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Please describe the use of a laser rangefinder on the course - Page 2

post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Like others have mentioned, not being able to use a laser on a blind shot isn't really a "major" disadvantage, because how many true blind shots do we ever really have?  Even if you don't have a laser, who doesn't walk to a point where you can see your target before hitting a blind shot?  When you walk there, take your reading, and pace it off back to your ball.  It's not rocket science.

 

However, I will say that the picture above is a decent example where it's not quite as easy to use a laser.  There really isn't any "verticality," and without that, it's kind of hard to get good readings.  Assuming that we're standing on the tee box, what I'd do here is attempt to shoot the bunker on the right, and then maybe the trees in the distance beyond the middle of the fairway to confirm my landing area window.

 

Another drawback to lasers - and I learned this a couple of weeks ago - is if you happen to play in fog.  I could see the green just fine through the haze, but I'd be 100-130 out and the laser would read "4.5 yards" or something like that.

 

Further, I don't use my laser as much anymore on approach shots because I was recently convinced (by somebody a lot smarter than me when it comes to golf) that the flag location is not all that important.  So, lately, I've gone back to supplementing my readings with the simple, center-of-the-green, course markings. :)

"how many true blind shots do we ever really have?"...You only need to be on a course once that both the people you're playing with and yourself are not familiar with to realize the true value of knowing what lies ahead using a GPS vs not knowing with a Laser that the benefits of the GPS outwiegh the cons. "who doesn't walk to a point where you can see your target before hitting a blind shot?" I don't have to, the GPS lets me know what lies ahead and the yardage to any obstacles or hazards and how much to clear it.

"However, I will say that the picture above is a decent example where it's not quite as easy to use a laser.  There really isn't any "verticality," and without that, it's kind of hard to get good readings.  Assuming that we're standing on the tee box, what I'd do here is attempt to shoot the bunker on the right, and then maybe the trees in the distance beyond the middle of the fairway to confirm my landing area window." While you were wasting time shooting objects and wondering if you got the correct object, I quickly glanced at my GPS and in less than 10 seconds got all the yardages I need to play the shot.

" Further, I don't use my laser as much anymore on approach shots because I was recently convinced (by somebody a lot smarter than me when it comes to golf) that the flag location is not all that important." Unless you're on tour and I don't mean the hackers tour, you only need to know the front edge and middle to any green, that's not rocket science. Cheers

 

post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by abovepar03 View Post
 

"how many true blind shots do we ever really have?"...You only need to be on a course once that both the people you're playing with and yourself are not familiar with to realize the true value of knowing what lies ahead using a GPS vs not knowing with a Laser that the benefits of the GPS outwiegh the cons.

 

That is a con, but it's not a con that occurs all that frequently. I've played hundreds of courses and the number of times this happens can be counted on one hand, maybe two. And I mean the number of HOLES on which this has happened, not courses.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abovepar03 View Post
 

"who doesn't walk to a point where you can see your target before hitting a blind shot?" I don't have to, the GPS lets me know what lies ahead and the yardage to any obstacles or hazards and how much to clear it.

 

It doesnt, however, let you know where the green actually is (what direction) and thus where to aim, nor does it let you know if the fairway or green is clear.

 

I've used both. I greatly prefer laser. You're welcome to prefer GPS, @abovepar03.

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by abovepar03 View Post
 

"how many true blind shots do we ever really have?"...You only need to be on a course once that both the people you're playing with and yourself are not familiar with to realize the true value of knowing what lies ahead using a GPS vs not knowing with a Laser that the benefits of the GPS outwiegh the cons. "who doesn't walk to a point where you can see your target before hitting a blind shot?" I don't have to, the GPS lets me know what lies ahead and the yardage to any obstacles or hazards and how much to clear it.

"However, I will say that the picture above is a decent example where it's not quite as easy to use a laser.  There really isn't any "verticality," and without that, it's kind of hard to get good readings.  Assuming that we're standing on the tee box, what I'd do here is attempt to shoot the bunker on the right, and then maybe the trees in the distance beyond the middle of the fairway to confirm my landing area window." While you were wasting time shooting objects and wondering if you got the correct object, I quickly glanced at my GPS and in less than 10 seconds got all the yardages I need to play the shot.

