One of the best golf swing tips you’ll get on the course from the pros or your golf buddies is to train with the best golf range finder. These devices are perfect for both amateurs and experienced golfers and can be a great investment if you’re serious about improving your range and lowering your score.
Dedicated golfers will go to great lengths to train for an upcoming tournament, whether it’s working on daily golf posture exercises or practicing with a range finder on different courses to learn how to correctly power their swing.
Laser range finders have been around for several years, but older models aren’t able to provide the type of ranging distance that newer models can. Additionally, an outdated range finder also won’t be able to accurately measure the distance from you to the next hole while bypassing other obstacles in the environment. But the latest range finder tech has changed all of that. These days, range finders are easier to use and smarter than ever before. They’re now loaded with the type of technology that allows them to calculate the distance to the next hole while ignoring any obstacles in their path and compensating for any slopes or even the slightest changes in elevation on the course.
If you’re a serious golfer who knows it all including golf cart laws, the best time to buy golf clubs during the year, and how to get out of a bunker, but you’re still struggling on new courses, then it’s time to give a range finder a second look. To learn more about pace of play and how a range finder can help, click here to read our article on How long to play 18 holes of golf
The Best in Golf Range Finder Tech
So, why would a skilled golfer need to use a range finder? If you’re training for an upcoming tournament, planning a vacation abroad, or want to test your skills on a new course, the range finder will be your go-to gadget. If you find yourself struggling to power your swing on a new course, this is because you’re not able to eyeball the distance accurately. This can cause your score to skyrocket, and no true golfer will stand for that. These devices can essentially help to train you to make a more accurate estimation in terms of distance.
For beginners, learning how to play golf can be complicated. There are plenty of rules to learn, proper body mechanics to keep in mind, and techniques you need to memorize for a more powerful, stronger swing. The range finder can give you the edge you need when you’re playing with golfers who are more skilled than you are. It can also be a powerful tool that you can rely on when you’re training. Beginners will find that many of these models are geared toward helping players improve the quality and power of their swing.
A golfer can use a range finder to accurately determine the distance of a flag, or a nearby hazard or bunker. These innovative devices work by measuring the distance of a target from the user. The range finder is primarily used for golf but it’s also commonly used for hunting as well. If you love playing golf, but you’re struggling to accurately measure the distance from hole to hole, then buying the best golf range finder can be a total game changer.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart for the range finders we have reviewed. This chart will provide important information that showcases the differences and similarities between each model, including price, rating, range, and range finder type.
Top Golf Range Finders Comparison Chart
Introducing the Leading Golf Range Finders on the Market
Many newbies are uncertain how or even if the golf range can have a positive impact on their game. But these devices can do so much more than simply tell you how close the next flag is. After using a range finder for a week or two, you’ll find that you have a better understanding of how far you can hit, not to mention your accuracy will improve in terms of estimating the distance on your own. When you do hit off a solid shot, you will end up on the green instead of getting stuck in a bunker.
Because the golf range finder essentially teaches you how to improve your shot accuracy, you will notice that your scores will begin to improve in just a matter of weeks.
Choosing the right range finder isn’t easy, especially once you realize how saturated the market is. To make your search a little easier, we spent weeks researching popular models and have narrowed it down to the top six. Each of these models is not only accurate, but they’re also loaded with the latest in range finder tech.
Below you’ll find summaries for each of these models, which will give you a better idea of the type of features and specs each range finder has to offer.
Best Golf Range Finder-TecTecTec ULT-X Golf Rangefinder
This TecTecTec range finder earned huge points for its simple setup and incredible accuracy. This beginner-friendly model doesn’t come loaded with the latest bells and whistles, but it does come with the features you actually need to rely on in order to improve your golf game. Not only is it a perfect choice for beginners, but experienced golfers can also appreciate the range finder’s overall quality, functionality, and reasonable pricing.
Best Waterproof Range Finder-Saybien TR500 Waterproof Golf Rangefinder
The TR500 is available for a reasonable price and comes equipped with the popular slope compensation feature. It has a one-yard accuracy rating, which you won’t normally find in a range finder that’s available for such a low price. Its flag lock mode will alert you once you’ve successfully locked onto your target. This feature alone will help to improve your pace of play. Overall, it’s a great buy for beginners in need of a model that’s reliable, affordable, and accurate.
