Trying to find the best possible angle, approach and distance to sink that ball without even having to use your putter?
That’s the dream, but the best golf rangefinder can help to make it a reality.
Many people think that golf is just about clubs, bags, shoes, gloves and balls—there’s way more that goes into it than that.
There’s golf gadgets to help with your aim, your swing, and rangefinders to help you determine the distance between your ball and the hole.
It’s no simple piece of gear, but we’ve found the top five that are simple to operate, have a long lifespan, and quite simply just work within an extremely miniscule margin of error.
To improve your game and sink the ball more often, it’s time to ante up with a golf rangefinder.
Best Golf Rangefinder Reviews & Recommendations For 2019
Precision Pro Golf NX7 Rangefinder
First of five in our golf rangefinder reviews, Precision Pro takes the cake. I want to first start out with how they do business.
You get a 90-day money-back guarantee, a two-year warranty, trade-in allowance, and free battery replacement for life.
That’s pretty insane, and it’s one of the many reasons that it was an easy top pick.
This compact rangefinder fits in your hands pretty easily, and slips into your golf bag pockets with room to spare.
Being compact is good, but even with the shrunken size, they’re able to pull off a 6x magnification lens without relying on digital manipulation of the image—you’re just looking through a high powered lens that fits in the palm of your hand.
While you can look on as far as the rangefinder lets you, the laser stops at 400 yards—that’s plenty of distance to find your target, even if you’re on a more open desert-style golf course.
The range is good, but the feedback display that gives you a constant updated measurement is what makes this so simple and quick to use.
Created with a water resistance rating that repels rainfall and slope measurements included, this is a little one-hit wonder.
You’ll likely never have to find another laser rangefinder again, because this also comes with enough sock resistance to withstand drops from any normal height that you’d encounter on the golf course.
Everything is accurate within a single yard of distance, and is displayed through the lens to conserve space.
Precision Pro Golf is one of a growing list of laser rangefinders that are tournament-approved, so you can have one of these trusty little devils in your golf bag even during a competitive, professional game.
PEAKPULSE Golf Laser Rangefinder
It was a tough race, but PEAKPULSE came in at a close second.
As one of the most cost-effective golf range finder brands out there, their PinSeeker model comes with some fascinating features, and a ton of power stored inside.
To kick things off, you have Jolt technology, which basically allows you to auto focus your lens without having to do anything.
You can turn this on or off, and it will affect your maximum viewing distance.
When active, it gives you 300 yards of distance with minimal visual issues. It’s like a little boost. If you turn it off, you still get up to 400 yards in your scope of view.
Compact and ready to slip into the pocket of your golf bag, PEAKPULSE threw in an idle position battery saving option.
If you forget to turn it off and slip it back in your bag for the day, you’re still covered.
It automatically turns off after being inactive for eight seconds. That may sound a bit quick, but it conserves your battery like nothing I’ve used before.
If you’re in the middle of use, it’s not going to just shut off on you. The only thing is, there’s not really a warranty.
They have something that’s called a “Happy Guarantee,” which doesn’t mean much.
You get the battery, a carrying case, user manual, a cleaning cloth and a lanyard in your purchase.
Not all of those add-ons are high quality, so I recommend supplying your own lanyard if you plan on using one.
As far as usability goes, the finger slats on top make for excellent grip. It’s one of the most enjoyable rangefinders to use, hands-down.
Compact, fitted with decent grip, and durable. It’s a no-brainer from me.
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder
The triple T comes in with a lot of hunting rangefinders, so we were happy to see that they’d taken that technology and made a golf-specific model.
Available with up to 540 yards of distance through a 6x magnification lens, this rangefinder uses pinpoint accuracy to bring you to distances that are accurate within a single yard.
It’s the best rangefinder golf has in terms in range, because anything more powerful than this would come at a giant price hike, and be a lot larger.
It’s the perfect blend of power and compact size that can fit in your golf bag. One thing that isn’t perfect is that they only give you a one-year warranty.
That’s a little unsettling from me, especially because I’ve seen hunting laser rangefinders from TecTecTec with a two- or three-year warranty, and the differences aren’t that great.
You know what is?
The price. They knocked the price on this model down compared to what hunters spend on their rangefinders, and I think they had to compensate somewhere.
