Best Golf RangeFinder Reviews

If you’ve ever been forced to play a round of golf without any way of knowing how far away you are from the flag or a hazard, you’ll know just how important it is to have a golf range finder. Playing without one is essentially adding a couple of extra strokes to your card before you even tee off.

For that reason, a golf range finder can be just as beneficial to your game as a good set of clubs, or the right balls. It will help you zero in more accurately on your target, and get the ball closer to where you want it to go. The best golf range finder can be hard to find, but if you do the appropriate research you’ll end up with something that will really help to improve your game.

The Problem with Using Distance Markers

Most courses will have distance markers every 50 yards, and of course a few sprinkler heads, but these just don’t perform the role to an adequate level. You’ll spend half your round wondering if the sprinkler heads are measuring the distance to the front or the middle of the green; if it’s the middle, how far past that is the flag?

These extra calculations almost end up adding even more confusion, and can result in that terribly frustrating feeling of flushing a 7-iron straight at the pin, only to see it roll over the back of the green because you selected the wrong club.

As every player knows, golf is a game of inches. The difference between a good approach shot and a resultant birdie, and an approach that trickles off the green and sees you walk away with a double bogey, is often only a yard or so, if that.

That fact alone justifies why you need to know exactly how far your shot needs to travel in order to get the best out of your ability. If you know it’s roughly 110-120 yards to the pin, it’s better than knowing nothing, but it can still easily result in you hitting the wrong club.

The Benefits of a Golf Range Finder

A good golf range finder eliminates this problem. You’ll know exactly how far it is for every approach shot to the green, and will even be able to determine distances to other locations such as bunkers, dog legs and water hazards to help you out with your tee shots and layups. This video provides some valuable insight into how golf range finders work, and how they can help you out on the course.

Of course, not all golf range finders are created equal, so it’s important to do the relevant research to ensure you end up with one which will actively help your game. The best of these products will enable you to confidently pull a club out of your bag, safe in the knowledge that you know the exact distance you need to hit your next shot.

What Differentiates Different Golf Range Finders?

The major factor which differentiates a good golf range finder from a bad one is, unsurprisingly, accuracy. The best of the best will give you complete confidence that you know your distances, but some of the lower quality ones can seem a little inconsistent in their estimations.

Using a golf range finder which gives you the wrong distances is even worse than not having one at all, and is a sure fire way to cause you to hit the wrong club, so ensuring you purchase one which will give you the right distances is imperative.

Ease of use is another thing which can vary significantly between different range finders. The best ones on the market will easily latch onto the flag or whatever target you’re aiming for, ensuring you find the exact distance quickly.

Some can also zoom in to make it even easier, while an array of other features separate the best from the rest. In contrast, some of the lower quality ones make it extremely hard to catch the flag, and you might end up accidentally determining the distance to a tree behind the green or something similar. Evidently, this is not ideal, and you’d be better off without a range finder at all.

Problems with Golf Range Finders

Not everybody is completely on board with golf range finders. Some question the validity of their measurements, while others think the concept in itself is flawed.

For example, many people think high handicap players don’t need them, as they aren’t likely to consistently hit clubs the same distance anyway, while others argue it’s more important to know the distance to the front and back of the green rather than the pin itself.

These arguments have some merit, but it is still far better to have one than to not. For high handicappers, trying to use the same club for similar distance shots can be a great way to develop more consistency in ball striking.

As for the argument about the front and the back of the green, it’s certainly true that this is worth knowing, but why not determine these distances in conjunction with the distance to the pin? Put simply, it’s a vast improvement on the alternative, which makes these products well and truly worth purchasing.

Who should use a Golf Range Finder?

Basically, anyone who is going to get decent use out of it. If you only get out on the course once or twice a year it might not be worth it, but anybody who plays relatively regularly will benefit from a golf range finder. As long as you have a set of clubs, a bit of spare cash, and a desire to cut a few strokes off your score, you’re a suitable candidate for one of these products. Below, we’ve created a list of some of the most popular range finders.

Best Golf RangeFinder Reviews


1. Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Slope RangeFinder

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The Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Slope Range Finder is generally held in very high regard, and this is for good reason. It’s one of the more advanced models of its kind, and comes with an array of handy features.

It’s easy to use, with strong contrasts in colours making it easy for you to pinpoint your target and analyse the contours of the hole. It also zooms in significantly, further nullifying the difficulties which are present with some other range finders in actually finding the pin.

