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We pick out some of the best GPS laser rangefinders on the market in 2021. Designed to give you pinpoint distances to the flag, they are revolutionizing the way golf is played.
Casual and amateur golfers have been using rangefinders for years. Then, in 2019, the Rules of Golf according to the R&A and the USGA officially allowed their use in competitions as well as recreationally – though a golf club can restrict the use of such devices in certain circumstances via a Local Rule.
With the press of a button, golfers can look through the lens of the rangefinder and immediately know the yardage to the pin as well as bunkers and hazards. They also factor in slope and elevation when working out distances. They typically use a laser to determine distance, making them potentially more accurate than GPS devices. Here’s our picks, priced high to low:
Average price: €650
Provides 2-D overlays through the lens for both full-colour Course View and Green View detail. The flag finder feature gives precise distances to the pin. The Laser Range Arc feature will be drawn on the green at the distance ranged to the flag, so golfers can see if the pin is in the front of the green, middle, or back. There’s also a PlaysLike Distance feature that accounts for slopes and Pin Pointer feature which points to the middle of the green on blind shots.
Average price: €575
The Coolshot Pro features the stability of Nikon’s Coolshot 80’s vibration reduction in a more streamlined design. Locked On Technology accounts for overlapping targets, with a green circle confirming the target, which means golfers aren’t guessing at the flag and getting a wrong reading. ID Technology calculates and displays a slope-adjusted distance for how far a golfer should hit their ball.
Average price: €510
Bushnell Golf is the preferred distance-measuring device on the PGA Tour. Surveying 154 players during the 2021 Players Championship, 151 named Bushnell as their preferred distance device. The Pro XE has revolutionized golf laser rangefinders with the latest technology including Slope with Elements that accounts for incline/decline, barometric pressure and temperature to provide golfers and caddies the most precise compensated distances for precise shots.
Average price: €415
Loads of features including Bite technology, which is a magnetic mount, and Pinseeker with visual JOLT technology, which is a red ring that flashes as JOLT vibrates to let golfers know they have locked onto the flag. It has a Fast Focus System and is accurate to within one yard. The Shift comes with an improved slope algorithm and Slope-Switch technology which lets golfers turn the slope function on or off.
Average price: €400
This combines laser and GPS yardages together. Precise distances are provided by the Hybrid’s laser function powered by a CR2 battery, while a GPS display on the side, powered by a USB rechargeable lithium ion battery, delivers front, middle and back yardages to help golfers with blind shots. There’s also PinSeeker with Jolt Technology, providing short, vibrating bursts to spot the target and lock onto the flag.
Average price: €340
The outer casing has been slimmed down on this model so it fits more easily into your hand. This means the lasers can be held steady by users in any conditions, providing greater surety. It features the magnetic Bite feature and vibrating Jolt when the flag has been found, and the slope algorithm technology is ideal for hilly courses.
Value for money options:
Average price: €210
The Laser 1 provides laser measuring performance at a lower price. It’s lightweight with a sporty design and offers 6 x magnification and a wider LCD screen to ensure great visibility. It features three different targeting modes: standard, scan, and pin. It’s easy to use, with a vibration option to confirm target lock and a one-click scan feature.
Average price: €200
This features a Pin Finder function which is capable of calculating distances from five to 1,200 yards to within a yard. It also comes with ‘Slope Compensation’ mode which takes into account elevation changes. A ‘Priority First Goal’ allows golfers to measure to specific objects like flags and bunkers.
Average price: €150
This has a Slope Compensation toggle that provides slope-adjusted distances. A First Target priority function isolates the flag while measurements are confirmed by vibration tech. It is accurate to +/- 1 yard and can measure in yards or metres.