Golfing is one of the best sporting past times for many Aussies. Spending a day trying to beat the par, score a few birdies, and completing 9/18 holes while chatting with mates is the equivalent of a great day. Not to mention the celebration that follows afterward with a delicious barbecue and beer.
For those in the unknown, golf can seem like an easy sport where one hits the ball towards a hole in the ground. Those who are more familiar with the sport, will know that it’s much more technical. It takes years to master to achieve a high handicap.
To make the experience of golfing for amateurs much easier, experts have designed a smart device named as a golf rangefinder. If you are looking around for one that will up your game to the next level, then go through our expert buyer’s guide in finding the best golf rangefinder in Australia.
Top 6 Golf Rangefinders in Australia 2020
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The Function of a Golf Rangefinder
The main goal of a golf rangefinder is to help the golfer know the distance to the hole or pin as well as the distance to other obstacles within the course.
Knowing the distance towards the pin takes the guessing out of the game and allows golfers to attempt a shot without wondering about the needed force or technique.
With the click of a button and a peek through a lens, the rangefinder will be able to accurately calculate the distance towards the green. Taking into consideration the distance that’s added because of slopes, bunkers, and other obstacles.
By knowing the accurate distance, a golfer can focus on their shot which will include choice of golfing club and force of the hit. Eliminating estimating and guessing the distance.
How Does a Golf Rangefinder Work?
When you push the small button on the device it emits a laser beam. The beams hit against obstacles, whether it’s the flag at the hole, bunkers, high slopes, or a duck. A high-speed clock measures the time taken for the laser to reach the obstacle and return back.
The time is measured using a simple speed of light calculation and the distance is accurately displayed. Well, accurately might be an overstatement. As some rangefinders are much more technical and of higher quality. If you use a variation of different models, you’ll definitely see a great difference in performance.
It’s therefore important to check your chosen device’s specs, before buying.
Keep in mind that your aiming skills will also make a difference. If you don’t aim the laser towards the right target, you won’t get an accurate result.
GPS Device vs Laser
Typically, rangefinders use lasers (as explained above), but in some cases a rangefinder uses a GPS device to determine distance. Even though GPS devices are more versatile and have more functions, they tend to be less accurate than Laser devices – with a few meters. In the end, that inaccuracy can cost you an on-par or a birdie.
GPS devices can keep score, measure drives, and track your club selection. Whereas laser devices are much more straightforward – it’s an aim, press of a button, and read the measurement.
The other big difference is that a laser device needs much more maintenance. It’s not as durable and you have to keep it in a dry, room temperature environment to ensure its longevity. The laser beam can be affected if you don’t take good care of it.
Whether you want the extra features of a GPS device and don’t mind compromising the accuracy, or if you want an accurate laser device without the extras, it is completely up to you.
Read More: Best Golf GPS
Is it Legal?
It might seem like using a rangefinder is cheating, but as the devices increased in popularity so did the rules when it comes to tournaments. Great news for professionals – Golf rangefinders are legal.
Of course, there is a bit of a catch. Even though you can use golf GPS watches, smartphone apps, GPS devices, and laser rangefinders, not all the extras and features are fully legal during a tournament.
Features that aren’t allowed during professional tournaments are:
- Swing path technology
- Slope reading
- Wind speed
- Sing analysis
- Suggestions for the type of club to use
- Any coaching tools
So, basically, you are only allowed to measure the distance to a certain area on the course.
It is possible to switch off the above-mentioned features, to ensure you are following the rules. The great thing about playing golf recreationally is that you can use the rangefinder’s full features – unless your mates vote against using it during a day on the golf course.
Since golf rangefinders are extremely technical devices, you want to invest in a model that gives you great value for money. Opting for a brand that specializes in distance measuring will be your best bet.
Our top choice of golf rangefinder brands are:
Bushnell is known for creating excellent accessories for target shooting, hunting, competition shooting, and bird watching. They have a series of spotting scopes, riflescopes, trail cameras, binoculars, red dot lasers, and rangefinders.
They have a team of experts who test all products in the terrains that they are made to be used in. With feedback from these professionals, Bushnell aims to achieve excellence and perfection in all its products.
They even have a whole section dedicated to golfing accessories that include GPS devices, GPS watches, and Rangefinders.
When you buy a Bushnell product, you’ll not only receive a high-quality device, but you’ll also be part of their Folds of Honor foundation. The foundation supports spouses and children who lost their fathers and husbands during U.S. military service.
With the main aim of fulfilling customer needs and enriching society through innovation, Nikon has proven itself to be a leader in the industry. Probably one of the most recognizable brands in the world, Nikon cameras were even used in the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.
