Okay, there are pretty much two types of devices available on the market to help you determine yardage on the golf course; GPS and Laser rangefinder. Let’s take a look and compare both and see which one is right for you.
About GPS Rangefinders
First up is the golf GPS rangefinder. These systems use the same GPS satellite system that a car navigation system does. A golf course’s GPS coordinates must be mapped and stored on the device. This is done through the use of satellite images or by manually walking each course and the accuracy of a golf GPS system is usually within a few yards. Using these GPS coordinates, the device can give you the distance from your ball to various points on a given hole. The basic units will tell you the distance to the center of the green but most tell you at least the distance to the front, center, and back of the green. Some offer more including the distance needed to carry hazards or an overhead view of the hole. The touchscreen golf GPS units offer the ability to drag to any point on the hole and see the distance to it.
About Laser Rangefinders
A golf laser rangefinder works by shooting a laser off an object to determine the distance to it. The biggest benefit of a laser rangefinder is its accuracy in measuring the distance to the flag. Some laser rangefinders boast accuracy of within one yard or less. Another advantage of some laser rangefinders is the ability to determine the slope from your ball to the target and factor it into the distance. So if the actual distance is 150 yards but the target is uphill, the device will provide you with a longer “play-as” yardage. Rangefinders can also lock onto targets other than the flag, though this can sometimes be trickier and take more time. The big drawback of laser rangefinders is that they can’t measure the distance to a target that isn’t visible. So any blind shots or doglegs are not measurable.
So which is right golf rangefinder for you?