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Do you use a rangefinder?


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  1. 1. Do you use a rangefinder?

    • Yes
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    • No
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Went to an elite amateur tournament near my house today and was quite surprised to see that almost 99% of players had bushnell range finders.

I havent played competitive golf for 12 months, so I found this rather a bit different. I was under the impression that the gps was the way to go, since I had purchased one a couple of years back.

Are the rangefinders that much more accurate than a gps. I guess the thing with the rangefinder is that you dont need to map out or download a course.

What are you opinions on the rangefinder and if you use one, do you find it accurate on the course and the range?

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Don't most courses have differently colored flags to indicate front/back/middle?

I use a free GPS app for my iphone.  It's called FreeCaddie.   I paid a one time fee of I think $4.99 to get the yardages to hazards.  There is one hole on my home course where it is off by 50 ya

I use a Garmin GPS. I wish I bought one years ago cause I love it. Never even thought of it until I owned it but it really helps in avoid lost ball penalties. I often start the measuring function

I use a Leupold GX-II all the time when playing. Gone are the days when I walk off distances, have to search for yardage markers all over the course, wonder if the flag really is 110 or 120 yards away etc. I use it to find the distance to anything. A creek, a tree, a river, a rock, you name it. I always carry a course guide too and plan my shot when approaching the ball. Once I'm there, I just pick up the rangefinder at shoot the flag or whatever object I need the distance to, pick my club and hit it. Especially useful on courses with few yardage markers. Never tried a GPS, but I'm happy with my rangefinder. Most reviews stated a rangefinder was more accurate, but the GPS may have caught up by now, though it will probably never be as accurate.
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Depends what you like. Personally I prefer a range finder to a gps. My Bushnell will bounce off of most anything so I can shoot yardages all over the course.

As for gps, it seems that depends on the unit you have. Some you have to pay to download courses and others like Golf buddy (I think), come with courses already downloaded. So you really have to check and see what kind of deal comes with the gps.

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Here's the USGA rule, but I think I remember seeing that, when allowed, line of sight devices are normally all that's allowed.

5. Distance-Measuring Devices (Rule 14-3)

During a stipulated round, the use of any distance measuring device is not permitted unless the Committee has introduced a Local Rule to that effect (see Note to Rule 14-3 and Appendix I; Part B; Section 9).

Even when the Local Rule is in effect, the device must be limited to measuring distance only. Features that would render use of the device contrary to the Local Rule include, but are not limited to:

  • the gauging or measuring of slope;

  • the gauging or measuring of other conditions that might affect play (e.g., wind speed or direction, or other climate-based information such as temperature, humidity, etc.);

  • recommendations that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his play (e.g., club selection, type of shot to be played, green reading or any other advice related matter); or

  • calculating the effective distance between two points based on slope or other conditions affecting shot distance.

    Such non-conforming features render use of the device contrary to the Rules, irrespective of whether or not:

    • the features can be switched off or disengaged; and

    • the features are switched off or disengaged.

      A multi-functional device, such as a smartphone or PDA, may be used as a distance measuring device provided it contains a distance measuring application that meets all of the above limitations (i.e., it must measure distance only).
      In addition, when the distance measuring application is being used, there must be no other features or applications installed on the device that, if used, would be in breach of the
      Rules, whether or not they are actually used.

But to answer your question, I use the Golflogix GPS app on my iPhone. I've found it to be very accurate and I like the data tracking features.

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I do and in general I believe they speed the game up.  But there are the "fiddlers" that have to use every feature on every shot.  But I don't know that that is slower then looking for markers and stepping off the distance.

I should add the GPS/Laser argument is a Ford/Chevy thing in my opinion.   Both work well,

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Once my club distances are more consistent I'll think about a ranger finder. Until then I'll be sticking with yardage books, course markers and estimation.

There's nothing worse than a guy who uses GPS to get a distance, verifies it with a range finder but then can't ever hit his targets; it just wastes everyone's time and makes him/her look stupid.

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A gps device is nice for blind shots over hills or across doglegs over trees where you don't have line of sight. Range finders need line of sight but seem to be a little more efficient. Smart phones can be battery hogs if you use one for the gps app. If I find work again before the golf season opens then I'll be shopping for a range finder, and I'll have a cheap or free golf app on the phone.
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I havent gotten to the point where i feel the need to have either. I do pretty good with course markers. Once I feel more comfortable with my club yardage ill look at getting a range finder. Any suggestions on something that works well but wont break the bank?

