If you’re keen on improving your golf game, look no further. We did the research and testing. Do you agree with our top picks for the best rangefinder golf players will actually enjoy using?
Consistent and Accurate
36.000 pre-uploaded courses
Easy to break
No slope mode (even if some product videos advertise the feature)
This finder makes up for its low maximum range (400 yards) with qualitative Slope and Pulse Vibration Technology. It’s also water resistant, (allegedly) shockproof and comes with 6x magnification.
Easy to use, decent maximum range, 6x magnification, Jolt Technology and a Slope Mode that can be deactivated - If you’re into portability it could be the choice for you.
If you’re into a customizable experience, this one might be for you. It adapts to slope, range, angle and it can lock onto a flag. Add the maximum distance - 650 yards, and you get a comprehensive laser rangefinder.
A GPS finder that tries to solve the GPS problems - over 40.000 pre-uploaded courses, and Bluetooth technology to stay up to date with new maps.10 hours battery life and you can mark up to 4 hazards/hole - sounds like a good deal.
Solid rubber and aluminum build, with decent specs and an outstanding design. You even get a clear and uncluttered display, so this laser rangefinder might be the choice for you.
Accurate to 1 yard, 1000 yards maximum distance and you can get numbers on different targets at the same time. Sounds like a good package, even if the design is a bit lacking.
Theo is an amateur player that enjoys golf once or twice every month. While writing this piece however, he’s confident that a stroke or two have been removed from his game due to the sheer number of “test games”.
So, what’s the best rangefinder golf experts say will provide you with the accurate distance from your position to things such as hazards, the green, or even the hole? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t that cut and dry…
To be honest here,
No device will make you an albatross, but a lot of professional and amateur golf players have reported improvements in their score due to this wonder of modern technology - you’re probably here because you already believe a rangefinder can help you.
The web is full of different options, all boasting the craziest and flashiest technology. Hopefully, this piece will help you better navigate the hectic landscape and by the time you’re finished reading, you’ll be happy we did the scouring for you.
Playing golf is really fun. But, we have to admit, some of the joy fades away when you’re trying dozens of products just find one you like.
But, that’s why you’re here, huh?
Good news! You came to the right place.
We spoke to a few experts in the field who advised us on general stuff such as tournament regulations regarding rangefinders, the best brands, what to look for if we’re addressing players with different golf skills, etc.
There were a lot of productive talks, but we wanted to know more.
So, here’s what we did next…
We tried out a myriad of golf rangefinders, on different courses, and under different weather conditions, to make sure you have a comprehensive look at all the products.
With over 30 rangefinders tested, we chalked up a list of the 10 best ones.
First of all,
Settle on a rangefinder type – GPS or Laser. While GPS can be used more easily during a match (and they’re cheaper), laser options provide measurements that are more accurate in real-time.
Got that settled?
It’s time to think about accuracy. More specifically, make sure your future purchase has an accuracy error margin of 1 yard or lower, and make sure the optical components are high-quality (see if they’re certified).
Another thing to think about is speed. Nobody wants to waste their precious golf time by struggling with a device, so make sure your future purchase provides real-time numbers in a matter of seconds – the best way to do this is see if the rangefinder has vibration or Jolt technology.
Nope, you also have to take the display into account. Is it easy to read information off of it?
If the font and colors contrast green, and if the distance is displayed prominently, you should be good to go.
On a different display note, is the reticle a circle or a cross? If not, you may have problems aiming a laser rangefinder at your desired target.
(We talk about reticles more a bit further down in the article. If you’re still new the jargon, be sure to check out the full Buyer’s Guide below.)
Up next is…
…construction. This one is really important if you want a durable rangefinder – which you can certainly find. A golf club owner we spoke to has been using the same one for 10 years.
Basically, you want to get a product made out of high-quality plastic combined with either strong nickel or aluminum (the latter the better).
Another important thing about construction…
…is distance. Specifically, the maximum distance of a rangefinder (in our testing we found that 800-1000 yards is the way to go) and the optimal distance – i.e. up to what distance does the rangefinder provide 100% accurate measurements.
450-550 yards is a good optimal distance. The best way to find the optimal distance of a finder is to look for the maximum distance required to lock-in on a target.
There’s plenty of those to take into account.
We’ll cover the most common ones in our buying guide, but here are some good things to have:
And these are the basics. If you want to get as much info as possible about buying a golf rangefinder, we’ll go in-depth about these topics in our buying guide.
Buying the best rangefinder is not going to make every strike a hole in one.
Even if it’s not a shortcut to flawless strikes, it can be game-changer if done properly. Knowing the exact distance to your target makes everything a whole lot different.
You can better adjust your stance, you can better adjust your striking power, and most importantly – you feel in control of the game.
For that to happen, you want to make sure you take everything into account, and that’s what this guide is for.
