Best Golf Rangefinder (2015 Reviews)

by | September 24, 2015

Best Golf Rangefinder (2015 Reviews)

It is very difficult to isolate the “best” of anything in a sea of competing products, and golf rangefinders are no exception.  Like most products, though, we can look at what the general consensus is and narrow the selection down to a list of rangefinders that you should consider.

With that said, here is a review of many of the best laser golf rangefinders from reputable brands such as Bushnell, Nikon, Callaway, Leupold and others.Best Golf Rangefinders 2015

Lasers, as opposed to GPS units which can also measure distances, are generally more accurate, work on any golf course and can measure distances to any object the user desires.  Lasers and GPS units both have their strengths and weaknesses, but only laser rangefinders will be featured on this page.

What will follow next is a detailed comparison chart of different rangefinders and a discussion of their features, benefits, drawbacks and reception (ratings).  The rangefinders are listed according to my personal rating from highest to lowest.  The links on this page will take you to the respective listings of each of the rangefinders where you can buy them for a great price.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to see my #1 rangefinder recommendation for 2015!

Golf Laser RangefinderPrice on Amazon in USD (subject to change)Some SpecificationsStrengths and WeaknessesAmazon Review RatingMy Rating
1. Bushnell Tour V3 Standard

bushnelltourv3
$229.98

$229.95 for Patriot Pack (includes casing skin)
Magnification: 5x

Range (flag): 5-1000 yds (400 yds)

Accuracy: 1 yd

Weight: 6.7 oz

Dimensions: 4.2" x 1.6" x 2.8"
Strengths:
• superb build quality
• little to no setup required
• very simple to use
• very durable
• long battery life

Weaknesses:
• questionable quality of battery door component
• repair/return process for problem units is unpleasant
4.7/54.9/5
2. Bushnell Tour V3 Slope

bushnelltourv3slope
$304.91

$309.98 for Patriot Pack
Magnification: 5x

Range (flag): 5-1000 yds (400 yds)

Accuracy: 1 yd

Weight: 6.6 oz

Dimensions: 4.3" x 2.8" x 1.6"
Strengths:
• see pros of standard Tour V3
• slope feature works nicely and can really help to lower your score

Weaknesses:
• not allowed in tournaments
• some might find the slope adjustment feature not worth the added cost
4.7/54.8/5
3. Nikon COOLSHOT 20

nikoncoolshot20
$169.99Magnification: 6x

Range: 6-550 yards

Accuracy: 1 yd (shorter than 100 yds), 2 yds (more than 100 yds)

Weight: 4.4 oz

Dimensions: 3.6" x 2.9" x 1.5"
Strengths:
• very lightweight
• exceptionally clear image
• picks up targets quickly and easily
• feels solid in hand
• great value for price

Weaknesses:
• a bit difficult to hold steady due to the light weight
• tends to have trouble picking up flags from far away (~200+ yards out) or that have woods in the background
4.5/54.7/5
4. Tectectec VPRO500

tectectecvrpro500
$149.99Magnification: 6x

Range: 5-540 yds

Accuracy: 1 yd

Weight: 6.5 oz

Dimensions: 4.1" x 2.8" x 1.6"
Strengths:
• solid construction
• modes are easy to use and work well
• gives accurate and clear readings
• great value for money
• great customer service

Weaknesses:
• can sometimes have difficulty locking onto a flagstick
• case scratches easily and isn't the most durable
4.6/54.7/5
5. Callaway 300

callaway300
$209.99Magnification: 6x

Range (flag): 5-1000 yds (300 yds)

Accuracy: 1 yd

Weight: 7.5 oz

Dimensions: 4.25" x 3" x 1.75"
Strengths:
• easy to use
• very durable and light
• sturdy design
• has a focus adjustment on eye piece
• reads out distances quickly and accurately even from far away

Weaknesses:
• unit can sometimes have trouble turning on due to an improper securing of the battery housing cap
4.3/54.7/5
6. Bushnell Tour Z6

bushnelltourz6
$339.99Magnification: 6x

Range (flag): 5-1300 yds (450 yds)

