If you were asked to name the most frustrating thing in the world that thousands of people willingly engage in on a regular basis, chances are golf would be high on your list. While it’s a beautiful game that, when it’s good, it’s really good, perhaps the most fun you can have whacking small golf balls with a club, you’ll often see bonafide meltdowns from grown men on the course, and this isn’t just amateur players, but the pros, too. As amusing as this can be for the outsider, golf accessory companies still want to keep people playing, so they’ll do what they can to halt those meltdowns as much as possible. One of their solutions is the golf rangefinder, a handy little laser device that measures distance, slope and more. If you’re worried that golf could soon be the death of you, then checking out our picks for the best golf rangefinders could be what keeps you snapping clubs, kicking up greens, and crying into bunkers. So check out our selection and keep yourself on par, at the very least.
The Best Golf Range Finders
The Precision Golf Pro NX7 Pro Slope hits the target perfectly and drives to the top of our list of the best golf rangefinder. We’ll first focus on the design, which is compact and lightweight for straightforward carrying in your pocket across the course, while also delivering a slip-resistant casing which keeps it safe from the inevitable tumble from your hands. This protection is further enhanced by a provided carry-case for peace of mind between rounds.
The rangefinding technology is also full of awesome features including adaptive slope measuring that covers both up and downhill, while the pulse vibration gives you confidence you’re picking the right golf club. With a range of up to 400 yards, it’s not the furthest finder we’ve picked, but still more than enough for your local course thanks to clear optics, quick readings, and precision that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere.
Adaptive slope covers uphills and downhill
6 – 400 yard range
- BrandPrecision Pro Golf
- ModelNX7 Pro
- Weight10.4 ounces
Lightweight and fits in pocket
Carry case and battery included
Poor shock resistance
Despite being more famously associated with cameras rather than a golf yardage finder, the Nikon Coolshot 20 is a more-than-formidable product that is sure to aid golfers of all abilities on courses all over the world. Immediately, you look to its clear and high-contrast views that offer a remarkably reliable image to read, as well as 8-seconds of continuous scanning to provide the best result possible. But that’s not all.
You’ll also see the broad distance range and specific modes that offer you just a little more confidence in your shots than mere eye guesswork. The priority target mode combined with excellent precision software make it an ideal partner for tee off, fairway and approach shots, which means you’ll never feel stuck about which club to choose from. With the Nikon Coolshot, you’ll be gifted accuracy, quick readings, and a whole other dimension to your golf game. Be sure to combine it with some of the best golf trolleys from our list.
First target priority mode
8-second continuous scanning
Clear, high-contrast views
6 – 550-yard range
- Weight4.5 ounces
Hard to steady the pin
For many, Bushnell are the leaders of the laser rangefinder game and this tournament-approved Bushnell Tour V4 Shift proves why. Providing a seemingly-endless number of cool features, it’s definitely a contender for the Very Best Rangefinder of All Time™, and these features include PinSeeker thanks to special JOLT technology which is exclusive to Bushnell products and is a great golf gift for any enthusiast.
Along with this, you’ll also get a distance range up to 1,000 yards, which you might not ever need, but it’s always useful to have far too much than too little. Perhaps when you finally go pro, this rangefinder will come in useful. To make your life even easier, the Slope-Switch technology function eliminates misjudgment on hilly courses, putting you a cut above the rest and giving you time to prepare on the green while your opponents straggle behind, swinging aimlessly, becoming ever more frustrated.
JOLT technology provides PinSeeker capability
5 – 1,000 yard range
- BrandBUSHNELL GOLF
- Weight1 pounds
Class 1 laser
Accurate within 1 yard
No protective skin
This golf distance finder from Callaway comes at an awesome price while not scrimping on quality of components or construction. For less than $150 (at the time of writing), you’ll find a product that’s designed for golfers of all experience levels, to ensure the best game possible. The Callaway 200 gives you the chance to scan and identify multiple targets, as well as providing Pin Acquisition Technology that quickly locks onto your target from as far 275 yards.
In addition to this, you can also measure distances up to 800 yards for when you try to tackle the truly challenging courses, and the LCD screen is easy to read, even in fog or other extreme weather conditions and with 6-times magnification for increased clarity. It’s also compact, which makes you wonder how they managed to make it so effective yet so small at the same time. Maybe it’s magic, or maybe it’s just the quality of Callaway. Our guide to the best golf umbrellas features more great accessories like this.
