Best Golf Rangefinder in 2020: In-Depth Buyer’s Guide
There’s no doubt that golf rangefinders have revolutionized the sport of golf. Not only have they eliminated the need for a caddie with a yardage book, but they’ve also managed to phase out the need to rely on landmarks and yardage markers. The best golf rangefinder can teach a golfer how to accurately eyeball distance, can help improve their swing quality, and so much more.
These days, you’ll find many golfers of all skill levels using a rangefinder on the course. But in order to find the right model, one that’s tough, accurate, and equipped with the right types of features that can help to take your golf game to the next level, you need to do plenty of research and weed through the inaccurate, low-powered models that seem to be flooding the market these days.
That’s where I come in. I’ve put several of the top models to the test, narrowing it down to nine that golfers of all skill levels will love. I’ve also created a buyer’s guide that discusses, in-depth, the must-have features that make up the best golf rangefinders on the market.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the devices that landed on my must-have list, their best features, and how they rated.
Golf Rangefinder Comparison Chart
Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder
Callaway is one of the leading brands in the industry. Their latest rangefinder, the 300 Pro, comes loaded with some great features, including slope, which measures the angle of decline and incline. It then calculates the slope automatically, in order to display the true distance to the next pin. The rangefinder operates with an accuracy of 5-1000 yards, with a claim of a one-yard accuracy. It also comes with 6X magnification and pin acquisition technology that works by locking onto a pin quickly, from up to three hundred yards away. The patented BIRDIE feature will emit an audible chirp to confirm that you’ve locked onto a pin. The scanning function will allow the user to acquire the distance to several targets, at the same time. This model is built tough, features a sleek design, and has one of the best ratings for its intuitive interface and impressive accuracy.
- BIRDIE alert
- Slope technology
- Easy to use pin acquisition feature
- Not tournament legal
Because this model comes with slope technology, and no way to switch it off, this model is not tournament legal, however, it is an excellent training tool and one that golfers of all skill levels can take advantage of to improve their golf game. This model is also very easy to use, so it’s a great choice for golfers who are unfamiliar with rangefinder technology.
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder
The VPRO500 by TecTecTec has a range capacity of 540 yards, comes with advanced pin seeker technology and is equipped with a continuous scan mode. The durable rainproof housing also makes it a great choice for the golfer who continues to brave inclement weather to practice a round or two during the off-season. The pin seeker technology provides lightning fast information, with an accuracy rating of just one yard. It also uses overlapping technology. This means it will zero in on the target, while taking into account the distance to other structures, obstacles, and hazards. The multi-layered optics provide an ultra-clear view, with a display that’s easy to read. This model is just 6.52 ounces, yet it’s durable, equipped with a rainproof body, and can easily fit inside the pocket of a golf bag, making it highly portable and pocket-friendly.
- Two-year warranty
- Easy to use
- Lightweight, durable housing
- High accuracy rating
- Crystal-clear optics
- Has difficulty ranging over 180 yards
This rangefinder is the total package. It comes loaded with all the right features both the beginner and low handicapper can appreciate. It’s also covered by a two-year warranty, comes with lifetime customer support, and some great extras such as a premium carrying pouch, wrist strap, CR2 battery, and quick start guide. If you’re looking for a model that earned top marks for ease of use and accuracy, then hit that buy now button.
BUSHNELL GOLF Tour V5 Golf Rangefinder
Bushnell is another major player in the golf game. Its model, the V5 features a BITE magnetic cart mount, that makes it easy to attach the rangefinder to a golf cart, for ultimate portability. The pin seeker mode is fast, simple, and accurate. Combined with JOLT technology that comes with visual alerts, the golfer will know exactly when they’ve correctly locked onto a target. The rangefinder will vibrate once it’s locked onto a pin, in addition to flashing a red ring across the display screen. The display screen provides a crystal-clear view, even in bright and low light conditions. Over the years Bushnell has earned a reputation for producing tough and accurate rangefinders, so it comes as no surprise that the V5 is a model that most PGA Tour pros use.
- Dedicated app
- Magnetic mount
- JOLT technology with visual alerts
- Easy to use
This model comes loaded with some nice extras, such as the magnetic mount, JOLT technology, and the popular pin seeking mode. Bushnell now offers a dedicated app that allows users to unlock vital info including 3D flyovers, hole layouts, distances, and more. If you’re searching for an accurate rangefinder, one that comes with all the bells and whistles, including the latest in rangefinder tech, then you’ll love what the V5 has to offer.
