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How beneficial would a rangefinder be?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I think before i get new irons or wedges i am going to get a range finder.  it just kind of makes sense that if i have an exact yardage instead of an estimate i will be able to hit the ball closer to the hole on a more consistent basis.

 

What is your experience?  and the one i am looking at is a Bushnell yardage pro sport 450.  anything i should know about this model?  i will use it for golf and hunting.

post #2 of 22

Rangefinders are awesome. I can get a distance to the pin and know for sure how far it is. Sometimes the course signs are way off, and that could be a whole club difference. I like to use it to get out of trouble and back onto the fairways too. Also a great way to check your practice shot distances, although range balls affect distance as well.

post #3 of 22

Would a GPS be a better investment than a range finder?  I would think the GPS would provide better data, like how far to the water that you can't see from your downhill lie, etc.  Are Laser Range Finders more accurate?

post #4 of 22

Rangefinders are more accurate. I've compared the two many times. GPS is not that far off though, and yeah, the GPS ones can give better estimates to flat things, but I havent needed to know the distances to water, because I'm usually estimating from the flag, and the surrounding green. If you wanted to lay-up, for instance, I could easily get the distance by lasering a nearby tree or bush. Over hills, on the other hand, and I would say the GPS works better, but then the map you use better be accurate. And even then, I find that most of the shots you make over hills that need accurate distances are very few. There can be a lot of over the hill fairway shots, but direction is most important there. Usually, holes are made so you can see the green or the flag on the approach.

post #5 of 22

My only experience with a laser range finder was a small Bushnell ( a Scout, I think).  Very difficult to bounce it off a flag at any more than 100 yds and the flag needed to be all white or a solid bright color.

 

If you are going to buy one, I think a "money back if you don't like it" would be a must.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

so can you not just aim the rangefinder at the ground somewherewhere where you want to aim?

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLee View Post

My only experience with a laser range finder was a small Bushnell ( a Scout, I think).  Very difficult to bounce it off a flag at any more than 100 yds and the flag needed to be all white or a solid bright color.

 

If you are going to buy one, I think a "money back if you don't like it" would be a must.


You don't have that problem with the newer ones. The yardages are super easy to get.

 

OP, you can point at the ground but pointing at trees or something might be better option. Rangefinder won't be a game changer but I find it a very nice plus. Trusting your yardages plays a big role in confidence.

post #8 of 22

I have one of the Leupold GX-1's. At my handicap level I'd say a rangefinder is worth anything between 2-5 shots a round. Hard for me to say if it would be more or less useful to a low 'capper. All I know is I end up pin high a heck of a lot more often than I used to (I'm working on that direction thing too! ) and I feel more confident playing my approach shots. The GPS has it's advantages but I'm more comfortable with a laser on the flag than a front-middle-back of the green reading most of the time.

 

I also use the rangefinder when playing dog-leg holes. It gives me a good idea of what club to hit to make sure I have enough distance to have a look at the green but not so much that I hit long into trouble.

post #9 of 22

I prefer range finders over GPS units. I have a Bushnell metalist and it works great. However some of the down falls are, if I'm not really right on with it I'll get readings from stuff in back of what I'm shooting; this happens most when shooting a pin. So if I don't think the yardage is right I re shoot. After a year and a half of using it I had a pretty good idea of what the yardage was by eye balling, also the 150 yd marker can be a very good reference. If that doesn't work then I look for something like a tree or edge of a bunker, something that will bounce back and use that to check the questionable distance I got to the pin. They also lose some or all accuracy with rain or heavy fog.

 

Even with a range finder you should know the distances of all of your clubs as this makes the selection much easier. The range finder should only confirm your distance estimation. Easy for me to say since I've had my range finder for 3 years now.

post #10 of 22

I can't imagine playing without a rangefinder. I have an old Leica Pinmaster (for about 5 years) and my son has a Leupold. The Leupold is smaller and newer. I like them.

post #11 of 22

Rangefinders are good when you don't have a blind shot. I prefer GPS myself, there +/- 2 yards accuracy.. Thats decent, but unless its close to a club change, its with in error. The rest is feel anyway. I like them when you hit the big banana and need the distance from 30 yards off the fairway. They just got the igolf software for android phones, so i will see how accurate that is this year, compared to by Bushnell GPS..

post #12 of 22

I really like playing with a rangefinder.  I have a Leupold GX-1.  Not only do you get yardard, but you get a better look at the terrain and greens.  It is a telescope afterall.  Blind shots can be challenging, but I just get a read to the edge of the trees and other side of the fairway to calculate the range in the middle of the fairway. 

post #13 of 22

You need a rangefinder with pinseek technology to better get the pin location and filter out the background.

 

I have both a rangefinder and a GPS.  Rangefinder will help you a lot if you want to improve your short game, i.e. 100 yards in where most GPS with only front, center and back start having a much much bigger error.

 

Get a cheap GPS for your shot to shot distance measurement, and long distances to the green and hazards or from the next fairway!  But also do get a good rangefinder with pinseek technology.

post #14 of 22

What they need is a range finder app for the android phone, take a picture of the flag and calculate distance.. 

 

Its really simple if you have the stats for the camera on the phone, focal length, and assume all flags are 7 feet tall, then the calculation is easy.. 

post #15 of 22

I prefer a range finder.  When playing to the green, I'll use the golfers in front of me to get a good shot when I can.  Like when one is chipping from the front or one walking off the back. 

post #16 of 22

I have both a GPS and Range Finder. I use the Range finder 95% of the time and GPS only if I have a real problem. I had the GPS first and loved it, but getting real distance to the pin has been a game changer for me with my wedges and short irons.I just have way better info about how far I hit them and how far it is to the flag.I find my GPS it off by 2-3 yards to the middle, then I have to estimate how far the flag is from the middle and it is easy to end up being off by a club. One thing the Laser does not do is measure drives. I like to keep stats on my game and I do miss the GPS for telling me how far I am hitting it.

 

One thing I think people miss is how a laser will relate to you pre-shot routine. I have found the Laser to be better for this as it is much more intentional then a gps and it get me in a better head space.

post #17 of 22

Like most of the posts above, I prefer the laser rangefinder (Bushnell) to my old GPS. No annual fees or changing the programmed courses. And I can use it at the driving range to better assess distances there.

post #18 of 22

I asked a golf shop owner which most people prefer and he said the rangefinders, He did say golfers who have trouble holding rangefinders still enough on the target prefer GPS.

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