GPS vs Laser

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?

Check out the reviews of all the best GPS rangefinders and laser rangefinders to help you decide.