How Does A Golf Rangefinder Work?

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we get paid from qualifying purchases made using the links in this post.

If you’re looking to improve your game, golf rangefinders are a must-have. With so many technologies and equipment in the game of golf, it can be difficult to decipher which ones you truly need.

Golf finders can provide valuable information such as distances, statistics analysis, and obstacles. In this article, we’ll explain what a golf rangefinder is, the different types available and how to use them.

Last update on 2024-04-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is a Golf Rangefinder?

Golf rangefinders are used to help golfers determine the distance of their shot, which tells them how accurate their shots are. Over time, golfers will have a better grasp of how hard they should hit the ball.

Types of Golf Rangefinders

There are three types of golf rangefinders to help you with your game: GPS-based rangefinders, laser rangefinders, and hybrid rangefinders. Let’s look at how each of these rangefinders works and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

GPS Rangefinder

The GPS rangefinder used a network of satellites, also known as the Global Positioning System, to determine the distance between you and a particular spot on the golf course. The rangefinder will receive a signal from the satellites to determine the device’s location and then extrapolate the distance to your desired target. Many GPS rangefinders will even provide a birds-eye view of the entire course layout. Typically these devices are pre-loaded with thousands of different courses. However, if it’s not pre-loaded, you may have to download it off their website.

By having the course map on your rangefinder, you can determine the exact distance to the pin on every hole. Some courses will provide specific details such as distance to hazards, landmarks, and the front and back of the green. Or, if there’s a specific point you want to find the distance to, simply drag and drop a pin to your desired target.

Unlike the laser range finder, the distances are based on satellites and therefore don’t require you to point it at the target. Even if there are any obstructions like trees, you can still figure out the distance. However, since you’re basing the course details on the manufacturer’s course map, you are restricted to what is included in their database.

Laser Rangefinder

A laser rangefinder works by utilizing a laser beam aimed at the target to determine the proper distance. That laser hits the target and then reflects the rangefinder, which gives the distance. The time it took the laser to fully reflect the rangefinder is used to calculate the distance.

Just like the GPS rangefinder, the laser ones have an internal inclinometer to adjust the distance based on the slope of the target. These devices typically have magnification lenses so that you can key in on the pin and not any background objects. The main advantage of using the laser rangefinder over GPS rangefinders is that you can easily pinpoint any object on the golf course and determine its distance. GPS rangefinders are bounded by the data given in the database. However, the problem is that you need a direct line of sight to the target that you’re measuring. Otherwise, it won’t work. This means that obstacles such as trees can block your line of sight.

Hybrid Rangefinder

Hybrid rangefinder simply has both laser and GPS technology. Although it costs more than the other types, it is well worth it to have the flexibility of both features. A GPS satellite course mapping allows you to quickly get distances from the main points on the course map. However, if you want distances to other points on the course, you can use laser sight targeting.

Why Should You Use a Golf Rangefinder?

Knowing how these rangefinders can make life easier for you on the course and improve your game will demonstrate the value of these devices. Most golfers who use these rangefinders

can’t do without them. It can be like a virtual caddie out there on the course with you.

Eliminates the Guesswork

Although you may assume that you can find the distance of your target using flag markers, that’s not completely true. Flag markers can certainly give you a rough estimate of the distance, but there’s no way to get an accurate reading without a rangefinder.

A golf ranger through satellite or laser can ensure that you can the most accurate distance between you and the hole.

Speeds Up Your Game

Figuring out the distance between you and the hole takes time. Nobody likes waiting long for their turn, and others won’t want to wait on you either. A rangefinder eliminates the guesswork and helps you find the distance in seconds. Then you can quickly choose the right club and play stress-free.

Tells You Which Clubs to Use

If you’re an amateur golfer, deciding on which club to use may be confusing. The golf club you choose depends on the distance between you and the hole. Using the right club will drastically improve your score.

With a rangefinder, you’ll instantly know how far the hole is from you and, therefore, will know whether to use an iron, wood, or putter.

Convenient to Use and Carry

Since golf rangefinders are compact in size and lightweight, they will be easy to carry around—no more worrying about lugging heavy equipment around the course. In fact, many can even fit in your pocket or in the smaller pockets of your golf bag.

Improve Your Golf Skills

Rangefinders may have other advanced features to further improve your skills. For example, rangefinders may allow you to zoom in so that you can accurately place the pin on the target. It will also adjust the distance based on a slope so that you’re always getting the correct distance. You may even know the angle of the slope to better analyze how hard you should hit the golf ball.

How to Use a Rangefinder to Calculate How Far You Fit the Golf Ball?

You need to take a few steps to ensure that you accurately calculate how far you hit the golf ball.

Step 1: Take your shot as normal off the tee. Next, find your ball and stand right next to it.

Step 2: Turn on your rangefinder and pin the flagstick. If you have a laser rangefinder, aim it directly at the flagstick.

Step 3: Take the total yardage of the hole and subtract it by the distance to the flagstick.

Are Rangefinders Tournament Legal?

When it comes to the use of rangefinders in tournaments, the USGA has strict guidelines. Golf rangefinders are legal in tournament play; however, certain conditions must be met. Tournaments allow the use of measuring devices as long as the local golf club accepts them. Some tournaments allow basic rangefinders but do not allow more advanced ones with wind speed and slope capabilities. These features must be disabled or turned off during play.

In addition, many tournaments allow the use of rangefinder apps, which can be used from your smartphone or tablet. This also includes GPS watches that have rangefinder capabilities, so long as the conditions are met.

How Does A Golf Rangefinder Work – Final Thoughts

Whether you’re an amateur or professional, a golf rangefinder is a key piece of equipment that every golfer needs. These devices will help improve your swings to get the right amount of power on your shots. In addition, you’ll immediately know what clubs you need to use for your next shot. Since rangefinders are legal in tournaments, there’s no reason not to use them. It’s important to utilize every single advantage that you can get and improve your score!