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Best Golf Rangefinder Guides And Reviews 2020

Golf Rangefinder

Why Should You Use a Rangefinder?

Golf is a precision game where a couple of yards can be the difference between a birdie or bogey so knowing your exact yardage from the hole is important. Gone are the days where the ameatuer golfer needs to rely on fairway yardage markers or yardage books in order to determine their distance from the pin. Rangefinders have taken over because of their incredible accuracy and convenience.

A rangefinder is a device that will tell you how many yards you are away from any object on the course. A device like this is very useful in the game of golf because it will tell the player exactly which club they need to hit and will take all of the calculations and guessing out of the shot process. Instead of finding a yardage marker in the fairway and walking back to your ball while counting your strides, just take out a rangefinder and know exactly how far away you are with the press of a button. Along with the finding your distance to the pin, you can also determine the distance to hazards like water or trees. A rangefinder makes it easier for the player to plan their shots and will speed up the round for everyone.

What to consider before purchasing a golf rangefinder?

What Style is Best for you?

If you’re thinking about buying a rangefinder for yourself, there are things to consider. The first factor to think about is the style of rangefinder that is best for you.The two different styles are handheld laser range finders and GPS rangefinders. The main difference between these two styles is the laser version will give you a slightly zoomed in view of the hole in front of you while the GPS version displays the entire hole, including hazards. The GPS style is made up of a small screen and several buttons and it most commonly worn as a watch. Each style has their positives and negatives and it all comes down to preference.

The most popular style is the handheld rangefinder that features a single viewing lense and a button that activates the device. The advantage of this style is the ability to find the distance to any object on the course, allowing you to find the distance to a certain tree or spot in the fairway which is a benefit that the GPS style doesn’t offer. The handheld laser versions are also more accurate than the GPS style. The fact that the device can be used by simply pointing in the correct direction and pressing a button, it’s really convenient. For those who don’t want to deal with another electronic device, the laser version might be for you.

The second most popular version of a rangefinder is the GPS style. The golf GPS downloads golf courses and gives the player a detailed map of the hole they’re currently playing. This allows you to see the shape of fairways and greens as well the the locations of hazards. If you’re playing a course for the first time, this device is a great advantage. One thing the GPS version has over the laser version is the fact that you can use them even when it’s raining and foggy. A golf GPS usually looks like a smartphone with a display screen and a couple buttons. You can also get them in a watch version that will simply give you the yardage and may even offer some other statistic tracking.

Slope Technology

Slope technology is a feature that takes the elevation between you and your target into consideration when giving you a yardage. For example, if you are playing a downhill par three that says 150 yards, a slope rangefinder can tell you that it’s actually playing as 142 yards. This takes the guessing out of finding a yardage on an incline/decline. Before you buy a rangefinder with slope technology, you must understand that it’s against the USGA rules to compete with the slope technology turned on. For this reason, check the details of each slope model to see if you can toggle slope on and off. 

Price

Just like every other product in the golf industry, there is a large array of options with a wide price range for rangefinders. As far as laser rangefinders and golf GPSs go, you can find one for anywhere between $100 to $400. The price will depend on the model you decide to purchase and the features that are important to you. The more expensive devices will consistently allow you to find the correct distance and the materials will be much higher quality. The higher end devices will also offer a bundle of unique features.

Top 5 Best Laser Rangefinders for Golf

Image Product Features
scmtbl-table__imageOur Top PickOur Top PickTecTecTec VPRO500
  • Waterproof: No
  • Slope: No
  • Alerts when reading pin No
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scmtbl-table__imageBushnell Pro X2
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Slope: Yes
  • Alerts when reading pin Yes
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scmtbl-table__imageBushnell Tour V4 JOLT
  • Waterproof: No
  • Slope: No
  • Alerts when reading pin Yes
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scmtbl-table__imageCallaway 300 Pro
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Slope: Yes
  • Alerts when reading pin Yes
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scmtbl-table__imagePrecision Pro NX9
  • Waterproof: No
  • Slope: Yes
  • Alerts when reading pin Yes
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#1 TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder

The VPRO500 from TecTecTec is a great option for the golfer who wants a rangefinder but doesn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars. This model is capable of reaching out to 540 yards and has what they call “Pin-Sensor technology.” The water and dust resistant case is durable and offers great protection. The Pin Sensor Technology measures accurately within one yard and can accurately measure wooded areas and other hazards. The ultra clear lense makes it easy to see the display and your target.

