With the fast-increasing popularity of rangefinders, there’s been several available across all price points. My biggest question: Do I really need to spend $400 or more to get a decent one? Is a bargain range finder going to provide adequate value or will it cause endless frustration? I set out to locate the very best golf range finders of 2019, at every price point.
Wherever you look, golf gadgets and golf products promise to give buyers straight drives, low scores, and the ability to become the envy of all their friends. Even the best golf range finders in the world aren’t going to give you a perfectly straight tee shot, but they’re still essential for any golfer who’s looking to to be more accurate. Talk to any golf coach and one of the first questions they ask when hitting balls is “What’s your target?”. You should also know…..exactly how far is my target.
If you’re looking for a rangefinder, your foremost concern is to get an accurate distance reading to the pin. Every model that we list in this article can provide this. They’ve all been used and reviewed by actual golfers, and they will, at the very least, accomplish this critically important task. Some models may relay this information a bit faster and with noticeably less hassle than others, but these are attributes that you’re going to have to pay for.
Apart from accuracy, I can say that the other top feature to look for is a rangefinder’s ability to automatically calculate the golf course slope. This feature can be a tremendous benefit. It will totally eliminate the guesswork involved with factoring in the uphill and downhill slope and determining which club is the best one to use. It will save you strokes when you’re out on the course.
Of course, you want to use a range finder that you can switch the slope on and off. You are not allowed under USGA rule 14-3 to use a range finder with slope during a tournament. Most of the newer range finders now have a switch to make this transition easy.
A great benefit to using a range finder with slope is that when playing on a normal day, you can get an idea of how much impact hitting from the top of a hill to the green, or hitting to a false front the slope will have on your golf ball. If you know that hitting from the top of a hill on a specific hole of your course usually takes off about 8 yards of distance, you won’t need that range finder in a tournament to remember this data. So on the day of the tournament, you have a distinct advantage over your competition.
If your goal is to start playing tournament golf, then this isn’t a legal feature. You’ll need to purchase a rangefinder that lacks this ability, or a design in which this feature can be turned off. If you don’t intend to play in golf tournaments, then you can purchase a rangefinder that factors in slopes, and that lacks the ability to disable this feature.
Best Golf Range Finders – Budget Versus Premium
When selecting a laser rangefinder, golfers have to decide if they are going to splurge for premium models such as those sold by Bushnell or if they would prefer to shop around. One has to consider whether the $200 – $600 spent on a Bushnell product will surpass the performance standards from the less expensive brands like WOSPORTS, TecTecTec or Precision Pro. Of course, you will find more features available on the Bushnell models than on the budget models. Alternatively, to save money, you can opt for a less popular brand.
You have to consider that premium brands that promote their product and run regular television commercials will have the costs for these services embedded in the product’s price.
I will share my favorite first, and then I will divulge the models that are worth the extra money, and ones that are not. Some brands may be considered as the best golf range finders available purely because of the features and reliability; however, the product may be much more than you need.
Best Golf Range Finders
Of the laser rangefinders that I have tested, I consider the Precision Pro Golf NX7 (non-slope) to be one of the best. Because of the lightness of the product, I did not have any issues target reading in windy conditions or when my hands were unstable.
The Precision Pro Golf NX7 can find the flag and give you a reading within a couple of seconds. The instructions are easy to follow, and when you sweep it across the flag, the range finder can find the pin after just a couple of swipes. I had versatility while using the NX7 for locating various targets on the golf course, which a GPS would not have found. It is great at disregarding the background, so even shaky hands can get readings with accuracy. I tested it while practicing hitting balls to targets which I knew the exact distance and by measuring the accuracy of the distance I hit each club. Once the range finder calculates the distance to the flag, it vibrates, which is great, and the distance displays immediately. The best part? It is accurate within a tenth of a yard.
The Precision Pro Golf NX7 rangefinder is water-resistant. It can cover up to 400 yards and can be switched over to metric units. To top it off, it is always accurate within one yard.
I love this unit because it is packed with an abundance of features, and the batteries are free for the life of the range finder.
The Precision Pro Golf NX7 is not a risky buy because the company offers performance and customer satisfaction guarantees. Also, the product is sold at a reasonable price. If you are looking for a water-resistant range finder that provides reliable accuracy and can be trusted to help with your game, get the Precision Pro Golf NX7. You’ll be more than satisfied. I know I was.
The Bushnell brand utilizes the latest pin seeker with jolt technology in the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder. The Tour V4 carries an incredible group of features packed into a more ergonomic form factor. You will enjoy the pin seeker with jolt technology in the Tour V4 because it offers the accuracy you desire in a faster and more compact package. The jolt technology that Bushnell offers gives off short vibrations which ensure that the laser locks on the flag.
