Our Picks for Best Golf Rangefinder

As of Jan 27, 2015Below are our picks for ‘Best Golf Rangefinder’ by category. Our picks are based on performance, price and customer reviews.

Choose Category:   Laser     Laser w/ Slope     Full-featured GPS     Basic GPS     GPS Watches

Best LASER Golf Rangefinder (without Slope)

  1. Leupold GX-4i2 – Read Full Review
    We believe this is the best model laser rangefinder for golfers who compete in tournaments allowing distance measuring devices. Why? Because you can have it both ways… with or without the Slope and it does comply with the USGA local rule when the Slope is off. The GX-4i has PinHunter technology, 6x zoom, easy to read red numbers, plus it can also factor in temperature and altitude when Slope is active.
  2. Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt – Read Full Review
    This is Bushnell’s top of the line golf rangefinder. The 7x magnifcation brings the target in closer than any of the other rangefinders we seen. It’s quick to pick up the flag and it vibrates in your hand when it’s locked on. The display is easy to read red numbers.
  3. Bushnell Tour V3 Standard – Read Full Review
    The Bushnell Tour V3 with Jolt is simply the highest rated laser golf rangefinder that we’ve ever seen. It’s not the top of the line, but for features and performance, you can’t beat the price. It’s compact and lightweight and accurate to within a yard. If you’re just looking for a rangefinder to do one job well, this is the one you’re looking for!
  4. Nikon COOLSHOT – Read Full Review
    The Nikon COOLSHOT is at the top of the list when it comes to most bang for your buck in a laser rangefinder. With 6x magnification, distances to within 1/10 of a yard and high performance optics, and one of the lowest price points in laser, this one is definitely worth considering.
  5. Breaking 80 Max 400 – Read Full Review
    If you’re hoping to get a laser rangefinder for under $200, the Breaking 80 Max 400 is probably your best bet. From a features perspective, it matches up very well against the Bushnell V3 and the Nikon COOLSHOT. The reviews are not quite as high, but still there are a lot of happy users out there… So if budget is an issue, this one is definitely worth a shot!


Best LASER Rangefinder (with Slope)

  1. Leupold GX-4i2 – Read Full Review
    We believe this is the best model laser rangefinder for golfers who compete in tournaments allowing distance measuring devices. Why? Because you can have it both ways… with or without the Slope and it does comply with the USGA local rule when the Slope is off. The GX-4i has PinHunter technology, 6x zoom, easy to read red numbers, plus it can also factor in temperature and altitude when Slope is active.
  2. Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt (Slope) – Read Full Review
    This is the top of the line in golf rangefinders. It is a little larger than some of our other top picks, but has 7x magnification, Pinseeker with Jolt (vibrating bursts) and red numbers that make it easier to see in all lighting conditions. It’s fast and accurate to within a half yard. The Slope and “plays like” distance is easily obtained by holding the main button for an extra 2 seconds.
  3. Bushnell Tour V3 with Slope – Read Full Review
    The ratings on the Tour V3 are the best we’ve seen in any rangefinder. The Leupold rangefinders with slope offer some fun features if you’re a golf geek :), but for many golfers who aren’t worried about using a rangefinder tournaments, the easy Bushnell Tour V3 with Slope will make a great choice. It’s smaller and lighter than the Pro 7X, which can be seen as a pro or a con depending upon your preferences.
  4. Nikon COOLSHOT AS – Read Full Review
    The Nikon COOLSHOT AS is probably the best value in a laser rangefinder with SLOPE. It has 6x magnification, distances to within 1/10 of a yard and high performance optics, not to mention, it’s generally one of the lowest priced models in this category.

