Many would argue the most significant improvement to golf equipment in the last 10 – 20 years is the new GPS or Laser Rangefinders. These handheld instruments give you precise distances to greens, bunkers, lay up locations, or to hazards all in effort to allow you make a better club choice before you hit your shot. Simply said, they allow you to eliminate the guess work out of your game, and make better, more informed decisions.
Since the USGA approved them for play back in the mid 1990’s, these handy devices have become a staple in many golfers bag. And although still not allowed on the Professional Tours, you will find all caddies using them during the practice rounds to record important yardages and distances.
- GPS Rangefinders are very similar to what you probably have in your car. They use overhead satellite technology and pre-mapped courses to pin point where you are on the course, and what lies ahead of you (or behind you). Typically GPS Rangefinders are accurate to +3-5 yards and many (but not all) require an annual subscription.
The advantages of GPS rangefinders are: A complete overview of the hole can be displayed which is great when playing unfamiliar courses. Thousands of courses are pre-mapped. Many allow you to save information (digital scorecards, shot distances, …).
The disadvantages of GPS Rangefinders are: Most (not all) require an annual subscription. Accuracy of GPS Rangefinders is not quite as good as Laser Rangefinders. Distances must have been pre-mapped and course must be downloaded in advance. Battery life on some models is limited.
- Laser Rangefinders use a laser technology to determine the distance to an object that you aim it at. You simply take the device aim at an object you interested in and the distance appears in the view finder. So why purchase a Laser: Well Laser Rangefinders are considered to be more accurate (typically + 1 yard).
The advantages of Laser Rangefinders include: Accurate to within 1 yard. No pre-mapping is required … simply point and shoot. Excellent battery life. Can be used for boating, archery, …
The disadvantages of Laser Rangefinders include: Must have something to shoot to get a distance (not always great for layup shots). Sometimes difficult to get depth of greens. Must have line of sight to object of interest … can’t shoot through trees or around dog-legs. No hole overview display.
So there you have it. We have a good selection at GolfEtail.com all at discount prices, so be good to yourself and think about one.