Best Golf Rangefinder in 2019

man looking through golf rangefinder

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Best Golf Rangefinder in 2019, then we recommend the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift.

In case you weren’t aware, prior to 2019, golfers were not allowed to use any type of distance measuring device such as a GPS or rangefinder. However, in 2019, the USGA changed course and now allows them (a committee can still disallow them through a local rule though).

With this reversal by the USGA, having a good performing rangefinder can make a huge difference in shooting lower scores and lowering your handicap. Some stats have shown that the difference between a 15 handicap and a 9 handicap is 2 more greens hit per round.

If a rangefinder can help us shave 6 strokes off our scores by providing accurate information, than in our mind, that makes a solid case for investing in these devices.

In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the following rangefinders:

So before we dive into the reviews, we’ve created some useful content to help you determine what is the best golf rangefinder for your game.

The Great Debate

 

GPS or Rangefinder or Both?

Some people say you should go one way or the other but we will feel it really depends on what you’re looking for.

Do you just want a rough idea of your distances or do you want exact numbers? Are you a beginner golfer that just enjoys being on the course or are you someone really looking to improve and shoot your best score?

If you’re not too concerned about what score you shoot and just enjoy being on the course, then we suggest an app you can download on your smartphone. There’s a bunch of FREE good ones available!

Now if you’re like us and you really want to give yourself the best advantage to shoot your lowest score, then we feel going with both a GPS and a rangefinder is the best way to go.

Reason being, a GPS can allow you to see hidden features of a hole, like a ravine or a hazard, that aren’t seen with the naked eye.

These 2 devices when combined will allow you to get the most comprehensive layout for a course.

So this now leads to the second part of the debate…

Slope or No Slope?

For those that don’t know, not all 150 yard shots are the same. For example, a 150 yard approach shot with 15 feet of elevation change up hill will really require a distance of about 160 yards to reach the flag. On the flipside, a 150 yard shot with 15 feet of elevation change down hill will require a distance of about 140 yards to reach the flag.

So should you buy a device that has slope? Absolutely!

The whole goal of using a rangefinder is to get the most accurate distance possible. If you want just a rough idea, then you should just opt for a GPS device.

There is one more catch though, you’re not allowed to use rangefinders that factor in slope if you’re playing in a tournament or if you’re posting a round to calculate your handicap.

The good news is that many of the devices have the ability to turn the slope feature on or off and as long as it’s turned off, you can still use the device.

What Should I Consider When Choosing The Best Golf Rangefinder?

 

Accuracy

When selecting a rangefinder this is the single most important feature and without it, it’s nothing but a useless piece of hardware. The last thing you want, is to think your approach shot is 150 yards when it’s actually 170. The good news is that the technology today is pretty dialed in and the rangefinders we’re reviewing all fall within a 5 yard margin of error.

Ease Of Use

If you know how to push a button, you can definitely operate a rangefinder, they’re simple. However, there are few things we look at when determining how easy they are to use:

Easy To Read Display

When you look through the viewfinder, the display images such as target alignment guides, the yardage, and the battery life should be clearly legible and large enough to read.

Ability To Identify Target

This feature is more an aspect of the quality of the viewfinder. The overall image needs to be crisp and clear and should not be blurry at all.

Verification Of Acquiring Target

Once you’re able to identify the target, are you notified if the rangefinder has locked onto it? A good one will usually send some sort of vibration letting you know that the rangefinder has acquired the target.

Speed To Return Distance

After the target is acquired, how long does it take for a measurement to appear on the display? A good rangefinder shouldn’t take more than a few seconds for the distance number to pop-up.

Durability

Modern rangefinders are pretty durable since they have a plastic case which should absorb a good amount of shock if you dropped it. What we’re really looking at here is water resistant vs waterproof and most rangefinders are at least water resistant. As long as you don’t plan on jumping into a water hazard chasing down a ProV1, there isn’t a need to spend the extra money on a waterproof rangefinder.

Range

Unless you’re a long drive champion like these guys below, the max range you’ll really need is 350 yards.

The good thing is that most rangefinders can identify a target around 1,000 yards.

Battery Life

Most rangefinders use a CR2 replaceable battery and will last you about 6 months. The one thing to keep in mind are the rangefinders that come with a built in GPS. These usually come with a rechargeable battery and should last you at least a couple rounds before they need to be recharged.

Warranty

Most rangefinders come with at least a 1 year warranty and some come with a 2 year. Keep in mind this warranty will only cover basic manufacturing issues and not cover damage from human fault (excessive dropping, submerging in water, etc.)

Price

Price can vary pretty widely on the type of rangefinder you go with. The ones without slope are definitely much cheaper. For rangefinders with slope, you should expect to spend at least a $200 on a good quality one and may even go up to $500. Rest assured that once you purchase a quality rangefinder, you shouldn’t need to replace it anytime soon as long as you take care of it.

Best Rangefinders Reviewed

 

Bushnell Pro XE

The most advanced rangefinder on the market, made by the industry leader, goes beyond just factoring in slope but also comes with the ability to measure temperature and barometric pressure to provide the most accurate distance ever.