Accuracy: 1/2 yd

Weight: 8 oz

Dimensions: 1.3" x 4" x 2.9"
Strengths:
• lightning fast
• quality construction
• sharp images
• accurate, compact, easy to operate
• very easy to lock on to targets
• long battery life

Weaknesses:
• jolt vibration occassionally does not work
• some may find the rangefinder to be too expensive
4.8/54.7/5
7. Leupold GX-3i2

leupoldgx3i2
$349.78Magnification: 6x

Range (flag): 5-800 yds (450 yds)

Weight: 7.8 oz

Dimensions: 3.8" x 3" x 1.4"
Strengths:
• high quality construction
• easy to use and fast
• excellent optics
• LED display is easy to read in all conditions

Weaknesses:
• performance of pinseeker function is questionable
• at times it can be difficult to target flags
4.6/54.6/5
8. Tectectec VPRO500 Slope

tectectecvrpro500s
$179.99Magnification: 6x

Range: 5-540 yds

Accuracy: 1 yd
Strengths:
• well made
• easy to use
• slope adjustment works well
• very accurate
• great value for money

Weaknesses:
• occasionally struggles to lock on to flags, especially from far away
4.5/54.5/5

1. Bushnell Tour V3 Standard Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $229.98 on Amazon (see chart for link), $229.95 for the Patriot Pack (currently cheaper than standalone!)

Features/Benefits:  The successor to the Tour V2, the ergonomically-designed Tour V3 has what Bushnell calls “PinSeeker with JOLT Technology“.  What the technology does is provide short vibrating bursts that allow the user to be certain the laser has locked onto the flag or any other target.  Operation is vertical and single-hand, and the rangefinder is legal for tournament play.  Other features include:Bushnell Tour V3 Standard Rangefinder

  • a 24mm objective scope with a 5x magnification
  • a SCAN mode which updates the LCD screen continuously when panning the rangefinder
  • rainproof, 2-year warranty, 3-volt battery included
  • accurate to within 1 yard
  • ranging performance of 5-1000 yards, around 400 yards to flag

The Tour V3 is smaller and lighter and calculates distance more quickly than the previous Tour V2.

Reception:  Extremely positive.  At the time of writing, this is the #1 best-selling rangefinder on Amazon and it has a 4.7/5 rating with over 600 customer reviews.
Pros:  Excellent build quality, little to no setup required, very easy to use (point and shoot), very accurate, long battery life
Cons:  Unpleasant return/repair process for dysfunctional units, questionable quality of battery door component
My rating:  4.9/5

2. Bushnell Tour V3 Slope Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $304.91 on Amazon (see chart for link), $309.98 for the Patriot Pack

Features/Benefits:  The Tour V3 Slope is virtually identical in terms of design and features to the standard Tour V3 (see the features above) except for one featBushnell Tour V3 Slope Rangefinderure: the ability to adjust distances/yardages based on the degree of incline/decline of the slope.

As you probably know, the correct yardage to shoot for changes depending on the elevation of the flag (or any other target) relative to your current position; the Tour V3 Slope accounts for this automatically, saving you time and taking away the guesswork involved in determining the optimal yardage to hit.

Bushnell is evidently valuing this “Slope Technology” at almost $100.  This should be well worth the extra cost for golfers who frequently play courses that are hilly or have a lot of elevation changes.

Reception:  Like the standard Tour V3, this is a very highly rated rangefinder — 4.7/5 rating on Amazon (Patriot Pack is #12 best seller) with over 190 customer reviews.
Pros:  Slope feature works beautifully and can really help shave off strokes (in addition to pros of standard Tour V3)
Cons:  Not legal for tournament play, some might find the slope adjustment feature not worth the added cost
My rating:  4.8/5

3. Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $169.99 on Amazon (see chart for link)

