There are a near limitless number of ways that beginner golfers and professionals can fine tune their game, and through the use of a golf laser rangefinder you can take your sport to the next level. Golf range finders might not be the perfect solutions that are guaranteed for everyone, but they will definitely help you to fine tune your golf mechanics.
Golf range finders have been in existence for a few years, and they have made a significant impact on the golfing world as a whole. The impact of these devices has led to the developments and innovations seen in golf gear and similar devices.
Due to the increasing popularity of golf range finders, we have put together a buyer’s guide that covers everything you need to know when purchasing this device for the first time. We will go over the pros and cons of using this tool to sharpen your game, as well as the relative strengths and weaknesses of each model.
We’ll also cover the most important aspects to choosing a golf range finder for purchase, and we’ll break down each of the important buying decisions that will influence your satisfaction.
At the end of reading this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how a range finder can help improve your golf game, what features to take into consideration, as well as learning about the top 6 golf range finders for this year.
The below range finders were chosen for their competitive prices, as well as for their positive reviews on sites such as Amazon. The pricing information for each model changes from month to month, as well as being determined by your location. For this reason, we have not included the pricing details for any of the range finders in this guide.
However, if you are curious about a certain model, you can simply click on the links below and you will be taken to the model’s product page on Amazon. You can also read past questions posted by other prospective customers of the same model, as well as ask your own questions and have them answered by Amazon’s community of volunteers.
How to buy a golf range finder
There will be many different variables to consider when buying a golf range finder, and what specifically applies to you will not be the same as the next person who is looking for the same thing. Your requirements are unique, so you should include your own criteria as well as using the below list as food for thought.
We have examined some of the most important factors when it comes to buying a golf range finder, for both newbies and professional players. This information is not an exhaustive list of everything to be mindful of, but rather it may help to point you in the right direction.
The features of your desired golf range finder are some of the most important things to take into consideration. The overall value of your unit will largely be determined by the features that it has, so you should select your model carefully.
Aside from the most basic of models that you can find on virtually any sports website, you should also keep an eye out for advanced features such as Jolt Technology, ESP, and Vivid Display, as these features can really add a lot of fun and utility to your play style.
If you like having a lot of advanced features for your golf ranger finder, then you could consider the Bushnell Pro x7 or the Pinseeker, as they both come loaded with features and customizations.
Being aware of the maximum distance of your range finder is essential. The longer the distance, the better you will be able to anticipate shots coming at you. Most range finders will be effective at ranges of up to 400 yards, but there are some exceptions to this rule. The Tour V3 from Bushnell for example covers a range of one kilometre, which is one of the longest ranges in the market.
A range finder with a longer range will let you scout out distances that are very far from your present location. They will also speed up the process of finding your ball, so the max distance of your range finder could be considered less of a luxury and more of an essential must-have.
Weight and dimensions
It’s more than likely that you will be walking around with your rangefinder over the course of an entire day. If your range finder is bulky or heavy, this can present a serious problem. The size and weight of your machine will also determine how easy it is to transport between ranges and when you are on location.
If the dimensions and weight of your range finder is one of the most important things to you, then you should opt for a compact device with minimal design such as the 8397 ACULON from Nikon or some of the other models that are contained in this guide.
It is also pivotal to understand if your range finder carries approval from the USGA or not. USGA can be a vital variable in choosing one brand over another if you intend to use the range finders for tours. However, if you only need something simple for when you are playing with friends over the weekends, then perhaps this will not be such a major issue.
One popular range finder that carries approval from the USGA is the Bushnell Tour Z6. Not only is this an approved device for tours, it also carries impressive customer ratings on sites such as Amazon and can be purchased for a competitive price.
Anyone who is familiar with golfing, from a professional to an advanced player, should have no problems at all using a rangefinder. But the same thing cannot be said for newbies or those who are still getting used to game and all the different accessories that come along with it.
Some golf range finders are sophisticated, and are therefore quite complicated to use. The ease or difficulty in using a range finder will affect your overall satisfaction when on the golfing green. Therefore, it is imperative that you select a model that is easy to use, such as the Nikon Coolshot 40i.
