Considering buying a new rangefinder? Is money not a limiting factor for you?
- You have had some cheap rangefinders but would like to get something that is top of the range. You have the money to spend.
- All your friends have been bragging about how good their rangefinder is. It is time that you shut them up.
3. You are getting a gift some a golf lover. It has to be a special gift that shows them just how much you mean to them.
We have tested all sorts of devices over time. From the dirt cheap ones to the ones that cost an arm and a leg. The running theme is that you want to know that you are getting a decent quality product with any purchase.
Here is our top pick Golf Ball if your swing is over 70 MPH:
In A Hurry?
Perhaps you are not in the mood for reading. You just want to get on with it and spend your time on the golf course. We understand.
As such we have been able to do the difficult job of cutting 5 amazing range finders into 1 that we feel is the ultimate one.
This accolade was given to the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder.
We wanted to choose a product that was not only easy to use but also very stable. The stabilisation technology that is in the Coolshot Pro ticked this box. It also had to be one that could be used in USGA tournaments, which you can do with this one. Y
ou will find a more detailed review below.
Our Test Winner After 40 + Hours Of Research:
Our Honest Star Rating
Why is it the BEST?
Our top 5 Best Golf Rangefinders For The Money
Buyers tend to be more forgiving of products that are at the lower end of the scale. You will hear them say things like, “You get what you pay for.”
This rings true in many ways but not always. There are some very cheap products that will give the expensive one a run for their money.
We will be the first to admit that these are one in a dozen or two-dozens at times. You may find that buying a few cheap ones to try out may end up adding up to the same price you would have paid if you just went straight for the expensive product.
This is the case where it may become more expensive to buy a cheap product that it is for the pricier ones.
1. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder - TOP PICK
Our Honest Star Rating
It is inevitable that Nikon would have a product that targets the visual and optical market. This is the second version of this product that they have released.
Our expectations are higher with each iteration.
They have included stabilisation technology that is unique and exclusive to their products. It gives stability to both the viewfinder and the laser. Range finding usually requires tremendously steady hands.
They have noted this and created a product that remedies it. The result is accuracy paired with control. So accurate that you can identify things such as flagsticks.
Nikon has introduced the Incline/Decline technology. It provides you with accurate data on slopes and valleys within the view. This is presented to you in what has been termed ‘slope adjusted distance’.
There are three modes that you can interchange between. No longer would you be forced to estimate slopes and dips on the golf course.
It also has an Actual Distance Indicator. Observers will be able to note when your device is not engaged.
The green LED light will blink. If for any reason you have turned off the Slope (I/D) feature, your Competitive Confirmation indicator automatically follows suit. This is a requirement from USGA in tournaments.
The Locked On Technology is our favourite feature on this one. When you are getting closer to any object. You can use it to get an accurate measurement of the distance you are from said object.
It gives you fast focus, automatic brightness adjustment and ultimate clear viewing.
For those days when the weather plays up, you will find solace in knowing that your device is both water and fog proof. Furthermore, the design is compact and portable.
It gives you an 8-second continuous measurement option to make it easier to gauge range without feeling rushed. You will no longer have to play blindly. Yardage to the pin is provided.
An HONEST Review
2. Bushnell Golf Tour V4 Slope Laser Rangefinder
Our Honest Star Rating
Bushnell is another big player in the market. This product is head to head with the Nikon one.
The Bushnell Golf Tour V4 Slope Laser Rangefinder features a pin seek that has Jolt technology.
When you are focusing there is a vibrating motion from the driver once you have accurately pinned the flag. This is the call to stop and lock on it.
It makes use of Bushnell’s very own slope technology. Slopes and declines are accounted for in the compensated distance calculation that it gives you. The rangefinder is able to make calculations and find the range for up to 1000 yards from your position.
There are 5 levels of magnification that you can choose from. If you think there is more to be seen you can scroll all 5 zooms to see if one of them would make your view clearer.
The age of playing golf blindly is behind us.
A premium carry case is included as standard with any purchase. There is also a 2-year limited warranty included. We are not clear what the limitations are.
The size of the device makes it very easy to carry and use. It fits right in the palm of your hands and in most standard pockets.
Our favourite feature on this was the PinSeeker. It delivers a commendable level of accuracy. There is an option to switch off the slope distance to align with USGA regulations.
AN HONEST REVIEW
3. Leupold Gx 5I3 Rangefinder
Our Honest Star Rating
At the price that this comes at anyone’s expectations are super high. Ours were no different.
The first feature that caught our eye was the 6 levels of magnification that it offers.
