On the market for a GPS rangefinder?

  1. You have heard great things about these devices. It is time you got one of your own.
  2. You already have a laser one. Getting a GPS one too would complete an incredible duo.

Or

3. This is on your Mr or Mrs’ list for their birthday? You want to make sure you get it right the first time.

Whether you are looking to get it for yourself or for someone else. Choosing a good GPS rangefinder can be a daunting task. There are just too many of them in the markets. You have heard of some of the brands, but not of the other ones that you will encounter.

The challenge this presents is trying to figure out where the best value for money is. It is tempting to buy the most expensive one without ever taking the time to compare things.

 This is what fuels capitalism. We have a tendency to associate pricing with quality. Although there is a correlation, it is not a fixed one. There are a lot of rangefinders that will overdeliver when the price is factored it.

In A Hurry?

We all know that reading is not for everyone. Even some of the most fanatical golf players would fall flat on their faces if they had to read a chunk of text before they could make up their decision on which GPS rangefinder they should buy.

Well, they do not have to do all the reading. We have taken the liberty of not only going through a lot of research and testing but also weeding out the devices that are not worth your time. The 5 that we will present you with are all worthy of their place on our list.

Even with 5, it is still not that straightforward. So, we went a bit further to make this even easier. We sought to cut these 5 to just 1 device that we would pick if we could only have one.​

It took a while and some considerable effort. We are thrilled to share with you our number one choice.

If we had to go with just one it would be the Garmin Approach G30.

It gives you a large screen size than most other devices do. It comes with over 40000 golf course already loaded onto it. The interface is full colour and has a touchscreen.

You will find a more detailed review further down.

Our Test Winner After 40 + Hours Of Research:

Garmin Approach G30, Handheld Golf GPS

Our Honest Star Rating

Why is it the BEST?

  • The battery lasts about 2 rounds.
  • You can adjust your font size to make data more visible.
  • The screen size is pretty good.
  • The yardage measurements are accurate.
  • There are over 40000 golf courses stored on it.
  • You can update them when needed.
97%
Our Score

25

RESEARCHED SOURCES

185

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

40 +

HOURS RESEARCHING

16

PRODUCTS COMPARED

Our top 5 GPS Rangefinders for Golf Reviews

Our aim for this article was to research and test GPS rangefinders. The research phase largely involves seeing what current users have to say about a product.

We would also consider what the manufacturer has said about this product. The final part would be the actual testing. This is where we would take both user and manufacturer opinions and put them to the task. Manufacturers may have had the best intentions for their device.

It does not always turn out the way they envision it. Users, on the other hand, may have experiences that are not the norm. Both good and bad ones. To take either opinion as gospel is foolish.

After rigorous testing, we were able to come up with 5 GPS rangefinders that are incredible. Each one of them is reviewed in detail. We have considered all of their incredible features and exposed their weaknesses.

No matter where you find your rangefinder, it will have some things that you do not like about it. There is not one that is perfect. The ideal scenario is one where you find something that comes as close to perfection as can be.

At least in your eyes.

1. Garmin Approach G30, Handheld Golf GPS - TOP PICK

Garmin Approach G30, Handheld Golf GPS

Our Honest Star Rating

The Garmin Approach G30 is a small but powerful Golf GPS device.

It has a 2.3 inch full-colour touch screen where all the data collected in the displayed.

The size of the screen makes it very easy to read. Garmin placed emphasis on the performance of the GPS in relation with connecting to satellites. This is something that it does at incredible speed.

There are over 40000 golf courses that are preloaded on the rangefinder. There is a touch targeting feature that allows you to select certain points on the course by tapping the screen. The device would then give you the distance between you and that point while highlighting and obstacles that may be in the way.

The Green View feature gives you the option to pin locations with the help of your view on the screen. The course screen makes it easy to identify areas of the green as well as obstacles. Knowing where things are on the golf course will positively influence your decision making and improve your game.