Precision Pro NX7 Golf Rangefinder
This model by Precision Pro does not come with slope technology. This rangefinder delivers an impressive accuracy rating of one yard and it comes with the latest technology, including target acquisition, a feature that will scan the terrain and lock onto the closest pin, within a matter of seconds. This model also has 6X magnification, pulse vibration technology, and a range capability of four hundred yards. The pulse vibration feature will deliver short vibrating pulses to alert the user once they’ve successfully locked onto a target. This model has a four-hundred-yard range capability, with 1/10-yard measurements, which can be set to meters or yards.
- Two-year warranty
- Pulse vibration technology
- Tournament legal
- Struggles with accuracy beyond 200 yards
Because this model does not have a slope feature, it’s considered tournament legal, which will be a huge selling point for any golfer who regularly plays in tournaments and is searching for a reliable and accurate model to train with and use during a competition. This rangefinder is also covered by a two-year warranty, which will give potential buyers confidence in their purchase knowing they can contact the manufacturer, should they run into any issues with performance.
Bozily Golf Rangefinder
This model by Bozily comes with a high-def camera, 7-degree field angle, 6X magnification, ranging capabilities of 5-1200 yards, and two scan modes. This rangefinder is also tournament legal since the slope mode can be turned on and off. Equipped with two scan modes the first mode is the basic scan mode that will display the distance to the next target, using continuous scan. The second mode is the slope mode, which will measure the distance to the next pin, taking into account the incline or decline of the terrain, providing a more accurate reading. The rangefinder itself features durable housing, an ergonomic design and waterproof protection. The manufacturer claims that this model is accurate out to 1200 yards, which is pretty impressive considering the moderate price.
- Two modes
- Slope mode can be turned off
- High definition camera
- Ergonomic design
- Short battery life
The fact that this model comes with a slope mode that can be turned off, is a huge selling point for the golfer who is looking for a model for tournament use. This rangefinder comes equipped with some solid features, including two scan mode options, waterproof housing, an ergonomic design that makes the rangefinder easier to hold and use, and a one-year product warranty.
Raythor Golf Rangefinder
This model by Raythor comes with the popular slope adjustment feature that will provide a reading based on the hole’s decline and incline and will help the player choose the perfect club for the shot. The large LCD display screen features 6X magnification and provides an impressively fast and accurate distance reading. The rangefinder has an accuracy rating of one yard and comes equipped with a total of three modes to choose from. The first mode will provide the distance reading, supporting continuous scan. The second mode is the slope mode, which will adjust the distance reading based on the slope of the terrain. This mode also includes the flag lock feature and vibration feature, which will cause the device to vibrate once the user has successfully locked onto a target. The third mode is the speed mode, which provides instant speed readings for moving objects.
- Three modes to choose from
- Large LCD display
- Slope adjustment
- Beginner friendly
- Can be three to five yards off at times
This model comes with a one yard accuracy rating, three playing modes to choose from, and provides fast distance and speed readings, making this device a great tool to train with, whether you want to measure your swing speed, or you need help choosing the perfect club for your next shot. You’ll find yourself relying on this model often, due to its reputation for accuracy, ease of use, and the variety of training modes to choose from.
Bushnell 201835 Hybrid Golf Laser Rangefinder
This model by Bushnell is the first ever integrated laser and GPS rangefinder, providing the golfer with the best of both worlds. The rangefinder has a ranging capacity of 400 yards, with a one-yard accuracy rating. It also comes preloaded with 36,000 golf course maps located all over the world. The pin seeker technology makes it easier to lock onto a target, while the JOLT feature causes the device to vibrate to alert the player that they’ve locked onto the target successfully. Additionally, the exterior GPS readout includes back, center, and front distances, working to improve this device’s accuracy and making this model the perfect choice for the beginner.
- Laser/GPS technology
- Includes maps for 36,000 golf courses in thirty countries
- JOLT technology
- 400-yard ranging capacity
- Very short battery life due to GPS
This laser and GPS rangefinder includes maps for thousands of golf courses in thirty different countries, has a one-yard accuracy rating, and comes equipped with JOLT and pin seeking technology. This is a great device to have on hand when you’re traveling abroad, practicing tour swing, and looking for an edge on the golf course.
Garmin Approach Z80, Golf Laser Rangefinder
Garmin is a popular manufacturer of golf, hunting, and fish rangefinders. Its latest golf rangefinder, the Approach Z80 is currently killing the competition, mainly due to its innovative features that add another element of fun to the golf game. Yet, it also has a reputation for accuracy, ease of use, and a durable housing that makes it feel almost indestructible.