What you are willing to pay
When you are shopping for an item of significant value for the first time, your budget is likely to be your main concern, and range finders are no exception. There are so many brands that you can choose from, as well as models from the same manufacturer. The sheer amount of choice available means that you are almost guaranteed to find a rangefinder that fits into your budget.
Shoppers who are looking to buy a range finder with the best of both worlds could consider the VPRO500 from TecTecTec. This device is also priced competitively and has an impressive range of up to 550 yards.
Almost every informed shopper already understands the importance of reading testimonials from other customers before purchasing. The various reviews that can be found will give you a second hand account about what other people think of the device. There are many different third-party shopping sites such as Amazon that have numerous reviews for you to read.
A key benefit to sites such as Amazon is that they provide you with a platform that you can not only read reviews, but also ask your own questions to the Amazon community. Other shoppers will be able to read your question and reply to it.
Mistakes to avoid while buying golf rangefinder
If you are in the market for a golf range finder, it is arguable that there are just as many things to avoid in the process of buying one as there are positive aspects to the different models. Most range finders do not come with the assurance of a money back guarantee, so you often do not have the luxury to ‘try before you buy’.
Below are some of the most common mistakes and things to look out for buying a golf rangefinder.
Lack of proper research
The majority of people lack the research skills required when buying a golf range finder. Most people neglect to look into the price, quality, and overall features of the range finders on the market.
A lack of proper research may lead you to make a regrettable buying decision. Therefore, it is important that you take your time and make your selection carefully.
A lot of research can now be done on Amazon’s platform itself, as it features a way for you to ask your own questions to Amazon’s community of volunteers and other purchasers of the same product. Signing up to ask questions is quick and easy, and you don’t even need an account to read the historical feedback about the rangefinders.
Neglecting the reviews
It is very important to take any negative reviews seriously, even if they are a minority among other positive reviews. Respecting the importance of negative reviews will help safeguard the satisfaction of your purchase, as well as ensuring that you do not experience buyer’s remorse.
Range finders do not come with a money back guarantee, so unless your product is somehow defective or broken, no refunds will be given. Change of mind refunds are not typically seen in sports gear as a whole, which is why it is so important to consider every review.
Verifying if the range finder is suitable to be used in tournaments
Not checking if your desired range finder can be used in tournaments or not could lead to major disappointment and even disqualification on the day of the event. There is an equal split between the range finders that have been verified for tournament use and those that are not.
Fake and illegitimate brands
The brand and vendor that you decide to purchase from can be just as important as the model of rangefinder itself. If you go for cheaper or unknown brands that do not have an established presence in the marketplace, then it is likely that you will end up with a poor quality product and experience with your purchase.
For this reason, it is almost always better to purchase a range finder from a reputable company. For example, Nikon is considered to be one of the leading brands on the market when it comes to golf range finders. A good range finder from Nikon is the 8397 ACULON series, which is known to be one of the fastest and precise range finders available on the market. Additionally, Nikon is accepted as a market leader in the field of optics and consumer electronics worldwide.
The 8397 is very user friendly, as well as featuring a compact body that is designed to give quick and accurate distance measurements.
In summary, golf laser range finders can vastly increase the ease and enjoyment of your golf game without disturbance.
Range finders are effective for measuring distance, detecting climatic conditions, and units of elevation. All these features make range finders ideal to use for periods of practice as well as for professional use.
The best Golf Range Finders for 2017
Rangefinders come in a near limitless number of shapes and sizes, so finding a suitable model should not be a problem for you. The only difficulty that you may encounter is that it could be hard to choose a model that is a fit for your game.
The following six golf ranger finders were chosen for their competitive prices as well as their numerous positive reviews on shopping sites such as Amazon. You can view the updated shipping and payment details for the range finders below by clicking one of the links below. There you will be taken to the range finder’s product page on Amazon.
The pricing information for range finders is known to change from month to month, which is why these details have not been included in this review.
Additionally, if you purchase using Amazon you could be eligible for incentives such as free or discounted shipping. There is also the option to defer your payment for up to six months if your total order is over a certain threshold. The full terms and conditions of this arrangement can be found on Amazon’s website, and is subject to change.
Bushnell Pro X7 Slope
The first thing that you’ll notice about the Bushnell Pro X7 is the sturdy case that it comes in. The device is forged from high quality materials that are more than a match for the harsh terrain and adverse weather conditions that you might encounter in the great outdoors.