When it comes to the unit itself, it’s lightweight and fits in most golf bag pockets, so it gets a big up from me.
In your purchase, you also get a strap, cleaning cloth, guide, and a battery along with a carrying pouch. It’s a good bundle without having to sink too much money into it.
WOSPORTS Golf Rangefinder
WOSPORTS might have just made the best golf rangefinder for the money, if distance is a big thing for you.
I want to break down why this landed beneath TecTecTec despite having a much more impressive maximum range.
Online marketing material can be deceiving, so I test all of these myself. While this is still an amazing rangefinder and it’s worth the money, the online information is a bit fluffed up.
It states that you can get up to 650 yards of distance and accuracy, but the lens is barely equipped to see that far.
You’re not going to get a close-up at that range, that’s just how far they claim the laser goes.
In my testing, it reached about 541, which is still really good, but then I tried to lock onto a target.
That’s where it falls short. It can’t lock onto anything unless it’s within 180 yards, so it’s not really the best if you’re on a 300 yard hole and you’re trying to get out of the sand.
The bigger numbers are just raw distance.
Switching out the battery is nice and easy since the lid is on the front, and you can adjust the eyepiece knob fairly easily as well.
Keep in mind that the laser is going to be about an inch lower than where you can see, and it doesn’t line up perfectly with the crosshair when you look through the lens.
It’s a good rangefinder, just not the top of the list.
SereneLife Advanced Golf Laser Rangefinder
As the best golf rangefinder for the ultralight golfer, you’ll only have to lug around 6.6 ounces of this super compact rangefinder.
The models’ weight distribution fits perfectly in your hand for quick and easy usage.
Enact the Pin Seeker option to allow your rangefinder to automatically target flag poles and other points of interest while you’re surveying the field.
With your purchase, you get a secured carrying case, but in this price range I expected SereneLife to include a few other additional items as their competitors did.
That’s not really the main concern though, because there is one major flaw to this rangefinder.
It’s a budget-friendly option, which means it’s going to come with its little picadillos. The grip on the top near the button control is pretty useless.
It not only feels cheap, it leaves your hands feeling a bit sticky afterwards, as bottom tier rubber does. It’s not a good feeling.
The lanyard loop that’s built into the side of the unit should be avoided as well.
You can make quick adjustments by turning the knob on the end of the lens, but do be careful to not get disoriented when switching between zoom modes too quickly.
It’s what you would expect a budget option to behave like, and while it’s the best of the bottom-tier models, it still comes with its flaws.
This is good for beginners, but not something I would recommend a seasoned professional (someone who spends thousands on their annual golf gear) should consider.
Golf Rangefinder Buying Guide and FAQ
What to Look for in a Rangefinder
Most rangefinders are making the switch to lithium-ion batteries as of late, so you should keep this in mind when you’re trying to pick one out.
Battery life is important. If it exceeds the longest amount of time you’ve ever spent on a course, then that’s good enough.
For lithium-ion batteries, consider having a portable power bank with a micro USB connection (which should also be good for your phone if the battery is low), or spare batteries if it takes AA’s.
We all go on different courses. Geographically speaking, we might have almost no points of contact to really lock onto besides the flag.
Maximum distance is much more important on flat courses with no hills than it is on a more diverse landscape. This should go hand-in-hand with the magnification.
Arguably as important as the maximum distance.
These two features should correlate with one another; your magnification should allow you to see the maximum distance fairly well, unless that max distance is something insane like 1,200 yards (usually found in hunting rangefinders).
A good magnification level for most 300-400 yard rangefinders is 6x to 8x.
Things like a shockproof case, padded strap on the handle during use, and lens caps to help keep things protected.
These are the benefits that fall outside of the normal range of operation, such as a magnetic grip to hook onto the side of your golf cart.
In my opinion, if you’re getting the right numbers out of your rangefinder and it isn’t a hassle to use, then it’s doing its job and the extra features are just the icing on top of the cake.
Do You Really Need a Good Rangefinder for Golf?
I would argue that yes, you do. In my list of golfing essentials, I didn’t list it in the primary category because you can absolutely golf without it, as many of us have done for years.
The thing is, it’s not just about knowing the distance.