The first thing you want to get clear on is the type of rangefinder you’re going to purchase.
What’s important to keep in mind here is that you can’t necessarily go wrong. Both GPS and Laser options have their pros and cons, but it’s best to understand them before you throw your money at something.
The way this type of rangefinder works is that you upload a map of the course pre-game, which tells you the distance to the front, middle and back of the green.
Most of them also include distances to hazards and sometimes even a top-down map of the course, to paint a clearer picture of where you are and where you have to get.
The good thing about going GPS is that you get all the information you need with a quick glance at a small display. The bad parts are that course maps need to be uploaded, and they may not always be up to date.
On top of that,
Bad weather can affect the synching of your location to the map, so it’s not suitable for every possible situation.
This one works a bit differently. Basically, you have a small display to look through and point your finder at any object from the course. If the device is pointed at a flag, for example, a laser beam will travel to that point and you’ll get real-time yardage from your position to the flag.
From the products we’ve tried, we liked Laser devices much more.
Why is that?
You get the best accuracy, in real-time, regardless of external factors (although fog might give it some trouble), and you don’t have to depend on any other files to get going.
There are problems with the laser as well. Mainly that it takes a bit longer to use (yeah, it’s a matter of seconds, but still) and that all of these devices use weird battery formats.
Other than that, Laser is the Bestazy way to go. Considering that, we’ll be focusing more on laser products from this point, but we’ll mention GPS stuff to take into account along the way.
Not sure what to get?
That’s alright, there are quite a lot of things to take into account. If you’re still undecided, you can check Cobe Life’s video on this topic. It’s a great comparison of the two options.
The next thing you want to take into account when browsing for a golf rangefinder is accuracy.
What do we mean by this?
When talking about rangefinders, accuracy is important in terms of error margin. Optics are not the most complicated field in human knowledge, so most rangefinders are 95% accurate.
What you need to worry about…
…is how much erroneous a rangefinder can be. We recommend going with a 1-yard error margin for distances of over 600 yards – this is basically as best as it gets without spending thousands of dollars on a rangefinder.
Anything above runs the risk of not meeting the rangefinder’s purpose.
If you want to know the error margin of a device, just look for the “Accurate to x yards” statement in product descriptions.
Another thing to take into account if we talk about accuracy is Optics.
To see if a product is optically sound, it’s easiest to try it out. Can you clearly see the topography of the course? Is it easy to spot invalid blades of grass or grains of sand?
If yes, those are some good Optics.
That’s not always possible, so if you can’t try a product out before purchasing it, try to look for certified lenses. This is the best indicator of good optics you can get when buying something online.
Who wants to spend an eternity just assessing the shot?
We don’t. If you don’t either, you should factor in the speed of rangefinders. From our testing, we found 1-2 seconds for going from a blank display to a definite reading is the sweet spot.
Most products will get you a sure read in that amount of time, but it’s best to browse product descriptions and reviews, just to make sure.
A good thing to have…
…if you want to be sure on a reading as fast as possible, is some sort of vibration or pin-sensing technology. This extra feature notifies you of a final “answer” from the rangefinder, so you know when it’s time to get your stance and strike.
The next thing to look for is a good display.
How do you measure the quality of the display?
You should take into account product photos (if you can’t get your hands on the real thing) and ask yourself the following questions:
Besides these basic questions, consider the durability of the display. If it has some sort of protective surface, it’s definitely a better choice in the long run.
One thing that’s often overlooked is the reticle (or crosshair) of a rangefinder, but it’s just as important as any display element.
What we found works best is either a cross or a small circle as a crosshair. This is because it’s easier to aim with it, so you can set your sights on a target much faster.
…puts you at risk of not aiming as fast as possible at your desired object – and we don’t want to waste time.
Since we touched on durability, make sure you don’t forget to look at the construction of your future purchase.
Rangefinders are not extremely different from your regular camera or GPS device (according to the type of the product). You want to look for high-quality plastic merged with different alloys.
While nickel works, we found that products with strong aluminum alloys are more durable, which is a general rule of thumb for buying any type of hardware.
Even if we touched on lenses before…
…it’s good to bring it up again. While an in-depth analysis of the best lenses on the market requires a Master’s degree in Physics, you should generally look for certified quality optical components.
This is extremely important when…
…browsing for a laser option, but don’t forget about the little GPS devices either. Even if they’re harder to break, you want to make sure they’re made out of durable components.
Another build feature you want to look for is distance.
Firstly, what’s the maximum distance the product can measure up to?
The market standard is anywhere between 800-1000 yards, and we definitely recommend going for a 1000 yard (or even more) maximum distance.
The price difference is negligible, so you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Look for the optimal distance – for how many yards away is a rangefinder completely accurate? Most laser options will consistently provide 100% accurate numbers for distances of up to 450-550 yards, with any distance above that having a slight margin of error.
