August 14th, 2023

How to Choose the Best Rangefinder

Designed to help golf players estimate the distance and accuracy of their shots, a rangefinder can be a very useful device for beginners and professionals alike. In fact, beginners may benefit even more from using a rangefinder, as it will help assess their progress and skills. There are two types of rangefinders, based on the technology they use, namely GPS and laser. Each has its series of advantages.

GPS rangefinders can be great tools for seeing general information, as they display the distance to the front, middle, and back of the course. However, a con of GPS rangefinders is that they cannot give you the distance to everything on the golf course. Objects and obstacles, such as trees in your way and hazards, are not displayed.

As for laser rangefinders, they are significantly more accurate, and most will get you the correct measurement within a yard, with some even claiming to be accurate to 1/2 or even 1/10 of a yard. Still, one of their shortcomings is that you are limited to seeing distances by your line of sight. In other words, if the flag is around a bend, you will not be able to obtain that measurement.

If you doubt whether you should use a rangefinder, whether GPS or laser, here are some of their most notable benefits:

  • They eliminate the guessing work
  • They speed up your game
  • They inform you on which club to use
  • They are easy and convenient to use and carry
  • They can improve your skills considerably

Before delving further into the ins and outs of rangefinders, it is paramount to mention that using these devices is illegal during competitive games, as they are designed only for the personal training of the player. For players interested in purchasing one of these handy devices, whether to improve their game or make it faster, we have compiled a list of four characteristics to consider when choosing it out of the overwhelming number of rangefinders on the market.

1. Accuracy

Every major rangefinder on the market is accurate within a yard. When looking for a stable and worthwhile rangefinder, search for models that will deliver accurate measurements within a yard of the target. Once you purchase your rangefinder, you will have to continually test it and ensure the readings you receive are correct. Ultimately, a reliable reading from a rangefinder is the device's primary function.

It is important to note that, generally, laser rangefinders are significantly more accurate than GPS rangefinders. So, choosing a laser device may ease your mind when you are picking a club by knowing that the flag is 126 yards away and not 118 yards away.

2. Slope

Every golf rangefinder has a slope function, which is extremely important as it helps determine the exact yardage necessary for a shot when considering the elevation difference from the fairway to the hole. A rangefinder with the slope function will give you the distance to the flagstick and the degree of elevation to the target.

The elevation change will give you play-like yardage to pick the right club for the shot depending on the yardage and slope. Having the slope function for shots within 150 yards will be a feature you will love due to the accuracy of the readout.

3. Battery

Unlike other devices, rangefinders cannot usually be recharged by plugging them in. Instead, most devices use either rechargeable batteries or replaceable lithium batteries that you can find in stores. Nevertheless, rangefinders do not use a large amount of power when doing their readings, so the batteries should last many rounds before they need to be changed or recharged.

On average, the replaceable batteries last for 6 to 8 months, while the rechargeable batteries last for roughly 3 to 5 years. Thus, you may want to choose a rangefinder with rechargeable batteries, as it is more convenient and generates less electronic waste.

4. Scan Speed

The scan speed is the time it takes the rangefinder to lock into a target. In general, the higher the quality of the rangefinder, the quicker it will find the target due to the increased processing speed it has. You should expect to hold down the button of your rangefinder for close to 10 seconds for the device to thoroughly scan the target zone.

Because it can be frustrating to spend too much time waiting for your rangefinder to focus and scan, it is better to invest in a more expensive device that works faster. In addition to benefiting from superior scan speed, it will most likely have additional features that will make your golf practice a really enjoyable and pleasant experience.

The Takeaway

Rangefinders are wonderful, quite affordable devices that can be extremely helpful and boost your goal of lowering your scores. The best rangefinders on the market will create a precise and accurate picture for each shot during your round with awesome features.

Instead of hitting shots off the back of the green, rangefinders can give you a precise distance that will allow you to hit the perfect length every time you step to the golf ball. Therefore, investing in a rangefinder is worth thinking about if you are a regular golf player.