I am a high handicapper, and never thought much about the benefit of a range finder. I wanted a GPS watch for Christmas and did not get it. I got a Nikon Range Finder for Christmas, and it seems to be a pretty good one. I am a bit older, so the technology sometimes baffles me. 10 minutes in the driveway with my 12 year old grandson and I was able to make it work.
I was playing a par 3 hole, marker said it was 137 yds. I decided to use the range finder and see how far it said from the tees to the pin. I was amazed when the range finder showed it was 158 yds. to the pin. To me, that was a whole different club. I am not good at using the "raw eye" to calculate distance, so I was using the markers in the fairways and whatever the card/marker said at the tee box. I believe that using the Range Finder will help me be a bit more confident that I am using the correct club and eliminate the wonder why I thought it was 160 out and I was 10 yards short.
Secondly, I have now found it very beneficial to be able to measure the distance to water/sand hazards and the end of a dogleg to keep from hitting it through the dogleg and into the woods. I guess what I am saying is that I believe the Range Finder, for me, was the way to go and not the GPS watch. Also, I was concerned that using a range finder might slow my pace down, but it did not. It is easy to point and shoot and get the yardage. Whether or not it will make me a better golfer, I don't know. But, I now have no excuse for hitting the ball with the wrong club...
Do not necessarily go "Cheap", buy look for a deal or a used one that will be "less expensive"