" Further, I don't use my laser as much anymore on approach shots because I was recently convinced (by somebody a lot smarter than me when it comes to golf) that the flag location is not all that important." Unless you're on tour and I don't mean the hackers tour, you only need to know the front edge and middle to any green, that's not rocket science. Cheers

 

 

The only problem with GPS that I found is that the points the GPS measures to are static. They don't change. A person uses either a map overlayed with GPS data or goes out and walks the courses puts his device over the point he wants and pushes a button. This means that point is unchanging depending on where your ball is. So what could be the of the green, if you are 50 yards left off the center of the fairway, then that reference point is not even close to the front edge of the green from where you would be standing. 

 

Also what if the GPS doesn't have everything measured on the course. I've had some course GPS data that didn't have 3-4 bunkers that were on the hole. Would have been good information to know. 

 

Also, do we trust the guys who measure to be accurate? 

 

I personally like to measure things myself. 

post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

The only problem with GPS that I found is that the points the GPS measures to are static. They don't change. A person uses either a map overlayed with GPS data or goes out and walks the courses puts his device over the point he wants and pushes a button. This means that point is unchanging depending on where your ball is. So what could be the of the green, if you are 50 yards left off the center of the fairway, then that reference point is not even close to the front edge of the green from where you would be standing.

 

Also what if the GPS doesn't have everything measured on the course. I've had some course GPS data that didn't have 3-4 bunkers that were on the hole. Would have been good information to know.

 

Also, do we trust the guys who measure to be accurate?

 

I personally like to measure things myself.

Heck, you don't even have to be way off the fairway for this.  Picture a kidney or banana shaped green, with the banana starting short right and curving back to the left.  The pin is tucked to the left behind a bunker, and you're all the way to the left edge of the fairway.

 

A GPS is going to tell you that you're 120 to the front edge and 135 to the middle of the green.  Regardless of whether or not I'm aiming for the pin or the middle of the green, I need to know how much to carry the bunker ... the measurement to the front of the green doesn't help me in the least, and the measurement to the middle isn't much better, because I still don't know exactly how that relates to the front of the left portion of the green.  I need the relationship between the carry of the bunker and the pin, or the carry of the bunker and the back of the green ... and having exact numbers from where I'm standing is always better than close approximations to points off my line.

 

And I agree that I don't always trust the measurements on the GPS either.

post #23 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys this is just the spirited discussion I was looking for.  So far I have only used Cell phone apps and I must they have revolutionized the way I get around a course.  I am very intrigued with lasers but have yet play with some one that uses one.  golf buddies are either old school or have GPS watch or belt unit.  This was the basis for my question. 

 

The big problem with the cell app is it kills the battery.  Nothing sucks more having a great round using the GPS info and bang it goes dead.  Suddenly you feel lost with out it.  How did we get around a course with out these magic devices? 

post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

The only problem with GPS that I found is that the points the GPS measures to are static. They don't change. A person uses either a map overlayed with GPS data or goes out and walks the courses puts his device over the point he wants and pushes a button. This means that point is unchanging depending on where your ball is. So what could be the of the green, if you are 50 yards left off the center of the fairway, then that reference point is not even close to the front edge of the green from where you would be standing. 

 

Also what if the GPS doesn't have everything measured on the course. I've had some course GPS data that didn't have 3-4 bunkers that were on the hole. Would have been good information to know. 

 

Also, do we trust the guys who measure to be accurate? 

 

I personally like to measure things myself. 

These are some really good points. Trees, ponds, bunkers and entire holes can be changed and or moved at any point after any course was mapped out. That could account for a course not having the correct yardages. I guess I've been lucky so far in the four or five years that I've had the SG5 the yardages of only one out of about 45 courses was so out of wack I put it away and guessed for the remainder of the round. I picked up the SG5 with Aeroplan miles so I avoided paying the 299+ price tag at the time. But thinks I've kinda made up for that with paying $20 a year since. That's why I've just picked up the Skycaddie Watch, paid for with Air Miles this time and the box said "there are no annual fees for lifetime ownership of the unit.  