Golf is a game of inches, so it wouldn’t hurt to rank the top contenders for your wallet and use optimal distance as a differentiating factor.
This one’s a doozy.
It’s hard to take extra features into account since the two different rangefinder types all come with their different possibilities.
With that in mind,
We’ll look at the main special features for distance measuring devices – the most common and the most helpful.
Keep in mind, however, something that works for me may not work for you. When taking “extra” into account, consider your playstyle and habits.
What’s the weather generally like where you play? How does your training course look like? What do you think matters most in a rangefinder?
These should help as general guidelines.
Think about it like this – while playing golf, how often did you want to zoom in on the hole?
If your answer is “quite a bunch of times”, magnification is an extra feature you’ll probably like.
In our research, we found that 5x magnification is quite enough to let you zoom in on anything you like.
Anything above will usually be unclear anyway, so don’t throw your money out the window for something you’re not going to use.
In general, how easy a device will be used depends on a lot of factors, and rangefinders are no different.
In terms of extra features, if you want a future purchase that’s easy to use, buy something with ergonomic surfaces
It grips well, it shifts harder, and it feels good in your hand.
Even if this is (somewhat) common knowledge, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.
A device is water resistant when you can spill some drops on it and it still works – like when it rains.
A device is waterproof when you can submerge it in water and it still works – like when, for some reason, your rangefinder ends up in a water hazard.
When you think about it…
… Waterproof is not extremely important for the products we’re talking about. You’re not going to take a GPS rangefinder watch for a swim.
As a result, if you want to be on the safe side, a water-resistant device should do the trick.
Rangefinder manufacturers know this – so most products are water resistant anyway.
This is a new development in the industry, present in some laser rangefinders.
When the numbers that come up on the display are the “final answer” of your device, it vibrates to let you know you can strike. We’ve touched on this before, but just to reiterate: If you want fast distance information, do look for this extra feature.
If you’re into ingenious tech, this one’s for you.
What does slope mode do?
Not only does it measure the distance from your location to the pin/any object, but it also provides distances that are adjusted to elevation. The applications are as varied as course obstacles themselves.
If you’re pro, or want to go pro, look for a device without the slope mode, or one that allows you to deactivate the extra feature.
If you use a smartphone, you most likely know the screen brightness struggle. Too bright and the battery’s gone in three hours, too dim and you can’t see anything.
Rangefinders with dual display take this into account. With this technology, you can switch between vivid and dimmed down display brightness.
Weather is sometimes unpredictable, and a rangefinder with Dual Display technology will ensure the same quality regardless of how cloudy or sunny it is.
If you live in the British Isles, definitely take this into account.
A lot of devices (especially the ones running on GPS) will provide voice guidance. Basically, you’ll have a full-blown assistant telling you the exact distance to the pin – maybe even what club to use 5-10 years from now.
While we can’t say we’re wowed by this…
It could prove helpful for people that can’t be bothered to reach into their pocket and glance at a display come each strike.
Bushnell is a big name in the rangefinder industry.
They have a varied offer, and their products are often featured in top 10 lists. This product is proof of why that’s the case.
What do you get with the Tour V4?
For starters, a large range--it’s accurate from 5 to 1000 yards away. Moreover, you’ll only deal with a 1-yard error margin and you’ll be able to zoom up to five times.
It’s a nice, robust offer.
We want to praise their Jolt Technology. The V4 features one of the best PinSeeker technology, so you are able to know exactly when it’s time to get your stance on. You even get a 2-year warranty on all of these, so it looks like Bushnell has faith in their product’s durability.
And for good reason…
The construction of this device is outstanding. Not only does it look good, but you get a nice combination of rubbery ergonomic surfaces, high-quality plastic, and durable.
But these are basic pluses we’ve talked about, and a lot of other products feature them.
The awesome thing about this device is that it appeals to GPS users as well - It has 36.000 pre-uploaded courses in over 30 countries that you can browse and have measurements and top-down views of.
It just keeps getting better.
From all the products we’ve tested, the Bushnell Tour V4 was the most accurate and consistent - you’re just bound to get the yardage right.
So is this product perfect?
Unfortunately, no. There are issues you might end up dealing with.
A semi-issue is that it doesn’t feature any type of slope mode. We say “semi”, because if you’re a tournament player (or if you’re thinking of becoming one) this is great. We say “issue” because some product videos advertise some sort of slope mode, but it isn’t there.
What you need to look out for…
...is maintenance. While this Bushnell is durable right out of the box, it can break easily and become inaccurate from the slightest bump.
If you’re careful with your stuff, however, that shouldn’t be an issue.