The function of a rangefinder tells you how far away the target is, but it’s what you do with that information that makes all the difference.
Without it, you’re taking a stab in the dark. If you read most rangefinder reviews, they just talk about numbers.
When you know the distance, you can reach into your golf club bag, grab the right iron out, and use it to your advantage instead of just hoping that you have the right club for the task.
You’ll be able to make better, more informed decision right from the start.
No hesitation, just measurements and distances, and your quick mind working out the best approach to drive it home.
How Does Golf Rangefinder Work?
Utilizing a high powered laser, a rangefinder understands where the lens begins (where the laser comes out of), and starts it at zero on the measurement detection scale.
From there, the laser eventually hits a solid object that it cannot go through.
If you ran the laser 100 yards away to a piece of non-reflective glass, the laser might go through it without properly detecting the range.
From zero, it lands on a solid object with little to no transparency.
The rangefinder, knowing that the laser has stopped, measures the distance by determining how far the laser travelled before it could no longer move.
Then the number is displayed to you. Even though it’s a fairly exact science, there’s human error to account for.
The monocular lens that you look through doesn’t 100% line up with the laser; it’s usually slightly above or below it, so you have to make sure you’re setting your sights on the direct center of an object.
If you’re trying to pinpoint the distance of a flag up ahead, you would want to make sure you’re aiming right at the center of the pole.
Don’t pinpoint your laser close to the edge of anything.
How to Use Golf Rangefinder?
Step one is to turn your golf distance finder on and check the battery level.
It’s not always possible to see the laser, especially on bright days, and there’s nothing worse than trying to find the distance of something and then feeling like a fool when you realize, after three minutes, that the battery is dead.
Next, look through the monocular lens once the laser is on.
Be careful not to point it at anyone during this process, since it could cause temporary eye damage. These are very concentrated lasers.
Using the on-screen distance reader (since few rangefinders have external LCD or LED screens), aim at a target and watch the numbers change.
You’ll be able to know if there’s a discrepancy, such as if you’re looking at a flag in the distance, and it says 360 yards away, but you know for a fact that the course description said it was a 250 yard target.
That means your laser is a bit too high. It means you’re accidentally targeting the mountain area behind it, or the hill on the horizon.
Lock onto your target and gently move the laser in a circular motion to see if there’s a consistent distance.
This can be a little tricky if you’re targeting the flag, but it lets you know that you’re getting the right distance.
That’s all there is to it. Once you know the distance, you can account for it in your shot. There’s nothing that the rangefinder does directly to your game, but it gives you knowledge.
Instead of overshooting, like you might have originally estimated, now you can hit with precision and try to get it to land where you need it to.
Is It Legal to Use a Rangefinder on the Golf Finder?
Yes, it is completely legal to use a laser rangefinder on the golf course, even during PGA or USGA matches.
Since 2014, it’s been allowed in some matches, and usage is growing. It’s the mentality of, if the tool is at your disposal, why not use it?
Once you’ve been golfing for a while and you know how to gauge your own game, how you can drive the ball, and other elements of your capabilities, you’ll greatly benefit from having a laser rangefinder.
Instead of judging the distance and overshooting (or undershooting for that matter), this takes the guesswork out of it.
When hilly terrain is involved and we’ve been in the heat for a couple of hours, it’s not always easy to tell how well our depth perception is working.
If the hole is 104 yards away, and you assumed 92 yard of distance, you’re not horrible wrong, but it’s going to make a big difference in how you pursue your next swing.
For casual games, it might come up as a taboo. Some golfers think that it’s giving you too much information and it’s a handicap on your play style, but that’s up for you to judge.
Most serious competitive golfers, even when they’re just playing against other golfers on the local range, will cite PGA and USGA rules like it’s nobody’s business.
Well, it’s not illegal to use one of these, so feel free to bring it with you on casual matches without worry.
Better Accuracy, Longer Shots
If you’re wondering if the best value golf rangefinder on the market can help you get a competitive edge, then the answer is a flat-out yes.
Rangefinders only have a very moderate learning curve, giving you plenty of time to get handy with it and put all that information to good use.
Learn how to measure the distance, how to put it to good use, and you’ll be a better golfer for it.
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