What is the best golf rangefinder? What are the characteristics of the best golf rangefinder?
Simply, the list is endless. We have some upper high-end brands like Bushnell. On the other side, we also have some flops.
However, from a broad perspective, the best golf rangefinders offer accurate readings. What’s an accurate reading? This is where things get murkier. So, what’s the difference between the show-offs and the so-so golf rangefinders?
Read on; we have all the answers below!
What is the best golf rangefinder?
There are several features that define the best golf rangefinders. Of course, the better the features, the better the performance.
The best golf rangefinders have the following features:
- Excellent waterproofing
- Appropriate target priority
- Pinseeker and scanning mode
- Enhanced angle calculation
- Higher magnification
- Larger objective lenses
Let’s explore the features in detail below!
The first feature of an ideal rangefinder is being waterproofed. In fact, waterproofing is not enough. It also needs to have excellent rain proofing and weatherproofing features.
Why is being waterproofed important? Well, we use golf rangefinders on the outdoors.
You don’t want to quit golfing in the rainy season, do you? Well, the answer is obvious! Investing some extra bucks for a waterproofed gadget is a worthy move. Some brands, albeit few, fail to offer this feature.
Some manufacturers simply add a layer of waterproof material like rubber or plastic. However, high-end brands include a thick rubber layer for extra protection. So, the best golf rangefinder features a waterproof construction.
Appropriate target priority
This is a tricky one! For golfers, this feature might not be of much significance. This is because we assume you’re using a clear course. However, in a course with obstacles, the feature becomes quite crucial.
What does target priority mean?
Well, it looks at how the rangefinder perceives images. First priority rangefinders capture the first image they encounter. On the contrary, secondary or last priority models disregard distractions.
So, which among the two is the best golf rangefinder? Well, for golfers, go for a first priority model. First priority rangefinders give deliver extra accuracy.
However, if you’re in a bushy course with trees and other things, pick the second priority model. So, which is the best? Well, for a golfer, choose first priority models. Ensure it suits your environment.
Pinseeker and Scanning mode
This is an important aspect. With the scan mode, you don’t struggle getting the target. It scans a wide area then finally acquires the target. This way, you save time.
However, we have those golf rangefinders using the pinseeker technology. This one requires a tedious procedure of acquiring a target. With pinseeker, you hold the rangefinder on the target then push the button.
It faces stability issues which may affect its accuracy. So, which is the best option between the two? Well, the obvious winner is the scan mode. So, better pick a model with the scan mode than pinseeker.
Enhanced angle Calculation
What is the best rangefinder in this regard? First, what is angle calculation? This is the feature which helps in assessing the distance on a hilly surface. After calculating the horizontal distance, it approximates the vertical distance.
Is this feature important? Well, if you’re using a flat course, it might not be necessary. However, inclination helps when on a sloppy surface. So, picking a golf rangefinder with angle inclination improves your performance.
Some brands offer this feature while others don’t. So, be careful when purchasing.
Range and Increment
Always consider the maximum range before purchase. The feature might not affect golfers much. However, picking a device whose maximum range exceeds the course would be a wise idea.
Probably, an excess of 20% beyond the course makes sense. With a higher range, you get accurate measurements, even on those unclear days. How about increment? On this, we talk of the smallest unit of displaying distance.
Is it in yards or meters? An increment of 1 yard/meter offers accurate results. However, some golf rangefinders offer of 5 yards/meters of 10 yards/meters. Which is the best increment?
Well, the obvious answer is a 1 yard/meter. With such an increment, you get more accurate results.
Which is the most appropriate magnification? Does magnification affect the accuracy of your golf rangefinder? Well, although most rangefinders offer a magnification of X4 or X6, anything higher than that wouldn’t hurt.
In fact, higher magnifications mean better results. For that reason, the best golf rangefinder offers higher magnification. Something like X6 magnification would be perfect.
Larger objective lenses
Do objective lenses affect clarity and the performance of a golf rangefinder? Well, they do. Most rangefinders come with lenses of between 18 and 22mm. However, a larger lens offers better viewing and clarity.
Large objective lenses allow more light to penetrate for extra clarity. Of course, this might not be a crucial feature, but it matters. The best golf rangefinders should have larger objective lenses.
Do rectiles affect how your golf rangefinder performs? Of course, yes! So, what are rectiles? These are simply those points used in aligning the target when looking for the range.
Rectiles offer better visibility and accuracy even in low light. For that reason, a better golf rangefinder comes with this feature.
Golf GPS or Rangefinder – which is better?
This debate pops up quite often. So, golf GPS or Rangefinder – which is better? To answer this question, we have to compare the two. Each has features not found in the other.
For that reason, we look at the one with better features than the other. A golf GPS explores a larger area within the course. However, it doesn’t deliver the accuracy offered by a laser rangefinder.
To get a clearer picture, let’s explore the difference.
On what aspects does a laser rangefinder beat golf GPS?
They are more accurate
Laser rangefinders offer more accuracy compared to their GPS counterparts. In fact, their accuracy is always their main selling point. They deliver pinpoint accuracy on the course, for perfect shots.
Perhaps this is the reason for their high demand. These are perfect gadgets for amateurs. Unlike golf GPSs which require distance approximations and estimation, rangefinders deliver accurate measurements.
So, if you are a newbie, rangefinders are a perfect purchase.
They are affordable
In earlier days, laser rangefinders were quite affordable. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this might not be the case at the moment. We have pricier options these days but still have some affordable brands out there.
However, compared to golf GPSs, rangefinders are more affordable.
They come with powerful batteries
The batteries are pretty amazing. They deliver up to 6 months of use with additional charging. In fact, most crank up to a whole year with a single charge. This makes them amazing and perfect for avid golfers.
Imagine using your rangefinder for up to a year without recharging! Isn’t that amazing? I know what you’re thinking; why not have such phones? Well, that makes the two of us!
They are faster
Golf rangefinders work pretty fast compared to golf GPS. Depending on the golf GPS used, you could take several minutes before getting accurate results. However, this isn’t the case with rangefinders.
In fact, they aren’t just slow; they are also slightly inaccurate on longer distances. However, more advanced GPS models offer faster results but at a higher price.
So, in a nutshell, rangefinders offer faster distance approximations.
On what aspects do golf GPS beat a rangefinder?
They are multi-purpose
Golf GPS, especially watches, perform different tasks. Rangefinders only measure distances on the golf course. However, Golf GPS watches also show time and the weather forecast. This way, you get more benefits.
They offer interactive mapping
Although not all, the top stratum golf GPS brands feature interactive maps. Of course, you have to cough some extra bucks for these ones. However, they are worth the extra cost.
They are not affected by obstacles
Although they might not give clear vision, golf GPS offer easy navigation through obstacles. They accurately approximate the distance to the target without being affected by trees and other hindrances.
They don’t use a line of sight
Unlike rangefinders, golf GPS don’t require line of sight to estimate distances. What does this mean? Well, without the need to use a line of sight, you maneuver through different surfaces easily.
Golf GPS or Rangefinder – which is better? In all fairness, putting all factors into consideration, Rangefinders carry the day. This is because they are clearer, faster, affordable and easy to use.
We started off by answering the question; what is the best golf rangefinder? And, the best options ought to offer better angle inclinations, higher magnifications, scan mode, rectiles, and an adequate range.
As for which is better between a golf GPS and rangefinder, rangefinders carried the day- albeit controversially. For more golfing tips, be sure to come back!