Who doesn’t want pinpoint accuracy while playing golf? Both rangefinder and GPS provide you with accuracy but in a different manner. Stabilizing feature of the rangefinder has made it easier to capture the targets, whereas the club suggestion feature of GPS analyzes your swing history and suggests an accurate strike.
What should I Look for When Buying a Golf Rangefinder or Golf GPS?
Here are a bunch of things that you should keep in mind while buying Golf GPS or rangefinder so that you can choose the best golf rangefinder or GPS.
Accuracy determines how many strokes you take per course. By picking the wrong gadget, you get the wrong measurement. Every golfer wants to buy the most accurate range finder or GPs. So, checking out whether your product is accurate and effective or not should be your first priority.
Slope reading is not a compulsory feature though it helps you to play well on hilly courses. Firstly, you have to decide whether you want this feature or not. Anyone who is not a professional golfer will find the facilities provided by the slope reading feature very useful.
Longer battery life is another top requirement. The rate of device power consumption and overall battery capacity are the two factors that determine how long the battery survives. Usually, the rangefinders provide 8-10 hours of service simultaneously.
Stabilization/ Scan Mode
Golfers with shaky hands can use the rangefinder stabilization feature to solve the problem of target capturing. This feature helps to track and connect with the target. Some rangefinder comes with continuous scan mode that continuously fires to the targets until you capture it.
Ease of Use
You can find a lot of rangefinders in the market. But when you buy one, you must consider the ease of use. A professional golfer can use any of them. But if you are a beginner, then it is suggested to choose one which is easy to use.
Why Choose the Rangefinder over the GPS?
The reason to choose rangefinder over the GPS is below.
Accuracy is the main reason to choose rangefinders over GPS units. The laser accuracy gives the approximation for the blind uphill shots.
No Necessity of Preprogramming
GPS units are only effective on such courses, where GPS data has been preprogrammed on the device. If your device doesn’t include the course you want to play on, then it becomes useless. Therefore, instead of relying on a preprogrammed map, the rangefinder focuses on the target to get accurate measurements.
Target Lock Function
Many laser rangefinders have target lock functions that allow the laser to take hold of the object and read the exact measurement.
As rangefinder uses an interchangeable battery, it does not need to charge them in between rounds. Thus, it is easier to maintain than GPS.
No Need to Update
Laser units never need to update or download new features that are highly important for GPS units.
More Practical Use Case
While GPS only shows the distance to the hazards or the green, rangefinder shows distance to anything on the course. Rangefinders can measure the distance to bunkers, hazards, trees, or anything else as long as it is in one’s line of sight. But GPS does not show the impediments and hazards like a large tree on the course.
Slope Adjustment Mode
Another great feature is the slope adjustment mode that helps to play in a hilly course. It shows the target’s level, whether it is uphill or downhill. Hence, it helps the player to identify how long or how low a shot to play.
Why Choose the GPS Watch over the Rangefinder?
Here are a bunch of reasons to choose a GPS watch over the rangefinder.
A rangefinder needs an object, such as a flag, to measure the distance. When the weather is not great, it is hard to measure the distance accurately. In this manner, GPS is better than having a pre-programmed map.
Similarly, if something blocks the laser, the rangefinder cannot show the obstacles. However, preprogrammed map of the GPS shows the accurate distance and shape of the green along with hazards that are not visible to naked eyes. GPS provides entire hole imagery that rangefinder cannot.
Wide Array View
A wide-array view makes the GPS more effective for golfers. Anyone even can get the yardage from his phone, watch, or hat clip. Just one glance at one’s wrist can give the information of the whole yardage.
Consider the price comparison, as the GPS unit is less expensive than its laser counterpart. If someone has a lower budget, it would be best to buy a GPS unit rather than Rangefinder.
GPS records the stats, shows how many calories you burned and how many steps you have taken.
What About Using Both Together?
Though the rangefinder and the GPS have different technology, both of them serve the same purpose. Whether it is a pin or a course, they give an accurate measurement of the yardages. The only difference is that they measure the distance in two different distinctive ways.
If you’re wondering that buying both products may give you a better enjoyment of playing, then you are wrong. Eventually, the result will be pretty much the same despite having different features. Anyhow, if you’re willing to try new things and have enough money, obviously you should buy both.
Is This All Legal?
Whether rangefinder or GPS is legal or illegal is a tricky question to answer. In the past, it was illegal to use them in the tournament. But nowadays, you need technical help in the playground, even in the tournament. Still, there are some regulations to use them in tournaments.
- The use of the slope mode feature is unfair in the tournament. It provides you with the degree of elevation and shows the length required for your uphill and downhill shots. So, anyone can use the rangefinder in the tournament by deactivating this feature on their device.
- You can activate GPS on a phone or a tablet. But it is forbidden to contact the coach or anyone else while you are playing in a tournament.
- A lot of GPS devices provide you with a club suggestion feature. It is a great feature that analyzes your swing history and suggests an accurate shot to hit your golf ball. Unfortunately, it is also forbidden in the tournament.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: How long do golf rangefinders last?
Ans: There’s no definite answer to how long they last. Some companies promise the battery life will last between 2000-3000 actuation. The automatic system shuts off the device with 10 seconds of no use.
Q: How does the price matter while buying a rangefinder or GPS watch?
Ans: If you choose a lower price rangefinder, you may lose accuracy. It is well known that the pricier the rangefinder, the better the optics. If you are wondering whether an expensive rangefinder is worth it or not, the answer is yes. It is one of the most valuable and influential pieces of equipment that golfers buy to improve their game.
It is your preference to choose between a rangefinder and GPS. If you want more accuracy, then definitely go for a laser rangefinder. It also has a convenient and interchangeable battery. But I will suggest a GPS watch if you prefer accessible carrying facilities. Just one look at your wrist can provide you with the entire hole imagery on a course.