Best Golf GPS Watches:

  1. Garmin S4 Golf Watch – Read Full Review
    In our opinion, this is the best golf watch for the money that has a scorecard and can track your stats. The S4 is feature-rich and yet so easy to use. It has a dedicated green view button and a wonderful touchscreen that allows for easy manual pin positioning. It can measure your shots and even show your iPhone notifications with very little interruption.
  2. Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch – Read Full Review
    Bushnell already had the smallest and lightest golf watch on the market with the highly rated neo-x, but they are going even smaller and lighter with the neo xs. They’ve also added more targets per hole, but kept the same simple user interface. Another golf GPS watch from Bushnell that will be hard to beat!
  3. Garmin Approach S6 – Read Full Review
    The most feature-rich golf GPS watch on the market. Fairway views, green views and swing metrics added to Garmin’s already successful formula for awesome golf watches all make this watch something special. We especially recommend it to those who frequently play new golf courses.
  4. Bushnell NEO-X Watch – Read Full Review
    The Bushnell NEO-X is small and lightweight for a golf watch. It’s also simple to use and very affordable. It is preloaded with over 30,000 courses and has distances to the front, middle and back, plus up to two hazards per hole. User ratings are outstanding! And of course, there are never any fees.
  5. Garmin Approach S3 Watch – Read Full Review
    We love the touchscreen, distances to layups, shot measuring and scorecard. When we saw the price dip below $200, we couldn’t believe it! You’re definitely getting some bang for your buck here. If simplicity is more your style, the Garmin S1 or the Bushnell NEO-X might be a better fit.
  6. GolfBuddy VS4 – Read Full Review
    GolfBuddy has been leading the way in the basic and Voice categories of Golf GPS for several years now. The VS4 is the latest model and adds water resistance as the only upgrade we can see from the GolfBuddy Voice+. In an easy to use package, you get front, middle and back distances, dynamic green view and shot measuring. The watchband is not included with this model, but it is available as an accessory. As you wold expect, the early reviews are excellent.


Best Golf GPS Rangefinder:
(Full-featured: Yardages + Hole View Graphics)

  1. Garmin Approach G6 – Read Full Review
    Pre-loaded, no fees and excellent user reviews. Definitely our first choice in golf GPS. The color screen is bright in any light conditions. The touchscreen allows you to get distance to any point on a hole. The battery life is excellent and the unit is compact and easy to use. As far as we’re concerned, Garmin is the leader in golf GPS handhelds.
  2. Garmin Approach G8 – Read Full Review
    If you have the budget for this one and no great love for your PC, the ability to update courses via Wifi will be a real bonus. You’ll want to stay away from this model if you play competitively because it doesn’t meet the USGA’s local rule criteria. The “Plays Like” distance that calculates using changes in elevation is something we think many golfers will enjoy along with the club recommendations. If you have an iPhone and having messages and notifications on your golf GPS, appeals to you, the G8 or the G7 will serve you well.
  3. Garmin Approach G7 – Read Full Review
    Garmin added a few features to it’s very successful G6 and the G7 was born. If you like the idea of having a “Plays Like” distance that adjusts for elevation and club recommendations based on your hitting distances and/or if you like getting text messages, emails and notifications from your iPhone, then you’ll find this a worthwhile investment. If not, the G6 or the G8 may be more to your liking.
  4. SkyCaddie TOUCH – Read Full Review
    The SkyCaddie TOUCH has a very similar feature set to the Garmin Approach G6. The biggest advantage is that the Bluetooth connectivity should make it easier for updating courses and uploading rounds. The biggest disadvantage is that with SkyCaddie, you’ll have to pay a fee every year to be able to use the unit at all. The Garmin G8 has similar functionality via WIFI, but unlike the TOUCH and the G6, the G8 is not legal for tournament play.


Best Golf GPS Rangefinder:
(Basic: Yardages/No full hole views)