Features/Benefits:  The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 weighs 125 grams, is lightweight and has an ergonomic design.  It has a ranging performance of 6-550 yards and is accurate to within roughly 1.5 yards on average depending on the distance to the target.  Nikon’s “First Target Priority” technology enables the rangefinder to easily identify a flagstick against a backdrop such as a forested area.  Other features include:Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Laser Rangefinder

  • a multilayer-coated, high quality Nikon 6x monocular that produces excellent clarity and brightness
  • a continuous measurement feature (enabled by pressing the POWER button once) that allows for quick and easy measurement of multiple targets even with slight hand shake
  • rainproof, two-year warranty
  • a long eye relief design favourable for eyeglass wearers

The COOLSHOT 20 is compact (3.6″ x 1.5″ x 2.9″) yet very precise.  It is also legal for tournament play.  Nikon is a world leader in optics and this rangefinder is certainly a reflection of that.

Reception:  This rangefinder has a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon (with over 42 customer reviews) and is currently the #2 best seller there.
Pros:  Exceptionally clear image, very lightweight, picks up targets quickly and easily, feels solid in hand, great value for price
Cons:  A bit difficult to hold steady due to the light weight, tends to have trouble picking up flags from far away (~200+ yards out) or against certain backdrops in some cases
My rating:  4.7/5

4. Tectectec VPRO500 Golf Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $149.99 (sale) on Amazon (see chart for link)

Features/Benefits:  The Tectectec VPRO500 has a ranging performance of 5-540 yards.  It features “Advanced PinSensor Technology” which helps to measure overlapping subjects in your path (such as in the rain).  It has three modes, which are:Tectectec VPRO500 Laser Rangefinder

First Target Priority Mode:  calculates and displays the distance to the closest subject, useful when you want to measure the distance to a flagstick with woods in the background
Distant Target Priority Mode:  calculates and displays the distance to the farthest subject, useful when measuring the distance to a target through a wooded area
ProScan Mode:  useful for measuring the distance to hazards

The rangefinder has a 6x monocular with a multilayer coating for a sharp and bright image.  Other features include:

  • rainproof, one-year warranty
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • includes carrying bag, strap, microfiber cloth, one battery
  • accurate to within 1 yard

The battery is a CR2 cell and is not rechargeable.  This rangefinder is tournament legal.

Reception:  This rangefinder has been received very well; it is currently the #4 best seller on Amazon and has a 4.6/5 rating with over 130 customer reviews.
Pros:  Gives accurate and clear numbers, modes are easy to use and work well, solid construction, great value for money, great customer service
Cons:  Can sometimes have difficulty locking onto a flagstick, case scratches easily and isn’t as durable as it could be
My rating:  4.7/5

5. Callaway 300 Golf Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $209.99 for Power Pack on Amazon (currently cheaper than standalone!)

Features/Benefits:  The Callaway 300 has a sleek, compact, ergonomic design, a light weight (7.5 oz), and is legal for tournament play.  It has a ranging performance of 5-1000 yards and is accurate to within 1 yard.  Callaway’s “Pin Acquisition Technology (P.A.T.)” enables the user to lock onto a flag from up to 300 yards away.  Other features include:Callaway 300 Laser Rangefinder

  • 6x magnification
  • water and fog proof
  • includes carrying case and a CR2 3V lithium battery
  • a mode that allows for quick scanning of multiple targets like hazards and bunkers

Reception:  This rangefinder has a great 4.3/5 star rating on Amazon (with over 20 customer reviews) and it is the #11 best-seller.
Pros:  Very durable and light, sturdy design, easy to use, reads out distances quickly and accurately even from far away, has a focus adjustment on eye piece
Cons:  Battery housing cap is not secured properly and it may prevent the unit from turning on due to a bad connection
My rating:  4.7/5

6. Bushnell Tour Z6 Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $339.99 on Amazon (see chart for link)

Features/Benefits:  Like the Tour V3 series of rangefinders, the Bushnell Tour Z6 also features PinSeeker with Jolt Technology, which provides short vibrating bursts that confirm to the user the laser has locked onto the flag.  The Tour Z6 can acquire flags from up to 450 yards away, and it has a total performance range of 5 to 1300 yards.  The rangefinder is legal for tournament play.

