Golf Rangefinders Versus Golf GPS Devices – Which One Is Best?

You want to ensure that you have the appropriate tools to assist with improving your golf game, but it can be tricky to stay on top of the everchanging technologies. The two primary golf technologies utilized today are golf GPS systems and golf rangefinders. But which one is best?

Golf Rangefinders

More About Golf Rangefinders

A laser golf rangefinder can allow you to survey shots and enhance accuracy so that you can keep tabs of your score. How do they work?

A laser is emitted that bounces off the item that you are aiming to hit, for example, the pin. Then, the amount of time is measured for the laser to come back to the rangefinder. Utilizing the data, the distance to the target is promptly calculated, and the data delivered to your display screen. These simple technologies can have a significant impact on your game, offering you with the appropriate yardage to the definite targets. Most golf rangefinders are equipped with features including maximum range, course slope, and minimum range. Progressive golf rangefinders have various additional features, such as pin-seeking and magnification. Shock-resistant, sleek, and weatherproof constructions make rangefinder an excellent option for various conditions too. See here for the best golf rangefinder on the market.

More About Golf GPS Equipment

Many people are familiar with GPS technology for day-to-day life. In golf, GPS units provide influential size, distance, and obstacles on each pin and around each lie. These gadgets can provide you with a glimpse of the center, front, and back of the green. Your GPS can spot hazards ahead so that you can plan the shot accordingly. Also, most GPS gadgets are equipped with digital scorecards, displays, and statistics analysis. As with rangefinders, they are mostly compact, lightweight, and weatherproof. For hands-free convenience, you can opt for a wristwatch model. For larger display screens, you must buy a hand-held golf GPS system.

Technology On The Course

GPS units and golf rangefinders can be your secret weapon when playing the course. However, the question remains? How do you decide on which one is the best option according to your needs? Should you opt for a golf rangefinder, or is a golf GPS more suitable?

A man playing golf image

Golf Rangefinders Versus Golf GPS Units

If you’re knowledgeable about using a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera, then you will probably have no issue with operating the golf rangefinder. Golf GPS gadgets may necessitate downloading and installing a database about the particular course, and you may require additional set-up before the device is ready for hitting the links. Both GPS units and rangefinders have progressed over the years and have become especially user-friendly.

Even though the technology has enhanced, some laser rangefinders experience an issue with calculating over water, sand, and through the rain.

Elevation and slope measurements that are provided by rangefinders may be technically illegal under the USGA rules.

Bear in mind, golf technology and capabilities may be varied according to the product. For more information, it is useful always to consult the manufacturer’s information.

Golf GPS’s capabilities:

  • Include the ability to display a thorough map of each hole.
  • For more precise approach shots, indicate how far you are from the pin.
  • Might display dangers that could be hidden from view from your current position.
  • Can occasionally be used as a standard watch.
  • The distance between the ball to the hazards. Very useful for deciding whether or not to lay up.
  • Tracking shot performance for thorough game analysis.

Golf rangefinders capabilities:

  • Precise distance for approach shots from you to the pin.
  • May display how far risks are from you.
  • Scope, or the target’s angle of ascent.
  • As long as the laser detects the item, it can be useful for measuring distances.

Consideration in Choosing GPS and Rangefinder

According to one school of thought, GPS with full-hole imagery is less helpful the lower the handicap. That school holds the opinion that superior players can navigate the course just fine using a rangefinder or a straightforward front-middle-back GPS watch.

That was probably accurate five or ten years ago. For the better golfer who practices exclusively at a select few courses, the statement is still valid. However, advances in handheld technology offer specifics and knowledge that any golfer, regardless of handicap, may use wherever they play.

In a nutshell, course management is everything.

If you have a GPS, you can glance at what’s in front of you and it will calculate your remaining approach time for you. Although the chances suggest the ball will be more likely in the woods, a pond, or a bunker than on the green, the higher handicapper may still prefer to hit a 3-wood in that scenario. That can swiftly change what might have been a quadruple or worse from what might have at worst been a bogie. Eliminate a few careless errors, and your score can be reduced by four or five strokes.

As we’ve already indicated, a rangefinder or a basic front-middle-back GPS watch may be all you need if you often play the same course or courses and are familiar with them. Your local knowledge helps you visualize holes, and with time you learn which holes you can go for and which require laying up. Purchasing a rangefinder with slope would be a pleasant reward if the courses are hilly.

A mobile device with hole graphics has clear advantages if you travel frequently for work or pleasure or love discovering new golf courses. When faced with blind shots, hidden risks, or false fronts, rangefinders and simple GPS watches are of little assistance. Of course, you may consult the scorecard or the free yardage book provided by a resort to get a sense of what you’re seeing, but devices like the SX 400 and SX500 allow more involvement. Depending on your angle of approach, the screen will automatically rotate, and you may use the cursor to get exact yardages to certain hazards or targets.

In these circumstances, a handheld device is comparable to a digital caddie or, at the absolute least, a digital yardage book used by professionals.

To summarize

Technology is a great invention. It provides you with a ton of options to help you calculate your distance. It just depends on which one best suits your needs.

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be just one, depending on your circumstances. On their home course, many golfers use a laser or basic GPS watch, and when they travel, they use either an app or a portable. Some even combine the two methods, using the handheld to gain a sense of the layout and layup and the laser for the approach shot. Due to the new technology’s accessibility, doubling up is a real possibility.