What could be an issue for all users…
...is the lenses. Don’t get me wrong, they’re high-quality, but they can be burnt easily. We’ve talked to people that had to send this product back (luckily it was under warranty) because even a few hours of exposure to the sun can melt the first layer of optic components.
Definitely watch out for that.
If this device still sounds like a good choice for you, check out Golf Monthly’s review over here.
Consistent and Accurate
36.000 pre-uploaded courses
Easy to break
No slope mode (even if some product videos advertise the feature)
Easy to carry, easy to use and innovative.
If that sounds good, then the GolfBuddy GPS rangefinder might be right for you. It comes in a sweet array of designs, and it covers everything you might need to improve your game.
Battery life is a problem a lot of GPS finders have - it’s one of the reasons people prefer a laser option, and it’s a real bummer for your regular 18 holes match.
That will not be a problem with this device…
...since you get a battery lifetime of 14 hours. To be honest now, who’s going to spend more than that at a golf course in a day?
Wondering what you’ll get from the GolfBuddy?
While a par 5 course will require more than just this finder, you’ll get accurate and helpful distances right from the tee on a regular 3 or 4 par course.
That is because this finder measures distances to the back, front and middle of the green form your position in real-time.
On top of that,
You get a flyover view of the green with their dynamic technology, that measures the distance from your point to the hole. Note, however, the distance to the hole is only available while you’re in the green.
The most awesome thing about this device, however, is the voice guidance.
We said earlier that we’re not extremely keen on this technology, but the GolfBuddy pulls it off!
You get the option…
...for either a male or a female voice to guide you throughout the strikes, so lay back and comfortably choose a club while the friendly rangefinder informs you of the different distances you’ll need to consider.
The problems we had with this device…
Should not be overlooked.
The main issue we found was durability.
Simply put, the Voice 2 is not built out of qualitative materials - granted, you can just keep it in your pocket so the risk of incidents is minimal.
But let’s be honest, people are very innovative in the way they can drop something, so if you want something rugged and long-lasting maybe look somewhere else.
O a similar note,
The LCD display was faulty in some versions of the product. It just gradually stopped working, which is definitely something to avoid - yeah, the voice guidance is nice, but you should be able to operate a product at its full capacity.
To add insult to injury,
Golf Buddy refused to stand by their 1-year limited warranty in those cases, not even asking for the units to be sent back for inspection - they just assumed the buyer must have broken it somehow. Not nice!
Still sounds like a good fit? Check out the GolfBuddy in action!
Helpful Voice Guidance system
Nice green view technology
Easy to use
Golf Buddy doesn’t always honor the 1-year warranty
The TecTecTec definitely disrupted the market - promising high-quality under a low price tag.
Reviews across the web range from the utmost praising ones to the downright defamatory - and for good reason. There’s a lot of things to hate about the TecTecTec, but a lot of things to appreciate as well.
Let’s cover the basics.
With this device, you’ll get an accuracy of up to 1 yard, with a generic distance range from 5-1000 yards. That’s good, especially since this product also features different modes, Pin-Sensor technology, and flag lock-in.
You’re covered on all fronts.
What we love about this device…
Is the speed. You get accurate measurements in 1, max 2 seconds, which is really hard to beat metric. Even big names in the industry like Bushnell or Leupold have a hard time competing in this department
We actually put it to the test against the Bushnell V4 and the measurements were on point for both devices, but there were times the TecTecTec came up with numbers faster - especially when measuring the distance to the front edge of the green.
Another thing to praise…
...is the continuous measurement feature. You can pick and store numbers for a myriad of objects, which is a clear edge in competitive matches.
… This product doesn’t boast the highest quality materials, but they’re durable enough. You can’t expect the highest alloys for every possible product.
What we did like in terms of build is the optics - this rangefinder doesn’t feature any magnification, but the lenses are qualitative and long-lasting.
What about things to hate?
First of all - this is a “family-owned business”, and although the customer service is delightful right after you purchase the device, you can have a hard time reaching them afterward.
Although your regular TecTec will work just fine, there are a lot of products with malfunctions right out of the factory. You can find many reviews that complain about its accuracy, speed and consistency.
Corroborate that with the lacking customer service and you can end up having a pretty bad experience.
Any other problems to note?
If you’re living in a place with ever-changing weather, you may want to steer clear of this rangefinder. Most users have reported problems using it in the rain, fog or even on a cloudy day.
We put this to the test and we have to say - measurements are not always consistent if the weather’s bad, especially if it’s foggy.
Very fast measurements
Lacking customer service
Fails in bad weather
A lot of products malfunction right out of the factory
Could a big name in the camera industry come up with a good rangefinder?
We think yes - it’s actually a wonder that there are not more video camera manufacturers moving into this scene, the technologies involved are very similar.
Right, but is this product a good one?
For the right person, yes it is.
We really liked the 8-second continuous measurement of the device - it allows you to quickly measure distances to different parts of the course - perfect for a holistic view.
