Editorial

Top Rangefinders For Golf 2022

How do golf rangefinders differ from hunting ones? How do they work? See what the best handheld laser golf rangefinders have to offer.

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The availability of rangefinders made them a game-changer for golf players. It’s amazing how such a small device can house quality optics and calculating software. Now, with a simple press of the button, you can get all the necessary data to hit an accurate shot. Many players consider a rangefinder an integral part of their equipment.

With a golf rangefinder, beginners can efficiently use training time learning about slopes affecting the shots.

Professional golf players don’t feel shy about using these devices either. You probably know that it’s not allowed to use a rangefinder with a slope feature enabled during the tournament. But it’s not forbidden to measure the actual distance to the target. Some professionals can use such raw data to their benefit. And besides, a golf rangefinder with a slope feature still comes in very handy during training sessions.

So, how do golf rangefinders work?

Though there are GPS watches and devices for estimating the distance, most golfers give preference to laser golf rangefinders as they deliver more accurate feedback. The working principle of a laser handheld rangefinder is very simple. It sends a laser beam to the target and then receives the reflected signal. The laser travel time is converted to the distance, and here you have your yardage.

Modern mid-range and premium rangefinders have this slope feature that we’ve mentioned above. It accounts for the elevation changes between you and the target and calculates the actual and horizontal distances. In most rangefinders, the slope feature can be turned off. Thus, only the actual distance will be displayed.

Having a target priority mode can be essential too. It enables you to choose between measuring distances to either foreground or background targets. For example, in first priority mode, the rangefinder ranges only the flagstick ignoring trees in the background. In second priority mode, the rangefinder calculates the distance to the farther target and bypasses objects that somehow intervene.

If you’ve been doing research on rangefinders for some time already, you may have noticed that all rangefinders are classified into hunting and golf ones. It’s not made for no reason. They are pretty similar as the basic working principle remains the same. However, it’s activity-specific features that make them different from each other. Let’s make a little comparison here.

Hunting rangefinders tend to have a bigger measurement distance, up to 3500 yards. They are made water- and fogproof to be used in harsh conditions. They employ high light transmission optics and advanced display technology allowing you to see clearly in low-light conditions. The best hunting rangefinders also have a ballistic compensation system.

Golfers rarely need to range objects beyond 500 yards. So they don’t need a long measurement range. Golf rangefinders don’t necessarily need to be waterproof or have camo skin, but surely can use longer battery life. Players also could appreciate such golf-specific features as club suggestions and swing rate measurement.

But still, if you want to have one rangefinder for both hunting and golf, a hunting rangefinder can be your choice. All you need is to pick a model that accounts for elevation changes and has target priority modes.

So now let’s take a look at the best golf rangefinders 2022.

NIKON CoolShot 50i 6×22 Laser Rangefinder (16760)

Let’s begin with a golf rangefinder manufactured by one of the major producers of optics and image products. This device has a nice compact mate housing that incorporates a magnet on one side. It’s very convenient if you have a metal surface near you. For example, you can attach it to the metal parts of a golf cart.

The optics system employs a 6x22mm monocular. The 17mm eye relief makes it easy for glasses wearers to use this rangefinder. The lenses have a multilayer coating.

The maximum measurement range is 1200 yards (up to 500 yards to the flagstick).

The display uses OLED technology and presents readings vividly.

The feedback from CoolShot 50i is instant. It takes only 0.3 seconds to deliver readings. And if you have trouble ranging a distant object due to hand shake or you want to scan the course, the rangefinder provides you with an 8-second continuous measurement mode.

The CoolShot 50i features First Target Priority mode for better flagstick ranging. When you pick up a flagstick from the background, the rangefinder vibrates and displays the lock-on sign which looks like a circle.

You can also switch between Golf mode and Actual distance mode. In Golf mode, the rangefinder will provide you with both actual distance and calculated slope-adjusted distance (horizontal distance +/- height). On the front side of the rangefinder, you can see an indicator that blinks when it’s set to actual distance mode. Thanks to this, other players can see that you’re not cheating.

CoolShot 50i will cost you nearly $300.

NIKON Coolshot Pro II Stabilized Laser Rangefinder (16758)

The next product is a premium golf rangefinder made by Nikon as well. What distinguishes it from the previous model is image-stabilization technology. It reduces blurring caused by hand shake and accelerates the feedback. By the way, the response is really fast. It takes 0.3 or even less to pick up the target. The distance can be measured continuously within 8 seconds.

The measurement range is 1200 yards (500 yards for flagstick ranging), but it is more than enough.

The 6x21mm monocular has a 7.5-degree view angle ensuring fast target detection.

The Coolshot Pro II Stabilized also features First Target Priority mode, but here, instead of vibration, the rangefinder uses a beep sound to notify you when the target is acquired. The lock-on sign is green.

Unlike the CoolShot 50i, it allows you to switch between four measurement display modes. Golf mode and Actual distance mode work the same way as in the CoolShot 50i. The other two modes indicate height either with horizontal or actual distance. With the Coolshot Pro II Stabilized, you’ll have all the necessary information.

The body of the rangefinder is mostly white polished plastic combined with black rubberized parts on the top and the bottom. But, for better protection, the Coolshot Pro II Stabilized is provided with a hard case.

VORTEX Impact 1000 Rangefinder (LRF101)

It is not exactly a golf rangefinder but it works as one just as right. It’s a budget-friendly option ($200) for those who need a rangefinder for multiple purposes.

The first thing to mention is that it has great battery life. It lasts through 5000 single measurements compared to 2200 times the Coolshot Pro II Stabilized offers. This could be crucial for those who spend a lot of time on the course.

The reflective range is 1000 and the tree range is 800. It’s more than enough for golf players.

The model houses a 6x20mm monocular having 6.5 degrees of field of view.

On your LCD, you can have distance measurements displayed in two modes: LOS (Line of Sight) and HCD (Horizontal Component Distance).

The Impact 1000 also has a scan mode for continuous measurement.

The body is coated with rubberized plastic which prevents it from slipping off.

BUSHNELL Engage 1700 6x25mm Laser Rangefinder (LE1700SBL)

If you are looking for some kind of a universal rangefinder that can keep you company on the hunt and the golf course, then consider buying the Engage 1700.

With the reflective measurement range of 1760 yards, the tree range of 1000 yards, and the deer range of 700 yards, you will feel confident during hunting, let alone a golf training session.

Optics system features 6x25mm monocular with fully multi-coated lenses to ensure increased light transmission. Yet, the Engage 1700 uses a black LCD.

It has three measurement display modes. In regular mode, the rangefinder displays only the actual distance to the target without compensation. Set to bow mode, in addition to the line-of-sight distance, it shows the inclination degree and the horizontal distance. The third mode is intended for rifle hunting.

You can also choose to range either in BullsEye or Brush mode. BullsEye is the mode that works the same way as the first target priority mode in other models. Brush mode ignores foreground objects and ranges the target in the background.

At $220, this is one of the best mid-segment rangefinders that provide you with a wide variety of functions applicable in several scenarios.

Conclusion We hope that now you know what golf rangefinder will meet your needs in the best possible way. And if you need some other optical devices or accessories, take a look at the best sport and hunting optics.

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