What are the best golf rangefinders in 2017?

Reviews of the best golf rangefinders currently on the market

Rangefinders can really help your scores but there are many options to choose from and there’s a wide-range of costs, so choosing the right model can be tricky. Below we take a look at some of the best golf rangefinders for the money.

Golf rangefinders, or golf lasers, are common alternatives to the more popular GPS devices.

If you use a golf rangefinder, you won’t need to worry about paying subscriptions, downloading additional maps, or satellite signal strength. Simply point the rangefinder towards the target and the device will send a laser out. The laser will bounce off the target and return to the rangefinder, which will then be able to tell you the distance, very accurately.

What makes these so great, is that you can use them to find the distances of many things on the course, including bunkers, flags and any other notable points of interest. High-quality range finders are able to distinguish between whether you’re pointing at the flag or the trees behind it.

A lot of rangefinders are equipped with the ability to measure changes in elevation, as well as other external factors that may interfere with the accuracy of your shot, like the air temperature. A lot of these advanced features are not allowed during competitive games, but as long as you’re able to disable them, you’ll still be allowed to use your rangefinder for its core purpose.

In the correct conditions, a rangefinder can offer a higher degree of accuracy compared to a golf GPS system and will actually allow you to improve your ability to judge distance when using different clubs. Pro players generally don’t need this level of accuracy, as they’ll have a good enough understanding of how far their clubs will hit, but for the amateur they can make a real difference.

Reviews of the best golf rangefinders

If you’re looking to purchase a golf rangefinder, then choosing any from the following list will put you ahead of the competition. You’ll find reviews of each rangefinder below the table.

Bushnell Tour V4
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11
TecTecTec VPRO500
SereneLife Premium Slope

Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder

Those of you who know at least a little about rangefinders will know that Bushnell is a well respected brand. This company has produced several different types of range finding equipment over the years, from basic rangefinders all the way to GPS watches.

This particular rangefinder is one of the more expensive products that we review here, and costs in the region of $299. The increased price is easily justified if you’re looking for a top-quality, all round product.

Accuracy

The Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder is able to give an accurate range reading from 5 – 1000 yards for regular objects, and 400+ yards for flags. Equipped with a 5x magnification, the optics have enough strength for you to be able to read almost anything on the course. It also features a very fast focus system, which allows you to see exactly what you need to see, perfectly clearly, and without waiting.

Size and features

The Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder manages to fit an astonishing number of features into a very small package. It’s very light and easy to hold, even easier than previous, slightly more bulky models.

While looking through the optics, it’s very easy to read the distance information presented, even if you’re wearing sunglasses. It also has the ability to pick up the distances of multiple targets with one reading. It’s pretty useful to know how close that bunker is to the flag, for example.

The Tour V4 also has something called jolt technology installed. This gives a small vibration to let you know that the laser has securely locked onto the flag. This is quite an amazing feature, as it’s often possible with cheaper, older models, that you could be locked on to something completely different and not realize. This is just one of the features that help to justify it’s increased price, alongside it’s amazing range capabilities.

Ease of use

The Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder is very easy to use and you should have no problems operating it. It’s also confirmed to be legal for competitive play and is pro certified. The slope version has to have the slope feature turned off before you can use it during a tournament, though.

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

You may wonder why the Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is on this list, as it isn’t technically designed for golf. However, a lot of people are choosing to buy these in order to improve their golf game, rather than choosing a mainstream golf brand. Another plus, is that this rangefinder is much cheaper than a lot of other brands. You can pick one of these up for around $140.

Accuracy

As this product is quite cheap, we weren’t expecting top quality range finding. However, we were quite surprised with what we found. As this rangefinder was designed to be used in hunting, it allows more of the light spectrum to be taken into the optic, which allows a clearer picture.

Nikon are of course a well-known brand when it comes to cameras and lenses, so it’s little surprise that the optics are of high-quality. The optic comes equipped with a 6x magnification ability, which is a lot higher than most rangefinders of this price range, although it’s only accurate to 550 yards. While this may not be useful for a borderline pro, this is sufficient distance for a beginner.

Size and features

The Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is one of Nikon’s smallest and lightest, weighing at 4.4 ounces without batteries. Its small size and weight make it very easy to use around the golf course, and you’ll barely feel it in your pocket.

Again, as this product was not designed with golf in mind, it doesn’t have a fancy array of golf-related features. But with the price as low as it is, and its relatively good accuracy, you can see why it has become a popular choice.

The Distance Target Priority Mode is a fantastic feature which enables it to show the distance of the most distant object in view. This is ideal if you have obstructions in front of your optics, like grass. It also powers down after just 8 seconds of non-use, which helps to extend its battery life.