The VPRO500 is very light and small enough to carry around with ease. This model comes with a carrying pouch for extra protection when on the move and on your golf bag. You will also receive a wrist strap that will keep your rangefinder safe while in use. Finally, the microfiber cleaning towel is included to keep the lenses clear in all conditions. That added benefits of this rangefinder make it an excellent value. TecTecTec guarantees that you’ll be happy with this product for two years. The limited features and low price make this one of the best golf rangefinders for beginners.

Pros

  • Pin Sensor Technology
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Comes with accessories
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Not waterproof

#2 Bushnell Pro X2 Golf Laser Rangefinder

            The Pro X2 is another example of Bushnell’s ability to produce the highest quality range finders on the market. This model includes slope technology that you can toggle on and off in order to conform to the USGA rules. The slope technology benefits players a great deal and the ability to turn it off when in competition is a great design. This model features the JOLT  technology that is a signature of Bushnell. The JOLT alerts the player with a vibration when they have locked onto the flag. Thanks to the quick reading technology and the 6x zoom, finding your yardage is fast and easy. This is the best rangefinder for shaky hands because of the ergonomic design and JOLT technology and it;s the best rangefinder with slope technology.

            The Pro X2 is not just water resistant, its fully waterproof which is an awesome feature to find in a range finder, This allows the player to have no concern whatsoever when playing in the rain. The case of the Pro X2 is metal which gives it a top notch feeling in comparison to other rangefinders that are made of a thick plastic. This model also features two color options for the display, black and red, which can be switched at the touch of a button. You can choose which color is best for you based on the conditions you’re playing in.

Pros

  • Optional slope technology
  • JOLT vibration
  • Waterproof
  • Metal outer
  • Color options in display
  • 6x zoom
  • Comes with accessories

Cons

  • Price

#3 Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell Tour series of rangefinders is as good as it gets when it comes to finding your yardage on the course. Bushnell is the most popular rangefinder brand in the game of golf and is used by the majority of the pros on the PGA Tour for a reason. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT uses a vibration to alert the player when it has locked onto the pin. This model is accurate to one yard and can find a flagstick up to 400 yards away. This new version of the Tour series is smaller than the ones  that came before and it fits better in the hand.

If you’re looking for the best golf rangefinder without slope, the Tour V4 is a great option. This model offers 5x magnification which offers the golfer a better view of the hole ahead of them. The LCD display presents the golfer with a clear image of their distance from the pin. The V4 locks onto and delivers the correct information without any hesitation.  This rangefinder comes with a battery and a carrying case. You can also receive a protective skin for a slight upcharge.

Pros:

  • JOLT vibration
  • Sleek design
  • 5x magnification
  • Comes with accessories
  • Compact

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

#4 Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder with Slope

Callaway is a newer face in the rangefinder game and they are bringing the heat with the 300 Pro model. The 300 Pro has 6x magnification and will lock onto pins up to 300 yards away. It features what they call Pin Acquisition Technology which allows the device to find the pin quickly. No more waiting for a distance or dealing with a rangefinder that won’t find the pin. The display makes your yardage clear and easy to read. This rangefinder has an ergonomic design that fits perfectly in your hand. The Birdie feature will make a chirping noise when it’s locked onto the pin.