Unlike competing models, which have an accuracy rating of one-yard, this model has a ranging accuracy rating of just ten-inches. It has a ranging capability of 350 yards, which is really more than most golfers need. The 2D full-color course view map is overlaid on the rangefinder’s viewfinder, providing more than 41,000 course maps from all over the world. the laser range arc feature will draw an arc on the 2D course view, mapping the distance the laser ranged, allowing the user to see everything that’s in play at the ranged distance.
This model also comes equipped with an image stabilization feature, which makes it easier to find the flag and get an accurate distance reading.
- 2D course mapping
- 10-inch accuracy rating
- Easy to use
- Low price
- Pin seeker can be difficult to stabilize, despite image stabilization feature
The manufacturer claims this is one of the most accurate models on the market. It’s also one of the most unique. Offering the innovative 2D course mapping feature, many golfers will find that this rangefinder adds to the fun, can help improve their shot accuracy, and is a great tool to train with.
Profey Golf Rangefinder
This rangefinder by Profey comes with 6X magnification, a large LCD display, and a 7-degree field angle. It also boasts a distance range of 5 to 1300 yards, with an accuracy rating of one yard. The slope mode works to measure the incline and decline of the terrain, providing players with a more accurate distance reading. It can also be turned on and off, so this model is considered tournament legal. The pin acquisition mode provides impressively fast distance readings and makes aiming and firing simple, even if the user has shaky hands. The flag seeker technology will measure overlapping obstacles accurately, so it works well for measuring wooded areas, hazards, and pins.
- Two scan modes
- Slope feature can be turned off
- Fast distance readings
- Low price
- Begins to lose accuracy after one-hundred-yards
This model is perfect for training and tournament use. It earned a high accuracy rating and is a great choice for new golfers in need of an edge on the course. The two scan modes, combined with the rangefinder’s ranging capabilities and accuracy, will make this device invaluable out on the course, and definitely a steal for the price.
Golf Rangefinder Buyer’s Guide
The rangefinder is designed to tell a golfer how far away they are from the pin. Considering this is a pretty basic job, it’s surprising how many different types, styles, and models are on the market. However, not all models are created equal, nor are they as accurate as the manufacturer claims they are. This buyer’s guide will go over all the latest features these devices have to offer, how to choose a model that’s very accurate, and how a rangefinder can change how you play the game. But before I dive into the buyer’s guide, first, I’ll go over some of the many benefits these devices have to offer.
Golf Rangefinder Benefits
- Rangefinders haven’t changed the essence of the game. In fact, they offer a more accurate, better way to get that distance to the hole. Knowing how far you hit with different clubs and accurately judging the distances when you’re on the course is very important. Rangefinders can provide a real benefit for low handicappers and beginners alike.
- With a rangefinder, you can measure the exact distance you’re hitting the ball on the practice ground. Getting this type of accurate data will be a huge benefit during any subsequent rounds.
- Using a rangefinder to get the true distance to any greens or flags on the range will tell you exactly how far you’re able to hit with a certain club.
- You can use one of these devices to check distances to hazards, bunkers, and more. This will help you to determine which club you should use.
- With a rangefinder, you’ll be able to measure the exact distance to a pin. Models of the past had trouble focusing in on pins because they’re so narrow. However, modern models have a pin seeking function, which ensures that you’ll measure the correct distance to the pin and not any obstacles or trees behind it. You can also use this type of device to check the distance to bunkers.
- Using one of these devices can speed up your round significantly. Once you become familiar with how the rangefinder works, it will only take you a few seconds to check a distance. This is much faster than searching the fairway for sprinkler heads, distance markers, or trying to eyeball the distance.
- Whether laser or GPS, rangefinders are changing the way a player interacts with the environment and helps by improving gameplay.
- These devices are highly portable, so you can carry one in your pocket or store it in your golf bag.
- You no longer have to consult a yardage book or rely on yardage markers
- You can easily avoid hazards
- You’ll be able to get out of blind spots faster
With benefits like these, you can easily see how using one of these devices can be a true asset to your game and your experience on the course. Now, let’s learn more about the important features to look for, the different technologies available, and how to choose a model that will meet your needs out on the course.
If you’re tired of wasting your precious time searching the course for yardage markers, then a golf rangefinder is the perfect solution.
For many golfers, a rangefinder has become as common as a lob wedge and it can take most of the guesswork out of choosing the correct club. But over the years, golf rangefinders have changed quite a bit in terms of accuracy, style, and size. For many golfers, this type of device will be a great investment, and one that can take their game to a whole new level.
