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There was a time when a golfer had to know how far the ball would fly off each club before analyzing the elevation of the green, the break of the fairway, the angle of the tree line and the position of the flag when taking a golf shot. Even then, he or she needed to develop that ethereal sixth sense between eyeball and brain to gage the yardage of a shot.
Now, 21st century technology allows you to plan your shot with laser precision. The best golf rangefinders use modern science to register an accurate distance to a golf flag or any other destination on a golf course. Using the device much like a telescope, the user puts the rangefinder up to the eye and hits a button or pulls a trigger. Lasers ping here and there and read yardage numbers. These days, most flag sticks even have reflectors built into them that wait to help bounce those beams.
Here you’ll encounter a collection of the most popular golf laser rangefinders from the top manufacturers in the game. You’ll find companies known for binocular and cameras that have made a lateral move into these optical gadgets, as well as classic options from brands like Callaway. We tried to offer a useful range of functions and prices, so keep reading to find the best golf rangefinders for sale in 2020.
1. Bushnell Tour V5 Shift
Bushnell sets the game’s standard for golf laser rangefinders. The Tour V5 Shift sits one tick below the top of the company’s line at $399. It comes with plenty of practical features, such as a durable, high-impact design and its BITE Magnetic Mount for convenient attachments to golf carts. Still, it’s the Bushnell Slope Compensation technology that sets the Tour V5 apart. Onboard A.I. reads elevation changes and adjusts distance readout to match to allow the best possible club selection.
2. TecTecTec ULT-X Golf Rangefinder
BEST BUDGET BUY
The TecTecTec ULT-X Golf Rangefinder is especially proud of its 1,000 laser readout range. Now, that’s overkill — unless you’re playing some of the crazier golf courses in the world. Still, that’s an indication of how gung-ho TecTecTec was to stuff features into their ULT-X. Their designers included the most up-to-date optical laser technology possible in a $300 unit that challenges the popular Bushnells. Its laser tech pays off with highly reliable distance reads. According to tests, the ULT-X accuracy is to within 0.3 yards at distances of up to 300 yards, 0.5 yards at distances of up to 600 yards and +/-1 yard at distances up to 1,000 yards. Then again, if you find yourself playing a 1,000-yard hole, put the rangefinder away, grip and rip.
3. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder
The most compact laser rangefinder on this list, it’s also the most obsessed with a your potential inability to keep your hand steady if fatigued. The Coolshot Pro offers Nikon’s in-house stabilization technology to settle your view when you can’t settle your grip. Nikon also puts its camera design experience to work by installing automatic brightness and contrast features to enable the clearest possible optics. All of those features do make this Nikon a pricier unit in this collection at north of $400.
4. Garmin Approach Z82
Perhaps better known for producing fitness tracking wearables, Garmin also offers a golf laser rangefinder notable for its accuracy. The Approach Z82 boasts a pinpoint range of within 10 inches inside a visual distance of 450 yards. It also packs image stabilization to focus longer views and 2D Garmin CourseView mapping for more than 41,000 courses worldwide. Those images overlay on the viewfinder to help read elevation and lay of the land. All of this elite tech comes at the highest price on this list at around $600.
5. Bushnell Tour V5
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
If you can manage without the Bushnell Slope Compensation technology found in that company’s $399 Tour V5 Shift, the standard Tour V5 ticks all of the other essential boxes. It includes and LCD display and the BITE Magnetic Mount for attaching to golf carts. Its PinSeeker technology locates and locks onto the flag with an audio/visual alert. It’s 6-times visual magnification enhances a laser offering distances accurate to within a yard.
6. Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser Rangefinder
While better known for their clubs and golf balls, Callaway also dips into the laser rangefinder arena with their 300 Pro. Priced at $200, this Callaway offers a visual range of 1,000 yards and can lock onto the flag within 300 yards with its Pin Acquisition Technology. Armed with a slope feature to take elevation into consideration, the 300 Pro employs sound in its design and offers a chirp (…yes, like a birdie…) when the laser locks on the flag.
7. Bozily VPro X2 Golf Rangefinder
Though it might be a lesser known name in the golf laser rangefinder realm, Bozily loads the VPro X2 with a list of capabilities to rival any of its competitors. First, it ups the ante on total range to 1,500 yards. (Again, in such a case, see my “grip and rip” advice from earlier.) This Bozily also offers flag lock to keep the target in the sites and slope reading ability that the player can deactivate on demand if facing unusual terrain. All of that heads to the player’s bag for less than $150.
8. Bushnell Wingman
Okay, you can call a foul here. The Bushnell Wingman has no lasers onboard. Instead, it uses GPS to send the right distance numbers to you. Still, it’s a difficult device to place in best rangefinder world. It’s not vision-based. You don’t wear it on your wrist. You carry it in your bag or stick its magnetized edge to your golf cart. I just thought you might want to enjoy a little music now that you’ve worked your way through this collection. The Wingman plays your favorite tunes until you need the distance to the flag. A simple click announces that yardage before returning you to your regular musical programming.