For carrying the rangefinder, you can place it in your pocket. It also has a mounting mechanism. This means that you can comfortably clip it onto your golf bag or the cart.

A digital scorecard on the device is an additional feature. Not only can you keep your scores, but you can also simultaneous track those of up to 3 friends or competitors. If you are connected to the Garmin Connect app on either iOS or Android, your score will automatically be synced onto the cloud.

As with other Garmin devices, you will also get smart notifications and phone call alerts on the rangefinder. There is also an option to track your yardage on the fairway, drive as well as when putting.

The battery lasts up to 15 hours, which should be enough for 2 rounds of golf. Garmin allows you to pair this with other products such as the TruSwing, for a more wholesome experience of the game.

An HONEST Review

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Pros

  • The battery lasts about 2 rounds.
  • You can adjust your font size to make data more visible.
  • The screen size is pretty good.
  • The yardage measurements are accurate.
  • There are over 40000 golf courses stored on it.
  • You can update them when needed.

Cons

  • There were compatibility issues with the Google Pixel devices.

2. Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf GPS

Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf GPS

Our Honest Star Rating

The Bushnell Neo Ghost is a very simple yet efficient rangefinder. It is a rangefinder that can be fastened to your waist using the multi-function clip that it has on the back.

There are over 35000 golf courses already loaded on it when you buy it.

There is also an option of adding more if the need was to ever arise. Most people will be happy with the ones that it has. There are courses on every continent.

It offers you a great user experience by making it simple to use. The data presented to you covers the front, centre and back distances of each golf course.

As with some of the others, you will not need to manually select a golf course. The rangefinder will automatically figure out which course you are close to. It will also be able to guide you through each hole without the need for your intervention.

As you progress to the hole, so does the system.

At capacity, it can warn you of how far you are from 4 hazards at each hole. The interface is very intuitive. Our favourite part was the kickass battery life. You can play up to 3 rounds of golf on a single charge.

When you want to charge it, you can use the USB cable that comes with it.

You can get this rangefinder in black, charcoal or neon green.

AN HONEST REVIEW

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Pros:

  • It is reasonably priced.
  • It comes with instructions that are easy to follow.
  • There are over 35000 golf course maps preloaded.
  • The battery lasts up to 3 rounds.
  • It automatically figures out the course and the hole you’re playing on.
  • You can update the courses on the device.

Cons:

  • GPS is difficult to connect on some devices.

3. IZZO Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

IZZO Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Our Honest Star Rating

The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS is packed with a ton of features.

It provides you with accurate distance to the front, centre and the back of the golf course. 

There are over 30000 golf courses from every corner of the world. You will not have to pay any additional fees. The richness in features has not come at the cost of the aesthetics. It boasts of a 2-inch display that presents the data in a layout that is easy to follow.

There is a scorecard feature that lets you enter your scores as you play. Your previous 10 rounds are kept in the system if you want to refer back to them at any point.

These are located on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. The distance is measured as you go through the course. You will be able to accurately track how far each of your irons or drivers go. This obviously means better decision making as you play.

Your hands can be free to do other things as the device will automatically select the course that you are playing at based on your GPS data. It will also do the same for the holes across the golf course.

For long term play, the 12-hour battery life goes a long way. You can use the easy-charge magnetic charger to power it up once you are done playing. The design is made to be slim and easy to hold in your hand.

For durability, they made it water-resistant. It will keep you aware of the hazards that are around you as you gear up to take a shot. Knowing the distances will also inform your golf club choices.

Swami has a website packed with additional features and maps that you can download. There is a USB cable that you can plug into your computer to do this. This is also what you would do to upgrade firmware.

AN HONEST REVIEW

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Pros:

  • The device is very easy to use.
  • It has a large screen that makes data easy to read.
  • There are over 30000 golf courses preloaded.
  • The battery life lasts about 12-hours, which should be enough for at least 2 rounds.
  • There are no additional fees to be paid.
  • You can upgrade firmware and update maps.
  • It has a belt clip included.

Cons:

  • Some firmware issues may make it difficult for the device to pick up the course automatically.

4. GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder

GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Our Honest Star Rating

The GolfBuddy Voice 2 is the second version in a line of voice-controlled GPS rangefinders. Its predecessor was a best seller.

It could not be any easier to use this one.

The device provides you with distance from the front, the centre and the back of the green. It has Dynamic green view technology that provides you with distances in a way that is specifically designed to suit golfers.

There are over 38000 golf courses that are already loaded onto the device.

Audio allows you to concentrate on your game without having to constantly refer to a screen. You can choose between a male/female voice. This is controlled through the GolfBuddy Manager program.

There are a total of 11 languages to choose from. 8 of which comes preloaded onto the device. GolfBuddy has made sure that the battery life would not be a letdown. You can use the device for up to 14 hours with one charge.

That should add up to at least 2 rounds of golf before needing to recharge it.

Besides the compact design, this rangefinder is also water-resistant. Which, of course, is a relief.

You can use it to track how far each shot that you take goes. As you play through the course the device automatically recognises where you are. This is after it will have automatically recognised which course you are playing at.

The Voice 2 is designed to be fully compliant with USGA regulations which means that you can use it in tournaments.

To carry it around there are a few options. You can wear it like a watch on a wristband. These are available in white, black and orange. If that’s not what you want, you can also clip it onto your belt.

For this option, we would recommend the retractable clip. It gives you 68cm of cord to allow you freedom of movement.

Finally, there are no extra fees or subscriptions to be paid! This is a guarantee that the manufacturer gives.

aN HONEST REVIEW

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Pros:

  • There are six colours to choose from.
  • The 14-hour battery life is impressive.
  • You can strap it onto your wrist or your belt.
  • There are 11 languages to choose from.
  • There are no subscription fees to be paid.
  • It is an accurate device.
  • It comes with over 38000 golf courses on it.

Cons:

  • Customer support leaves a lot to be desired.

5. Skygolf Skycaddie Touch Gps

Skygolf Skycaddie Touch Gps

Our Honest Star Rating

The SkyCaddie gives you the option of using the 3-inch touch screen to operate the device. This is something that most of us are used to because of our smartphones.

Having something that you are familiar with is always a plus.

It comes with over 40000 golf course maps. These cover courses from all corners of the globe. You will also be able to update the maps using Bluetooth. Most devices would only offer this via a USB connection.

They have also made the holes interactive. It has a patented auto-zoom that allows you to view the hole’s position from above. This is a great way to steer you clear of hazards along the way.

The use of the digital scorecard that is a key feature of the device is incredible for keeping track of your performances. This is one that you can connect with the Skygolf application. They have cloud storage in place to facilitate this feature. You can analyse the game over time.

One of our favourite features is the Intelligreen Technology. It allows you to pinpoint your distance with incredible precision. Clicking on the green takes the cursor across your screen to where you would like to measure.

Using the target screen will allow you to calculate the distance to hazards on the golf course. It will also tell you how far you are from the hole. You can also use this device to measure the distance that you strike the ball. The SkyCaddie Touch will provide you with this information.

Finally, you will have unrestricted access to all of the maps that are included as part of the SkyGolfaTMs. There is a constant update to remedy any errors that are found, as well as updating them.

AN HONEST REVIEW

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Pros:

  • You can transfer your golf courses from a previous version of the device.
  • The accuracy level is brilliant.
  • They constantly take feedback and update the firmware.
  • It is very easy to use the device.
  • The number of golf courses available is ever increasing.

Cons:

  • The constant need to download new courses if you play at a different one.
  • There is limited storage on the device which means you may have to delete a course before adding a new one.

GPS Rangefinders for Golf Buyer’s Guide

Rangefinders have been around for a while now. Although we now have them in two variations, the GPS ones were the first on the market. They still have some advantages over laser rangefinders. You will find some golfers who will only play with these. Another interesting factor is that there are less USGA compliance issues with GPS rangefinders. Of the 5 that we have picked as our top ones, you will hardly set a foot wrong by getting any one of them.