Scans to identify multiple targets
Pin Acquisition Technology (PAT) up to 275 yards
5 – 800 yard range
- Weight4 ounces
Ultra-compact and lightweight
Water and fog proof
Accurate within 1 yard
Some parts cannot be replaced if damaged
A company so nice, they named it thrice. The TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder is a hugely effective product that has been redesigned for this year to provide you with the most up-to-date technology available. This gadget includes new Pinsensor technology, three different scanning modes, and a Diopter adjustment to provide you with broad control over your measurements and leave other golfers struggling in your wake.
Giving you up to 540 yards of range, there are few holes where you cannot use this if any at all, and it’s provided carry pouch, battery, and cleaning cloth combine with a great price to shift it up to anybody’s rangefinder list for consideration. However, these features might be too much, and the rangefinder cannot always handle it, sometimes confusing trees for flags. We know that you’ll not struggle with this confusion though, so if you can look past it, then so can we.
New Pinsensor technology
Three different scanning modes
Diopter adjustment functionality
6 – 540 yard range
- Weight6.6 ounces
Carry pouch, battery, and cleaning cloth included
Lightweight and portable
Sometimes confuses trees for flag in Pin Mode
When it comes to the top golf rangefinders, you’re unlikely to find anything that can outshine the Leupold 2017 GX 513 Rangefinder. With this marvelous golfing revolution, you’ll stop concerning yourself with picking the ‘right’ club, the Leupold does it for you with club selection recommendations – not that you’ve ever listened to a machine, but maybe this is the start. Furthermore, Prism Lock Technology announces when you’re correctly locked on target and provides the most accurate readings in the game.
The 6-time magnification means you can always be convinced of where you’re going, and while it doesn’t offer as broad of a range as the Nikon or Bushnell, you might not need such range thanks to the sheer number of other features. You can play in sun, snow, rain, or fog, and this will survive, you can see everything clear as day, and, most importantly, you can fall back in love with golf again which is all we really want to hear, until the next hole, at least. Be sure to combine it with a pair of the best golf shoes from our list.
Club selection recommendations
Prism Lock Technology
6 – 450 yard range
- Weight7.8 ounces
Multi-coated lens system
One touch scan mode
Screen can fade after a few years
If you’re looking for a cheap golf rangefinder, then look no further than the Wosports Laser Hunting Golf Rangefinder. This product allows you to view in both yards and meters, whichever you’re comfortable with, as well as providing flagpole lock and range modes that further enhance your gameplay. The 6-time magnification gives you a detailed view of your target, and the 700-yard range is the best you’ll find, especially for this price.
While it doesn’t look as flashy as other products we’ve picked out, it really doesn’t need to and it makes no assumptions in trying to fool you that it’s any more than it is. This isn’t a bad thing though, far from it. It’s easy to use, easy to carry, and won’t give you half the hassle you might find with other products. There may be some inaccuracies with reading from time to time, but if your budget only allows for this rangefinder, then you’re still getting an excellent product. Be sure to also check out our top picks of the best golfing clothes.
Meter and Yard switching
Flagpole lock and range modes
5 – 700 yard range
- Weight8 ounces
Carry bag and lens cloth included
18-month free warranty
Our final pick for the best golf rangefinder is the Saybien TR500S which offers both straight-line distance and slope modes for versatile readings across all courses, as well as flag lock feature so you don’t lose it at the last second while preparing your shot. Along with this, it’s modern outer casing protects it from the rain, so you can still succeed, despite the weather’s best efforts and it’s portability means its comfortable and easy to carry anywhere.
1 – 550 yard range means that you can measure much more closely than other rangefinders we’ve picked, which will prove highly useful when on or around the green, and the magnification possibilities up to 6 times ensures you won’t strain your eyes picking out your target, nor mistaking it for something else. We mentioned at the beginning how golf can be painfully frustrating, but at least with something like this, it isn’t as frustrating as it could be. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best swing analyzers.
Straight-line distance and slope modes
Flag lock feature
1 – 700-yard range
- Weight6.7 ounces
Sometimes provides slow readings
Golf Range Finder Buying Guide
Factors to Consider When Buying a Golf Range Finder
We know you’re excited to show off your brand new rangefinder at the cub as soon as possible, but you can’t just leap into buying one without first considering what are the main factors to consider. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses in their golf game, but that’s not to say that they won’t all benefit from something that will improve their game and make it a little easier. Through our careful studying of golf rangefinder reviews, we’ve managed to identify what golfers both old and young consider the most important aspects when buying a golf rangefinder.
Laser Range Accuracy – This is perhaps the most important part of the rangefinder. Without accuracy, you won’t have the exact idea of how far away certain targets on the course are. This can be anything from the pin to water hazards to green to bunkers to obstructions such as trees. To those of you who are not golfers, this might not seem like too much of an issue, but any experienced golfer will understand why knowing the range is important.
