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WildTurkey

Please describe the use of a laser rangefinder on the course

44 posts in this topic

As one who is using smart phone apps but has never used a laser.  Please explain how they are used on the course.  ie. to sand trap, front and back of green, to dogleg or only to line of site to pin?  Thanks Tim

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1. Point 2. Click What do you mean?-You point it, you click the button, it tells you the yardage to the thing its pointing at.
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1. Point 2. Click What do you mean?-You point it, you click the button, it tells you the yardage to the thing its pointing at.

Laymans terms please! ;) OP, I just recently started using one and, yes, they are that simple. One added feature is that several courses have prisms on the flagsticks and many of the lasers will "lock on" to that prism so you know for sure that you're not shooting the tree behind it. But that's not really necessary because you should already have a good idea what number you're looking for. But like Phil said. Point at anything, press the button, look at the number.

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you are standing on a par 5 tee box with a fairway bunker in the distance you....point and click what?

you are standing uphill a dogleg par 4.  The flag is not visible you point and click what? or maybe you just smack it and play it from where ever and pull the laser out when you can see the flag.

you are standing on a par three the flag is in the front right guarded by sandtrap in front trees in back.  you point and click what?  or maybe you ask your buddy to pull out his GPS as it tells him the distance to the front and back of the green as well as the center.

you are approaching the green the 150 yard stake appears to be 30 or so yards behind you point and click what? or maybe you pull out your 120 club and go.

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you are standing on a par 5 tee box with a fairway bunker in the distance you....point and click what?

The lip of the bunker. [quote name="WildTurkey" url="/t/72882/please-describe-the-use-of-a-laser-rangefinder-on-the-course/0_30#post_957081"]you are standing uphill a dogleg par 4.  The flag is not visible you point and click what? or maybe you just smack it and play it from where ever and pull the laser out when you can see the flag. [/quote] That's one of the disadvantages of lasers. In practice, it's a very unlikely scenario. [quote name="WildTurkey" url="/t/72882/please-describe-the-use-of-a-laser-rangefinder-on-the-course/0_30#post_957081"]you are standing on a par three the flag is in the front right guarded by sandtrap in front trees in back.  you point and click what?  or maybe you ask your buddy to pull out his GPS as it tells him the distance to the front and back of the green as well as the center. [/quote] The flagstick? [quote name="WildTurkey" url="/t/72882/please-describe-the-use-of-a-laser-rangefinder-on-the-course/0_30#post_957081"]you are approaching the green the 150 yard stake appears to be 30 or so yards behind you point and click what? or maybe you pull out your 120 club and go.  [/quote] The flagstick? I'm not sure how GPS would be any different for those last two. Maybe I'm missing something? If you've played the course before and know if the yardage stakes are accurate, and they use different flag colors to denote front/middle/back, if you want to save the 10 seconds I guess you can just pull a club and go. But what's the point?

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Have you ever looked thru a laser rangefinder? It magnifies the target and most have crosshairs for you to aim on the stick. Really quite simple. Go to Dicks or Golf Galaxy and try one out in the store.
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....point and click what?

Whatever you want.  Bunker face, lip, tree trunk, grassy knoll, flagstick, guy standing in the fairway, his golf bag, cart, guy putting on the green.

Or as the office assistant said it to Christina Applegate in the first Anchorman movie (when talking about what Will Ferrell will read off the teleprompter):

Eh.  Knee.  Theen.  Ga.

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As one who is using smart phone apps but has never used a laser.  Please explain how they are used on the course.  ie. to sand trap, front and back of green, to dogleg or only to line of site to pin?  Thanks Tim

Before you spend money on a laser are you sure that it will be an adventage for you. I also use a phone App but have a Skycaddie GPS. The laser has a major dissadvantage over the GPS or your phone App. It will not help you on a blind shot. Even though I have a membership I play when out of town and must say that getting yardages for prominent trees, ponds, bunkers and distances to the end of a fairway both helps speed up play and takes my bad memory factor out. And it dosen't end there I can transfer my round when I get home with the GPS to view later or set up my App to transfer the round automatically. Their is however a downside... Apps and GPS may not be as accurate as the laser and some GPS like Skycaddie will require a yearly fee to even use it. For this reason I will be discontinuing the use of my Skycaddie. I've ordered a GPS watch that will have a free for life golf course downloads, (promo available this year only) and got it with air miles with no out of pocket cash.