Up next, we want to praise how compact this device is. Unlike most laser rangefinders, you can easily fit it in your pocket, so a big plus for a person that wants to easily carry stuff around.
In terms of overall quality…
The device has a decent accuracy, range, and optics, so you should be covered. Granted, it’s not as professional as a Bushnell or a Leupold, but it does its job alright. You can get a comprehensive look of its features over here.
So what’s the matter with it?
First of all, this one is not well optimized to locate and measure distances to flags. You’ll have a field day steering clear of bunkers or the fescue, but if you want to locate the hole, you’ll have a hard time.
For some people, that’s just fine, but if that’s not you - look for something else.
Even more so,
The battery cap is notorious on Nikons in general, and this device is no different. Use it for a few months and you’ll understand what I mean; it just doesn’t secure the battery chamber well.
Saving the “best” for last,
The main issue we had with the device was functionality over 150 yards. Even if the maximum distance should be much higher than that, trying to locate anything above that distance will provide consistent and accurate numbers in most cases.
But “most cases” is not enough, so if you’re keen on getting the best rangefinder, maybe look somewhere else.
Maybe there’s a lot of lemons being shipped, but that in and of itself is an issue.
Nice 8-second continuous measurement
Extremely portable for a laser rangefinder
Hard to lock-in on flags
Faulty battery chamber cap
Not consistent over 150 yards
Competitive or friendly matches? Measurements to the front of the green or flag lock-ins?
The NX7 seems to have it all, and it’s definitely a top spot contender. You get great quality for your dollar, but does this product have everything to win in the rangefinder race?
Let’s start with the good stuff…
...and praise this product’s technology. You have an accurate slope mode that can be deactivated for tournament play, which is awesome for the player that is or wants to go pro.
A nice twist to the slope mode is the “Play as” mode, which lets you select your status in the course, making club selection a whole lot easier.
In terms of setting your sights…
You get a nice pin-sensor technology, vibrating when the moment is right to get your stance on and strike.
On top of that, their cleverly named TAG (Target Acquisition Technology) helps you lock-in to any target, all for clear and consistent numbers, even if your hand can get shaky.
If you want to zoom in, you can easily do so with their 6x magnification, which we found works just as advertised.
But it gets better.
All of these are packed in a small, compact device that you can easily carry around - so extra points for the “light travel bag” golfer. If you want to better grip this product’s dimensions, here’s an unboxing of the device.
The small size doesn’t come for free, however…
...so let’s get into the bad stuff. Condensed hardware can sometimes mean less quality, and this is somehow the case here.
The big problem we have with the device is the maximum distance - only 400 yards. This shouldn’t be a huge detriment during a game, but if you’re dealing with a longer, 5 par hole, you won’t get all the numbers right off the tee.
If that doesn’t bother you…
...you might still be worried by this product’s flag lock-in. Yes, the TAG system works well, but if the flag is not completely visible, the device will have a hard time locking into it.
That’s definitely something you want to avoid, regardless of your other preferences.
To top it all,
There’s a lot of lemons being shipped that don’t provide accurate measurements to distances of over 200 yards. That’s a real deal-breaker, but if you’re willing to take the risk - this product is still fairly good.
Innovative and qualitative technologies
Low maximum distance
A lot of lemons being shipped
Hard to lock-in on flags.
This rangefinder promises the world - all the possible technologies, huge ranges, accuracy of up to half a yard, and ease of use.
It’s a Bushnell, so we’re inclined to believe them.
But is it really the best possible rangefinder?
There are a few things that say yes.
First of all, the slope technology works perfectly from what we’ve seen, and it can be deactivated - good practice and tournament legal.
Secondly, the huge range is not a fake boast - we actually tried measuring things from over 1000 yards away with it, and we got pretty accurate measurements (although the error margin was more like 2-3 yards at these distances, not half a yard)
If we’re talking about cool stuff, we should also mention the Dual Display. It’s awesome to switch between brightness settings because you can easily read the display regardless of the weather.
Even more so,
All of these technologies are augmented by the lightning fast response time - qualitative and speedy, this is turning out to be quite the good choice.
But don’t get your hopes up…
...the device is not without issues.
If we’re talking about technology issues, the pin-seeker is not as high-quality as Bushnell’s usual rangefinders. You can actually have a really hard time locking-in on targets that are over 300 yards away, so definitely watch out for that.
Even more so,
You can easily get inconsistent readings during bad weather - especially fog. If it seemed like an outstanding device in the beginning, it certainly shapes up to be a flop.
And the problems don’t end here…
... Battery lifetime can cause headaches as well, being way easier to run through the power source if it’s cold outside.
Yeah, you do get the Bushnell Golf Pro app access, and you get an overall qualitative device - but it’s not as good as a Bushnell could’ve been.