"I personally like to measure things myself";   me thinks had I bought the Laser unit I'd be saying the same. The only reson I chose the GPS is I thought was getting alot more but I guess I paid for these extras. Have you tried any phone apps? if so, which one(s) and what's your take?

post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by abovepar03 View Post
 

These are some really good points. Trees, ponds, bunkers and entire holes can be changed and or moved at any point after any course was mapped out. That could account for a course not having the correct yardages. I guess I've been lucky so far in the four or five years that I've had the SG5 the yardages of only one out of about 45 courses was so out of wack I put it away and guessed for the remainder of the round. I picked up the SG5 with Aeroplan miles so I avoided paying the 299+ price tag at the time. But thinks I've kinda made up for that with paying $20 a year since. That's why I've just picked up the Skycaddie Watch, paid for with Air Miles this time and the box said "there are no annual fees for lifetime ownership of the unit.  

"I personally like to measure things myself";   me thinks had I bought the Laser unit I'd be saying the same. The only reson I chose the GPS is I thought was getting alot more but I guess I paid for these extras. Have you tried any phone apps? if so, which one(s) and what's your take?

 

 

Yep. Its decently accurate. Your phone wont last a full 18 holes though with the GPS on. I would say it gives you slightly less accuracy than a golf specific GPS, but its not bad if you really need a yardage from an extreme position on the course were you can't get a yardage. 

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

Yep. Its decently accurate. Your phone wont last a full 18 holes though with the GPS on. I would say it gives you slightly less accuracy than a golf specific GPS, but its not bad if you really need a yardage from an extreme position on the course were you can't get a yardage. 

 

That's a generalization. I use GolfShot and never have a battery issue. I can easily make it through 18 with at least 50% battery to spare. 

post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilmar2k View Post
 

 

That's a generalization. I use GolfShot and never have a battery issue. I can easily make it through 18 with at least 50% battery to spare. 

I second this as I typically use Shotly. If I'm not using any other apps on my iPhone, I can typically finish my round with >50% remaining. If the course is on the empty side, I'll often stream local sports radio too and that will usually have me shutting my phone off with 2% left by the 10th hole.

post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilmar2k View Post

That's a generalization. I use GolfShot and never have a battery issue. I can easily make it through 18 with at least 50% battery to spare. 

Same here. just charge before heading out, turn off the extra stuff and apps. put it in sleep mode between shots and I can keep more than 50% charge after 18. Problem is, we are Yankee fans and we always seem to play golf when the game is on so we constantly check scores, etc... So we have to use a Golf phone for yardages, and a Baseball phone for scores.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post


Same here. just charge before heading out, turn off the extra stuff and apps. put it in sleep mode between shots and I can keep more than 50% charge after 18. Problem is, we are Yankee fans and we always seem to play golf when the game is on so we constantly check scores, etc... So we have to use a Golf phone for yardages, and a Baseball phone for scores.

 

Your post inspired me to change my avatar from the stock one... ;)

post #30 of 44

(background comment on battery life)

I had recently re-loaded the free GolfLogix app on my android phone, then last week the phone was running hot and the battery was running down quickly.  I found that app running in the background for some reason so I uninstalled it.  The Cabelas app was doing the same thing a week later, so gone with it too.

The local courses are not even open yet so as near as I can tell is that the Golflogix app somehow noticed I was close to a local course so it activated and was waiting for me to tee off or something from the nextdoor business park.

 

On topic,

I do plan on picking up a laser rangefinder eventually, but in the mean time I'll be running some free android app.  Might even reload GolfLogix and see if it runs in the background again.

 

Anyway, back to waiting for spring to arrive....

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by abovepar03 View Post
 

Have you tried any phone apps? if so, which one(s) and what's your take?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

Yep. Its decently accurate. Your phone wont last a full 18 holes though with the GPS on. I would say it gives you slightly less accuracy than a golf specific GPS, but its not bad if you really need a yardage from an extreme position on the course were you can't get a yardage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilmar2k View Post
 

That's a generalization. I use GolfShot and never have a battery issue. I can easily make it through 18 with at least 50% battery to spare.

Maybe it depends on the specific phone?  I have used golfshot on the iphone 4S, and if I'm 100% charged when the round started, I'll usually make it to the end, but with very little battery to spare.  Usually <20%.

 

@Beachcomber has a iphone case/extra battery thingie (hopefully he sees this post and clarifies exactly what it's called) that will allow him to use golfshot for an entire round and be in the vicinity of 100% battery life at the end of the round.  And I think he has an iphone 5.

post #32 of 44
Mophie Juice pack. I can go days without charging my phone with it. And I have Bluetooth, Wifi and LTE all running on the iPhone 5.

