model is a little pricey, but ultimately, with all the features, high adjustability, view options, and unbeatable accuracy, you really couldn’t ask for more. Total class all the way, you’ll soon find yourself coming to rely on this rangefinder each time you’re out on the course.
Golf Rangefinder Buying Guide
For some, golfing is a way of life. Walking out onto the green, enjoying countless hours perfecting your stroke, or even enjoying new courses from time to time is what this game is about. But if you’re new to golf or you happen to play with other golfers who seem to have some sort of edge that you’re lacking, then it may be time to start searching for the best golf rangefinder.
If you’re an avid golfer and you don’t use a rangefinder, then you’re actually putting yourself at a big disadvantage. Some players feel that playing with one isn’t fair and that it actually takes away from the sport of the game, but really, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Amateurs and pros alike can use this type of device whether they’re playing in a tournament or a playing a few practice rounds.
In order to use one of these rangefinders, all you have to do is point it at the target and it’ll show you the total distance to that target. Many golfers use it in order to focus on the flagstick, which allows them to determine how far the hole is. However, users can also focus on sand traps, water hazards, and other obstacles so you’ll know the exact distance to trouble spots out on the course. Golf can be a very challenging game, but using a rangefinder helps to remove a lot of the guesswork.
What Does a Golf Rangefinder Do?
Rangefinders will give golfers the ability to gauge distances accurately on the course. If you’re searching for a model that fits your requirements and budget, then this guide can help you to narrow down the list of possible models that will change how you play the game forever.
These rangefinders are available in a wide variety of styles, but the basic concept is a device that helps the golfer to determine the distances on the course. The most common distances players want to know is the distance to the pin, usually in yards. Besides the distance to the pin, a player will also want to know the distance to the front of the green, the distance to a water hazard, and the distance to a sand trap.
Using one of these devices is probably the fastest and easiest way to improve your game. Why? Well, knowing the exact distance can go a long way toward helping with club selection.
While it may not help your swing, it does help you determine which club is the best to use, which is always an advantage. Some models, specifically, laser guided rangefinders, can help you to dial in your yardage when you’re practicing at the driving range.
When it comes to accuracy, all laser models of rangefinders are accurate within two or three yards. If you get a model that isn’t accurate then it may need to be returned for a replacement as this is an obvious defect.
Must-have Golf Rangefinder Features
Slope is a popular feature and one you should consider before you decide on a model. Slope will measure the changes in elevation between your target and you, estimating the distance that a shot plays, in addition to the actual distance of the target. Slope can be a really useful feature but it’s not allowed under the rules of golf. If you don’t plan on playing in a competition, then you should definitely consider a model that offers this feature.
If you’ve used a rangefinder before, then you’ll probably be able to use most new models. However, if you have a problem hitting the right target or if you’ve never used one before, the most important factor will be ease of use and the level of difficulty it takes to get an accurate distance to the correct target. A rangefinder won’t do you any good if you’re unable to quickly get the correct distance each time it’s used.
These days, most models come with the type of technology that allows the rangefinder to separate the foreground from the background. This means that if the user is aiming at a flagpole with trees behind the green, the rangefinder will display the distance of the closest object, which should be the flagpole. This is a feature you’ll typically find on most current models. It goes by many names include first target priority mode, pinseeker, or pinhunter. Some models will also alert the user with a vibration, sound, or visual cue once the closest target has been locked on.
Each rangefinder can also vary from zero magnification to 7x magnification. A model that offers a higher magnification can make it much easier to hit the correct target.
When it comes to size, models that are too small can be problematic for golfers who need to use both hands to keep it steady. Using both hands will definitely make ranging easier. There are a number of wider rangefinders that can fit both hands comfortably.
Scan mode is another feature found on most models. This feature means that the device will scan the targets in range once you hit the scan button. In many cases, it’s easier to use a rangefinder with the scan mode switched on.
Readability and Range
Readability can also be a factor when you’re shopping around for the right model. We’ve learned that models with large red numbers are much easier to see and read. Since golf is a game that’s primarily played during the day, a rangefinder’s readability in bright sunlight will be crucial. A higher quality model will offer a clear, large LED light display.