These allow you to really zoom in on your target. With that sort of laser focus, it is easier to get more accurate readings.
It features the PinHunter 3 Laser Technology. This is a function that solves the issue of rangefinders picking up on things that are behind your target. It does this by filtering them out. With this done, it is much easier to zero in on your target.
While using it, you will benefit from the prism lock technology’s audio tone that notifies you when you have found the prism. This is followed by distance measurements been displayed on the screen. You go into each shot with more information within less time.
Our favourite feature on this one was what we called the “caddy” mode. If you enter the irons that you will be using the rangefinder will give you recommendations of which one to use at any given time.
This advice is based on the data it gathers on the range and the True Golf Range of the shots that you play. The slopes and weather are also factored in.
For the days of bad weather, there is a fog mode that will allow you to see through it all. It is also a waterproof device. The lens is multi-coated which makes the view clearer.
The fog mode gives enhanced accuracy. It is also backed up by the Leupold high-performance DNA (Digitally eNhance Accuracy) engine that uses advanced lasers to produce accurate results in less time.
These results are accurate to the nearest 1/10 of a yard.
You will also be pleased with the ease of use that you get from the one-touch scan mode. There is a 2-year limited warranty with this product.
AN HONEST REVIEW
4. Redfield 117862 Raider Rangefinder 600A
Our Honest Star Rating
This is an interesting pick in that it is most commonly used for hunting.
I mean golfers and hunters both have a target, but one is aiming for a moving one.
The Raider 600A Laser Rangefinder boasts of a built-in inclinometer that you can use to calculate the angle of the object that you are focusing on in relation to where you are standing.
A combination of distance and slope in relation to where you are standing are used to determine horizontal distance.
The Raider 600A is easy to use as it has one button on its housing. To enable Scan mode you hold down the button to activate it.
There is a built-in LCD display that will give you data that the rangefinder captures. This is where you would see the distance that you are from the flagpole or any other object that you are targeting.
The fact that this is usually used to aim at moving objects means it is very quick.
The battery level is also kept in sight. There will be no surprises when it runs out. You can measure up to 400 yards to the flag pole and 600 yards reflective distance. It has an accuracy level of within a yard.
There is a multi-layer lens coating that deters reflection.
You will also be pleased to note that this device is extremely lightweight and portable.
aN HONEST REVIEW
5. Callaway Tour S Golf Laser Rangefinder (Slope Version)
Our Honest Star Rating
Our final pick is made by Callaway. The first feature to catch our eye was the 7 x magnification which is impressive.
It can take you from 5 to 1200 yards in view.
This device can measure range within 400 yards of the flag or 200 yards reflectively. It boasts of the slope compensation mechanism. This works to measure incline/decline as well as the slope-adjusted distance.
It also has an OLED display that makes things easier to spot in cluttered backgrounds.
The accuracy level is within 5 yards. It uses Pin Acquisition Technology to target the flag quite quickly. It has a prism mode that focuses on the reflectors that are usually mounted on top of flagsticks.
This is a method that we had yet to come across. If you use the scan mode you will be able to get distance measurement on a wide range of targets at the same time.
It is made to comply with all USGA tournament rules. We expected no less from Callaway. You can switch off the slope feature at will. The design is easy on the eye and also easy to use.
This was Callaway’s most advanced laser technology at the time of release. You are guaranteed of accurate results.
Being able to pair the data that you get from the rangefinder good shots will go a long way in improving your handicap.
Best Golf Rangefinders For The Money Buyer’s Guide
We have presented you with some of the very best golf rangefinders that money can buy you. If you are looking to buy one right away getting any of the 5 that are on our list will guarantee you that you are getting a product that has been vetted and found to be worth your money. Most people are surprised that these devices are as pricey as they are. What no one ever stops to consider is the sheer time and effort that goes into developing some of the technology that is featured on these. What you want to avoid is a situation where you would buy a poor product all in the name of saving money.
The purpose of our buyer’s guide is to provide a range of information that would be relevant to those looking to buy these devices. This is geared to provide with enough information for you to be able to confidently make an informed purchase. We will dig into some of the factors that we looked at when considering a lot of rangefinders. These are the factors that landed us with 5 exceptional products instead of a hoard of mediocre ones.
One of the things that we mentioned a few times in the reviews is that the USGA frowns on the use of the slope function in any tournament. Any decent rangefinder would be able to tell you just how far away from a target you are. This is a measurement that is done as the crow flies. When you turn on the slope function, it gives you a more accurate measurement that factors in the distance that is added by a slope.
