Best golf rangefinders: The 7 best performing rangefinders for golfers of all abilities
When it comes to finding the best golf products, every golfer needs a little guidance. Don’t sweat it, we got you covered! For our new Best of Everything series, we’ve canvassed the golf accessories, apparel and game-improvement space to identify the very best stuff for your game. Think of us as your personal shopping assistant.
BEST GOLF RANGEFINDERS
The days of spending precious minutes crisscrossing the course in search of a yardage marker are a thing of the past. For a majority of golfers, the rangefinder has become as commonplace as a lob wedge and can eliminate most of the guesswork when it comes to pulling the correct club. What’s changed over the last decade is the size of the device, accuracy and game-enhancing technology packed inside something that’s about the size of your hand. For about the price of a fairway wood or putter — or driver if you decide to splurge for the extra features — you can own a device that consistently locks onto the target and picks up objects 400 yards away.
And if you’re into something smaller than a point-and-shoot rangefinder, there are myriad of options at your fingertips, from wearable GPS technology to apps that can be pulled up on your phone. Some devices even go so far as to calculate changes in elevation, temperature and barometric pressure (known as the slope-measuring function) to give you a perfect number to the hole. It’s like having a meteorologist and mathematician in your golf bag.
Is a rangefinder with slope functionality necessary? It really depends on the courses you’re playing. If you live in Denver, the functionality would be beneficial versus golfers who spend most of their time teeing it up in, say, Lubbock, Tex.
With so many rangefinder options on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To help narrow down your search, here’s a list of seven leading players in the rangefinder market, along with a fly-by look at what they offer.
Best rangefinder for value
Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS
When it comes to getting the number to the hole, the Phantom Golf GPS is an ideal no-frills option that’s easy to use and doesn’t require a manual. The bite-sized wearable device offers yardages to the front, center and back, as well as four hazard distances per hole. The built-in Bluetooth allow for wireless updates during the round, and with 36,000 preloaded courses, there’s a good chance his favorite spots made the list. With auto course recognition and hole advance functions, the device is good to go when you step on the first tee. For those who ride in a cart, the integrated Bite magnetic mount attaches to any metal surface. And if you’d rather keep it close by, there’s a clip holder to attach to your belt.
Best golf rangefinder for novice golfers
Precision Pro NX7
At $219, the Pro NX7 offers ample technology at a price point that won’t break the bank. The compact design and no-slip grip makes it easy to pull and shoot during the course of a round. Simply look through the viewfinder, locate the target and press the button on top. The device is accurate to plus-or-minus 1 yard and locks onto the target without much trouble. Unlike some of the original rangefinders, you don’t have to worry about it picking up a stay tree branch in the background. To further verify you’ve hit the desired target, a pulsing vibration adds another layer of confirmation. The water-resistant shell also makes it possible to play in the wet stuff and not sweat the possibility of destroying your new toy.
Best golf rangefinder for techies
Ed. note: GolfLogix and GOLF.com are affiliates of 8AM Golf.
Recognizing not every golfer wants a point-and-shoot rangefinder, GolfLogix offers an alternative for the golfer who adores their phone. The app offers technology that would make most professional caddies jealous, starting with new three-dimensional green maps that reveal virtually every contour line on the green, elevation changes from ball to cup and how the putt will break. Every shot and distance can also be tracked during the round along with exact distances to hazards and layup locations. Need a better idea of how the ball will react once it hits the green? The app’s approach view gives you a blueprint for how to attack each hole via a detailed contour map. Oh yeah, there’s also a digital scorecard so you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on the pencil.
$10 per month / $50 for 1 year
Best rangefinder for golfers who have everything
Bushnell Pro XE
If the Pro XE rangefinder was a sportscar, it’d be Ferrari’s 812 Superfast. Sure, you don’t really need that much horsepower under the hood. But if you have the disposable income, it’s kind of fun to have it when you want it. That’s our way of saying the waterproof Pro XE has it all. The slope function takes into account elevation changes before offering up a yardage, but unlike most of its competitors, it takes things one step further by also accounting for temperature and barometric pressure. The device boasts a range of 1,300 yards and offers 7x magnification to lock onto the target. If you’re a competitive golfer, the slope function — only legal during casual rounds — can be disabled with the flip of a switch for competitive play. The only thing this rangefinder can’t do is hit your shots.
Best golf rangefinder for golfers who love to walk
Garmin Approach S60
Preloaded with more than 41,000 courses, the Approach S60 watch is a worthy option for golfers who don’t mind wearing something on their wrists. The 1.2-inch color touchscreen is viewable on sunny days and provides yardages to the green, hazards and even the turn in a pesky dogleg. With 10 hours of on-course battery life, you don’t have to worry about the watch petering out even if you decide to play 36 holes. While the main functionality centers around distances to targets and the green, the autoshot function detects shots hit along the fairway and logs them for post-round analysis.
Best golf rangefinder for range rats
FlightScope Mevo Portable
For the price of a high-end rangefinder, you can carry a radar-based launch monitor in your pocket. Roughly the size of your palm, the Mevo portable can be used on the range to record carry distance, club speed, spin rate, apex height and other pertinent data. All of the data goes directly from the device to your smartphone after each shot, offering real-time analysis during a range session. Most launch monitors on Tour start at around $25,000, so this is a price point most golfers can get behind. If you have the disposable income, consider pairing the Mevo with a rangefinder and shoot the distance to each flag on the range. You’ll get an accurate idea of where your swing is before hitting the course.
Best golf rangefinder for stylish golfers
Bushnell Limited Edition L7
The hand-sewn leather wrap and case give the L7 a premium feel you won’t find on any other rangefinder in the industry. Of course, the device offers more than style. Bushnell’s slope technology calculates and adjusts for the yardage on uphill approach shots and downhill par 4s, while the patented Jolt system verifies the laser has locked onto the flag with vibrating pulses.
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