  1. GolfBuddy VS4 – Read Full Review
    GolfBuddy has been leading the way in the basic and Voice categories of Golf GPS for several years now. The VS4 is the latest model and adds water resistance as the only upgrade we can see from the GolfBuddy Voice+. In an easy to use package, you get front, middle and back distances, dynamic green view and shot measuring. The watchband is not included with this model, but it is available as an accessory. As you wold expect, the early reviews are excellent.
  2. Izzo Swami 4000 – Read Full Review
    This is a nice size handheld golf GPS that has big, easy to read numbers. It only has distances to the front, middle and back of the green, but it’s preloaded with courses, has a scorecard and shot measuring feature and of course never has any fees.
  3. Golf Buddy Voice – Read Full Review
    The GolfBuddy Voice gives visual and auditory distances to the front, middle and back of every green. It’s simple, convenient and reasonably priced, and the ratings are fantastic!
  4. Voice Caddie VC300 – Read Full Review
    The Voice Caddie VC300 is impressive in presentation. It’s a small voice guided golf GPS providing distance to the front, middle and back of every green. It has shot measuring and a swing tempo metronome for practice. It’s a swipe and click device with a great voice!
  5. Izzo Swami Voice – Read Full Review
    The Izzo Swami Voice is terrific basic golf GPS that has a digital display as well as voice. It’s one of the simplest to use golf GPS devices on the market. It’s waterproof which gives it the edge on it’s closest competitor, the GolfBuddy Voice. The battery life and sound quality aren’t quite as good though and it doesn’t have a shot measuring feature. It does come with great color options for the optional watch band.

Garmin vívoactive Review

Garmin vivoactiveOur Garmin vívoactive Review will be available after we get some feedback from users and take it for a spin ourselves, but in the meantime… Wow! This watch is so much more than a GPS golf watch and yet the price is so much lower than the latest Garmin golf watches. From a golf watch perspective, there is a small trade-off, but we think many golfers as well as non-golfers, will have reason to put the Garmin vívoactive on their shortlist. It will be available in early 2015.

For Golfers: You get distance to the front, middle and back of every green, plus distances to layups and doglegs. It also has a shot measuring feature and a stroke-play scorecard for one player. That’s pretty much the same information that you would get with the Garmin Approach S2 golf watch, which has been around for a few years and is less expensive. If you just want a watch for golf, the vívoactive probably isn’t for you, but if you are also thinking about a smartwatch, a running watch, a swim watch, a bike watch OR a fitness tracker, then the Garmin vívoactive will probably be among the coolest and most economical choices out there. The Apple Watch will probably have all these features and more, but at a significantly higher price and with much less experience in the sports watch market.

Beyond Golf: The vívoactive is thin and lightweight with a very readable screen. Apps for golf, running, swimming, biking and walking are built right into the watch. Garmin has been a leader in all of these sports watch markets for years, so we’re expecting they will be able to deliver in each category. The vívoactive has an accelerometer, so it also serves as a fitness tracker to track your steps and daily activity. It will even remind you if you haven’t been moving for awhile. Like the latest Garmin golf watches, the vívoactive will have access to notifications from your smartphone. And like any good smartwatch, you’ll also be able to customize the look of your watch face!

Garmin is also allowing third-party developers to create apps for the vívoactive. That means many other apps will be available and already you can find a weather app, stock market app and more. We think it’s possible that a third-party golf app might even be able to make it a better golf watch in the future. In fact, the trade-off we mention above is that the vivoactive doesn’t have the green view or hole graphics offered in the newest Garmin golf watches. We’re hoping the vivoactive might someday have that option available as well. One concern we have is how the golf courses are downloaded. We’ve asked Garmin about this and hope to hear back soon, but it appears that connecting to Garmin Connect is required and we need to know more about how that works. We’ll get back to you very soon.

No Ratings Yet No Ratings Yet

Garmin vivoactive Specifications
Model Garmin vivoactive
Type GPS
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses N/A
Available Courses 38,000+
Battery Life 10 hrs / 3 wks
Battery rechargeable lithium
Height 1.52 in.
Width 1.72 in.
Depth .32 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 1.13 x .8
Resolution 205 x 148
Display Type color touchscreen
Weight 1.34 oz.
Rainproof Yes
Touch Screen Yes
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning No
Stat Tracker No
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Aerial Hole View No
Green Rotates to your shot angle N/A
Add Courses Manually N/A
Compatibility Windows/Mac
USGA Compliant (local rule) No
Notes Where to start… Smartwatch, fitness tracker, all sports watch.

Garmin vivoactive


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