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Before you spend money on a laser are you sure that it will be an adventage for you. I also use a phone App but have a Skycaddie GPS. The laser has a major dissadvantage over the GPS or your phone App. It will not help you on a blind shot.

While true, I'm of the opinion that the many advantages of a laser far outweigh the disadvantages, and the GPS devices (short battery life, sometimes poor reception, not as accurate as lasers, often require syncing with computers or pre-loading courses) have their own disadvantages.

I almost never have a "blind shot" or a shot that requires me to walk more than about five or six paces to get a yardage because a tree is blocking the flag (or whatever).

There are pros and cons to each. You just have to figure out which you like. Lots of other threads here about them, too.

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I think I like GPS apps better, but all it took was playing in one tournament where it wasn't allowed and I quickly converted.

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While true, I'm of the opinion that the many advantages of a laser far outweigh the disadvantages, and the GPS devices (short battery life, sometimes poor reception, not as accurate as lasers, often require syncing with computers or pre-loading courses) have their own disadvantages.

I almost never have a "blind shot" or a shot that requires me to walk more than about five or six paces to get a yardage because a tree is blocking the flag (or whatever).

There are pros and cons to each. You just have to figure out which you like. Lots of other threads here about them, too.

I use my laser on every single hole, every round.   I seldom even carry my GPS any more unless it's a course that I'm relatively unfamiliar with.

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Used to be a GPS guy, but recently bought a laser. It's much better and faster. I'll never go back.

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I don't have one but my best golf buddy, whom I'm usually playing with, does and I use it when needed.  It really is point and click, and it will give you distance to a tree or bunker lip or whatever.  There doesn't have to be a flag or shiny object.  It's not always perfect but usually it will even give you a good distance measure just to a point on the fairway.  This is especially true of the nicer ones.  One other bonus of some of the nicer ones is that many of them will give you the shortest read.  So you're pointing the crosshairs at the flag but it's magnified and your hands shakes a touch and sometimes the laser bounces off the flag and other times off the tree 80 yards further back.  Nicer lasers will give you the shorter read and not bounce back and forth between the true 150 to the flag and the 225 to the tree behind it.

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Before you spend money on a laser are you sure that it will be an adventage for you. I also use a phone App but have a Skycaddie GPS. The laser has a major dissadvantage over the GPS or your phone App. It will not help you on a blind shot.

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. :)

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I have not had an opportunity to use a laser yet, but I do use the SHOTLY app on my iPhone for GPS when I'm playing unofficial rounds. If the course is empty, I'll also stream music or local sports talk/games while I'm using the app. As Erik stated, the app alone really kills the iPhone so I needed to invest in a case that also acts as a charger.

I'll probably be picking up a laser before the start of the season though because the GPS can sometimes be a little off. I've been burned a few times thinking I was 140 out when in reality I was 128 and I overshot the green. Usually this isn't detrimental, but I do recall landing in a few kettle bunkers short of the green, or even water as a result of investing 100% faith into my GPS app. Though this is rare, the laser would have prevented that given I hit the same decent shot with the proper club.

On a side note, I've never talked to anyone who went from GPS to laser and back to GPS again. That's probably saying something..

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I use both. :)

If it seems fairly open in from (tee shot), i'll check my golfshot to make sure I'm using the right club and have enough room.

For tight fairways, doglegs etc, i'll verify a tree or something like that with my laser.

When going for the green, I always use the laser, sometimes verify back of the green with my golfshot.

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The primary reason I like laser is, it allows you to focus on the exact point you want to hit the ball to. With GPS, measurements are made at front middle and back. Well if you are 30 yards right, the only useful measurement is to the middle of the green because now that fixed front point location has moved.

For me, I like laser, its more useful.

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Laser all the way.  Was playing a new course last fall.  Came to a dogleg right that if you drove through the fairway, you were OB and off the course into a cornfield.  Because of the contour of the fairway out at the corner, I literally had NO idea the yardage to the corner of the fairway, the rough and OB.

Pull out the bushnell and scoped a tree that was through the fairway, the rough and probably within feet of OB and just past the corner of the dogleg.  Good thing because it was only out about 180 yards.  Heck, as bad as my eyes are, it could have been 300 yards for all I know.  So I pulled out the #4 hybrid, hit it like a wanker and ended up down low and right without a shot to the green.  Easiest hole on the side and I make double.

A laser rangefinders is an extremely valuable tool for informational purposes.  Not so much if you can't execute the shot properly!

dave

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