If those problems don’t bother you, here’s Golf Monthly’s review of the product.
Advertised features and technologies stand up in testing
Hard to lock-in on targets
Decreased efficiency under bad weather
Hectic battery consumption
While not a huge name in the industry, the Wosports finder is not to be overlooked.
It features quite the precise measurement, with a 1-yard error margin and a maximum distance of 650 yards. It’s not the farthest reaching device, but it will definitely do its job, even on 5 par courses.
In terms of build, the materials are not the best possible out there, but if you take good care of it you might use it for years to come.
What we do love about construction…
...is the ergonomic surfaces. They’re made out of high-quality rubber and you’ll surely have an easier time keeping it in your hand - so it’s good for the shakers out there as well.
Something else we’d like to praise…
...is the extra features. You get a huge array of helpful technologies, like slope mode, range and angle adjustment, speed controls, and the classic flag lock-in system. From what we’ve seen, most of them work spot on, just as advertised.
Sounds like a pretty good rangefinder?
It is! Even more so, you get really good optics, for an “HD” golfing experience. To top it all, you also get a tripod in the pack - so you can just set the finder on the ground and make sure unsteady hands don’t mess with the measurements.
“Come on, it can’t be perfect…”
And it isn’t, so let’s get into the bad stuff.
The first problem you’ll notice is the battery cap - it’s really loose. While that may not necessarily be a problem, it’s something you might want to look out for.
Just as you hit the course, the device will amaze you. But you’ll slowly notice the issues - the product has crazy battery consumption. After 9 holes, we were one-quarter of a battery down.
Again, could just be the crappy factory battery.
The big problems start when you look…
...into operation. The Wosports boasts 5 operation settings, and if you don’t read the (quite cumbersome) user manual properly, you’re not bound for accurate measurements.
Even more so,
The hardware inside is not high-quality. As a result, the slightest exposure to high temperatures or moisture can mean a broken product (and that situation is not covered by their limited warranty), and the internet is full of discontent customers that got a few hundred bucks worth of paperweight after a rainy day.
Surely Wosports must counterbalance these cases somehow, right?
Nope, they literally didn’t help at all, the customer service is hard to get to, and not helpful. Turns out it’s not a perfect finder after all. But, if it looks perfect to you, definitely check this review out.
Reasonably durable on the outside
Accurate and fast
Hard to use
Faulty battery cap
Crazy battery consumption
Bad customer service
Can Bushnell provide the same value in a GPS finder as well?
The Phantom is definitely good, but let’s see if it’s a right match for you.
To start things of…
We want to mention that the device is your run of the mill GPS finder, with 40.000 pre-uploaded maps and Bluetooth for map updates. The display is very minimalistic, displaying distances to the front, back, and center of the green.
Additionally, you can mark up to 4 hazards per hole, so it’s pretty adaptable to the needs of each individual.
Definitely a good design.
What we really liked about it…
Is the magnet in the back of the device, which allows you to stick it anywhere you want - golf cart, your bag, anything. We even tried sticking it on a 10.5 driver while striking.
We know, silly, but experimenting is key to finding what works and what doesn’t (also we were really tired, so don’t judge).
Even more so,
Bushnell support seems extremely eager to help you with this product. We once called about an error displayed on the device, and they fixed the issue in no time.
Previous customers report similar experiences. So if you do purchase this item, don’t be afraid to ask Bushnell - they’ll be fast and helpful.
So what’s the matter with it?
First of all, it’s not special in any way.
We know that’s not a problem - if you want something simple, definitely go for it.
But when you’re pitting the device against market competitors (even other Bushnell products), you can’t help but notice how much more helpful the Tour V4 or the GolfBuddy can be.
To add to this,
The base materials are not qualitative. The plastic it’s built out of shouldn’t be described as “durable” and you can definitely get better hardware.
These issues have led to a lot of cases of malfunction. The numbers simply start fading from the display or the power button just doesn’t work anymore.
Again, if you take good care of it this shouldn’t be a problem.
But what should worry you regardless...
...is that although the display and controls are simple, you have to access very complex menus, which makes the operation of the device seem very hard and cumbersome at some points.
Still keen on getting the Bushnell GPS? Get a more in-depth look over here.
Magnet on the back
Great customer service
Doesn’t meet market standards
Poor quality materials
Sometimes hard to operate
It does look pro, but is it?
The Leupold GX-3i2 certainly has the trappings of an awesome product.
What you’ll love about this rangefinder…
...is first and foremost the construction. It’s made out of high-quality aluminum and rubber outings - durable and pleasant to grip. While you can still break it, it’ll be much harder to do so with such qualitative materials.
The insides seem fine as well.
Lenses are well designed, but the best thing is the OLED display - it features the bare necessity, just to make sure you don’t have an over cluttered look of the course.
