Golf Rangefinder Buying Guide
What is a Laser Rangefinder (Golf)?
Serious golfers are not shy about buying the best equipment they can to give themselves the best chance at playing the best game they can, even when they are learning. Even though many may feel that spending extra money on new clubs or irons, the truth of the matter is, if they invested in a reliable laser range finder, they can see drastic improvements in their game.
What does a Laser Rangefinder do?
These handy gadgets are used to measure distances to the flag with precision and accuracy. Most golfers that purchase them find them easy to use and also love the way their games improve once they start using the rangefinders.
Great Reasons to Get a Laser Rangefinder
No one wants to mess up in front of other players, especially if they are more experienced. This feeling can be tough for a seasoned player as well. Plainly put, no one likes messing up. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional golfer or an aspiring golfer, having a laser range finder for your golf games will help you improve…dramatically.
What are some other reasons to get a laser rangefinder?
- Not many people want to spend tons of time having to manually do the calculations necessary to measure distances. This can be one of the most common reasons people site for getting a laser rangefinder.
- Knowing how hard you need to hit the ball, or not, can help you avoid over hitting or coming up short. These kinds of decisions, when left up to guesswork, can really affect the outcome of the game. The laser rangefinder helps eliminate these guesses and gives the golfer much more confidence in choosing what to do.
- Having a rangefinder also helps prevent taking a long time to make decisions which means people won’t be piling up behind you waiting for you to finish the hole.
- Regardless of whether you are a serious professional, a fledgling player or an aspiring professional your game will benefit from having a laser rangefinder as part of your regular golfing equipment.
- If you’re new to playing golf or the people you’re playing with are much more experienced it can be a real hit to your confidence. The laser rangefinder can help you make the shots that can give the more experienced players a run for their money while boosting your confidence level at the same time.
- Because the rangefinder helps you calculate the distance you need to hit accurately and precisely, your game will improve. The data the range finder will give you gives you an idea of how hard you need to swing and in what direction. This will make a big difference in your game in the short and long term as you make better and more accurate shots.
Things to Consider when Choosing the right Laser Rangefinder
There are many things you will need to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the right laser rangefinder. By paying attention to these things, you will get the rangefinder that will meet your needs and not sit unused in your golf bag.
What Features do you Need? – Depending on the laser rangefinders you are looking at, you will find that many of them have pretty great modern features including:
- Determining direction
- Measuring the speed of wind
- Account for the slopes and hurdles
Be aware that some of the laser rangefinders might be prohibited in professional tournaments and games.
What is your Budget? – It may be tempting to go for the most expensive laser rangefinder on the market, but this doesn’t guarantee that it will be the one that gives you everything you’re looking for. What is more important is finding the best laser rangefinder you can that also fits into your budget. You should pay only for what you need and not just because it sounds fun or claims to have a lot of bells and whistles.
Durability is a Must – Since you’ll have your laser range finder out in all kinds of weather, it is important to get one that can withstand the elements. There are models that offer water/fog proof, water resistance, great warranties and more. Check out the durability of the unit you want before you by it.
Brands can Matter – There are companies that specialize in making laser range finders for golf. The more experienced brand names are going to be your best bet for finding a high quality laser range finder that lives up to the kind of standards you’re wanting. Another benefit to buying from trusted brand name companies is that the warranties these companies offer are usually excellent.
What are Customers Saying? One of the best ways you can check out the value of a laser– rangefinder you want is to see what others who have already bought it are saying about it. Are there recurring complaints that most customers seem to bring up every time? Are there problems with it in any way? You can get a lot of information from the customer reviews lefts on the shopping sites.
Who can use Laser Rangefinders?
You don’t have to be a professional to use a laser range finder. They are used by all kinds of golfers.
- Casual Players – It doesn’t matter if you only like to play golf with friends on the weekend or once in awhile; the laser rangefinder will make your game more exciting and can even impress your friends. You’ll want to play a lot more.
- Amateur Players – Using a laser rangefinder during practices can be a great way for an amateur to improve their game and head towards becoming a professional. It’s been compared to being like a form of coach for players.
- Professional Players – If you are a professional it is not uncommon at all to use a laser rangefinder and it can be a real boost to your game. While they are not allowed in all competitions, they can be used in practices and really make a difference in training and familiarizing the golfer with the course.
What Can the Features on a Laser Rangefinder do?
All of the features listed on a particular laser rangefinder won’t do you any good if you don’t know what they are for and what they do. We have outlined a few of the more common features available and what they do for you.
- Accuracy and Precision – All laser range finders are accurate within a few yards one way or the other. There are some that seem to be a lot more accurate. You will be able to get this information from the customer comments specifically because they will report this as a good thing about the particular device or not.
- Slope – the slope feature measures the changes in elevation between you and your target, estimates the distance that a shot will go and measures the actual distance to your target as well. It is not allowed in competitions though but is a great help during practice and non competitive games.
- Easy to Use – For an experienced laser rangefinder user, any of the models are going to be fairly easy to use and all use the same basic premise. If you’re new to using them, then it may take some practice to hit the target accurately the first time. You want to find laser range finders that talk about “ease of use”. This is an important feature because not everyone who buys one will be experienced in using them.
- PinSeeker, and Similar Named Technologies – One of the most popular technologies that laser rangefinders have is the ability to separate objects in the background from an object in the foreground. What this means is that when you are aiming at the flag, if there’s trees behind the flag, the technology ensures that the laser rangefinder locks onto the flag. It is called different things for different brand manufacturers; for example Bushnell calls this technology PinSeeker, Leupold refers to it as PinHunter and Callaway calls is the First target Priority. Depending on the manufacturer, there may be a vibration or sound when the closest target is showing on the screen.