They use high-quality and modern materials in their manufacturing that is reliable and always safe. Creating advanced opto-electronic devices that include digital cameras, lenses, software, binoculars, spotting scopes, and laser range finders.
The UK based company creates tech devices for people on the go. Helping customers to capture adventurous moments and make experiences more enjoyable.
They create a series hunting and golfing rangefinders, as well as handheld stabilizers and action cameras.
TecTecTec has a specialized team of engineers and tech-savvy individuals from all over the world. Contributing to the design and creation of their high-quality products.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Golf Rangefinder
To help you choose the best golf rangefinder for your needs, here are some key factors you have to consider.
The ultimate function of a rangefinder is to indicate precise distances. Purchasing a device that constantly gives inaccurate readings can become extremely frustrating.
All rangefinders advertise themselves to be 100% accurate, so it can be difficult to actually know if this is the truth. You need to find a model that delivers precise distance calculations. Being off with a few meters is a common flaw in most rangefinders.
Read reviews and consider the brand. Remember that you’ll have to test your model to make sure the readings are correct.
Ease of Use
It’s important that you hit the target with the laser rangefinder. If you’re not used to using a rangefinder, then you need to find a model that is easy to use. You shouldn’t spend too much time trying to hit the target, a quick hit to get the right distance calculation is what you need to consider.
A rangefinder should most definitely have a pin seeker. This means that it should be able to distinguish the foreground from the background. When you aim at the flag it should give the measurement to the flag and not the trees growing behind it.
Depending on which brand the pin seeker is also known as the ‘First Target Priority’ or the ‘Pin Hunter’. Certain models even have a vibration, beeping sound, or a visual cue that informs you when the closest object has been locked.
Guessing whether your rangefinder hit the right target won’t be all that fun. So, a pin seeker is almost a necessity.
You’re going to have to hold the device to steadily aim at a target. If you don’t have small hands, you will need a big enough device that can be held with both hands. Holding the rangefinder with both hands will also make ranging much easier.
Depending on the steadiness of your hand, you can consider a rangefinder that allows for one-hand operation or a bigger two-hand operation.
Scan mode helps you find the target much faster. Holding in a button for a few moments, the device will scan all targets within your range and then attempt to lock in the right one.
This mode can be switched on or off as you prefer.
If a rangefinder has a slope function it means that it can measure any change in elevation. It calculates the distance that a shot will be played from point of impact to the target as well as the actual distance towards the target. This mode isn’t legal to use in tournaments, but if you want to use it recreationally it’s a great added feature.
You’re going to need some extra zoom if you want the hit the target from far away distances. Typically, rangefinders have magnification levels of 0-7 x.
A factor that’s not too important when making your decision, but can be a fun addition to your rangefinder is the minimum and maximum range of the device.
When you’re close enough to your target, chances are you can walk to the hole to calculate the distance. The maximum range can be reached with most rangefinders as they can calculate far beyond targets that we will need them to.
It goes without saying that the lens of the rangefinder should be crystal clear. You should be able to focus the optics to maximize the visuals. If you can’t see through the lens, then there’s not much use for the device, now is there?
Top brands include high-quality glass lenses using parallax for optimum target identification.
Most rangefinders use lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged. This is either a CR2 or a larger CR123A battery. Luckily, power won’t be a problem and you won’t have to charge the battery after every game.
On average, theses lithium batteries can last between 40-50 rounds of golf.
Do check whether the battery needed by the rangefinder is lithium or not.
Look for a device that has a clear display screen of the distance. It should be easy to read and understand. The distance to the target can either be displayed in yards or kilometers. Check whether you can choose your preferred distance measurement.
Rangefinders with slope features will typically have a variety of different features. This might include fast focus, stability, jolt and vibration technology.
Living in an area that’s prone to rainstorms or wet weather, it will be wise to find a device that is fully waterproof. Ensuring its longevity.
Reviews of the Best Golf Rangefinders in Australia 2020
We’ve searched far and wide for the best golf rangefinders in Australia on Amazon.AU so you don’t have to. Here are in-depth and complete transparent reviews on our best finds.
Bushnell Pro X2
Overview: The Bushnell Pro X2 is a compact device that weighs only 500 grams. Don’t be fooled by its size, since it packs a real punch. The waterproof device has a yard range of between 5-1300 and a 6 times magnification.
Bushnell made sure that their new line of rangefinders tops their old models, that have no been discontinued since the popularity of the Pro X2.
A quick switch between LCD and LED display makes the readability easy. Another switch feature is that between the slope and non-slope settings. Making the device legal for all professional golfing tournaments.