Top Slope Compensation Tech-Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder
Bushnell remains a favorite in the golfing world, mainly because they offer the best in slope compensation tech, which they have named the Jolt feature. Like other models in this price range, this feature will alert you once you’ve locked onto a flag. But unlike other range finders, which beep when you’ve hit your target, the Jolt feature will vibrate. This feature, combined with the range finder’s accuracy, is what makes it one of the most popular models on the market to date.
Best Value-Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder
The Callaway 300 golf range finder is budget-friendly, easy to use, comes with the Pin Acquisition feature, better than average ranging capabilities for a model in this price range, and a durable design. While the price is low, the range finder’s quality definitely is not. Additionally, its rugged housing, waterproof design, and simple layout make it a great choice for beginners.
Best Optics-Bozily Laser Golf Range Finder
This model offers a ranging ability of nine hundred yards, crystal clear optics, and an ergonomic design that makes it easy to use hole after hole. Its accuracy, four modes, and flag locking feature make it both a great option for seasoned golfers and beginners.
Precision Pro Golf – NX7 Pro Slope Golf Rangefinder
The NX7 is another range finder that features an ergonomic design that helps to improve user comfort. In some ways, it’s very similar to the V4 by Bushnell, however, this model is available at a much lower price. It’s also tournament legal, comes equipped with two mode options, and offers a decent range capability for the price.
Golf Range Finder Buyer’s Guide
But choosing a range finder isn’t as easy as it sounds. Since there are so many models currently on the market, finding the right one can be a real challenge, especially if you’ve never used a range finder and you don’t know much about the type of technology it relies on, or how to tell a good range finder from an inaccurate one.
Our buyer’s guide will go over the different styles of golf range finders and the different features available, in order to help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect model that can take your golf game to the next level.
Range Finder Technology
There are a couple of different types of range finders to choose from:
Laser Range Finders
Laser range finders can provide the most accurate yardage readings. Many also have a point and shoot design that makes them more beginner-friendly compared to GPS range finders. Laser models can work on any golf course, however, they tend to struggle in inclement weather such rain or fog. But in terms of accuracy, they’re a much better option than a GPS range finder.
A laser range finder will use a beam of light to obtain the distance reading from you to the target. But the light speed can vary based on temperature and weather conditions. However, since golf is often played on sunny, clear days, this isn’t really an issue for most users.
During use, the beam of light from the range finder will zoom in on the intended target as the range finder’s clock measures the time it takes for the light to hit the target and bounce back. Once it has determined the speed it will record the time measurement, calculating the total distance traveled. This information is then presented on the range finder’s display screen.
To use a laser range finder, you’ll first pinpoint your target, aim the range finder directly at it and pull the trigger to release the beam of light on the target. During use, you must steady the device in order to get a positive reading. If your hand is shaky, you may need to repeat the process. Many models will allow you to choose which feature is a priority for each shot. As an example, if you’re on a golf course with a gradient, then there may be certain factors you will need to take into consideration in order to get the most accurate reading.
Tilt Angles and Range
If you’re playing on a hilly course, then you’ll need to take advantage of the range finder’s tilt angle compensation in order to get an accurate distance reading. This feature will work by locating and measuring the angles of the object produced by the differences in elevation.
GPS Range Finder
This type of range finder will measure the distance to your target in meters or yards. They operate via satellite signals which will show the device a flag’s exact position.
GPS models compare preloaded objects on the golf course in order to calculate the distance to a target. It calculates the user’s current position and the distance to the target, based on these preloaded points. Before you play a round, you’ll need to pull up that specific course on your range finder’s display. This can be an issue if your range finder doesn’t have the course you want to play in its database.
During use, some GPS models can automatically move from target to target on the course, while others will require you to choose the next target manually.
Because these range finders rely on satellites to determine distance, users will need to pay a monthly service fee, which can be a big drawback for the golfer on a budget.
How Accurate are Range Finders Really?
In most cases, a range finder is more accurate in terms of gauging the distance to the next hole, as opposed to the golfer who normally just determines the distance to the next hole by eyeballing it. But some range finders are more accurate than others. Obviously, the leading models will have a reputation for speed and accuracy, while basic, lower-priced range finders may struggle to accurately measure the distance, especially if there are a variety of obstacles on the course, such as people, shrubbery, and trees. Because of this, make sure you only choose a model with a reputation for accuracy and one that comes loaded with the type of technology that’s able to tell the difference between a flag and obstacles.