The Tour Z6 also has what Bushnell calls “Second Generation E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision) and “VDT (Vivid Display Technology)”.  E.S.P. provides very quick and accurate yardages, and VDT improves clarity, contrast and light transmission.  Other features include:Bushnell Tour Z6 Laser Rangefinder

  • accurate to within 1/2 a yard
  • 6x magnification
  • fully waterproof, 2-year warranty
  • includes carrying case and a 3-volt 123 battery
  • adjustable diopter setting

Reception:  This rangefinder that has a staggeringly good 4.8/5 rating on Amazon (over 115 customer reviews), where it is the #10 best-seller.  It is on the pricey side, but you can be certain that it is a quality product.
Pros:  Lightning fast, very easy to lock on to targets, accurate, compact, easy to operate, long battery life, sharp images, quality construction
Cons:  Some may find the rangefinder to be too expensive, jolt vibration occasionally doesn’t work
My rating:  4.7/5

7. Leupold GX-3i2 Golf Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $349.78 on Amazon (see chart for link)

Features/Benefits:  The Leupold GX-3i2 rangefinder features “DNA (Digitally Enhanced Accuracy)” which affords faster, more precise measurements.  The optics are bright, clear, have low glare and are scratch-resistant.  The maximum range is 800 yards, or 450 yards to the flag.  Legal for tournament play.

The GX-3i2 also has a “Fog Mode” — in this mode, the rangefinder ignores any fog or weather artifacts that might be between you and the pin and would otherwise interfere with your measurement.  Other features include:Leupold GX-3i2 Rangefinder

  • Pin Hunter 2” laser technology, which filters out images in the background and makes it easier to lock on to a flagstick
  • Prism Lock” technology, which helps the rangefinder find the flag prism and display the distance quickly
  • scan mode (for continuous measuring)
  • quick set menu for easy settings navigation
  • 6x magnification
  • waterproof, lifetime warranty

Reception:  This rangefinder is highly rated — 4.6/5 with over 30 customer reviews — and many people prefer Leupold GX rangefinders over those from Bushnell, Nikon, etc.
Pros:  Easy to use, fast, LED display is easy to read in all conditions, excellent optics, high quality construction
Cons:  Can be difficult to target flags at times, questionable performance of pinseeker function
My rating:  4.6/5

 8. Tectectec VPRO500S Slope Golf Laser Rangefinder

Price and where to buy:  $179.99 (sale) on Amazon (see chart for link)

Features/Benefits:  The Tectectec VPRO500S Slope is similar to the standard VPRO500 but with the added benefit of being able to factor the elevation change into the distance calculation.  The VPRO500S has three modes:Tectectec VPRO500S Slope Laser Rangefinder

Slope Mode (with “PinSlope Technology”, cannot be turned off):  provides a slope-adjusted distance, taking into account any inclines or declines in front of you so that you can be confident you’re hitting the right club
Flagseeker Mode (with “Advanced PinSensor Technology”):  consists of two sub-modes, First Target Priority (displays distance to closest subject) and Distance Target Priority (displays distance to farthest subject)
Scan Mode:  provides continuous measuring, useful for finding distances to hazards

As this rangefinder has a slope feature, it is not legal for tournament play.  It comes with a carrying bag, cloth, strap, and a CR2 3V battery.  Other features include:

  • 6x monocular with a multilayer coating for bright, sharp images
  • rainproof
  • accurate to within 1 yard
  • 1-year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee

Reception:  This rangefinder has a great reception.  It has a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon with over 35 customer reviews, and it is one of the best selling rangefinders currently available.
Pros:  Great value for money, very accurate, well made, easy to use, slope feature works well
Cons:  Occasionally struggles to lock on to flags particularly from far away
My rating:  4.5/5


Based on my own research and testing, these are some of the best laser golf rangefinders currently available.  Many of them are a couple of years old and can be bought at a great price.