Another great feature which you won’t find in every model is the slope technology. This technology recognises the incline or decline involved in your upcoming shot, and provides a compensated distance. For example, if you’re 110 yards from the pin but hitting significantly uphill, the compensated distance may be closer to 120 yards.

PROS

  • Accuracy: As mentioned above, this is the most important aspect of a golf range finder, and the Bushnell Pro excels in this department.
  • Magnification: This range finder provides up to 7x magnification, more than almost all of its competitors. Not only does this allow you to more easily locate the target that you want to aim at, but it also gives you a close up view of the surrounding details of the hole
  • Pin Seeker Mode: This is a handy feature which enables you to more quickly zoom in on your target. Rather than having to spend prolonged period of times trying to zero in on the flag, the Bushnell Pro will allow you to quickly determine the distance you have left to the pin
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    Slope Technology: As mentioned, this is a great feature which helps to take the guesswork out of shots with significant slope, and is probably my favourite feature of this range finder.
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    Water resistant: What more needs to be said? This can be easily used when you’re out on the course in a downpour, without fear of breaking the expensive product.

CONS

  • Price: This is the single biggest drawback of this range finder. There are an abundance of great features associated with it, but you will pay the price for them. This is right at the top end of the price range for range finders, which can definitely be problematic for players with smaller budgets.

2. Bushnell Tour V4 Patriot Pack RangeFinder

Bushnell Tour V4 Patriot Pack Rangefinder

This is another Bushnell Range finder, though it might be regarded as the little cousin of the Pro X7 reviewed above. This range finder certainly doesn’t have the level of advanced technology that the Pro X7 does, but it’s still a very good product, and comes in a fair bit cheaper.

It’s accurate, works over long distances, and makes it relatively easy to lock onto a target. It has a 2-year warranty, which, at least for me, always provides some good peace of mind, and comes with a carry case to keep it away from the weather.

PROS

  • Jolt Technology: This makes it a little easier to know when you’ve locked onto your target, with short bursts of vibration letting you know that the range finder has found the flag.
  • Protective skin: This comes with the product, and essentially keeps the range finder safe from inclement weather. The product itself isn’t waterproof, but the protective case allows you to continue using it in the rain.
  • Good value: Considering the relatively high quality of the Tour V4 Patriot, the price you’ll have to pay for it is pretty low.
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    Slope technology: Like the Bushnell product reviewed above, this one comes with the use of advanced slope technology. This means you won’t have to worry about adjusting your club selection when hitting uphill or downhill, as the range finder will tell you the equivalent distance that you need to hit

CONS

  • Can at times be difficult to find target: the Jolt technology makes it easy to know when you’ve found your target, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always easy to locate. The zoom feature helps a little bit, but you’ll still find it difficult at times to locate the flag.
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    Lower magnification: The magnification level of this range finder is just 5x, which is the lowest of all the products reviewed in this list. It certainly is better than no magnification at all, but it won’t provide you with the same ability to analyse the hole as those with greater abilities to zoom in to your target

3. Precision Pro Golf NX7 RangeFinder

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The NX7 by Precision Pro Golf is a great mid-range, value range finder. It has a number of excellent features and generally offers high functionality, but maintains a price which is affordable for most players.

Like with the above products, this range finder has an ability to adjust for slopes, providing a literal distance to a point as well as a ‘play as’ distance. This is something I find particularly useful, as a lot of the courses I play on are relatively hilly.

It also comes with a 2-year warranty, replacement batteries, and an ability to trade it in. I personally can’t imagine that many people would feel the need to trade it in, but if you do, it’s good to know that the option is there.

PROS

  • Slope feature: As mentioned, this can make hitting up or down hill a lot easier, and is a feature which a lot of users find extremely useful.
  • Quick readings: If you’re a little bit of a slower golfer, this can be a particularly handy feature. Some lesser range finders can take a number of seconds to provide the distance, slowing down your round, but this one latches on to the target and tells you the distance almost immediately.
  • Water resistant: Depending on where you generally play, this may or may not be a major concern, but if you often get wet during your round then having a water resistant range finder is vital.
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    Magnification: Zooms in up to 6x, maintaining a clear image to give you a better understanding of what surrounds the target.