Aside the X7’s sturdy construction, it also features a unique elastic eye hook along with a conventional zip closure, which makes it extremely easy to use the range finder when you are on the golfing green.
The only downsize to the X7 is that is not as small as some other range finders on the market. However, once you get started with it this might not be a problem, especially when you start to notice the impressive value that it can offer you.
This range finder takes less than ten minutes to setup out of the box, regardless if you have used a range finder in the past or not.
Finally, the X7 features waterproof casing and sturdy rubber coating, which may give you some assurance that will serve you for a long time.
Features and benefits of the X7 Bolt
- Jolt Tech: The Jolt technology featured in the X7 is perhaps one of the standout features of the rangefinder. This feature means you will be able to quickly scope out and locate the pin. The Jolt tech was engineered to generate small vibrations once you lock the pin into place, so you can be sure that you range finder will not focus on trees or any other irrelevant details in the background.
- Slope: The slope feature of the Bushnell Pro X7 is perhaps the second most impressive feature of this device, and is also the reason for why a countless number of golfers continue to trust and recommend this device. This feature leverages a native accelerometer to fine tune the elevation levels between you and the pin, therefore giving you accurate slope measurements.
- Vivid Display Technology: The VDT (Vivid Display Techology) offered with this range finder means you will be able to get accurate distance and climatic readings even in poor lighting. In other words, even at dusk or dawn, you will still be able to read the display with ease.
- 7x Magnification: The inclusion of the 7x magnification feature is so you can see things in the distance up to seven times as close. This a significant advancement for laser golf range finders as well as optics in general that typically only function at magnifications of up to 6x at this price range.
- Extreme Speed Precision (ESP): The extreme speed precision feature gives you an ultra-accurate measurement far quicker than most other range finders available.
In short, the positive aspects to this range finder are that it comes with a rare 7X magnification feature that is easy to read. You’ll be able to quickly locate the flagsticks thanks for the PinSeeker feature, and it is waterproof so you can use the device even on rainy days.
Additionally, this range finder comes with a few luxuries that are only seen in the most expensive of range finders such as its slope compensation and Vivid Display Technology.
VPRO500 Rangefinder – Best Budget Choice
Selecting a single brand when shopping for a range finder is not easy as there are so many models to select from, and each company claims that theirs is the best. However, if you want to cut through the marketing noise and save a lot of cash in the process, then the VPRO500 is what you need to buy.
The VPRO500 is extremely effective in locating your targets, as well as providing you with accurate data of up to 500 yards. Despite being constructed from modern and solid materials, it also has a soft and sleek casing that gives it an enviable appearance. The best part of the VPRO500 however, is that you do not need to spend a fortunate to obtain it.
Features and benefits
- State of the art Optics: The VPRO500 has a highly advanced magnification setting that is viewable for up to six times the standard settings. This combined with a one-yard accuracy rating and you have a well-built device. The other things people appreciate about the VPRO500 are the multi-coated optics and the intuitive method of operation.
- Triple Modalities: There are three modes that this golf ranger uses in order to locate the pin. There is the ‘First Target Priority’ setting that will hone onto the flagstick despite any distractions in the background. The other settings are ‘Proscan’ and ‘Distance Target Priority’, which can be read in depth on the product’s listing on Amazon.
- Auto-Target Acquisition Tech: This feature makes it different to other range finders, as it is able to differentiating other signals coming from large objects on the golf course and only focuses on the pin, or any other target that you specify.
- Lightweight and small: This range finder only weighs seven ounces, which makes it one of the smallest range finders that money can buy in its class. The compact design of the range finder also means it is easy to carry around and also during periods of storage.
- Strong and Durable: Although the range finder is very small and compact, it is still constructed from durable material, and it also has a padded casing that is designed to cushion the device against any impact damage that it may suffer. The glossy surface also does its job to prevent the accumulation of dust particles, hence it will last you for many years without needed to replace it.
In summary, the VPRO500 is compact and lightweight, as well as providing you with accurate measurement readouts. The device has some of the best technology in the field of range finders, with its Pinesor technology, making it perfect for flag pinpoint precision.
The casing is resistant to dust and water and it is compact enough for you to carry around all day without feeling that it is weighing you down.