It's like ~$100 accessory, but worth every penny as I travel a lot. And as GD mentioned, can use the GPS apps playing golf with no impact at all on the battery.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

Yep. Its decently accurate. Your phone wont last a full 18 holes though with the GPS on. I would say it gives you slightly less accuracy than a golf specific GPS, but its not bad if you really need a yardage from an extreme position on the course were you can't get a yardage. 


I use "Skydroid" on my phone and it lasts about 2 rounds, but that is pampering it though. I download the course while still charging my phone and then turn the wireless/data connection off, and only leave the GPS on. I also use "Gravityscreen" that shuts the screen down when not in use. I find that battery draw is the biggest disadvantage of phone apps, but @ $1.99 it can't be beat. I wouldn't mind having a laser but am afraid of losing it. I guess I could lose my phone, although.

post #34 of 44
Thread Starter 

Today I became a member of the Laser club with a purchase of a Nikon X Hot rangefinder.  Picked it up at a Dick's Sporting Goods Grand Opening Sale.  Looking forward to seeing how it works on the course.  I expect nothing less than point and click true yardage to pin. 

 

Tired of using the phone app that kills my battery, sometimes goes stupid in middle of round, looses satellite, or does not have a particular course in the data base.   All that should be just a memory now. 

post #35 of 44

Lasers can be awkward because you don't know if you are hitting the pin or the tree behind the green sometimes (some have "pin" mode to help with such a distinction). But you can usually, and quickly, take a few readings from things that are a good target - rise in front of the green, adjacent tee, lone tree, etc. I do think this stuff gets out of hand. Are you 177 or are you 174 from the green? Does it matter? One you factor in topology changes (green above or below you) wind, humidity, temperature - these things all have are going to impact the length of the shot by a little. And that is assuming a flush on shot, too. It is good information especially on a course you haven't played, but there are plenty of times where I think we might play better if we went back to having just a 150 yard marker and got rid of the sprinkler head yardages and rangefinders. While it is not an absolute - flagsticks tend to be a consistent height (7 feet). That's one reason people who have played a lot, can reckon yardage pretty well, at least enough to let them pick a club without stepping off every distance. Plus, if the leave all the distance measuring stuff at home, if you are a little long or a little short, you have an excuse, instead of now clouding your head with more data (well I hit that 174, now I have to take a four-yard softer swing on the 170 shot ... yadda, yadda).

post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePete View Post
 

Lasers can be awkward because you don't know if you are hitting the pin or the tree behind the green sometimes (some have "pin" mode to help with such a distinction). But you can usually, and quickly, take a few readings from things that are a good target - rise in front of the green, adjacent tee, lone tree, etc. I do think this stuff gets out of hand.

Are you 177 or are you 174 from the green? Does it matter? One you factor in topology changes (green above or below you) wind, humidity, temperature - these things all have are going to impact the length of the shot by a little. And that is assuming a flush on shot, too. It is good information especially on a course you haven't played, but there are plenty of times where I think we might play better if we went back to having just a 150 yard marker and got rid of the sprinkler head yardages and rangefinders. While it is not an absolute - flagsticks tend to be a consistent height (7 feet). That's one reason people who have played a lot, can reckon yardage pretty well, at least enough to let them pick a club without stepping off every distance. Plus, if the leave all the distance measuring stuff at home, if you are a little long or a little short, you have an excuse, instead of now clouding your head with more data (well I hit that 174, now I have to take a four-yard softer swing on the 170 shot ... yadda, yadda).

 

Most of the time if you are hitting something behind the green, you are going to get a reading like 200 when you are at 150. You can confirm yourself by looking for a yardage marker near you as well. If I am near the 150, I know I have to be in a certain range, and I can't be 50 yards off. 

 

Also, rise and fall will not effect the laser that much. Most golfers know to adjust to distances, so what ever the laser gives you, you'll learn to adjust for any shots were the pin is above or bellow you. Even if you have a 150 yards shot, and it rises upward 30 yards, the laser reading will only be 152 yards. That isn't that big of a deal. 

 

Wind, Humidity, and Temperature wont effect a laser that much, because its moving at such a high rate of speed. 

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