With so many options on the market, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed and unable to choose the right model, one that offers the type of accuracy the manufacturer claims it does. Below, I’ll start off by going over rangefinder accuracy and why it’s crucial.
Accuracy is the most important factor, when you’re shopping around for a rangefinder. If you want a variability of four or five yards per measurement, then you’d want to go with a GPS model since it will have a map of the course you’re playing on and it will have the precise yardage measurements to all of the holes, hazards, and bunkers.
But you will also want a device that will ensure the yardage is accurate to any given target you choose. If the model accidentally picks up a large rock or tree instead of the pin, then you may find that you’re constantly over-clubbing.
In most cases, a golfer will use their rangefinder as many as thirty to forty times per round. They may rely on it even more on tougher courses. When you play, you may end up tossing your rangefinder around, throwing it in your golf bag, leaving it in your golf cart, dropping it during use, or it may even get rained on. Because of this, the model you choose must have a durable casing, one that can handle impact and won’t easily crack if dropped or stop working if you’re caught using it in a downpour.
Nothing can be more frustrating than using your rangefinder to measure a distance and you hear the beep that indicates the device is about to die. Some low-priced models have to be charged often, before each use, while high-quality rangefinders can be used several times before needing a charge. Look for a model that has a reputation for excellent battery life.
The rangefinder’s display should be easy to see in low and bright light conditions. It should provide a crystal-clear image, which will make it easy to use, focus, and adjust. Low-priced models tend to be difficult to read in bright light, which can make them pretty much useless on the course during mid-day.
Pin Seeking Technology
These days, most models will come with a type of pin seeking feature that will allow the rangefinder to separate the foreground from the objects in the background. This means, if you’re aiming at a flag and the background has large rocks, structures, or trees behind it, the device will show you the distance to the flag only, instead of choosing a larger structure. This feature is found on many of the top-selling models, and it’s a must-have if you’re looking for a model that’s highly accurate. This feature goes by many names including pin seeker, first target priority, and pin hunter.
You’ll find models that don’t come with any type of magnification, to rangefinders that have a magnification up to 7X. A higher magnification will make it much easier for the user to hit the correct target.
These devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller models can be more difficult to use, especially for people who prefer to hold the device using two hands, in order to keep it steady. Smaller models will easily fit in a pocket in a golf bag, but they can be more difficult to target with. Fortunately, there are many models of wider rangefinders currently on the market. These models will allow you to range using both hands, comfortably.
Almost every rangefinder will come with a scan mode. A scan mode is used by holding down a button, while aiming at a target, or you can press a scan button and a distance reading will pop up after a few seconds.
In terms of readability, you may have trouble reading a display if the data is in black, whereas, models that feature red numbers tend to be easier to see, in low and bright light conditions.
All rangefinders will have a maximum and minimum range. For most users, this feature isn’t very important. Most models are able to measure distances that are well beyond the point where the golfer needs the information. If you’re standing within fifteen feet of a flag, then you can probably walk up and determine the distance without using your rangefinder.
Types of Golf Rangefinders
You’ll find that some models use GPS, while others use an infrared laser. There are pros and cons to each type of device. GPS models can provide certain advantages such as an overhead view of a hole, while will allow the golfer to form a good plan of attack, even if the shot is deceptive or blind. However, this type of rangefinder doesn’t provide reliable yardages. On a bright sunny day, you can expect the device’s accuracy to dip five yards or so. On a cloudy day, it can be even worse. There’s also the chance that you’ll lose the signal. Most GPS models will also have very short battery lives, which is another huge drawback.
Laser models emit an invisible wavelength of light and they’re often the top choice for most golfers. The rangefinder’s internal clock will time how long it will take for the reflected light to return to the device. This result is then converted to distance. These devices usually feature the traditional vertical handheld design; however, you can also find pistol-like models as well.
With this type of rangefinder, you’ll have the ability to range any type of target to get the correct distance. Most models also boast an accuracy of one yard or less. They’re also very easy to use, all you have to do is line up the pin in the viewfinder’s crosshairs and pull the trigger. Additionally, they also offer a significantly longer battery life compared to GPS models.
With a reputation for ease of use, better accuracy, and a longer battery life, it’s easy to see why most golfers opt for laser rangefinders.
When you’re shopping for a rangefinder, you’ll find models that come equipped with slope technology and others that don’t. In many cases, models that come with a slope feature are not considered tournament legal. Using a model that’s considered illegal can disqualify you from the tournament.