This model offers slope technology that can be turned on and off with the click of a button. This makes it legal for you to use the 300 Pro in competition. Callaway claims that the 300 Pro models will be fog and waterproof which will protect it in all elements. If you purchase this model, you will receive the rangefinder, the battery, a support strap, a carry case, and even a cleaning cloth. This a great value if you’re looking for a high quality rangefinder at a fair price. 

Pros

  • Optional slope technology
  • Fog and waterproof
  • Great value
  • 6x magnification
  • Pin Acquisition Technology
  • Comes with accessories

Cons

  • Can take a bit longer to lock on than other brands

#5 Precision Pro NX9 HD Slope Golf Laser Rangefinder

            The Pro NX9 HD from Precision will measure distances to the yard and is capable of reaching out to 400 yards. With brighter resolution, seeing your exact yardage is easy as it gets. The outer layer of the rangefinder is shock proof so you no longer have to worry when it falls onto the cart path. The Pro NX9 also features a magnetic cart mount for the convenience of holding your rangefinder on the frame of the cart. The 7x zoom gives the golfer a great look at the challenges that lie ahead. Taking all of the added features and the price into consideration, this could be the best golf rangefinder for the money.

            This rangefinder allows the user to toggle between slope and non slope mode which is an incredibly useful feature. The slope mode allows for more accurate yardage readings because it tells you the yardage you need to hit based on whether you’re hitting uphill or downhill. The water resistant cover allows you to stay worry free in rainy weather and the carry case will hold it safely in place on your golf bag. The Pro NX9 will also offer a pulsing vibration when it acquires the flag. Finally, this model comes with free lifetime battery replacement when you register your rangefinder.

Pros

  • Optional slope technology
  • Shock proof
  • Magnetic cart mount
  • 7x zoom
  • Water resistant
  • Comes with accessories
  • Lifetime battery replacement

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Top 5 Best GPS Rangefinders for Golf

Image Product Features
scmtbl-table__imageGarmin Approach GS20
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Course Mapping Yes
  • Round Tracking Yes
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scmtbl-table__imageBushnell Phantom
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Course Mapping No
  • Round Tracking No
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scmtbl-table__imageGarmin Approach G30
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Course Mapping Yes
  • Round Tracking Yes
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scmtbl-table__imageBushnell Neo Ion 2
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Course Mapping No
  • Round Tracking No
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scmtbl-table__imageTecTecTec ULT-G
  • Waterproof: No
  • Course Mapping No
  • Round Tracking No
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#1 Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

The Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch is one of the best GPS watches on the market today. It includes Autoshot round analyzer which will record your shots for an in depth analysis after the round. The sleek watch band allows it to easily transition from a stylish everyday watch to an accurate golf GPS. The 128×128 pixel display is clear and easy to read even in the sunlight. The band is made of silicone and the entire watch is waterproof. This model can connect to your phone, allowing you to receive notifications like texts and calls.

The Garmin Approach S20 is bluetooth compatible and it can be paired with the Garmin TruSwing sensor to monitor the statistics of your swing. It also includes activity tracking which will tell you things like the distance you’ve walked, the calories you’ve burned and much more. This is a unique feature for those who like to keep track of their daily exercise statistics. Finally, this GPS watch will also track your stats for the round. This includes the number of greens and fairways hit and how many putts you had in your round.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Golf stat tracking
  • Fitness tracking
  • Connects to phone
  • Swing tracking with Garmin Truswing
  • Great value

Cons

  • Some complaints on the accuracy of the GPS

#2 Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS

The Phantom golf GPS from Bushnell one of the highest rated golf GPS devices available today. The long lasting battery life will allow you to play two full rounds before having to charge the device. This GPS comes preloaded with 36,000 golf courses covering 30 countries. The display will tell you the distance of up to four different hazards on any given hole and will tell you the distance of the front, center, and back of every green.