For those on a tight budget who are looking for something effective but on the lower end, something the VPRO500/VPRO500S or the COOLSHOT 20 would be an excellent choice.  What I would recommend doing is simply choosing a rangefinder (either from among this list here or from here) with a price that is closest to your budget.  If your budget isn’t set in stone, the Bushnell Tour V3 is really a rangefinder to consider — it offers a fantastic balance between price and quality.

Note that you can get all of the rangefinders mentioned above used at lower prices right here.

==> My #1 laser rangefinder recommendation for 2015 that I believe packs the most value per dollar? It’s THIS one! See the relevant section above for information on why. <==

Best of luck shopping for your golf rangefinder!


Images courtesy of:  Amazon

46 thoughts on “Best Golf Rangefinder (2015 Reviews)

  1. Elsie

    Great review! I’ve read through it and now I feel like I can make a good decision. My choice is between the cheaper Coolshot or if I can afford it, the Bushnell Tour V3.

    I think that rainproof is one feature I need for sure…

    Thankyou again for such a great review. Glad to know you will update it as products are released so it will stay relevant. Thanks for the help.

    Elsie

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Elsie. The rainproof feature is indeed nice, and I believe most rangefinders have it these days.

      Good luck with your decision!

      Reply
  2. Brandon

    Nice website. I noticed a lot of people are in to golf. I always had a hard time wondering what to give my father in law for Christmas or his birthday, but I know he doesn’t have a golf range finder. I know he would like this a lot since he is really into golfing.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      That’s great Brandon. A rangefinder is a very useful tool for anyone halfway serious about golfing, and I have little doubt it would help him a great deal.

      Reply
  3. JeffWA

    Paul,
    Wow what a thorough and concise article that you wrote pertaining to golf rangefinders. Anyone seriously into the sport would benefit from reading your excellent review to help themselves make the right choice in this product if that is what they are seeking.

    On a personal note, I used to play golf occasionally when I was younger. I was never anywhere close to being great, trust me on that. Visiting Hawaii in the early 1990’s and on the island of Maui I went out golfing a few times. This was back when I participated in the sport.

    I will always remember the view presented on one of the holes – a par 3. It was a sharp downhill location from tee to green. On the tee box there was this glorious view beyond the green of the Pacific Ocean and a neighboring island, Kahoolawe off in the distance. To this day it remains one of the most beautiful sights regarding scenery that I have ever seen on my 58 years living on this Earth. I could have remained there all afternoon but unfortunately I was part of a threesome, plus a group was following us.

    I eventually gave up the sport – too frustrating!

    However if I did and fairly serious about the sport visiting your site and what you have to offer in this article would be worthy of my time.

    Great job on your part, sir in creating such a magnificent and worthwhile article!
    Sincerely,
    Jeff

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the the great comment and story Jeff. It does seem like there are a lot of people these days that “used to play” but don’t anymore — I’m sure mostly due to the cost and the difficulty of the sport. If you can work in a schedule and an expenditure into your annual budget, though, it’s much easier to overcome those obstacles.

      As for your experience in Hawaii, that does indeed sound like an amazing view. Not at all surprising — Hawaii is wonderful (some nasty critters though). Do you remember the name of the golf course?

      Reply
  4. Daniella

    Hi Paul,

    What a nice article, I really enjoyed reading it!
    I used to play golf a lot before having my two beautiful children. Since then I don’t have the time to play, just some time with friends, but not regularly like before.
    This review explains very well about Golf Rangefinder.
    I personally liked the Bushnell tour Z6,even though it is the most expensive one. I will surely show this review to my husband, I am certain he will love it!
    Thank you for this great article

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Golf can be time consuming, yes. For something that’s going to last you many years, it can be a great idea to invest in something with a quality build and better specs like the Tour Z6. Send your husband on over, definitely! Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  5. Rob