Legal rangefinders will come with the most basic feature. The slope feature will measure the distance to the next hole, taking into account the slope of the terrain. This feature can be very helpful for players of all skill levels, but if the rangefinder you own has slope technology, you will not be able to use it during a tournament.
Finding a Model that Can Help You Grow as a Golfer
The best thing about rangefinders is that they appeal to golfers of all skill levels. Knowing which model is right for you will depend on a variety of factors. Do you play leisurely at the same course every weekend? Do you often play in tournaments? Do you prefer exploring new courses? Are you just starting out or have you played golf for years? The answers to these questions can help you choose a model that’s perfect for your skill level, playing goals, and playing preferences.
If you’re new to golf, then you’ll want to go for an entry level, basic model, one that solely focuses on measuring the distance to the next hole. There’s no need to purchase a feature-packed model at this point. These rangefinders are still a good choice for the seasoned player who’s on a tight budget and not looking for a model with all the bells and whistles.
If you consider yourself an intermediate player, then a mid-level model may be just what you need. These devices will satisfy the needs of most golfers and come with an extra feature or two, such as club selection and slope. Additionally, they also have a reputation for being more durable compared to beginner-level models.
If you consider yourself a pro, or you’re someone who wants a fancy model, one that comes loaded with all the latest features in rangefinder tech, then there are several top of the line models that can deliver. Of course, even if you’re a great golfer, there may still be a learning curve involved when you first use one of these devices. These high-tech devices are often not tournament legal, so you won’t be able to use them if you enter a tournament, but you can still use them for a round with your buddies, or for practice.
- Don’t expect to use your rangefinder perfectly your first few times out on the green. Ranging, learning how to read the data, and utilizing all the features is going to take some practice.
- Read your user’s manual before you hit the course so you have a better understanding of how your model works, how to use it, and the different features it has to offer.
- Try practicing using your new device at home, aim at some targets that are fifty to one hundred yards away and check out just how accurate your rangefinder is, while learning how to use all the different features.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Look for When Buying a Golf Rangefinder?
Whether you’re planning on purchasing a GPS or laser model, there are some main features you’ll want to look for that can have a major impact on your performance on the course. This includes:
- Scan mode
- Pin seeking technology
- Ease of use
- Battery life
Are Cheap Golf Rangefinders Any Good?
You can find cheaper models that are definitely worth the buy. However, you’ll need to do your research to ensure the low-priced model you’re interested in is accurate. Most cheap models will not come equipped with any fancy features such as slope technology, however, if you’re simply looking for a basic rangefinder, one that’s easy to use and accurate, then a lack of features won’t be a big deal.
Are Rangefinders Worth it for Golf?
Many golfers agree that a rangefinder is definitely worth the purchase and a high price tag. If you’re looking for ways to boost your performance on the course, then purchasing a new rangefinder is a good start. Many of these models are affordable, compared to how much they cost just a few years ago. If you’re looking for an affordable way to increase your shot accuracy and lower your score, then purchasing a rangefinder is a great idea.
Why are Golf Rangefinders so Expensive?
Many of the higher priced models come loaded with some great extra features. Often, major brands produce some of the most expensive models. But these models can really help your game in a number of ways.
How Often Should You Play Golf to Improve?
If you’re serious about improving your performance, then most pros recommend shooting for a minimum of three to four practices per week. Following this type of practice schedule can help to significantly improve your performance on the course.
Are Rangefinders Accurate?
Many of the higher quality models are very accurate. Lower priced models will have a dip in accuracy and can be unpredictable and unreliable. If you’re looking for a model that’s highly accurate and can make a real difference in your performance, then invest in a high-quality model.
Where Do You Aim a Golf Rangefinder?
Start off by aiming the rangefinder at the ground and then press the scan button. When the rangefinder is ready for action it will bring up the reticle on the display, so you can then directly aim it at the target.
How Does Slope Work on a Rangefinder?
The slope feature will give you readings based on how the rangefinder is held when trying to obtain the distance to the closest flag. The slope measurement takes the slope of the terrain into account before giving you the final distance reading. Unfortunately, models that have this feature are not considered tournament legal. However, some models will allow you to shut this feature off, so they can be used in a tournament.
As you can see, there are many different types and styles of rangefinders to choose from, not to mention all of the latest exciting new features.
The best golf rangefinder is a model that will suit your needs out on the course, one that will work for your skill level, and it should be a model that’s highly accurate, easy to use, and durable. The top ten models that made it to my lineup earned high ratings for their functionality, important features, speed, and accuracy. With this buyer’s guide and my list of product recommendations, you should have no trouble finding a model that will work with your budget and one that will help you to improve and grow as a player.