Considering we have the time, we may as well explain it to you. We’re not going to insult your intelligence by going over the rules of golf, but we all know the fewer strokes the better. We also know that humans can be a little arrogant in overestimating their ability to judge distance, which in golf could prove to be a bit of a hindrance. This is because your eyes aren’t equipped with Terminator-like scales that give you the exact measurements of the fairway, and what you think is 100 yards could be anywhere between 50 and 200.
Your club choice is directly affected by this judgment, and if you’re not certain how far away targets are, you could end up picking the wrong club altogether. The wrong club means you won’t make the distance, or even overshoot it, which adds more strokes to your game. It can also help you determine whether or not you can clear certain hazards such as bunkers or water.
Experienced golfers do have better judgment for distance, but even though this is a fine-honed skill, it still doesn’t hurt to invest in a rangefinder with excellent accuracy.
Brand – We’ve looked at a lot of different rangefinder reviews from a lot of different brands and the ones we’ve selected have truly stood out as the very best brands in the industry. If you’ve done your research on rangefinders, you’ll already be pretty well acquainted with the top brands, and you might have even selected a favorite that you have your eye on.
If you go to any course across the country, you’re bound to find at least a couple of players using a rangefinder by one of these brands, they all offer similar benefits, and so once you reach a certain price – because at some point you’re eventually paying extra for the name of the side of the rangefinder – the differences in what you get will be negligible.
You might also have had a rangefinder before, and you believe its time for a change. Either you’ve had a good experience with your current rangefinder and will stick to the brand you currently use, or you’re intrigued to try out something different.
Features of the Laser Range Finder
With all rangefinders, you’re going to find several key features which are essential in making it a useful product that you can use during every game of golf, at every hole, and at every opportunity. If you find a rangefinder that doesn’t have these features – and more, because that’s always useful – then steer far clear.
Laser Range Durability – As high-tech as the laser rangefinder might seem, you do have to recognize that the laser range will deteriorate over time. Thankfully, this will take a while and as long as you check with the manufacturer upon purchase, you’ll be able to prepare for when this does happen. While they won’t be able to give you a specific date and time, they can give you a general idea, so keep this in mind, and be sure to take action if you realize your laser range isn’t as strong as it once was. The best golf rangefinders will have a longer lifespan than budget ones, which means you may spend less in the long run.
Distance – Golf rangefinders will offer distance measuring in either yards or meters, whichever you are more comfortable working with, and the longer the distance, the more beneficial it is for you. Rangefinders will offer a distance of at least 400 yards, and the better, more expensive models will provide as much as 1000 yards, although this is rare and will only be found in the top of the line products. Typically, though, the distance range will be somewhere between 400 and 600 yards as standard.
You might not think that you need a rangefinder with more than this, but that isn’t the case. Even if you never plan on being on a course where you’ll have a 1000 yard hole (mainly because there are very few that exist), it’s still useful to have a broad of a range as possible so you can always be sure to get the most accurate readings when taking a measurement.
Size & Weight – The great thing about golf rangefinders is how lightweight and portable they are. They are small enough to fit in your pocket or in your golf bag, which makes them convenient to pick out if and when you need them. If you’re carrying around a large golf bag for 18 holes, the last thing you want is extra weight. Luckily, the size and weight of rangefinders won’t be a problem. In fact, you might not even notice you’re carrying it.
Golf Range Finder FAQ
Q: What is a Golf rangefinder?
A: In golf, a rangefinder is used to measure the distance between the golfer and their target. This target can be the pin, hazards or as far as the laser can reach. It is invaluable in golf as it provides exact, reliable data as opposed to mere guesswork with distances markers.
Q: How does a golf rangefinder work?
A: Golf rangefinders use a laser to measure the distance ahead of you. The golfer selects a target that they want to measure the distance between such as the pin flag or a tree, and the rangefinder will do the rest, measuring how many times the laser beam hits the selected target and comes back to you. This provides a distance reading in whatever measurement you have set up.
Q: What other applications can laser rangefinders be used for?
A: It’s not just a quick round of golf where rangefinders are useful. The laser precision technology in commercial products also makes them incredibly useful in hunting activities by measuring the distance between the hunter and target and being able to pass over obstructions such as trees and bushes.
In addition to hunting, laser rangefinders are also used in the military recon missions and engineering. They have also been made use of prominently in forestry, 3D modeling, competitive archery, and they do share some similarities with laser measuring tools, which are used in construction and DIY.
- The Top 10 Tantrums, Outbursts and Meltdowns in Golf – Golf Digest
- Best Golf Rangefinder Buying Guide – Laser Golf Rangefinder
- Par 7, 1,100-yard hole provides challenge for long hitters in South Korea – PGA
- Laser Rangefinder – Wikipedia