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I have been playing about a year seriously and used niether, although all my frineds use one or the other or both. I started using a gps on my phone, gloflogix, for $20.00 a year, pplus dat acharges. I have a generous data plan, use it mostly for golf. I got it because of a blind shot where I walked to the crest of a hill where I could see the top of the flag. Decieded to go left of the falg, stay away from the club house. Hit the right club, went right where I wanted it. What I didn't see by just finding the top of the flag, was water was to the left. Went in the drink, pin deep!

After about 4 months of using the gps, tracks all kinds of stuff, most of which I don't use, too time consuming. I noticed I wanted to start doing layout type shots. In case where I can't carry the bunker, water etc, so I got a cheap range finder. NO bells or whistles. Basic Bushnell. Used it for about two months, gave it a friends son who plays in tourneys. Upgraded to a Bushnell that does all kind of stuff. Love it! Especially when they have moved stuff around or the gps has the old course data. My GPS has given some really inaccurate data on some less than stellar courses.

I don't use either one every shot. Let's be honest..on a ggod day I carry the ball with my driver 225 - 240, on a bad day, well you know. If I am on a par 5, 580 yds, I know it is my driver, then my 3 wood, then I figure out what distance is left. Only way I use either one is if I am shotting blind (over a hill, dog leg, etc) or I am pretty close to the pin, let's say <200 yds. anything over is pretty straight forward.

I like them both, for different reasons. I would not buy a dedicated GPS, have too crap in my bag now, like the range finder for exactly distances, but really 90% or better, I use eye or course markers, and of course the score card. What I really need is buy something that puts some consistanc in my swing, imporves these old eyes finding the ball. then I will give up both!

Have fun with it, that's my two strokes worth.

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The only thing about rangefinders is that they dont show you the distance to the front of the green, the pin and the back of the green.  They only show you the distance to where you are shooting the rangefinder to.  With a GPS, it gives you a lot more information.

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I use a Bushnell rangefinder. Not on every shot, but if there are hazards or if I'm in range of the green I use it to know the distances I need to hit or distances I need to avoid. I don't have enough accuracy or consistency to go at the pin, so where it is most useful for me is to know the distances I need to avoid hazards. Nothing worse than hitting a lay up into a hazard! It's a great tool to have.
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The only thing about rangefinders is that they dont show you the distance to the front of the green, the pin and the back of the green.  They only show you the distance to where you are shooting the rangefinder to.  With a GPS, it gives you a lot more information.

I shoot bunkers, trees, hills, buckets, rakes, ground, you name it. A rangefinder can shoot more than a flag. I'll agree that a GPS gives you a better overview though. That is why I always carry a course guide too. The information there tells me what I need to know once I know the distance to the front of the green, flag or something like that.

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I use golfshots gps on my iPhone and thats enough for me.  The distances are pretty damn accurate and I like the over head map of the course it gives you.  I don't even bother with that, except to keep score on courses I play regularly though.

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Originally Posted by binga7

Went to an elite amateur tournament near my house today and was quite surprised to see that almost 99% of players had bushnell range finders.


GPS will give you distance to front, center, and back of green, and other mapped landmarks such as hazards, dogleg corners, etc. They will not tell you the distance to the pin though, like rangefinders do.  Good players need to know the exact yardage to the pin, which is why they prefer rangefinders.



Originally Posted by TitleistWI

The only thing about rangefinders is that they dont show you the distance to the front of the green, the pin and the back of the green.  They only show you the distance to where you are shooting the rangefinder to.

On the contrary, they definitely do give you the distance to the pin - and as I said above, that's their main advantage over rangefinders.

Originally Posted by TitleistWI

With a GPS, it gives you a lot more information.

I agree - it can be difficult to shoot edges of hazards with a rangefinder for example, or anything not in your line of sight. I personally prefer a GPS for that reason. But the exact distance to the pin is often very important for good players, which is why they tend to prefer rangefinders.

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

On the contrary, they definitely do give you the distance to the pin - and as I said above, that's their main advantage over rangefinders.

Huh? GPS doesn't give you distance to the pin. Laser rangefinders do.

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I have a rangefinder, i got it for xmas i find that it is a must need now a days at is much better to use than the GPS it is a lot faster and is point and shoot rather than waiting on the satellite to load up! Love my Bushnell

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