If you are looking for your first rangefinder, you may be surprised to see two different kinds available on the market: laser and GPS. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consider them before making your selection from some of the best golf rangefinders available today. To help ensure you understand what each version has to offer, here are some highlights to consider.
Laser rangefinders are simply to use, making them an excellent choice for beginners. All you have to do after setting up the rangefinder is point it at the target object in the distance by lining it up by using the viewfinder. Once you have it lined up, press the trigger to turn on the laser. Once the distance is determined, the reading will display on the included screen.
The simplicity of the design is one of the biggest benefits to choosing a laser rangefinder. They are also essentially ready to use right out of the box, except for possibly needing batteries. However, it is only helpful if the object to which you want to measure the distance is in view. If your target is over a hill, behind a tree, or otherwise out of you direct line of sight, you might not be able to get an accurate reading.
Additionally, there is more room for human error with a laser rangefinder, as you have to hold the device, find and center the target, and take the reading without accidentally moving. This means a mistake can occur if the device is mishandled during that process.
A GPS rangefinder connects to satellites to determine locations and measure distances. They can be highly accurate, and don’t have issues if the target isn’t within your line of sight, but they aren’t as easy to set up or use.
First, many GPS rangefinders require the course maps to be loaded into the device before you head out to play. While this can be fairly quick to do, it does require some planning and access to a computer with an internet connection. Second, come GPS rangefinders have monthly subscription fees. This means you have to keep up with your subscription or the rangefinder may no longer work.
However, a benefit of a GPSD rangefinder is that it can track your progress throughout the course without having to re-measure the distance every time you advance through the course. Some of the more advanced version can even determine when you change hole and can automatically select a new target based on the location of the hole on the upcoming green.
Additionally, it removes some of the issues related to human error in regards to readings. Since you don’t have to manually center the target, you don’t have to worry as much about how your movements could affect the reading. But it is important to note that issues with the GPS connection can prevent the device from providing readings at all, making it essentially useless.
Like laser rangefinders, GPS versions also either use batteries or need to be charged to ensure it has enough power to operate.
Both laser and GPS rangefinders have their place in the game of golf, so it is important to choose an option that suits your specific needs. Then, you can enjoy playing while having all of the distance data you need to improve.