A really big plus of the device…
...is lock-in speed. While general measurements can take a few seconds to process, if you want to lock in on a flag you’ll be able to do so really fast. When we tried the GX out, there were target acquisitions that took less than a second to compute and show up on the screen.
All in all, it does look like a product built for tournament use. Decent accuracy, not a lot of modes to struggle with, but lighting speed and compact build.
But where does it fall short?
A problem that might affect all users is the occasional lack of power.
What I mean is that sometimes, the product will just stop working. We didn’t know what the issue was, but we took the battery out, and immediately after putting it back, it started working again. As a result, we figured there must be something wrong with the power circuit.
Just something to keep in mind.
Another thing that might bother you…
… is the display brightness. It’s set really low, and you have no way of making it brighter (even at the cost of less battery life). This might not be a problem on rainy days, but if it’s really sunny outside you might have issues quickly registering information on the screen.
Bad for having fun, even worse for tournament play.
While we didn’t experience any issues with this, the product support for the device is notoriously bad. You can easily get in touch with Leupold, but their warranty and customer care policies are really annoying.
For example, you can get a lifetime warranty, but if it’s been over 2 years since your purchase you’ll only get small fixes, not a completely new product.
2 years of warranty is fine, you don’t have to trick customers into thinking they’re set for life.
Power short circuit issues
Low display brightness which can’t be altered
Bad product support
Last but not least, the Callaway 300 - decent overall, and probably a really good choice for the amateur player.
There’s not a lot to get into, but let’s start with some basic numbers.
Buying this product…
...means you’re covered on all fronts. You get a device that’s accurate to 1 yard, with a 5-1000 yards range. On top of that, if you want to zoom in on your target you get a 6x magnification feature.
You get a very enticing slope mode. It works fine, and you can turn it off for tournament play, so it could be the right choice for a pro golfer as well. In our testing, we found that Callaway’s slope function was the second most accurate one, besides the Bushnell X2.
If angle adjustment is important for you, definitely take this into account.
What’s special about this product,
Is the really cute chirping pin-sensor technology. Once the target is locked in, you’ll hear a subtle chirp that lets you know you strike with confidence in the distance measured.
Does it motivate you to get a birdie?
Not really, but it’s a sweet feature for the golf enthusiast.
You have a continuous scan mode, allowing you to acquire a variety of targets. We have to say we’re not wowed by this technology, but if you want a holistic view of the course, such a feature is really important
So what about the bad stuff?
First of all, you run out of batteries really fast. This is extremely bad because the Callaway 300 requires the rare CR-2 batteries (just like most laser finders) to function, so this hassle is something to consider.
The biggest issue of this device…
...is consistency. While this problem may not arise in the beginning, after a few months you’ll notice the finder gets a distance right only 50% of times. We had this issue, and the internet is full of previous users that encountered the same problem.
With proper care, you might avoid that, but there are better options on the market.
To wrap it up,
If you’re not keen on spending the extra hundred bucks on a Bushnell, the Callaway might be the right choice for you.
On a final note however, don’t expect the fastest measurements. The device can sometimes “take its time”.
Not a problem for you?
Very accurate slope mode
Continuous scan technology
Cute Pin-sensor chirping sounds
Low battery lifetime
Not as fast as other options.
Buying guide checked, product reviews checked.
As much as we’d like to best equip you for purchasing something online, we can’t always touch on everything right off the bat.
As a result, here are some more bits of information that you should consider when purchasing a rangefinder.
If you’re not familiar with similar hardware, starting out in the world of cutting distance won’t be hard, but there are things we’d like to mention.
Note that most products come with a User’s Manual – so you should be covered in this department, but here are some general tips on using such devices.
Before actually getting on the course, make sure the country club has map files on hand that can be uploaded to your GPS finder.
Most of them do…
…but if you know beforehand that a certain club doesn’t feature them, why bother carrying and taking care of something you won’t use?
If map files are mentioned on a club’s website, you can usually download and transfer them on your finder at home.
Once you’re on the ground,
Most GPS finders will upload map files automatically if you turn their Bluetooth on (if a certain map is not already uploaded as a factory default setting).
Once you have the files on hand, navigating through each course file is usually done with a classic folder display. Select the course you want and you’re good to go.
While more complex, laser rangefinders are actually easier to use with vanilla settings.
It’s best to check the User’s Manual for the operation of each extra feature (slope mode, dual display, continuous measurement, etc). There’s really no market standard for the usage of these technologies, and the ways they’re activated are as varied as the number of products themselves.
With that in mind,
What you’ll usually have to do for simple distance measurement is turn the device on, point it at something and press a button.
Another thing to take into account when purchasing a rangefinder is how skilled you are – you don’t want to spend hundreds of bucks for state of the art slope technology if you don’t really know the difference between a 7 or an 8 iron.