    Wow, I didn’t even know these things existed. No need for a caddie now I guess. As usual you have done an excellent job of providing detailed information on a number of items. More than enough info to make a good decision. For me cheap and compact is best. All things considered the Nikon coolshot 20 looks like an ideal purchase. Thanks for the great info.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      They’re extremely handy for yardages out on the course, yes, but they can never fully replace caddies. Carrying clubs, cleaning equipment, tending the pin, providing advice and guidance, being a companion to the golfer, etc. are things that caddies are valued for. Certainly for most amateurs/weekenders, though, a rangefinder is more than enough. As for the Nikon, it really is an awesome choice for someone on a tight budget. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  6. Lina

    Hi Paul, thanks for your very detail review. I don’t see Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Golf Rangefinder with Slope in the list. That’s great. Because i think it’s way too expensive with not so much quality differences, only magnification and accuracy. I would prefer Bushnell Tour V3 Standard. But is it tournament certified like Pro X7?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Lina. The rangefinders I have included in the list are ones that I believe best balance both price and performance. In the case of the Pro X7 Slope jolt, it’s top of the line when it comes to rangefinders — slope equipped, high magnification, high range, top quality optics, etc. but it is true that many (if not most) people would find it too expensive, and that’s why it’s not on the list. The Bushnell Tour V3 standard is indeed legal for tournament play, like almost all non-slope rangefinders are.

      Reply
  7. Tyler

    Wow! I didn’t even know rangefinders were something that were used in golf but after reading the article it really does make sense. I come from a hunting background and especially in archery rangefinders are a very beneficial tool. Although I don’t personally do enough golfing to use a range finder this article helped me narrow down my choices for my next rangefinder to use for hunting!

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Yes, Tyler, hunting is another application in which rangefinders are used. I know little about the practice myself, but I would assume that you’d want a rangefinder with a distant target priority mode (can lock onto objects in the background, VPRO500 is an example); you should make sure that any golf rangefinder you might get has such a feature. Thanks for your interest!

      Reply
  8. Robert

    I just read your review on rangefinders. I was surprised to read that some are approved for tournament play. I am glad you took the time to list them side by side. Now I have to make a choice.

    I didn’t know that Callaway was in the game. Do you know if they are making it, or using a manufacturer and putting their name on it?

    For me it boils down to easy and sure target lock on, rain proof and durable. I am prone to dropping everything but shots. Thanks, Robert

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Robert,

      I’m not sure about that one, but it’s possible that their rangefinders are private label. I’m sure you’d be able to find out by contacting Callaway. As for your preferences, it sounds like a Bushnell Tour V3 or Callaway 300 would be a great fit for you. Good luck!

      Reply
  9. Mauricio

    Hello Paul, and thanks for sharing your information, I started playing golf recently and have been looking for much information as possible. This post is very helpful to find information about golf rangefinders. I wil start considering the Nikon Coolshot 20, seems a pretty good choice for an affordable price.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      That’s great, Mauricio. Do let me know if you have any questions related to your rangefinder shopping.

      Reply
  10. Dancinscot

    I took a good look at what you have here. Thanks. The last time I caddied for my dad there were no such things as rangefinders (hah)! The detail is impressive however and the chart gives a golfer a lot of options in terms of the best rangefinders of 2015. I would certainly recommend this page if anyone asked me for advice on quality rangefinders to look at.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Glad you found it helpful. Do remember that the rangefinders listed here pertain to 2015 and years prior. Naturally, I will be providing an updated rangefinder comparison for 2016 at the end of this year.

      Reply
  11. ddflemingesq

    Great article and detailed comparison chart! I always wondered how accurate those rangefinders actually are – within 1/2 a yard?!? There certainly are lots of features and choices in the offerings. Thanks for doing such thorough research! How much do you think bad golfers like me would benefit from the accuracy of these things?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment. As for your question, it’s hard to say — it depends on the person. How much do you care about getting precise yardages to your targets or any other points of interest? If the answer is not that much or not at all, it might be best to pass on it until you improve to the point where you feel that knowing your yardages will make a difference. Then again, you won’t know how much it will benefit you until you try it.