This smart device GPS automatically recognizes the course your playing and will know when it’s time to switch to a different hole. The integrated BITE magnets on the back of the device makes it easy to stick on any metal surface. This is a great design for those who like to ride in a cart. For those who would rather walk, the built in clip allows you to attach it to your bag. The Phantom GPS comes in four different color options and is a great value for the price.

Pros

  • 36,000 preloaded courses
  • Hazard distances
  • 3D hole flyovers and course layout maps with Bushnell app/free with watch
  • Magnets to hold onto cart
  • Multiple color options
  • Long battery life
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Magnet strength is questionable

#3 Garmin Approach G30

            The Approach G30 from Garmin is a handheld golf GPS device with a touch screen. The full color display allows for clear course mapping. The design of the G30 is sleek and compact which makes it perfect for carrying around the course. The GPS system is highly accurate and will give the distances to greens, hazards, trees, and doglegs. The touch screen enables the user to pinpoint any spot to receive accurate yardage.

            The G30 allows you to touch to press the location of the pin and find the yardage to any area of the green. The device comes preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses so you should have no problem finding your home course. This rangefinder features an electronic scorecard and allows you to track your round while you play. You can connect this GPS to your phone and receive notifications like texts and phone calls.

Pros

  • Sleek and compact
  • Touch screen
  • Full color display
  • 40,000 preloaded courses
  • Electronic scorecard
  • Waterproof
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Small screen

#4 Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch

The Neo Ion 2 is another excellent golf GPS from Bushnell. This model has one of the longest lasting battery lives and can last you up to three rounds before needing to be recharged. This device comes with 36,00 courses and the bluetooth allows for wireless course updates. The Neo Ion 2 has automatic course recognition and automatic hole advance. The watch face is easy to read and has a clear display. This device will give you the distance to the front, back, and center of the green as well as the distance of up to four different hazards.

The Bushnell app is included for free with this GPS. This app offers 3D hole flyovers and hole layout maps. This device includes useful features like the shot distance calculator and a round odometer. Another great feature of this watch is the fact that it includes a fitness step counter which is a popular request of active watches today.  This stylish GPS watch is available in two color options, black/light blue and grey/neon yellow.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • 36,000 preloaded courses
  • Fitness step counter
  • Color options
  • Distances up to four hazards
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No course layout on the watch
  • Doesn’t track statistics

#5  TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch

            The TecTecTec TLT-G is a high quality golf GPS watch that accurately measures distances to within a yard. This includes the distances to the front, center, and back of the green as well as the distance to the hazards. This device comes with 38,000 pre downloaded courses and automatically progresses to the next hole when the time is right and will recognize the course you’re playing without you having to lift a finger. The simple design includes four buttons which makes it easy to use, even for the first time.

            This watch is durable and can withstand small amounts of water and dust. The battery life is long enough to get you through 2.5 rounds of golf on a single charge. TecTecTec offers a one-year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. This device is a great value for the convenience and accuracy.

Pros

  • Accurate
  • 38,000 preloaded courses
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Sporty look
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Not as many features as other popular GPS watches
  • Not waterproof

FAQ

Is a rangefinder worth the money?

Yes, it will provide you with important information and help you lower your scores.

Which style is best for me?

For someone who plays the same few courses, a rangefinder might be the best option because you won’t need the course mapping features. For the player that plays a lot of different courses, a GPS is probably the better choice.

Are they tournament legal?

It’s best to check with tournament rules before using because not all devices are permitted. Generally speaking, rangefinders can be used as long as they don’t provide the slope information.

Conclusion:

All golfers should consider the benefits of a rangefinder or golf GPS device. Not only do they deliver critical yardage at a moments notice, they’ll also provide the golfer with more information on what lies ahead. With all of the options available today, it can be challenging to determine which device is best for you. If you play the same courses frequently, a rangefinder is likely the best option for you. On the other hand, if you’re someone who plays a lot of different courses, the added information of a golf GPS will be better for you. I hope this information helps you make the right choice.