Over the past ten years, the use of handheld laser rangefinders has increased dramatically. The USGA approved the usage of non-sloped laser rangefinders a number of years ago if defined as a local rule, but they continue to allow them in more and more local and national tournaments including national amateur championships starting in 2014. Before you know it, you might be seeing laser rangefinders during actual competition on the PGA Tour (though not yet). The NCCGA and City Tour allow them during tournaments, as well as most junior tours.
1) Price vs. Brand
If there is one thing I have learned about laser rangefinders, it’s that you can forget about the brand recognition. The laser rangefinder patent is no longer specific to a single brand, making the technology widespread and virtually identical among many products. Don’t be afraid to try out a brand you have not heard of before, it could be the best bang for your buck.
2) Magnification and range
When testing out rangefinders pay attention to the amount of magnification, 5x can make a big difference compared to 3x. When it comes to maximum range, do you really need to see more than 300 yards with your rangefinder? Some rangefinders boast 600+ yards of distance potential, but ask yourself if the extra cost for this feature is really important for you.
3) The little things matter
It’s easy to overlook the little things, but they really make a difference when you’re using the golf rangefinder 25+ times a round. Having a rangefinder that vibrates when it locks on to the target is really nice, as well as a flag indicator when you lock onto the pin. Having a nice carrying case that’s easy to store your device during the round is great compared to just throwing it in your bag.
We hope these three tips helped as you shop for a golf rangefinder that is best for your game. As with most golf products, it's all about how you feel about the product. The #1 selling product might not be best for you. After all, you're the one using it and hitting the shots.
If you're looking to save some money on a rangefinder, check out the discounts we receive through GolfBuddy on both laser rangefinders and GPS watches,