Top Golf Rangefinders And How to Pick the Right One For You
Thirty years ago hardly any golfer would ever have heard of a rangefinder. Now things are a whole lot different.
Oh how things have changed!
A rangefinder has become an incredibly important part of the game of golf and almost feels a compulsory necessity. There are at least 2 golfers in every fourball that have a rangefinder and if you aren’t one of those then you’d be hassling those players throughout the round to try gauge distances.
There are a wide variety of quality rangefinders on the market currently although Bushnell is still the industry leader by a long shot. But competitors are slowly and surely closing the gap. And so importantly offering more affordable rangefinders that are targeting a wider type of golfer.
So what exactly does a rangefinder offer?
A rangefinder is not just a basic distance measuring device. Modern day pieces offer technologically advanced features such as slope. For those that aren’t aware slope determines the difference in altitude between your ball or position and the target. For example if your golf ball was 20 yards higher than the target from 150 yards then your adjusted distance would be playing roughly 10 yards shorter than the actual distance. This is obviously a massive factor, particularly in a tournament, and can mean the difference between winning a losing!
Is it allowed for tournament use?
The PGA Tour does not allow them to be used in professional tournament play. They can however be used on practice days before events. Surprisingly they have been allowed them to be trialled in some Web.com and Canadian Tour events in 2017 so let’s see how that pans out in 2018 and beyond.
If you’re just a regular amateur then you can rest easy as these are allowed in normal club competition. So with peace of mind you can purchase one knowing it is going to last you years and years!
Is it easy to use?
Well of course it is. It may take just a handful of times to decipher how exactly to capture a distance and read the digital measurements on the display. It is best to practice capturing short distances to start off with and be confident that the measurement is accurate and from there you can move to longer distances and it will be easy.
So having run through the basics let’s pick out a trio of rangefinders that are most affordable on the market currently and guide you in the right direction.
GolfBuddy LR5 Rangefinder
The LR5 was released a couple of years ago and the price was roughly $250. Now they are next to nothing and are available for as little $150, so it’s important to acknowledge that that is a good price.
This GolfBuddy model represents exceptional value for what is an accurate and adequately functional rangefinder. There are some handy little features too such as alternating between the Scan and Pin modes especially.
We used it on a very bright sunny day and unfortunately the display wasn’t always that easy to view. You can certainly feel the difference in design and build quality when compared with some of the bigger players. But then again, it doesn’t cost a small fortune. It is a solid gadget that does the job and well at that. We don’t doubt that there will be plenty of takers on this one, and rightly so.
Callaway Micro Laser Rangefinder
The word ‘compact’ is definitely an understatement, as this is the rangefinder is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen! It just shows how things have changed over time. At the end of the day though, what is important is capturing an accurate distance and effectively at that.
The most important shift from ‘standard’ is actually not size, but the way the sight is used. A red dot fits inside a bigger grey one to lock in your target, and the yardage then displays on the clear LCD screen, rather than within the viewfinder. This makes it so much easier to actually see the measurement from a short distance of the rangefinder rather than burying your eye into the socket.
Exceptionally accurate and it also locked in targets pretty easily (you can use either prism, laser or pin mode for this). Never mind how nice it is to handle and how it fits I your hand.
No real negatives for the Callaway rangefinder, but the important question comes down to value. This is a compact, stylish and accurate piece of merchandise. But it isn’t cluttered with high-end features either. So is it worth paying $250 for? Definitely a yes in our eyes.
Precision Pro NX7 Rangefinder
A newcomer to the market and wow does it impress right off the bat. It isn’t a brand we’d associate with the rich and famous, but we were pleasantly surprised. It’s really slim, slender, but still big enough and easy enough to use.
What really impressed us was the accuracy of this rangefinder: it says it is to within a yard when you buy it, and our various on-course tests backed this up. The range is said to be 400 yards, but to be honest once over 250 yards it starts slipping a bit in terms of accuracy.
That’s okay though, because it works like a dream with the more common lesser yardages that all of us golfers use. And there’s another figure of ‘200’ that you’ll find interesting – the price. That doesn’t necessarily make it the cheapest in the business. But it’s certainly at the right end of things! And for a rangefinder that does what it says on the tin, that’s about all you can ask for.
My name is Emilia Clarke and I am the person behind wetalkaboutgolf.com. In this website, we have one goal – to help you to become the best golf player that you could. We can extend a helping hand through providing you with articles that will provide basic knowledge about the sport, including how-to and buying guides.