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charliek98

Birthday present, which one?

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Hi, my birthday is in about a month and the only thing I really want is a golf gadget! I'm trying to decide between a bushnell laser, or a GPS watch. My concerns with a watch are that it's not accurate. A friend if mine bought a garmin, and it was up to 40 yards off? My concern with a laser is that I won't use it all the time(because if laziness to go to bag every shot), and if I'm in trees or not able to see the pin, I'll be unable to use. If the watch is accurate to <5 yards, that's fine with me because I'm only a 12 handicap so it's not incredibly important, I just want the right tool to help me, any and all input is encouraged!
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I don't think I'd like golfing with a watch on, so personally I'd get a rangefinder. I don't know why I don't have one yet.

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If I had to chose one, then the range finder.  There are cheap apps for smartphones that have GPS.  My SkyDroid app was $2.

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Hands down, the rangefinder.  You'll use it on every single hole of every single round of golf you play.

I have both, and while each has it's place, I seldom even bring the gps along unless it's a course with which I'm completely unfamiliar.

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I have the Garmin S1. Very accurate. I love the fact I can just look down at my wrist and know the yardage, even when in other fairways. I have always golfed with a wrist watch, so I don't even know it's there. I have yet to golf more than 27 holes with the Garmin, so battery life hasn't been an issue. I hear the Bushnell Neo X has a much longer battery life. We have occasional outings where we play 36 holes and that is close to the Garmin's capacity (if not exceeded). Front, middle back is really all I need. I can't dial my irons in to the exact yardage. I don't think I'd like to reach into the cart and shoot the yardage all the time. If they built a rangefinder into a watch, then we're talking.
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I'd get a watch.

I carry my phone with me when I play and out it in my back pocket. It's a pain at times to pull the phone out to find the yardage to the pin... I vote watch.

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I disagree with the majority.  I've owned both and much prefer the GPS, but not a watch.  I want more information than the watch can provide, so I have a handheld Garmin Approach  G5 (I believe the newest model is a G6).  The watch can only tell you very limited info, mostly just front, middle and back of the green.  My G5 can tell me every hazard and bunker and most trees, and I can position the pin according the pin location provided by the course (pin sheet or flag color or whatever they use).  It also uses AA batteries so it never needs recharging - I use Energizer lithium and get about 7 rounds per pair.  It also requires no subscription and gets free updates 4 times a year online.

Your friend's experience is not the norm.  I don't know what his issue was but mine had never been more than 2 or 3 yards different from a laser (and usually closer than that), but it can tell me distances when I can't see or focus a laser on the target - over hills, through brush and trees, etc.  It's every bit as accurate as most amateurs need and gives me more information than a laser, so for me it's the best choice by far.

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I chose a watch when I was deciding between them. Pulling out a range finder every shot is a pain in the ass for me personally. I don't mind wearing a watch ( I always wear one anyway ) so a quick glance and I get my yardage - and let's be honest - even if it's out a few yards - the majority of us can;t hit to specific yardages anyway.

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This is a personal decision that is relative to your own unique personality. No one can tell you which will work best for you until you've tried both.

I am a nine handicap and have both devices, but prefer the GPS watch. I have a Garmin S1, and like vangator, find it very accurate. I also like the feature that gives you the time with just a press of a button. I hate wearing watches, as a general rule, but had no problem adjusting to wearing the GPS watch.

My friend, Jim, an 18 handicap, likes the rangefinder, and doesn't mind getting it out of his bag, shooting the pin, putting it back in his bag, and finally selecting a club. It can be a pain, as stated by Kieran123, but my friend, Jim, prefers the specific feedback of a rangefinder, and he does not slow down anyone in the process.

However, my personal opinion is that, as a general rule, the low handicappers would prefer the rangefinder because of their level of play. After about a 5 or 6 handicap, the GPS device is more than sufficient.

Best wishes on your selection.

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I prefer the rangefinder and have tried GPS's in the past. I prefer the rangefinder as I can shoot different targets around the hole, like bunkers, hills, trees and other features. I like to shoot the flag and get the distance of that then also the front edge of the green if I can see it when the flags are on the front. For example if I shoot the flag and reads back 129 yards and the front edge is 115 I pull a PW, if the front edge was 129, I would pull the 9 iron. I always try to get my yardage as others are hitting their shots so I don't slow anyone down. A few of my friends have given me crap about using one but yep, they all have asked "What's the yardage to....." at one point or another.

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I prefer the rangefinder and have tried GPS's in the past. I prefer the rangefinder as I can shoot different targets around the hole, like bunkers, hills, trees and other features. I like to shoot the flag and get the distance of that then also the front edge of the green if I can see it when the flags are on the front. For example if I shoot the flag and reads back 129 yards and the front edge is 115 I pull a PW, if the front edge was 129, I would pull the 9 iron. I always try to get my yardage as others are hitting their shots so I don't slow anyone down. A few of my friends have given me crap about using one but yep, they all have asked "What's the yardage to....." at one point or another.

I do like the feature to shoot different objects particularly for layups. I have several friends that have rangefinders and I ask them to shoot specific things all the time. My GPS is general front, middle, back unless you get the fancy models (bigger bucks and I'm cheap). I find my GPS is spot on the sprinkler heads in the fairway which shoot he middle of the green. So I'm happy. My iron game has really improved by knowing the distance to the pin.

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Hi, my birthday is in about a month and the only thing I really want is a golf gadget! I'm trying to decide between a bushnell laser, or a GPS watch. My concerns with a watch are that it's not accurate. A friend if mine bought a garmin, and it was up to 40 yards off? My concern with a laser is that I won't use it all the time(because if laziness to go to bag every shot), and if I'm in trees or not able to see the pin, I'll be unable to use. If the watch is accurate to <5 yards, that's fine with me because I'm only a 12 handicap so it's not incredibly important, I just want the right tool to help me, any and all input is encouraged!

I never thought I'd like the feel of golfing with a watch on but turns out it never bothered me. I have the garmin watch (1st one) its great. never had problems with it. Now they have ones that give yardage to layups so thats even better. As you said its not always convenient using a range finder compared to a quick glance at your watch but the range finder would work better on the driving range. If you're going to spend around $350 get the garmin approach s4 maybe its the s3 the latest one with the layups on it. I think you'll love it and find it tracks more then just yardage. It can tell you how far you drove the ball how many steps you took. Its a great watch

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Wow. This is a hard decision! What is the best rangefinder for the price?

This is the one I use and would not trade it for anything, but it was $399 supper clear and fast.  Leupold GX3i2 Rangefinder.

I did golf with a guy the other day that used Golf Buddy VOICE GPS $119 that seemed to really work great, he had it clipped to his hat.

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