Ease of use

As we mentioned previously, this rangefinder is very compact in size which makes it perfect for taking around the golf course.

The screen is also very open and clutter free, and there are no complicated settings to adjust. If you want a basic, point and click rangefinder, then this is it. It can be tricky to keep it steady enough for distances over 100 yards though, as it is designed for hunters who would be in the prone, or seated position.

TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder

This device is another popular choice for golfers. Yards or meters can be selected in the interface, which amazingly a lot of rangefinders don’t have the option to do.

This product is usually found in the range of $140 – $200 and is considered a mid range option. While it doesn’t have the range capabilities for $300+ rangefinders, it does have a very good set of optic options which cheaper rangefinders don’t have.

Accuracy

The TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder has three different viewing modes available to it, all of which have their specific uses.

The first is the First Target Priority Mode, which is used to pinpoint the exact distance the flag is away from you. This mode will ignore backdrop objects like trees and mounds.

The second is the Distance Target Priority Mode, which will ignore all of the objects in the foreground so that you can get an accurate reading on the object that you want, whether that’s the actual flag pole, or a bunker, etc.

The third is Scan Mode. This isn’t as useful as the previous two, but it still has its uses. When using Scan Mode, everything on your screen, whether it’s stationary, or moving, will have its distance updated in real time. For accurate distances on stationary objects, it’s best to use one of the previous two settings.

The rangefinder comes with a 6x magnification optic, which is accurate to one yard.

Size and features

The TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder is another lightweight device, sitting at 7 ounces. It’s water and dust resistant, although it’s worth noting that being water resistant doesn’t mean that it’s fully waterproof. So still take care if you’re planning on using it in the elements.

As previously mentioned, you can flick between it showing distance in yards or meters. Although it’s only accurate to roughly 540 yards, this is perfectly adequate for beginners. It may fall short for more experienced golfers though.

Ease of use

The TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder is another easy to use product, which still has a lot of features. It’s fairly lightweight, although certainly not the lightest compared to a few others, and if needed, can be operated by using one button.

It comes with a few straps which will let you attach it to a bag, or better yet, attach it to yourself for quick rangefinding action.

Although it says “Golf Laser Rangefinder” on the side, half of the target audience for this product are actually hunters. This, we feel, is the main reason for the addition of Scan Mode, which barely has any use in the golf scene… unless you wanted to have an up-to-date feed of the golf cart distance across the course.

Premium Golf Rangefinder By SereneLife

The Premium Golf Rangefinder By SereneLife is a sleek and modern looking product. It’s also a fairly cheap option, especially considering the features it has. Expect to pay roughly $130 for one new.

Accuracy

Of course, accuracy is the most important features when looking at purchasing a rangefinder, so it was quite surprising for us to find out that when compared to some high-market rangefinders, this model gave more or less identical results. The measuring range is anything from 5.5 yards to 546 yards, which is ideal for non-professional players.

This rangefinder also has slope technology, which will take into account elevation of the slope when giving you the required information. Many more expensive rangefinders lack this functionality. Note though that it must be disabled for tournament use.

Size and features

The Premium Golf Rangefinder by SereneLife weighs in at 6.5 ounces, which puts this around about the same as the majority of rangefinders we have reviewed here. This is still a very light product and is compact enough to make holding it easy. Pin seeking technology helps to find the flag in your optics, as well as giving you the distance immediately. It also only requires a single button press to use, once you’ve lined up your laser to your target.

ABS plastic is used to make the shell, which makes it a fairly sturdy product. It should be able to take a few knocks and drops, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. It has no water resistant or waterproof functionality, so if it starts raining, it’s best to pack it away.

Ease of use

This rangefinder is easy to hold onto and lightweight enough for extended periods of use, without getting fatigued. It has a very easy to use button layout, as well as an easy to understand user interface, which lets even the most novice of golfers get the information they require with minimal effort. The batteries don’t last as long as some other brands, but those products are usually at least twice the price of the Premium Golf Rangefinder.

Final verdict

Pick any one from this selection of the best golf rangefinders and you won’t be disappointed. That said as with anything, there are those who want the best of the best, and there are those who want the best value for their money. We will select one for each of these categories.

What is the absoulte best rangefinder in this list? It’s going to have to be the Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder. Its jolt pinseeking technology will always make sure that you’re laser-locked onto the flag, and not onto anything adjacent to it. It also has formidable range capabilities, almost doubling the distance of rangefinders that are cheaper. Being rainproof too is an added bonus, especially considering the cost.

For those who want the best bang for their buck, the Premium Golf Rangefinder By SereneLife wins hands down. What this rangefinder lacks in features, it makes up for it with its accuracy and low cost and we have no hesitation in recommending it as the best golf rangefinder for the money.

Good luck on the course!

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