The only conceivable downside to the Tec Tec Tec VPRO500 is that the coating is not 100% water proof. Although it is more than good enough to survive light showers, it may become damaged when using it in heavy storms.
Bushnell Tour X Rangefinder
New and novel devices are always being released to the market by companies who want to help golfers lift their games. The Tour X is another range finder recently introduced, and it is unique in many ways to others on the market. But what makes the Bushnell Tour X stand out most of all is that you can get away with using the Rangefinder in tournaments
With the Tour X, you can legally interchange between slope adjusted measurements and unadjusted ones. This makes it perfect for both practices as well as in competitive play. Aside from this feature, there’s also the option to change between black and red text on the heads up display, which makes it perfect to be used in a range of lighting conditions.
Features and Benefits
- Exchange Tech: With this model, you will be able to seamlessly interchange between the standard or competition settings with the patented Bushnell Slope Technology. The change is easy to make, as you only need to swap around the faceplates of the unit, which takes minutes.
- Dual Display: The option of being able to toggle between black or bright red displays gives this unit the upper hand depending on the light conditions. With the Tour X, you will still be able to read the settings clearly no matter the amount of light you may be experiencing.
- ESP 2: The acquisition speed of the Tour X is very fast thanks to the ESP 2 technology. The device does not compromise on quality either with this display, which makes it unmatched to other range finders.
- 6x Zoom: It could be argued that there are better devices that have larger amplification settings than the Tour X, but we have found that a 6x zoom is more than enough for the majority of golfers. You can change the ranges of this device to suit between 5 and 1,300 yards, whilst still maintaining an accuracy of half a yard per measurement.
- Pinseeker and Jolt Tech: Although the Jolt Technology may take a little to get used to, once you get going with this feature you’ll ponder how you lived without it. Similar to other range finders from Bushnell, the Tour X will give you a series of gentle vibrations to let you know you are focusing on the Pin and not something else.
In short, the Tour X is a pleasure to use in your hands, as well as providing an ease of use that is unmatched by other models. You will even be able to use gloves while playing on the golfing green.
The Tour X is one of the best range finders that money can buy because it provides an unparalleled accuracy of up to 0.5 yards. You can also use this device in all light conditions.
Although the Tour X is one of the more expensive products available, it is well worth its weight in gold.
Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt
The Bushnell lines of rangefinders are some of the best available, which is why thousands of golf enthusiasts continue to trust this brand. The Tour V4 comes loaded with PinSeeker that helps you to easily find the flag, as well as Jolt Technology that makes the device vibrate when you have it locked.
The V4 features 5x magnification, Slope Technology, and the Fast Focus System. This device can give you an accurate reading on distances that are anywhere between 5 and 1000 yards, and it comes with a CR2 battery.
Features and benefits
- Jolt Tech and PinSeeker technology: The PinSeeker feature is what will all you to easily find the flag without visibly seeing it, and the Jolt Tech will ensure that you have locked onto the flag and not something else in the distance.
- Distance: The V4 can measure distances that are between 5 and 1000 yards. The device is accurate to +/- 1 yard at all times.
- 5x Magnification: Although 5x the standard zoom may not seem like a lot, it is more than adequate to perform well on the golfing green. The extra Fast Focus Feature means you will be able to find the target quickly.
- Slope Technology: The readings you get from using this range finder are very accurate as the device compensates for slopes and angles with its Slope Technology.
In summary, the Bushnell V4 Jolt is a great choice for a range finder. It has an ergonomic design, is lightweight, and is also compact enough to take with you on long golfing trips. The Slope Technology adds a lot of utility to the device, and it focuses very quickly on your target of choice.
Unlike other very expensive range finders, the price tag of the V4 Jolt is reasonable, and well worth the money spent.
The only disadvantage of the V4 is that the Slope feature is not permitted in some golfing tournaments, and it is outclassed by some other models in the same price range that offer magnification that is better than its 5x zoom.
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
The Nikon 8397 AL11 Laser Rangefinder is compact and small enough to fit in any pocket or pack when you take it golfing. It is widely considered to be the best rangefinder for those who want to take it everywhere.
Unlike other sophisticated range finders that are hard to read, the Nikon 8397’s display is simple to use with its uncluttered, easy-to-read screen. There are other conveniences to the 8397, its single button operation and its programmable ranges.