      Reply
  12. npern

    It’s pretty amazing that rangefinders are this sophisticated these days. Unbelievable that they can, not only give you an accurate distance, but can adjust the distance due to the incline or decline that you on on. I myself don’t play nearly enough to get one but anyone who does should definitely check out this article. I’m sure it can help take a couple of strokes off your game. Thanks for the great information! I’ll keep this bookmarked.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Indeed, technology has come a long way in the golf industry over the past number of decades. I appreciate the comment.

      Reply
  13. christinamk

    I really love comparison charts, they make it so much easier to decide which product is best for you. These rangefinders are all so similar but have important differences. I also like how you put the amazon review ranking. I always like to check reviews on amazon as they seem to be very telling about whether a product will be good or not. I gave this a good look — it was very helpful. Thanks! I wonder why the slope variants are not allowed during tournament play?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Glad you found this helpful. Regarding your question, the USGA/R&A rules of golf state that devices that adjust distance calculations based on course conditions (slope, wind speed, temperature, etc.) are never allowed for tournament play — it’s just the way it is, not to mention the fact that even pure distance devices are sometimes disallowed. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  14. Zach

    I haven’t golfed in a long while, and I have never used a range finder. I found these reviews to be helpful, because I plan on getting back into it. Which one would you recommend for a person who has never used one? I wouldn’t even know what all they are used for. Which one do you use?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Zach,

      You would really do well with any of these rangefinders. Each comes with a full user guide designed to help any newbie get acquainted with the features and the operation of the device. In addition to thoroughly researching all eight of the rangefinders listed here, I have personally used several of them including the Bushnell Tour V3, Tectectec VPRO500 and Callaway 300; all are great, but as you can see my top choice in terms of performance for the price is the Tour V3. Good luck and do feel free to shoot if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  15. Alec Terry

    great post on finding the best range finder for golfers. I especially like how you included a chart here to highlight the major pros of each range finder you selected. helpful stuff. this must have taken you a while to put together. I have heard really great things about the Tectectec VPRO500 and Bushnell Tour V3 in particular — I am probably going to decide between those two. thanks a lot.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      No problem Alec. Glad you find this informative. Both of those models you mention are massively popular to this day and have been proven to deliver; I’m sure either would serve you very well. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  16. Bob Brooks

    Thanks for the post, Thank you for reviewing all in one place, I was spending too much time jumping from one review to another. The comparison chart made my search simple and effective. I sometimes buy on price alone and then not happy. The chart highlights the important features and benefits, made it easy to pick what’s right based on what I want

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Glad to hear it Bob. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

      Reply
  17. Alec Terry

    I think that you did an excellent job detailing each of these rangefinders and providing an honest and helpful review to help potential buyers narrow down their choices from all the numerous different options they are likely to be bombarded with out there.

    Are range finders necessary for those looking to get into golf for the first time? Also, if you are very experienced, or even professional do you tend to rely more on your own eyes in determining the best course of action to take while hitting the ball?

    Great post!

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks Alec. No, they’re not necessary, but they can really come in handy for golfers who want to know their yardages and choose the optimal club for each situation. For a skilled enough golfer, knowing an exact yardage as opposed to just making an estimation can make a big difference in score at the end of the day. I would say that the better you get, the more you’ll want to know your yardages and also the more you’ll develop a good visual intuition about what club and ball flight is appropriate; hence, the answer to your last question is yes, but not necessarily at the expense of obtaining precise measurements. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  18. Carlton Gonder

    I should concede, my scores were extensively lower this mid year because of the Bushnell Tour V3 Slope. In spite of the fact that this gadget is fairly expensive I feel that it was justified regardless of the speculation. The manufacture quality is uncommon and I feel this will be in my sack for a long time to come. Simply point-and-snap – it’s simply that simple. Also, the supplied battery is as yet running for 6 months – I play 36-45 gaps for every week. I’m a 6-handicapper teeing off from both the conventional white and blue tee boxes. It’s incredible for “shooting” yardage to different focuses on every gap, and it important for setting up genuine yardages on the driving reach. Simply knowing the “precise” yardage to the opening takes out the mystery/botches in club choice – it resembles having your own caddie finding yardage for you. I beforehand utilized the GolfLogix gadget and the Swing-by-Swing application on my PDA – discovered them excessively dull and hard, making it impossible to peruse (glare from the sun) – required glasses for the advanced mobile phone (more than 40 you know), and never got the yardage to the opening – just focus/front/back – decent, however not sufficient for me.