Many range finder manufacturers claim that these devices can range hundreds of yards. But realistically, you will only need a model that can range a few hundred yards. Most models will have a magnification at 4x to 6x, which means they can provide a reading up to five hundred yards. A device that has the ability to read at least three to four hundred yards is definitely good enough for most users.
A range finder’s magnification is what allows it to target at a longer range, which is why it’s so important that you choose a model that has the correct magnification. A lower powered model will be totally worthless if it’s not powerful enough to see a target. Make sure you choose a model that’s equipped with at least 4x in order to see far off targets. As we discussed earlier, most models will have a 4x to 6x magnification which is practical for up to five hundred yards.
Range Finder Speed
Once you’ve aimed at a target, when you’re using the pin seeking mode or scan mode, the display will immediately provide the distance reading. With past models, it could take two or three minutes to receive a reading, but modern processor chips found in leading models provide an instant reading. For laser range finders, the laser pulse will pass at the speed of light. These days, readings are faster than ever, so you can expect to receive the results in a matter of a few seconds.
Battery life is also better than ever, with most batteries providing enough juice to get you through the whole golf season on a single charge. However, we recommend bringing along a spare battery so you can swap out the battery the minute you notice the battery life indicator meter beginning to blink. GPS range finders may need to recharge more frequently than laser models because GPS tracking can quickly drain a battery.
When you’re shopping for a new range finder, look for one that features a rugged, shockproof design that will make the range finder more durable. You can also purchase a hard case to further protect your range finder against damage which can occur during transport or if the range finder is dropped.
Range Finder Modes
Many models of range finders will provide a basic line of sight distance reading. In order to improve accuracy, laser range finders now come equipped with different target modes that are designed to help the user ignore obstacles and zero in on a flag. Some modes will even compensate for declines and inclines, which would normally affect the distance reading.
First Target Priority
Models with the first target priority mode will provide a more accurate distance reading because it allows the range finder to focus on the nearest target.
Pin Seeking Mode
Range finder manufacturers have refined their first target priority mode to specialize in flag or pin seeking abilities. Every brand has given this mode its own name whether it’s called Pin Hunter or Pin Seeking mode. This mode can be very helpful because it can make the ranging process more accurate and much faster because it’s specifically designed to seek out the flag while ignoring obstacles in the foreground and background.
To use this mode, you’ll simply press down on the ranging button as you point the range finder over moving or stationary targets. During use it will send out laser pulses continuously, updating the distances on the display screen until you release the ranging button.
Range Finder Use in Rain or Fog
If you’re a diehard golfer and you enjoy playing a round whether it’s foggy out or raining, then a model designed to handle the elements is a must. Both rain and fog can impact the quality of ranging because moisture can reflect laser emissions. This will interfere with a range finder’s accuracy. Not all models are able to compensate for rain and fog, but there are some models out there that come with this type of special feature, which will allow you to enjoy a round of golf even in inclement weather. This is all thanks to a reflector targeting mode or a built-in rain and fog reflector. Playing a round of golf in the rain may not be your idea of a good time, but if you find yourself in the middle of a game and it begins to rain, then you’ll be glad to have a range finder that’s tough enough to handle that type of situation. Additionally, if you love playing a round of golf first thing in the morning, right before work, then fog can be a common occurrence.
Only Use a Range Finder Designed for Golf
As we touched on earlier, range finders can also be used for hunting. But hunting range finders will not come equipped with special features such as pin seeking modes or slope compensation. Because of this, we recommend only using a range finder that’s specifically designed for golf. While a golf range finder may be pricier than a model designed for hunting, these extra features and modes will make it worth every penny.
Are Range Finders Tournament Legal?
Many models are tournament legal, however, range finders with slope compensation usually aren’t. If you have a range finder that allows you to shut off the slope compensation feature, then it may be considered tournament legal. If you’re not sure whether or not the range finder you’re interested in is tournament legal, consult with your local golf club before you buy. To learn more, click here to read our article on golf rules made easy.
The best golf range finder will come with all the features you need to improve your swing. Whether you want a model equipped with the slope mode, a range finder that can go the distance and offer longer ranging abilities, or a model that’s accurate and priced affordably, we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect range finder for you in our top six lineup.