If you’re just starting out, you might not even need a rangefinder at all. The sport is extremely complicated as it is.
If you’re confident you can at least strike the ball on the fairway, and you want to invest in your golf kit, a rangefinder that meets the market standard could help. I recommend going for the TecTecTec if you’re in this position since it’s not that expensive, but works just fine.
If you need further guidance as a hack, we recommend checking out our guide on picking up the best golf clubs for beginners.
If you’re used to making your way to the course every week, a rangefinder can greatly improve your performance.
Do consider things such as…
… what you struggle with in improving your game – if it’s long shots definitely buy a rangefinder, preferably with slope mode and Jolt Technology.
If you’re quite active in your local (or even on the global) golf scene, a rangefinder is not a requirement but can help in certain situations.
Definitely consider everything we’ve covered in our buying guide, since every little bit is important, and can determine what you should purchase.
Don’t stress it too much…
…because if you’re confident in your golfing skills, our top choice should probably fit your needs spot-on.
Why spend a few hundred bucks on maintenance, or even a replacement finder, when you could buy a brand-new driver for that money?
If that resonates with you, warranties are also things to look for.
… will either provide a 1 or 2-year warranty, which is pretty decent. Note, however, that almost 99% of rangefinder warranties are limited, which means they partly cover problems with materials and workmanship.
The meaning of this can vary, with limited warranties not supporting things such as physical defects when the device came in contact with certain environments.
What you should do…
…is try to get your hands on the warranty before purchasing. We tried including as many we could in the product reviews, but some slipped through the cracks.
There are certain sellers that you’ve read about in the product reviews who don’t honor their warranty. If not spending an extra buck on maintenance is important for you, steer clear from them.
Lastly, consider your location, and how well adapted a certain finder is for your current place of residence.
This is extremely important especially in the case of GPS rangefinders – make sure you get the option with as many maps near where you live (or near where you use to golf) as possible.
You keep the hassle at a minimum, and you have a great time.
Some people (*ahem* most of the world *ahem*) don’t think about distance in terms of yards, feet, and inches.
If you’re one of those people, get a finder that’s either pre-set to the metric system, or one that can switch between the two.
…but we’ve read a lot of reviews from people feeling silly that they forgot this, and couldn’t make sense of what they read on the display.
These products are precision tools – so any incident is more likely to lead to issues than in the case of, let’s say, a hammer.
With that in mind, there are things you can do to better take care of your rangefinder:
Let’s recap what you’ve read today.
If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’re very keen on buying the best rangefinder golf. As a result, let’s go over the most important stuff, just to make sure you take the points home with you.
The most important decision you’ll make…
…is whether you’ll buy a GPS or a Laser rangefinder. No option is wrong, but it’s best to weigh in on the benefits and downfalls of each device.
With GPS, you get ease of use and the basic measurements. With Laser, you get a customized experience and versatility.
Look for a device that’s accurate. An error margin of 1 yard and a maximum distance of 1000 yards should have you covered for any course on this planet. Don’t forget to check consistency too – it’s better to get an error margin of 5 yards, but to have that 5 yards disparity on every little measurement.
…is the construction and display of your future purchase.
Make sure visualization of the course is not hindered by weird fonts, and always go for a device that lets you easily read distances. Moreover, remember that a durable product features a combination of high-quality plastic and strong nickel or aluminum alloys.
Before you go,
Consider extra features. There’s a huge list of possible features, but we recommend buying a rangefinder with pinsensor technology, flag lock-in and possibly slope mode for the amateur player.
True to its fame, Bushnell gets the top spot. Amazing accuracy, high-quality materials and no risks involved. You just can’t go wrong with it.
At first glance, it’s not an outstanding piece. Overall qualitative, but you do run the risk of malfunction if you’re not careful. However, for the price tag, it’s simply a must-have for any golf player that’s looking to improve their game.
Were you able to decide? Let us know which golf rangefinder you went with and leave us a little review in the comments below!
Hunting is generally done in the woods, which is a more “cluttered” scene than a golf course. This is why hunting rangefinders are built to provide measurements to the furthest target, not necessarily every possible target.
Yes. If you trust Google Maps, you’re going to trust a GPS finder even more.
If we’re to talk about laser finders, we’ve already discussed the accuracy matter - most of them are accurate up to a 1-yard error margin. In practice, if you’re physically 75 yards away from your target, the regular rangefinder will show any measurement from 74, 75 and 76, but nothing else.
In the case of GPS finders, it’s simply calculated by the Global Positioning System (thank you USA satellites), based on previously uploaded maps.
In the case of laser rangefinders, a beam of the laser (traveling at the speed of light) goes to your target and based on the time it took to get there, the CPU of the device calculates the distance. This should be consistent since the speed of light is consistent as well.