CONS

  • Doesn’t catch the flag easily: This is a problem associated with many of the mid-low priced range finders, which don’t have the advanced technology that enables the range finder to automatically locate the flag. If you have shaky hands you might struggle to latch onto the flag with the NX7

4. Nikon Coolshot 20 Golf RangeFinder

Nikon Coolshot 20 Golf Rangefinder

This is a little bit of a cheaper alternative to some of the above suggestions, meaning it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles some of its more expensive competitors can lay claim to. This doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered though, and I’ve used this one to great effect in the past.

The feature which I found the most useful with this product was the First Target Priority Mode. This feature ensures the range finder finds the distance to the object which you initially targeted, meaning if you zero in on the flag, only to have your hands shake a little, it won’t impact the target that the Coolshot 20 finds the distance to.

Another major difference between the Nikon Coolshot 20 and its competitors is its size. This is a particularly small range finder, which can be a good or a bad thing. Many will enjoy the ease with which it can be stored, while others prefer a larger product because it can be easier to hold

PROS

  • First Target Priority Mode: As we touched on, this is a terrific feature of this range finder, and makes it a whole lot easier to latch onto the flag. This is particularly useful when the target is directly in front of a number of other objects, such as trees or bushes
  • Waterproof: You can still use this product in the rain thanks to it’s waterproof exterior, which will come in extremely handy if you tend to play golf in an area with temperamental weather. It also withstands heat extremely well; this isn’t always the case with range finders, and the performance of some can begin to wane when it’s very hot
  • Magnification: the Nikon Coolshot will magnify up to 6x, which is up there with the best range finders, and certainly a good feature for a product in this price range.

CONS

  • Lacks some technology: This is inevitable with cheaper range finders. There are certain features which are readily available on most higher priced range finders, such as the ability to measure slopes, which aren’t present with this one. As a result, if you’re looking for a range finder with all of the best features, this may not be the right choice.

5. Bushnell Pro X2 (Best Golf RangeFinder)

Bushnell Pro X2 - best golf rangefinder reviews

Of all the Bushnell range finders, this is arguably the best value of them all. It comes in a lot cheaper than, for example, the Bushnell Pro X7, though having said that it’ll still cost you more than many of the other products on this list.

For the price though, you get plenty of features. It comes with slope measurements, extreme clarity, and makes it easy to locate the target. On top of that, you’re able to toggle between red and black backgrounds, which can be useful for when you’re playing in changing light

PROS

  • Extremely accurate: This is generally regarded as one of the most accurate range finders in the market, and will consistently provide you with the right distance.
  • Slope technology: A feature which has been present with many of the reviewed range finders here, and for good reason. From a personal perspective, this is one of the first things I look for; there’s nothing worse than flushing a 7-iron up a hill, only to see it come rolling back down towards you as you haven’t properly adjust for the slope.
  • Excellent scope: This can read the distance of targets very far away, meaning you can use it to plan out your strategy for a hole. Often, to determine where to lay up your second shot on a par 5, you need to know exactly how far you have left to the hole, even if it’s not where your next shot is headed. This range finder enables you to easily do just that.
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    Clarity: The clarity involved with the X2 is extremely high, making it easy to see all features of the hole you’re playing, including dangerous undulations and hazards

CONS

  • Bulky: Whether or not this is a problem will depend on the user, but particularly for those without a whole lot of spare room in their golf bag, it certainly can be. The Pro X2 is much bigger than many other range finders, which can make it difficult to store, and at times, difficult to hold.

Conclusion

Golf range finders can make a huge difference to your game. They make it far easier to analyse the hole, understand the hazards around you, and ultimately choose the right club. There are plenty of them out there, and while many will be a valuable on-course companion, the pick of the bunch is the Bushnell Pro X2.

The most outstanding feature of this range finder is its accuracy. It is renowned for being consistently correct down to the nearest yard, and as a result it will help you hit more balls closer to the hole.

The slope technology is another feature which will help you do this, while the long-range scope enables you to pick out targets even at the other end of a long par 5. The features and benefits of this range finder are as good as any of the others listed, and while the Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Technology Range finder offers similarly useful components, the Pro X2 comes in at a fraction of the cost.

With the Bushnell Pro X2, you’ll find it easier to select the right club, meaning if you strike the ball as you intend to, you’ll probably put it pretty close. This can genuinely take numerous strokes off your score every round, making it every bit as valuable as a caddy that you can zip up in your golf bag.

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