The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder is approved for tournaments and extends its range from 5 to 1,000 yards with accuracy within one yard. The Tour V4 can provide yardage to flags that are as far as 400 yards away, and it is ideal for golfers of all proficiency. These products come with a battery and carry case, and it has a two-year limited warranty.
However, the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder does not provide slope.
My results reflect consistently that the jolt reading is off by 10-15 yards. In some instances, the Jolt was off by 30-35 yards. I had to check it at least three to four times.
If you plan to purchase a Bushnell, spend the extra money and buy the Pro XE.
Bushnell Golf take laser rangefinders to the next level with their Pro XE slope with elements feature. Bushnell now takes barometric pressure and temperature into account when calculating the distance of your shot. This is one of the most expensive models on the market, however, it has positively impacted my game more than I thought imaginable.
The JOLT technology used in previous Bushnell versions has now received an upgrade. Not only do you feel the vibration, but you will see a red ring flash as well.
I didn’t realize how important the new magnetic mount technology would be to me. After attaching it to the golf chart, it was always close at hand, and quickly locked back into place when not in use. With the steep cost, I was very happy with the actual construction. The full-metal housing gives the Bushnell Pro XE a solid feeling. Not to mention, it’s waterproof construction.
A word of caution with the magnetic mount technology. On several occasions, I have left the range golf range finder attached to my cart before leaving the course. Be sure whatever model you choose to immediately put your contact information on the device in the event you forget to pack your GPS up for the day. I make sure to grab my cell phone and range finder last because they seem to be the two items I forget most often at the course.
I did find that I had to scan back and forth on a few occasions to pick up the pin. This could be due to the flagsticks at my course compared to the rangefinder. The directions are detailed. I recommended following them to the letter to get the best use out of this golf rangefinder.
Once you swallow the price tag of the Pro XE, you will be happily surprised with the overall make and performance.
If you are looking for a very good range finder, and want to save some cash, this is going to be the golf range finder for you. Nearly every model offered by TecTecTec is under $180 and they are very accurate in my opinion. If you are a 15 to 30 handicap, you should definitely consider this range finder.
The VPRO500S is very easy to use, and I found it to be within a yard of the higher end Bushnell products. What stands out on this rangefinder is the way it feels in your hand. While most of the range finders feel comfortable, this one felt great. You don’t have to push the buttons very hard to pick up your target, and instead of getting the vibration from the Bushnell units, this gives a “locked on” indicator when you are in pinseeker mode. This will come down to your personal preference, but it felt really good in my hands.
The company TecTecTec sells affordable golf rangefinders. While we reviewed the VPRO500S and really liked it, others from the company didn’t quite feel the same. This is a great rangefinder for a new golfer or for someone that is afraid of losing or forgetting one at the course. They aren’t super cheap, but several hundred less than the most expensive lasers we used.
The Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder is an affordable option for a rangefinder with slope. And to make this product even better, with the simple click of a button, you can turn off the slope function and use it for tournament play!
The manufacturer states that you can ‘quickly lock in the pin from 300 yards away’, but my tests produced different results. Over 250 yards, I was unable to lock on the pin easily. However, it worked very well under that distance. I am extremely pleased with the accuracy and ease of use of the Calloway 300 Pro. As a cautionary note, if you are a bit shaky or if it is windy, the readings will vary a little. However, it appears to get easier with each additional use. It has a scan feature that allows you to gather the distance of multiple targets at once.
The only thing I would recommend to Calloway would be to relocate the yard/meter button. Most golfers I know, use yards as their unit of measure. The switch to toggle units is located right next to your yardage button. I did hit that button several times due to the size of my fingers. I found out the hard way that I clicked the button by landing several shots short of my intended target.
The Callaway 300 Pro also has what is called a “Birdie” feature. It is an audible chirp-like sound to confirm that you are locked on your target. Personally, I found the chirp annoying, but it was a feature I could easily overlook since you can turn it off. Don’t let the sound steer you from this product, as I have read several reviews from people who find the sound rather pleasing. I prefer the vibration feature of other models, but that isn’t a deal-breaker for me. All in all, this is an excellent product! Great value for your money.
The WOSPORTS Golf Rangefinder worked well and cost less than $150. There were no problems securing yardage to pin that was less than 200 yards. I conducted three separate reads using the same pin, and the results were consistently within a yard. This product is ideal for a golfer who does not play regularly, and who wants an idea of the range without spending a lot of money. This product does have some discrepancies in readings after aiming at the same target. It was unable to read a pin over 180 yards; therefore, I rank it lowest on my recommendation list. For the price, it will allow you to make a close enough estimate.
With money not being an option, the Bushnell Pro XE is the best golf rangefinder I tested.