It also includes a pin seeker, stable-grip, jolt technology, and 2nd generation E.S.P. Even though the price tag is a bit high, this model is perfect for serious golfers who are looking for a durable and all-inclusive golf rangefinder.
Key Features: 6x magnification, compact, lightweight, dual-display technology, waterproof, pin seeker, jolt, stable-grip
Overview: Being at the low end of the price range, the MILESEEY golf laser rangefinder is perfect for first-timers. It has a 6 times magnification feature and a rotating eyepiece adjuster for optimum vision.
The device uses a unique flag scanning mode that features a close-range priority, which allows the user to calculate the exact distance to the flagpole from 200 yards away. It’s maximum range goes up to 656 yards.
Extra features include golf trajectory, flag lock, slope adjustment, and fast switching between modes.
With your purchase you’ll receive a carry bag, CR2 battery, and a user guide as well as a 2-year warranty.
Key Features: 6x magnification, rotating eyepiece, compact, lightweight
Bushnell Tour V4
Overview: Bushnell prides itself on being used by 99.3% of pro golfers during PGA tours. Their V4 Jolt Golf laser rangefinder uses a grand jolting technology that makes the device vibrate once it has locked onto the flag. For ease of use, it has an incorporated pin seeker for ultimate accuracy.
The device uses CR2 lithium batteries and can last between 40-50 rounds on the golf course. It can’t be recharged and have to be replaced after use.
Users can make use of the 5 times magnification feature while using the fast focus to lock the target. The entire device is USGA approved and can be used in professional tournaments. Bushnell offers a 2-year warranty for this product.
The only con of this device is that it’s not waterproof and has no slope support.
Key Features: 5X magnification, 5-1,000 yard range, Jolt Technology, Pin seeker, Fast Focus
Nikon Coolshot 20 GII
Overview: The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII features multicoating technology and exclusive Nikon glass for crystal clear views. It has a 6 times magnification and provides eye relief for extensive use. It’s clear that Nikon’s optics are by far the leader in the rangefinder industry, as it also includes great accuracy and speed.
The Coolshot 20 is lightweight and waterproof, making it easy to carry around or even in your pocket (being bite-sized). The pin seeker can accurately lock in the flag and distinguish between other obstacles and background objects.
Providing a smart scan system and a guaranteed inclouded view, it can easily reach distances from 550 yards away. An affordable price and perfect for a first-time user who doesn’t mind golfing in the rain.
Key Features: 6x magnification, waterproof, high-quality optics, pin seeker, lightweight, compact
Overview: The funky-looking TecTecTec! golf rangefinder provides users with the utmost precision and accuracy. The ULT-X is the company’s next-generation golf rangefinder with great improvements from the first release.
It features a 6-time magnification and a range that goes up to 1,000 yards. The ULT-X comes with a built-in pin seeker and jolting vibration.
The pin seeker uses advanced technology that allows you to measure distances towards forested areas. It’s extremely easy-to-use, providing the clear readability, high-quality optics, and lense construction.
With the purchase, you’ll receive a bag, wrist strap, CR2 lithium battery, microfiber cleaning cloth, and a 2-year warranty.
Key Features: 6x magnification, slope feature, jolt technology, pin seeker, modern design
Overview: Another affordable great golf rangefinder is the AOFAR GX-2. It’s created with A.I. pin technology to guarantee accuracy with 0.5 yards. The GX-2 has a 6 times magnification and a range from 5-600 yards. With a flag range of 5-285 yards, tree range of 5-415 yards, and a reflective range of 5-600 yards.
It uses vibration to prompt players when the flag has been locked, using scan mode. A slope function is integrated into the device for accurately measuring the distance to and over slopes. For golf tournaments the slope function can be easily switched off.
The device is waterproof, dust resistant, and is manufactured from durable on-slip rubber. Perfect to carry around as it only weighs 180 grams.
Additionally, you’ll receive excellent client service with a 2-year warranty and lifetime customer support.
Key Features: 6x magnification, Scan mode, slope switch function, pin seeker, waterproof, durable, compact, lightweight
There’s no doubt that getting a little extra help from a quality golf rangefinder will definitely improve your golfing game. When golfing is just a fun past time and you don’t really require additional help, then you can save yourself a few hundred AUD.
For anyone who wishes to upgrade their game and want to improve their skills, then a golf rangefinder is the way to go. The device is extremely easy to use and can add some extra technical skills to your gameplay.
When you consider all the information given in this review you’ll be able to track down the best golf rangefinder for your specific needs.