There are several factors that should be considered when one is looking to buy a rangefinder. Not getting these right will usually end you up with a device that you will undoubtedly be displeased with. Our buyer’s guide is geared towards those among us that wish to know more about how we arrived at our picks. Whether you are looking to buy one of our picks or continue your search elsewhere, a little more knowledge goes a long way. We will also address things that you may be curious about.

How does a GPS golf rangefinder work?

To answer this question we will focus on the GPS portion of it. Understanding it will make the rangefinder a bit clearer. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is an ecosystem that is made up of over 30 satellites that orbit the earth. The positioning of each of the satellite is tracked by the constant pinging of signal from them. The signals that these satellites releases are what our receivers are on the lookout for. When your device receives these signals, it instantly knows where you are on the planet. This is based on receiving signals from a minimum of 4 satellites. The data from the satellites makes GPS incredibly accurate.

This is the mechanism that the rangefinder taps into. The manufacturers preload it with maps that have GPS coordinates preset. As you go through the course these are the coordinates that are compared to your positioning to give an accurate estimate of where you are. The positioning of the planet does not change so there is almost eternal value to GPS positioning.

Key differences between a laser rangefinder with a GPS one

If it boiled down to just one thing, the key difference between the two rangefinders would be their source of information. The laser rangefinder uses live data whereas the GPS one uses data that is already stored. However, that is a very simplistic way to look at it. In a broader way, you could also say that the GPS one uses live data from the satellites. It would then use this satellite data to find a positioning within predefined coordinates. The laser rangefinder uses laser technology to measure the distance between where you are and whatever object you are pointing the laser at.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either side. Seeing as this article is specific to the GPS ones we will give you one killer advantage. It comes down to the interactive display. The interactive display not only gives you a clearer perspective of where you are in relation to your surroundings. It also provides very accurate data.

What to do if my rangefinder cannot connect to GPS

The failure to connect with the satellites is one of the biggest problems that you can face when using one of these devices. Without the data from the satellite, you rangefinder becomes useless. There are two ways that you can approach this problem. It can either be a hardware or a firmware problem. No one like to have any problem, but if we had to choose between these two, we would rather have a firmware one. Most firmware issues can be resolved with a reset of update.

To update your device you would need to connect it to your computer via the USB and use the software that the manufacturer provides. In most cases, it will be a matter of clicking a few buttons. Before you do this, check the device for any manual reset options. Some will have a small inlet that you can reset with a drawing pin or with a ballpoint pen.

Hardware issues are more difficult to resolve. Unless you are an electrical engineer, it is highly unlikely that you know how to troubleshoot, let alone fix the device. In this case, it is best to check if your device is still under warranty or guarantee. Provided you have not caused the damage yourself, you should be able to get a replacement for no extra charge.

Final Words

We have considered some impressive picks in our top 5. You are assured that by getting any of them, you are landing yourself a good rangefinder. Our buyer’s guide will have furnished you with more information that would either influence your decision making when you are considering any GPS rangefinder. At the very minimum, it may come in handy in a pub quiz. This should allow you to have perfect confidence in making the best choice based on your needs. As always, we encourage you to read through each of the product reviews. Getting a full context of each one of them is very important.

There are also minor details that are specific to each device that you would otherwise miss. Not considering all of them on their merit does not put you in a good place to make a choice that is personal. You will note that there are things that may have mattered to us and have been considered a key factor in our picks. These things will not be the same for you. This means that some of the options that are at the lower end of our list would probably rank a little higher on your list.

Beyond this, by going through all of the features you would also have an enhanced understanding of the inner workings of these devices as well as other similar ones. That is the knowledge that you will be able to carry forward into picking other rangefinders. If you are to visit a golf store, you will also be able to throw some curveballs as salespersons.

The final thing that you should also consider is the customer service. There is a chance that your device will have issues. Are these the sought of people you want to have to deal with? Enough of the chatter. Get your rangefinder. Happy Golfing!

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