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Range Finder Question

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I played in an outing yesterday with some older, richer colleagues, and two of them had range finders they were using to peg the yardage to the green. They seemed neat but also more than a little like cheating, but it was a scramble and it seemed like every team had at least one.

 

So, what's the consensus on these? Are they okay for casual play (I can't imagine they are for tournaments and the like)? Also, if I wanted to scoop up a used range finder on ebay or something? Are there any decent models that I can get for a good price (maybe like around 50-100 bucks)?

post #2 of 21
Range Finders might be a bit too fiddly for most people, and you need line of site to get 'exact' yardages. Better off with a GPS unit. I found an Izzo 1500 for less than $60. A basic unit with front, middle and back yardages- that's it.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

Range Finders might be a bit too fiddly for most people, and you need line of site to get 'exact' yardages. Better off with a GPS unit. I found an Izzo 1500 for less than $60. A basic unit with front, middle and back yardages- that's it.

 

I can count on one hand the number of times I'll ever have to take more than three or four steps to get that "line of sight." I think they're the opposite of "fiddly" - they're point and click. GPS units are far more "fiddly" these days.

 

Battery life on a laser also means you can just throw it in your bag, use it a year or two, and forget about it.

post #4 of 21
Lasers are definitely good for casual rounds. Really help you figure out how far you really hit your clubs. Sure you could pick one up on eBay for a decent price. One of the best investments I've made.
post #5 of 21

I love my laser but I will say the downside is that not all courses have pins with the prism things on them. It becomes rather useless to use when on level ground at that point.  Iacas said it best about the battery life though.  A 9V battery will last a very long time.

post #6 of 21

Don't some brands of range finder 'find' anything in the distance?  What's this about 'prism things' on the pin?  I have borrowed one and found the yards to the water hazard, the bunker, the canyon, the girl in the distance. 

post #7 of 21

my laser has been indispensable in determining my yardages - couldn't recommend it more.

post #8 of 21

If you need to know more than the front-middle- back of the green distances your making your life unnecessarily difficult.

Get a small GPS unit and be done with it instead of fiddling with a range finder, besides, all that whiskey you had last night wont let you to keep it steady long enough for the thing to laze a distance for you.

 

I sold my range finder for what I paid for it 5 years earlier, I use the golf buddy and it is amazing, simple, reliable and damn accurate. 

 

Dont be a gadget *****, be a playah instead.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post

Don't some brands of range finder 'find' anything in the distance?  What's this about 'prism things' on the pin?  I have borrowed one and found the yards to the water hazard, the bunker, the canyon, the girl in the distance. 

 

Exactly - a rangefinder will find the distance to any object - nice to know how far out a problem tree or bunker is.    I find it particularly useful to zoom in on the group ahead of me to see if its safe to tee off ...

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

How about for practice? Like a good and proper hack, I have no damn clue how far I hit this club versus that club. For instance, I'm relatively sure I hit my PW 120-130 yards, straight, while I hit my 7 iron 130-140 yards in a beautiful, arcing slice to the hole to the right of the one I'm playing.

 

Can you use a rangefinger on the range to peg where your ball landed (or a nearby pin)?

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMac0223 View Post

I love my laser but I will say the downside is that not all courses have pins with the prism things on them. It becomes rather useless to use when on level ground at that point.  Iacas said it best about the battery life though.  A 9V battery will last a very long time.

 

The prisms aren't necessary at all. I rarely play courses with the prisms and my laser rangefinder works beautifully.

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTH83 View Post

How about for practice? Like a good and proper hack, I have no damn clue how far I hit this club versus that club. For instance, I'm relatively sure I hit my PW 120-130 yards, straight, while I hit my 7 iron 130-140 yards in a beautiful, arcing slice to the hole to the right of the one I'm playing.

Can you use a rangefinger on the range to peg where your ball landed (or a nearby pin)?
I use mine at the range all the time to laser the flags. Really helps you figure out how far you hit the ball on average.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTH83 View Post

I played in an outing yesterday with some older, richer colleagues, and two of them had range finders they were using to peg the yardage to the green. They seemed neat but also more than a little like cheating, but it was a scramble and it seemed like every team had at least one.

 

So, what's the consensus on these? Are they okay for casual play (I can't imagine they are for tournaments and the like)? Also, if I wanted to scoop up a used range finder on ebay or something? Are there any decent models that I can get for a good price (maybe like around 50-100 bucks)?

Where have you been? The dark ages?

 

:-)

 

Cheating? It's just a more efficient sprinkler head.

 

Legal for casual play, depends on whether the tournament allows them. The ones that calculate for slope and weather, etc., are never allowed for tournaments.

 

$50-100? - maybe for an old one that will aggravate you.


Good luck.

 

Try Nikon, Bushnell, Leupold, etc. and search hard. 

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTH83 View Post

How about for practice? Like a good and proper hack, I have no damn clue how far I hit this club versus that club. For instance, I'm relatively sure I hit my PW 120-130 yards, straight, while I hit my 7 iron 130-140 yards in a beautiful, arcing slice to the hole to the right of the one I'm playing.

 

Can you use a rangefinger on the range to peg where your ball landed (or a nearby pin)?

