What Is A Golf Rangefinder And How To Choose Them?

Every serious golfer has their very own – probably very expensive – golfing set. This includes everything from golfing attire to clubs to golf bags and even an exclusive membership at their favorite range.

However, a tool that helps the golfer to improve their game and achieve that ever elusive perfect round is the golf rangefinder. Designed to aid the golfer in determining the distance between fixed points on a golf course, proper usage of this device will increase the accuracy of shots.

Statistically, 60% of golfers use GPS rangefinders, the 2 types being a laser rangefinder and a golf GPS rangefinder.  Regardless of the functionality of both systems, they are accurate to within a yard of the chosen point. So if you’re thinking of getting the best golf rangefinder but can’t quite decide which one to get then read on. The following details may help you to make a decision.

Convenience          

The golf GPS rangefinder comes in either its own stand-alone unit or it can be easily downloaded as an application on a smartphone. Both the GPS rangefinder and laser rangefinder are highly portable. They fit easily into golf bags and generally require only one-hand usage by the golfer.

Additionally, these devices eliminate the reliance on scattered markers which are often affected by either bad weather or a lack of proper maintenance, thus allowing golfers to maintain high accuracy when taking shots.

GPS rangefinder units are able to instantly provide one with updated data on courses. Downloading the necessary course into the device only requires a few clicks and is notably idiot-proof. Plus, the average GPS rangefinder is able to store a maximum of about 100 courses, erasing the need to continuously download the same course over and over again.

The laser rangefinder is just as easy to use. All the golfer has to do is whip it out, point it at a target and get a reading. As long as the target chosen has sufficient vertical surface to reflect the beam, it will work anywhere.

Cost

Each golfer has a different budget. A pro-golfer will be willing to spend significantly more on products that improve his game compared to an amateur golfer. This being the case, finding a product that works within one’s budget is important.

The average laser rangefinder will set a golfer back by $150-$200 on average. A GPS rangefinder costs between $80-$100 and rangefinder mobile applications that are downloaded into smartphones go from $0 to $40.

Though the laser rangefinder costs almost twice the amount of the GPS rangefinder unit, there is some fine print.

Firstly, the GPS rangefinder can only store a maximum of 100 courses. This implies that a golfer that is lucky to travel to many different courses might need to buy an extra device to store all data. Secondly, the mobile applications carry in-app purchases and the GPS units need yearly subscriptions. Over time, these costs add up and will eventually exceed the one-time cost of the laser rangefinder.

Technical difficulties to consider

The golf GPS works simply. As the golfer approaches the ball, they will find that the device will simulate a countdown, showing the decreasing distance to the green. However, when the golfer comes to a complete standstill, the lag in timing becomes clear as the device continues to tick down. After a second or two, the golfer will be able to get an accurate reading. Additionally, the link from the GPS to the relevant satellites sometimes falter on cloudy days.

To combat these challenges, products like the iGolf Neo GPS incorporate new technology that stops taking readings the moment the golfer comes to a standstill. Plus, the iGolf’s GPS receivers are quick to link-up with satellites and hold it till the device is switched off.

Unlike the technical difficulties that may occur with GPS rangefinders, the laser rangefinder is prone to human error. To work the device simply lift, look, aim and fire at the intended target. Perhaps if the golfer has the steady hands of a surgeon or is particularly adept at video games than a human error may be a non-issue. However, windy weather and extremely far distances are unavoidable variables and will create problems for the most skilled of laser rangefinder users.

Conclusively, as with every other piece of technology, the GPS and laser rangefinders come with their own individual set of pros and cons. Perhaps the best way to move forward is to give both these devices a whirl and see which one works for the individual the best. At the end of the day, choosing a device that helps rather than hinders is critical.

Janie G. Smith