How golf rangefinder works
You can find rangefinders as either GPS or laser-based. The GPS ones use your positioning based on satellite data to tell you how far you are from certain objects. The objects that you are being told about will have to be pre-configured into the device before it can tell you. Think of them as the old satellite navigators that drivers used to use. The ones that came with maps. They would direct you to places that were pre-loaded onto them. These are the one you will find in smartwatches and on smartphones. The downside of the GPS rangefinders is fairly obvious. If you go to a golf course that is not pre-loaded they would be rendered useless. Not to mention that some of the manufacturers charge an annual fee for you to continue to have access to the maps. The cost of owning and using the device continues to mount year after year. May as well go for the laser ones.
The laser rangefinders on the other hand function by measuring the actual distance between where you are and where you point the laser. This makes them more versatile. You can take them to any golf course and they will deliver this service to you.
Why buy a rangefinder?
Most golfers that play at a high level understand the value of a rangefinder. As you play for longer you will begin to understand your game to the point where you will know your strengths and your weaknesses. Most golfers can tell you how far they can hit the ball with each club that they have in their bag. When you get on the course without a range find most of the shots that you make are made out of estimations. You estimate how far the green is from where you are.
When looking with the naked eye it is surprising how inaccurate we tend to be. The result of this is that you would end up using the wrong club. Perhaps you’d use the right club but not the right level of strength. A rangefinder allows you to eliminate this guesswork. You can accurately tell how far your target is and make decisions based on this information.
Why are rangefinders so expensive?
There are various factors that influence the price of rangefinders. The first one is that golf equipment is generally quite pricey anyway. This cannot be helped. It is the nature of the market. The second thing is that the technology that goes into rangefinders tend to be very costly to develop and to deploy. Lasers are known to be very costly. GPS devices have always been very expensive. Recent developments in mobile phone technology are starting to turn this tide, but we are still far from the shore.
Are rangefinders hard to use?
You can find applications on mobile phones that can function as GPS rangefinders nowadays. This shows you how easy they can be to use. Most rangefinders are designed to be easy to use. Newer models are improving on where the previous generations got to. One area that has seen a lot of improvement is the focus. It used to be incredibly difficult to get the lasers to settle on an object. You had to be still to the point of being almost immobile. Nowadays, they are a lot quicker and require less steadiness of the hands.
Where to aim rangefinder?
Where you aim your rangefinder will, for the most part, be determined on a course by course basis. This is how you know the directions that you need to hit the ball. For instance, there may be a water body in front of you. If you are considering hitting a shot across the water onto the green on the other side you could use your rangefinder to figure out how far you’d need to hit that ball for it to get over the water.
If you realise that you do not have the swing speed that could generate the distance required to get across the water you could then use your rangefinder to plot an alternative route. You can aim it at a tree that is adjacent to the water so you can see how far that is. This is best done on a case by case basis.
In the end, you’d obviously want to aim it at the flag post to measure the distance to the hole. That is where we all look forward to getting to.
Will a hunting rangefinder work for golf?
Yes, a hunting rangefinder would work for golf. The concepts and functions of the laser rangefinders for golf and for hunting are similar. Both devices measure the distance between where you are and where you are looking to get to. There are some nuances that they will have that would be specific to each category. You will know that some of the golf rangefinders can pick out the flags on top of the flag post at the hole. There isn’t an equivalent of this in hunting. I think as artificial intelligence gets more and more involved in product development there will be a wider gap between them. As for now, you can still get away with it.
Between our top 5 picks and the buyer’s guide, you will have been well catered to. Each of the products that we tested is impressive in its own right. The differences between them come down to minor details and preferences. If you are in doubt our number one pick is always there for the taking. It beats the contenders by a very slender margin. We encourage you to read the detailed reviews of each of them before you make your decision. You may find that you prefer one that we thought was not the very best of them. That is fine. What is important is that you have one that you will love.
Our buyer’s guide has provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in relation to these devices. If you are on the market you will probably have some of these questions. Knowing the answers will undoubtedly influence the way that you look at these products in one way or another. Armed with these answers, go back and reconsider our picks and see how you feel about them now that you know more about what they do and how they do it.
Based on the prices on these you are assured that you are buying the cream of the crop. These are not the same devices that every Tom, Dick and Harry playing on the same golf course as you will be wielding. We struck a balance between quality and price. This is no easy feat to achieve. Our satisfaction will lay in knowing that someone out there there is a proud golfer who has a rangefinder that they not only value but are getting accurate data from. Get yours and get out there. Happy Golfing.
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