I think finding a trackman facility would probably be the best way to determine average distance, range balls are usually junk and your sometimes hitting off a mat, wouldn't you rather have accurate distances with the ball you normally use with a zero wind influence?  I need to do that as well lol. But yeah the laser can help some but doing it the right way will make a laser even more usefull IMO.

post #15 of 21

A yardage measuring device is one of the best purchases that you can make in my opinion.  Knowing how far you hit you clubs and distances to object and hazzards increases your confidence in the shot and proper club selection.

 

Rangefinders and gps units both have their pros and cons and each individual needs to make a decision which will be better for their game.

 

I have decided on a gps unit.  I play 90% of my rounds with my father who has a bushnell rangefinder so the decision was easy.  But I still think I would have gone with the gps because knowing the hidden hazzards will save me some strokes, shot measurement and stats tracking will help me understand how my game is going and easy lay up distances for good course management.  Also gps units seem to be a little cheaper then rangefinders.

post #16 of 21

I've used GPS and laser Rangefinders, and here is my take:

 

GPS:

 

These mostly work well, but don't give you exact yardage to the pin.  Fine for longer clubs, but almost useless under 100 yards.  The advantages are the fact you don't need line-of-site, and the advanced ones can give you yardages to water hazards, bunkers, etc.  Also they are now small enough to be put into a wristwatch size.  They have one HUGE problem, though.  About once every couple of rounds they will give you a yardage that is WILDLY wrong, and you'll find yourself airmailing a green or coming up way short.

 

Laser:

 

Lasers require a direct line-of-site to the flag, which can often be a problem.  If you don't know the proper techniques for using them you can get wrong yardages in certain circumstances.  If there is no wind and the flag is limp, it can be hard to acquire yardages beyond 150 yards or so.  On windy days can be hard to hold steady.  The advantages, though, are exact yardages to the flagstick, making them invaluable from 100 yards in.  As long as you know the right techniques, you'll have a yardage you can 100% trust.  They have long battery life.  The can also give you yardages to any visible feature on the course, great for deciding what club to use to layup on a par 5 or when choosing a line off the tee.

 

IMHO

 

I picked laser and here is why;  I hit my wedges very reliable distances, and the laser gives me exactly the yardage I need to hit them stiff.  On average the GPS units will be off anywhere from 5 - 10 yards, which is just not acceptable.  Plus I don't care as much about the yardages beyond 150.  And there are ways to work-around the limitations of the laser, not so much with the GPS.

 

 

Here are my tips for getting great yardages out of your laser rangefinder:

 

Always shoot the flag 2-3 times and make sure you get the same yardage each time.

 

Understand that the laser can accidentally pick up trees or mounds in line with the flag.  If the trees and/or mounds are potentially giving you a false reading, pan the range-finder a little away from the flag and shoot the distance to the mounds or trees.  If you get the same reading to the pin as the trees/mounds, you know you have a bad yardage and can try again.  You can also shoot the distance to the front of the green to sanity-check the measurement as well. 

 

If you don't have line-of-site, do the following:  Walk toward the green until you reach a yardage maker with line-of-site to the flag.  Shoot the distance to the flag and compute the difference between the marker distance and the actual distance.  Then step off you distance like back in the old days and add/subtract the difference.  This should give you a fairly precise yardage.

post #17 of 21

I wasn't going to comment on this but decided I would based on some responses that don't fit my experiences very well.  For the sake to full disclosure I use a GPS system.

 

First of all there are two types of laser rangefinders. One requires the flag stick have some "target enhancers" embedded or or the unit can't see the flag stick.  I believe this is a system called "laser link" and it isn't at all courses.  The purpose of this is to eliminate the shaky hand problem and ranging on something other than the flag stick which a pretty skinny target at 200 yard or so.  Then there are other lasers that will range to the flag regardless of whether they have "target enhancers" or not.  These are great and very accurate but I have seen folks fool themselves because the target they illuminate wasn't the flag stick.  As I said above it takes a pretty steady hand to find the flag stick at longer yardages and there is no verification at any range that you have illuminated the flag stick.  There are now available laser with pin seeker capability to eliminate the worry that you've illuminated something other than the flag stick.  I don't  know much about these other than they cost more, but if they work as advertised you would not need to worry if you have the correct target or not.  Lasers should be "dead on" for yardage to the flag stick for all practical purposes.

 

GPS system don't require you aim them. Most have an accuracy of +/- 1 meter (roughly +/- yard) to any listed target.  They give you distance to front, center, and back of the green but not to the flag stick though most have a cursor you can move to the approximate position of the flag stick to improve the reading.  Other advantages are most GPS list the distances to hazards (front and carry) on the course.  I prefer the GPS because I don't have steady enough hands to aim a laser, I like having all the hazards listed including the ones I can' t see, and I don't need to fiddle with the machine except on rare occasion I want to see the hazard list and that is the push of a button.  It is a good idea to charge the battery between rounds but mine will do 36 holes without charging the battery.    

post #18 of 21

Have used both rangefinders & GPS.  If you're serious about your game (particularly your short game) the rangefinder wins hands down, everytime.  Wayyy more accurate. GPS gives an accuracy of about 10 feet (I accept that there are more & less accurate versions), the rangefinder is accurate to the yard.  I used Golfshot GPS but got bored quickly, rangefinder tells me all I need to know.

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