    Yours Truly,

    Carlton

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for sharing Carlton. Glad you’ve gotten a lot of benefit from the V3 Slope. Any golfer who’s halfway serious about the game should have one.

      Reply
  19. lifebeginswithyourhealth

    Golfing and rangefinders are all new to me, but interests me quite a lot. I have considered taking up the game of golf since I am becoming older and the sports I participate in now are becoming very strenuous for me.

    What is a rangefinder used for in the game of golf, would this not be considered kind of cheating using one of these to improve your score?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment. Rangefinders are used to get accurate distance measurements to fixed points on a golf course such as flags, the front of greens and hazards; this information is important for golfers who can be precise coming into the greens. They can be considered “cheating” if they’re against the rules on a pro tour or other tournament. Often times, distance-only rangefinders they are allowed in tournaments, and in that case rangefinders that are labeled “legal for tournament play” are perfectly legal to use. I indicate the legality of all the rangefinders listed in this post.

      Reply
  20. Heathguy33

    Great reviews on these golf range finders. I have been golfing for some time now. Not professionally but just every now and then when i go to my grandpa’s he owns a golf course. But he tries to eyeball the yardages when we play I’m like grandpa thats not possible no way your accurately projecting the distance. So i’m going to do him and me both a favor and look into one of these range finders for us. Any you recommend for nonprofessional golfers?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Yeah, you can only accomplish so much eyeballing it. Any of the rangefinders I list here would be great whether you’re a professional or non-professional. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  21. Marc

    Overall the review was very useful. I am new to golf in general and the information was very helpful. I am curious, why is there such is big price difference? Some models cost HALF as much but offered similar features. I noticed that 5x or 6x magnification were common. But 6x was present on the less expensive models. Is it best to start with the base model or just go for the best?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Some of the main determinants of price when it comes to rangefinders include quality of optics (image clarity, etc.), operation speed, range (the larger the better), accuracy (the smaller the better), and construction quality. The more expensive models listed here will typically have a bigger range, better accuracy rating and have better optics among other things. A larger magnification allows you to obtain a larger image in the viewfinder, but for most people it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of effectively locking on to the desired object and calculating distance, which is why it’s not a particularly important price-affecting feature.

      What do you mean by base model? In my opinion a 5-1000 yard range and 5x magnification (Tour V3, Callaway 300) is more than enough to accommodate the needs of the average golfer out on the course. If you want a slope feature for extra assistance outside of a tournament then you have that option as well.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  22. Ken

    I happened on this site while looking for range finders and found the the information here is invaluable in picking out the best ones available. I go to shooting contests for distance and have need of a good range finder and here there is a right up on the Bushnell with slope integration which is exactly what I need to get to the next step. the article is very well written and easily understood. Thanks for the information.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Glad to hear it Ken. Do make sure that the rangefinder you’re looking to get has the features you need for your purposes since it sounds like you’re not intending on using it for golf. Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

      Reply
  23. mark

    Very nice Review!

    I was thinking about getting the Nikon COOLSHOT 20 , but now seeing the other models and seeing its weaknesses I might consider choosing another model, maybe the Callaway 300 would be a better choice, considering the only weakness mentioned it might be just the battery housing cap.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Mark,

      Even though the Callaway 300 is more expensive than the COOLSHOT 20, I wouldn’t say that it’s strictly better just because it has less listed under weaknesses. I have done my best to evaluate the pros and cons of each of these models based on my own experience as well as the experience of the customer base at large, but at the end of the day nothing can be considered completely objective. Just remember that price has a weak to moderate correlation with overall quality. Also remember that it’s okay to let any brand preference(s) you might have influence your decision. Good luck!

      Reply

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