Features and benefits
- Weight: The ACULON Range Finder is very small, as it measures at 3.6”x2.9”x1.5”, which makes it one of the smallest available. It is so small in fact, that its size rivals most smartphones. The palm-sized dimensions means you can easily wear it around your neck or fit it into a standard sized jeans pocket. It weighs just 4.4 ounces without the batteries, so it’s likely that you won’t even know that it’s there
- User-Friendly Design: Getting a hang of the ACULON range finder is simple, as it requires just a push of a button to get an instant distance reading. When you hold the button down, the range finder gives a continuous measurement of up 20 seconds while you survey the desired area. The display is minimalistic in design and uncluttered, so you can focus solely on the object that you are ranging.
- Distant Target Priority Mode: This feature means that it will automatically display the range of the most distance target amongst different targets that are measured. This can be very useful if your desired target is obscured by terrain such as grass or bush.
- Nikon’s Quality Optics: The range finder has 6x magnificent and a 20mm lens. Due to Nikon’s multilayer coated optics, you can get a more natural and realistic view of your surroundings, as this works to increase the amount of light transmittance across the entire spectrum.
The XL450 from Halo is yet another popular range finder on the market. Although Halo does not have the same brand awareness about it than some of the other companies such as Nikon, Halo is fast becoming a leader in the field of golf range finders, with more famous and professional golfers using their products.
Additionally, the product line offered by Halo is also considerably less expensive than other models on the market, which can make a big difference if you are shopping on a budget.
The XL450 may be an underdog, but that doesn’t mean you should discount its effectiveness for getting the job done.
Features and benefits
- Distance: The XL450 is effective for a total range of 450 yards to the reflective target. While this may not be as far as some other range finders, 450 yards is a lot of distance to cover! The measurements are précised to +/- 1 yard, which means that the readings are very accurate as well.
- 6x Magnification: A hallmark of a great golf range finder is its ability to magnify images at great distances. The XL450 shines here, as it has a 6x zoom and magnification settings. As you have probably seen in this guide already, most range finders only offer 5 x magnifications at their maximum, which gives the XL450 a significant advantage over other models in the market.
- Slope Technology: The range finder corrects its measurements just like other models with Slope Technology. The correction is made to compensate for the slope and angle of your desired target, which will usually be the flag. You can be rest assured that you will get the right information every time if you pick up the XL450.
- Water Resistant: Finally, the XL450 can be taken out in all weather conditions, including the rain and storms. Although you cannot fully submerge the XL450 in water, the device’s casing holds up very well to environmental conditions such as wind, rain, and snow. You won’t need to worry about the XL450 being damaged if you choose this range finder as your tool of choice!
That concludes our list for the 6 best golf range finders for this year. We hope that you found this list interesting and informative.
If you are still unsure about what the best range finder will work for you, there are several options that you could consider:
- Carefully read the reviews about each of the above range finders. After all, aside from using the product yourself, the best way to research a new product is from others who have already purchased it. Amazon has a platform where only verified purchasers are allowed to post, so you can be assured that the feedback left by other shoppers is not merely hearsay.
- Experiment with the range finders in person. Most sports stores have range finders that are available on display, and for anyone to use. If you are really curious about how a certain brand will perform for you, you can always go to one of these stores and try the range finders out for yourself.
Once you have done a sufficient amount of research, it’s time to pull the trigger and make a final purchase. It should be noted that most companies do not offer a money back guarantee if you are only dissatisfied with your purchase. This means that you should make your decision carefully and not rush the process, as we’re not dealing with a small sum of money after all!
All of the above range finders can be found on Amazon by clicking the link above. Amazon is known the world over as one of the largest and most extensive online shopping networks, featuring millions of products.
Customers in the United States should get their range finders within three to five working days, while for international orders it may take up to three to four weeks. The shipping and pricing details for each range finder is known to change month to month, which is why those details have been left out from this guide.
To see the latest pricing information for each range finder, click a link above. There you will be taken to the respective product page on Amazon. Shoppers can pay with major credit card brands such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express, as well as through cheque and internet banking is credit cards are not available.
Deals like these don’t wait around, so thrifty shoppers will take advantage of the current low prices of range finders while they still can.