Bushnell’s JOLT Technology provides a vibration when the target is acquired and is combined with a red visual ring to let you know that you’ve locked onto the flag.

With the ability to identify a flag at 500+ yards and 7x magnification, this rangefinder provides superior clarity so you can easily focus on the target.

Finally a clever magnetic mount allows you to secure the rangefinder directly to the cart bar.

Pros

  • Outstanding accuracy
  • Superior optics
  • Quickly acquires target
  • Great feedback when target is acquired
  • Easy activation/deactivation of slope and elements technology
  • Easy mount magnet allows for quick access
  • 2 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than other rangefinders
  • Uncertain of how much added benefit with temperature and barometric pressure measurements

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Bushnell Tour V4 Shift

Lacking the fancy element feature of the PRO XE, the TOUR V4 is a dialed down version with a lot of the similar technology.

The JOLT Technology, provides a vibration when the target is acquired and a visual confirmation with a circle around a flag, lets you know that you’re locked on.

Similar to the PRO XE, the Tour V4 Shift is legal for tournament play when slope is turned off.

Pros

  • Great accuracy
  • Outstanding optics
  • Good feedback with lets you know that the target was acquired
  • Easy activation/deactivation of slope technology
  • 2 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features of PRO XE
  • Mid price point can be unappealing to some

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Golf Buddy Aim L10

A lightweight rangefinder that comes with 3 different targeting modes; standard, scan, and pin with vibration mode.

The Scan mode allows you 10 seconds to measure multiple targets, while the pin technology allows you to dial into a flag when there are obstacles/objects behind it.

The slope on/off switch provides adjusted distances for elevation and make it USGA / R&A compliant for handicap & tournament play

Pros

  • Slightly mid-low price point
  • Good accuracy
  • Quick to provide distance
  • Multiple modes to adjust for usage
  • Automatic shut off after 20 seconds of non-use prolongs battery life

Cons

  • Optics and display can sometimes make it difficult to acquire a target
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Lacks advanced features

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Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized

Featuring awesome technology that stabilizes slight hand movements that happen when acquiring a target, the Coolshot Pro Stabilized enables you to acquire small objects such as flagsticks quickly and confidently.

Their next-gen Hyper Read technology consistently displays your measurement results, regardless of distance in less than .5 seconds.

With one of the best displays on the market, the red and green OLED provides automatic brightness adjustment for ideal visibility.

A scan mode allows the rangefinder to continuously measure distances for eight seconds

The Coolshot Pro Stabilized is designed to withstand the worst conditions by being waterproof, not just water resistant and also fog proof to eliminate internal condensation.

Pros

  • Great accuracy
  • Highest quality OLED display
  • Quick to provide distance
  • Green circle feedback lets you know that the target was acquired
  • Multiple modes to adjust for usage
  • 5 Year warranty

Cons

  • Mid-high price point

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Garmin Approach Z80

Both a rangefinder and a GPS, this device is packed with features and comes with 41,000 courses.

One of the coolest things about this device is that when you look through the viewfinder, you actually see the layout of the hole and when you acquire the flag as a target, you get to see a layout of the green as well.

An awesome display and image stabilization make it simple to find and range the flag.

The Laser Range Arc feature draws an arc on the course view map at the distance you ranged so you can see everything in play at that distance.

Pros

  • Loaded with features not seen on other rangefinders
  • High quality display with clearly seen features

Cons

  • Quality of viewfinder isn’t as crisp as others so acquiring target can be a bit harder
  • Can be a bit slow in returning yardages since so many features are included
  • Significantly more expensive than other rangefinders

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Precision Pro Golf NX7

This is a solid rangefinder with many of the features you find on higher end models.

It comes with slope technology to help you find true distance and can be easily turned off.

The Pulse Vibration Technology provides a quick jolt to let you know that you’ve acquired the flag and not some random target close by.

For those with slightly shaky hands, Target Acquisition Technology makes it simple to lock on to a target.

Finally, their industry leading Precision Care Package provides you free battery replacements, a 2 year warranty and a trade in allowance for future product upgrades

Pros

  • Least expensive of all the rangefinders we reviewed
  • Has many of the features found in higher priced models
  • Precision care package provides outstanding support

Cons

  • Simple, no frills device
  • Can be a bit slow in returning yardages compared to other models
  • Optics and display are good, not bad and not amazing

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Our Choice

 

Selecting the best rangefinder can be a difficult choice since there are 100’s of different options to choose from.

We feel that going with a well known manufacturer is the best bet since these are not inexpensive devices. Since accuracy and consistency are the most important things to consider, you can expect this from established companies.

After accuracy and consistency, the optics and display come in second. The ability to acquire a target is going to be highly dependent on how good of an image is seen through the viewfinder and the display must be easy to read.

Finally, as mentioned before, every option we reviewed has the built in slope option that can be easily turned on or off. Since we want accurate numbers, slope factoring is a must, otherwise you should just go with a free GPS app on your smartphone.

With that all being said, we decided that the best choice is the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift.

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Although the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift was limited in the features category, it did have outstanding, consistent accuracy. The high quality display and optics, combined with its slightly mid cost price point, made the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift the clear winner.

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