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How Does A Golf Rangefinder Work?



There are two types of rangefinders you can use when you’re out and about on the golf course. Laser and GPS rangefinders can help you navigate the course, no matter where you play. A GPS rangefinder uses less time to help you determine the distance between points on the course or the hole because they use a set of measurements that comes from course maps. You could pay a monthly subscription fee for these course maps.

A laser rangefinder doesn’t need a map of the course to work, but they take more time in assessing the distance. Additionally, laser rangefinders are only as accurate as the person using it. So, if the person doesn’t work it correctly, the measurements won’t be correct.

Laser Rangefinders
When you use a laser rangefinder, you have to be able to see whatever you want to measure the distance too. You aim your laser rangefinder at whatever object you’d like to measure like a sand trap or the pin and pull the trigger. When you do, this sends the laser to your intended target.

Now, you take a look through the viewport. You should see a clear read-out on the display. This will tell you the appropriate distance to your target. However, if you don’t lock on your target properly, you’ll get an error reading. If this happens, line up your target again and pull the trigger. You’ll get a reading.

GPS Rangefinder
One the other end of the spectrum, you have GPS rangefinders. A lot of them come with pre-loaded courses, but you may have to go on your PC and download the course you want to play on your rangefinder prior to going out. The subscription service covers the cost of the course map access.

Once you have the course downloaded, go out to play. When you switch your GPS rangefinder on, it’ll acquire the GPS satellite feed and load your intended course on the screen. Pick whatever hole you’re going to play and choose your target. A lot of GPS rangefinders have each hole’s pin distance embedded while others have intermediary distances.

When you finish one hole, the GPS rangefinder will usually switch to the next hole without any input from you. If you are playing in a tournament or scramble and you’re not playing in a traditional order, you can manually choose your next hole. This will cause the rangefinder to sync up the correct distances.

Why Use a Laser or GPS Rangefinder?

Accuracy is one of the main reasons golfers choose to use these devices. They give you exact distances to the pin on each hole, and this helps you adjust your shots accordingly. They also help you improve your golf game while avoiding unexpected hazards on the course. If you can take a few strokes off your golf game each time you play, you can slowly improve over time.

Whichever open you pick, you want to take your time and compare your options. This will help ensure that you find the best device for your playing style.


Mudassar Hassan brings 8 years of experience in helping grass roots, mid-sized organizations and large institutions strengthen their management and resource generating capacities and effectively plan for the future. He is also a mentor and professional advisor to artists working in all disciplines. He is also the gold medalist from Abbottabad University of Science and Technology in the Bachelors of Sciences of Computer Science and recently Graduated from the University of Bolton with Masters in International Management.