- Magnification – All laser rangefinders have some degree of magnification and it varies from model to model. The range is usually anywhere from 0 magnification to 7x. The higher the magnification, the easier it is to hit the target you are aiming for.
- Size of Device – You want your laser rangefinder to be the right size for what you need. Using two hands makes ranging much easier so if the device is too small, it will be difficult to use two hands on it. The wider models are more conducive to two handed operation.
- Scan – Scan Mode is another feature that most models have. What scan mode does is when you’re holding the button down for a specified amount of seconds after you press the button initially; the laser rangefinder scans objects you’re ranging to get to the right one. The scan mode tends to make using it easier, so be sure it’s turned on when you use the rangefinder.
- Easy to Read Display – Readability will vary from unit to unit. Units with red numbers tend to be much easier for the golfer to read. This feature can make the unit cost a bit more, but it is well worth it when there is no struggle to see what is on the display easily.
- Range Coverage – Rangefinder’s coverage can vary anywhere from 800 to 1600 yards. Maximum range of each unit will depend on the reflectivity of your target. This is also affected by factors such as:
- The finish of the surface
Under the best of conditions the laser rangefinders can usually get their accuracy to within a yard +/-. Some of the manufacturers have been able to reduce it even further getting the accuracy to within a ½ of a yard +/-.
Get the Most out of Your Laser Range Finder
Many think that using a laser rangefinder is difficult because of the steadiness that it involves but this is not as hard as it may seem. With practice, laser rangefinder users can perfect their technique and after a few rounds, should have a good rhythm and method going. Below are some tips that will help users gauging accurate distances in short order. Keep in mind that a laser rangefinder that is designed to be used for golf is going to be much easier to perfect than one for hunting for example. While the hunting rangefinder CAN pick up flags on the golf course, it is a lot more difficult to get them to give accurate readings.
- Watch Instructional Videos – YouTube should have plenty of videos on your particular rangefinder that will show how to use it. It’s easy to find them. Just go to YouTube and type in the type of laser rangefinder you have. Either choose videos with a lot of views or those by the manufacturer of the rangefinder. Finding a well made video can be the best way to learn how to use your rangefinder because of the visual aspect. Users can SEE how to do things and have their own laser rangefinder right there to follow along with.
- Reading the Instructions – In addition to watching videos, it is very important to read the instructions. If none came in the box, go to the manufacturer’s website and get the instructions for your particular model. You can get a bit of practice in here…after studying the information in the instructions aim your laser rangefinder at a large target no more than 30 yards away and see if you understand what you’re seeing in the display window. If you don’t watch the videos again and re-read the instructions.
- PinHunter, First Target Priority and PinSeeker – These are familiar terms used by the three top manufacturers that produce laser rangefinders. This technology is very helpful; to the golfer especially if they don’t have a solid, steady hand when they’re using them. Here is a way for you to test the technology and understand a bit better how it works. Aim your laser rangefinder at the ground, press the ranging button briefly. The reticle will come up in the display and then you can aim at your target and push the button again. This reduces user error and eliminates you possibly hitting bunkers or hills that are in front of the flag.
- 50 to 100 yard Practice – Practice is what is going to make it easier and better when you’re in the middle of a game. Practice makes perfect is definitely applicable to using laser rangefinders accurately and to the best benefit of your game. Take aim at any large target outside your house or at the driving range. What you are practicing is getting distances to big targets that are within the 50-100 yard range. If you just can’t get a correct reading and you feel sure that you’re doing it right, you may want to call customer support to make sure that the rangefinder is nit defective in any way. Have another experienced golfer try it too, to see if they have the same issue.
- Close Pin Practice – Take your laser rangefinder to the local driving range if it has flags on it and use them to practice close pin distances. Start with the flags that are the closest to you and stay on that flag until you get an accurate reading every time. Target the flag, not just the pin. Flags are much easier to hit and since most of the flags on the driving range will have the distance on them, you can use this information to double check your own distance readings.
- It Won’t Start off Easy – Many golfers who start using laser range finders are surprised when it’s not simple out of the box. It takes some practice to get the consistent readings that you can rely on. When you first step onto the driving range or course, determine your yardages the way you used to…manually. Then in addition, use the rangefinder to verify what you manually determined. Don’t dally too long if there are players waiting to play through, but you ought to be able to take a few seconds and verify your manual determinations with your laser rangefinder quickly. It’s good practice.
- Double-checking is Good Practice – Once you have mastered using your laser rangefinder, double check it from time to time just to make sure it’s working properly. If you know the distance of where you are standing on the course, take a reading and see if it matches. If it doesn’t, target it again to see if there is a problem.
Laser Rangefinders take the game of golf to new levels by eliminating the sometimes tiresome practice of manually determining distances. It eliminates the guesswork out of the equation and helps golfers make better decisions and choices which improve their game. The information you have read in this buyer’s guide will help you choose the laser rangefinder that will fit your needs and provide the features you want as well. With this great information, you won’t have to struggle to figure out which one you should get and you won’t waste money on a laser rangefinder that is more or less than you need.
If you’re serious about playing golf and want to improve your game even more, you will definitely love having a laser rangefinder for your game. It also can make a fantastic gift for the golfer in your life as well and they will truly enjoy the capabilities it gives them.
- Bushnell – http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Breaking 80 – http://cdn.thesandtrap.com/
- Nikon – http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Comparing.guru – http://www.comparing.guru/
- Comparaboo.com – http://www.comparaboo.com/