A rangefinder’s range capabilities will be another factor to consider, but for most golfers, this isn’t an issue. Many models can measure distances well beyond a point that you’ll need information on. If you’re within fourteen yards of the flagpole, you can probably walk over to it and determine the distance without even pulling out the rangefinder, so a model’s minimum distance isn’t important. With golf, a model that offers a higher range doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of better quality. This is mainly due to how the device locates the flag. The overall range will differ to the flag range. The distance to the flag will always be less than the overall range. Typically, most lower priced models will feature an average range of five hundred yards, while higher priced models will offer a range of a thousand yards.
A rangefinder will use either a horizontal or vertical locator. The best models will use both. Most devices are vertical because they’re easier to use one-handed. A horizontal device is ideal for longer distances but this style is not usually essential for golf and often depends on the course you play on. Ultimately, the decision will boil down to whether the device is used exclusively for golf or for other activities such as hunting as well. If you plan to solely use the rangefinder for golf, then we recommend a vertical model.
Rangefinders by Type
A laser model works by directing a laser in the direction of the target and measuring the distance by determining how fast it takes the beam to reflect back to the rangefinder. A model with a higher quality laser will feature a faster return rate speed and will offer a longer range compared to lower priced models. Many pros feel that a laser rangefinder is the most accurate type.
A rangefinder that uses GPS utilizes preloaded maps of a golf course and GPS technology to determine the distance. This type of rangefinder can be more difficult to use and requires manual inputs. Some models also feature auto recognition software which means they won’t require any manual input.
For most golfers, the price of the rangefinder will be the deciding factor when they compare models. After all, most consumers want the best value they can get for the price they’re willing to pay. The cost of rangefinders can vary greatly from brand to brand and by model. This is partially due to the design and features, while even basic models can be pricey if they’re produced by a major brand.
It’s also worth mentioning that some consumers will use a rangefinder for other purposes as well, not just golf. If you’re looking for a model you can take hunting and fishing as well, then you may want to consider investing wisely and shelling out the extra cash for a highly versatile model.
A good rangefinder that’s priced low is pretty rare and usually lacks important features, but that doesn’t mean that affordable, accurate models can’t be found. It does mean, however, that if you want a model that offers plenty of bells and whistles you can expect to pay quite a bit more.
GPS Rangefinder Pros and Cons
GPS Golf Rangefinders: A basic GPS rangefinder is usually the more affordable option. GPS models will provide the user with a guide of distances on a particular golf course. Because of this, they’re usability and range are somewhat limited. Higher priced GPS models can list specific golf course hazards so that the user can adjust their swing accordingly. Because of this, a GPS model will often need software that updates with any changes made to a course. Often, this type of rangefinder is more user-friendly, they’re faster, and of course, priced more affordably. But the real downsides involve accuracy, maps of courses needed, and use can require a monthly subscription.
Laser Golf Rangefinders: Laser rangefinders are able to give players the precise yardage needed when playing a difficult course. This type of rangefinder doesn’t rely on GPS navigation and they’re usually very reliable and by far the best long range models to use in golf. Their precision and reliability are huge selling points for the avid golfer, however, they’re also more expensive and their precision can be affected by other objects or obstacles such as people or trees.
Are Golf Rangefinders Tournament Legal?
We briefly touched on this earlier, but we may as well discuss this issue a little further, in order to give you a clearer picture of where you can and can’t use a golf rangefinder. The governing bodies of golf: the R&A and the USGA have approved the use of golf rangefinders. However, when it comes to competition level games such as the Open Championships, these devices are not usually allowed. Most golfers can agree that the reason behind these devices not getting the nod of approval mainly involves resistance to keeping up to date with evolving technology.
These devices have a lot to offer the game of golf including the ability to accurately measure distances and how the consistent use of a rangefinder can work to significantly improve the game and even speed the game up a little. But despite all of the benefits a rangefinder can offer, they still remain shunned in the professional world of golf. In the future, we have no doubt that these devices will be widely used in competitions. Their use will improve competition speed, accuracy, and play. We’re simply lucky to have this type of technology so readily available. Fortunately, using these devices for recreational purposes is perfectly acceptable and frankly, the pros just don’t know what they’re missing.
Ultimately, in order to get the best golf rangefinder for your buck, we suggest sticking with a device that offers all of the important features you need. This includes readability, slope, user-friendliness, whether the device works horizontally or vertically, and magnification. As we’ve discussed, there are several features to choose from that can majorly affect how you play the game. It will all boil down to whether or not your budget will allow for a rangefinder that’s loaded with all of the bells and whistles you could want.