Choosing a Golf Rangefinder – Which Is the Best

As a novice, one thinks choosing a golf rangefinder is just ABC. However, the reality on the ground shocks many.

First, so many factors determine which rangefinder carries the day. For instance, factors like the efficiency, ease of use, and accuracy affect one’s choice.

Choosing a Golf Rangefinder - Which Is the Best
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Funny enough, some golf rangefinders offer accurate results but aren’t easy to use. On the contrary, other rangefinders offer inaccurate results but are easy to use.

So, how do you choose the best? ‘This is a whole discussion, but I shall walk you through it.

Choosing a Golf Rangefinder

When choosing the best golf rangefinders, you need to know the many types. Golf rangefinders come in three types. We have GPS, laser, and optical options. So, choosing between the three then moves you to the next stage.

What do I mean? Well, choosing is a hierarchical task. I mean, you first decide whether you want an optical, a GPS, or a laser rangefinder. After settling for a specific type, you proceed to choosing the best one within the category.

So, which is better between the three categories? After deciding on that, then we can proceed to make the best selection. Deciding which of the three categories best suits your golfing needs isn’t easy. This is because several factors also affect that decision.

For purposes of this discussion, we shall stick to the laser and the GPS rangefinders. Choosing between the two is the first task. So, which among the two should one pick?

Well, looking at the differences will paint a clearer picture.

Choosing between a GPS rangefinder or a laser rangefinder

Although GPS and laser rangefinders serve the same purpose, measuring distances, they differ in several aspects. Therefore, picking one means foregoing the benefits of the other. So, which of two is better? What are their differences?

Let us look at the differences below!

GPS rangefinders require less time to get the distance. So, they won’t take long like their laser counterparts. This way, you save time when using a GPS golf rangefinder. On the flip side, they sometimes require subscription fees and may require downloads. So, this means an extra expense.

With GPS, you get precise results even on uneven terrain. They use GPS technology, so you get distances, even in places with obstructions. This isn’t the case with laser rangefinders, which work perfectly on unobstructed areas.

With GPS rangefinder, the user doesn’t need to focus on a stable target. This isn’t the case with laser rangefinders. They require focusing on the target. GPS rangefinders give the overall layout of the course, therefore offering easy use.

When it comes to accuracy, credit goes to the laser rangefinders. Holding all factors constant, laser rangefinders are the most accurate. You won’t need to download updates or anything online, like with GPS rangefinders. So, if you want accuracy, laser rangefinders are perfect.

Laser rangefinders also offer easy setup. You don’t need complex procedures. GPS rangefinders may require downloading courses and also syncing with a computer. They use accurate laser technology to gauge the distance on a golf course.

How about ease of getting measurements?

While laser rangefinders require less setup, getting and reading the distance is a bit cumbersome. This is because they involve shooting a beam at the target. This might be affected by the user’s stability.

Compared to GPS rangefinders, laser rangefinders come with long-life batteries. So, you won’t be changing the batteries after each round. This way, you never have to abandon a round to get juice back up. So, they are perfect for longer golfing.

When it comes to recognizing things behind the target, like hills and trees, laser rangefinders aren’t the best. For that, we give it to GPS golf rangefinders. However, we have advanced laser rangefinders which might help with that. However, GPS rangefinders offer all the details.

So, is better between a GPS rangefinder and a laser rangefinder?

Well, that depends on what you prefer. Like stipulated above, each of them has their benefits and disadvantages. For that reason, choosing any of them is a personal decision.

For enhanced accuracy and long-lasting battery, you pick the laser rangefinder. However, for ease of use and perfect results in places with obstructions, GPS rangefinders work perfectly.

Consider your personal conditions when choosing between a GPS and a laser rangefinder.

What next after settling for a GPS or a laser rangefinder?

Well, this is where we get to the next stage. After deciding to go for laser or GPS rangefinder, the next step is to identify which model suits your needs.

How do you identify that? Well, there are several factors which assist help in making that decision. Let’s look at them below.


Avid players understand this quite well. However, for beginners, you might still be in the dark. So, what does the functionality mean? And, why does it affect which golf rangefinder you choose?

When choosing a golf rangefinder, inspect the functionality. Of course, this should be guided by your level of experience. For instance, beginners should go for those simple options. So, let your skills determine the option you choose.

Don’t pick a complex golf rangefinder when you are new to the game. However, for experts, you could get complex functions. For that reason, when making a selection, consider the functionality.

The size and weight

What is the size of the golf rangefinder? Whether you settle for a GPS or a laser rangefinder, the size and weight matter a lot. Why so? Moving around with an extra-heavy load isn’t anyone’s wish, right? So, getting something compact would be better.

Look at it this way; you plan to play for an extended period of time, would you pick something heavy? Of course, it would cause discomfort. So, get something whose size doesn’t affect your play. This way, you enjoy hours of playing.


This is also quite important. Known to many golfers, several features are not allowed in golf competitions. So when choosing a golf rangefinder, buying a banned device wouldn’t help much. So, ensure you check the features and confirm if United States Golf Association (USGA) approves of them.

Although advanced golf rangefinders offer switching off of those banned features, it is good to be sure.

The price

What is your budget? This factor affects the golf rangefinder you choose. We have highly-priced and lowly-priced models, whether GPS or laser rangefinders. However, settling for a reasonable price solves everything.

Which is the best price? Well, I would choose something between whose price is moderate. Not too expensive or too cheap. However, ensure you get value for the money.

The number of features

Consider the number of features available. This factor determines which golf rangefinder you choose. How is that? Of course, more features translate to a higher price. Of course, there are countless basic models and complex ones.

For a start, perhaps going for basic features would be ideal. However, if you are looking for models with advanced features, then be sure to cough some more.

Some of these advanced features include pin seeking or extra speed precision (ESP). So, when making a purchase, decide on which features you need for your play. Other advanced features include slope function.

The range

This is an important factor. When choosing the perfect option, consider the maximum distance the device will measure. Different models measure different yardages. Some might have a range of 100 while others have range of 400.

So, yardage affects the rangefinder you choose. This is because having something whose range is lower will offer inaccurate results. In fact, the range should exceed the course by a few yards.

Customer reviews

There is a reason why I put this one way below. Always approach reviews with a pinch of salt. However, don’t disregard them altogether. It would be wise if you read customer reviews when making a choice of a golf rangefinder.

Asking people you know may also help. I mean, you could talk to friends who have used some of the golf rangefinders you wish to buy. This way, you get an overview of what they have to offer.

Avoid pitfalls

While most people settle for the first item they come across, that isn’t a wise practice. Before making the final decision, check several stores. I mean, consider various options then compare them. That way, you will settle for the best ones.

What golf GPS rangefinder is best?

So, which is the best golf rangefinder?

Well, it is the one which passes through all the steps listed above. If you check the price, accuracy, and legality and then settle for a specific rangefinder, then it is the best.

Like mentioned earlier, the best GPS rangefinder satisfies a number of factors. First, it should be affordable. It should also offer accurate measurements and boast a durable construction. Then, it should come with a longer-lasting battery.

Which is the best golf laser rangefinder for the money?

Which is the best golf laser rangefinder for the money? Well, they are many. However, any brand which meets all the performance requirements then still goes at a fair price should win the title. So, ensure the product offers accurate measurements, is durable and also goes at a fair price.

In Conclusion

When choosing a golf rangefinder, carefully consider the factors and tips offered above. These tricks will give you the most appropriate rangefinder. Of course, consider your experience when making a buying decision.

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Last Updated on March 2, 2023 by Paul Roger Steinberg