As of May 20, 2013
Below are out picks for ‘Best Golf Rangefinder’ by category. Our picks are based on performance, price and customer reviews.
- Bushnell Hybrid – Read Full Review
If you want the best of both worlds (GPS & Laser), here it is. If you can remember to charge it every few rounds, this is the ticket!
Best LASER Golf Rangefinder
- Bushnell Tour V3 – Read Full Review
Jolt technology creates a vibration in the Bushnell V3 when it’s locked on to the flag. This may be the easiest laser rangefinder to use – ever!
- Callaway Diablo Octane – Read Full Review
The price is right and the reviews are strong. It has a 6x magnification and scan mode.
- Bushnell Tour Z6 – Read Full Review
The red numbers on this unit make it easy to read and the 6x magnification is a nice bonus.
Best LASER with Slope
- Leupold GX-2i – Read Full Review
For price and features, we think this is the best value. Besides 6x magnification and slope, the GX-2i can calculate the distance a shot will play based upon temperature, altitude and slope. The price usually beats the competition.
- Bushnell Tour V3 with Slope – Read Full Review
Jolt tecnology that vibrates in your hand when locked on the flag just might make this the easiest laser rangefinder to use – ever!
- Leupold GX-4i – Read Full Review
Our top pick if price is not a factor. The red numbers on the OLED make this model easy to read. Like the GX-2i, it can calculate the distance a shot will play based upon temperature, altitude and slope.
Best GPS Golf Rangefinder:
(Full-featured: Yardages + Hole View Graphics)
- Garmin Approach G6 – Read Full Review
Pre-loaded, no fees and excellent user reviews. Definitely our first choice.
- Garmin Approach G5 – Read Full Review
If you are looking for something more budget-friendly, the G5 is a good choice. Not as many courses at the G6 and quite a bit larger.
Best GPS Golf Rangefinder:
(Basic: Yardages/No full hole views)
- Golf Buddy Voice – Read Full Review
Small and simple with voice and a digital display. The ratings are outstanding!
- Bushnell neo+ – Read Full Review
May be all you need in a GPS. No fancy graphics, but plenty of information.
- Izzo Swami 4000 – Read Full Review
Easy to read and use. Basic information in a nice looking GPS rangefinder.
Best GPS Golf Watches:
- Garmin S2 GPS Golf Watch – Read Full Review
We’re going out on a limb here since this watch is brand new, but we’re excited. It bridges the gap in price and features between Garmin’s S1 and S3. Garmin has long been the leader in GPS watches.
- Garmin S1 GPS Golf Watch – Read Full Review
The price is right! Distance to the front, middle and back. Simple and convenient.
- Garmin S3 GPS Golf Watch – Read Full Review
Although this is our favorite GPS golf watch, the price keeps us from putting it at the top of our list. The number of courses, touch screen and other features are packed in to an ultra convenient package.
- GolfBuddy Voice+ (Watch) – Read Full Review
Put one of the highest rated golf GPS devices on a watchband (removable) and you’re sure to have a winner. It offers distances to front, middle and back via voice and LCD and the price is right.
Our Best Golf Rangefinder 2013 list currently includes GPS and laser rangefinders that were released in 2013. If you are interested in seeing our top picks overall, check out our picks for Best Golf Rangefinder.
Laser Golf Rangefinders
- Bushnell Tour V3 – Read Full Review
We like the addition of “Jolt” technology that causes the unit to vibrate when it locks onto the target. This should be a big help to users who struggle to know when they are seeing the correct distance. It’s also got a new ergonomic design upgrade from it’s predecessor the Bushnell Tour V2.
- Leupold GX-2i – Read Full Review
If you’re looking for a laser rangefinder with Slope, we definitely recommend buying a Leupold. Like the GX-1i, this model improves speed and accuracy over its forerunner, the GX-2.
- Callaway XHot – Read Full Review
Callaway laser rangefinders are hard to beat in price and performance. This one is almost exactly the same as the hugely successful Callaway Diablo Octane.
- Leupold GX-1i – Read Full Review
A solid golf laser rangefinder with 6x magnification. Leupold GX-1i improves upon it’s predecessor, the GX-1, by improving the speed and accuracy of target acquisitions.
- Leupold PinCaddie – Read Review
Leupold is adding an entry level laser rangefinder to their line of golf rangefinders, that should be significantly less expensive than their other models. Although it may lack some of the features that make other Leupold models easy to use, it’s still going to have the 6x magnification. If the street price ends up in the right range, experienced rangefinder users on a budget will be all over this model.
GPS Golf Rangefinders & Watches
- GolfBuddy Voice+ (Watch) – Read Full Review
Building on the success of the GolfBuddy Voice, GolfBuddy has added a removable band, and hour of battery life and visual distances to the front and back of the green. This unit seems likely to shake up the golf watch market.
- Garmin Approach S2 Golf Watch – Read Full Review
The Garmin Approach S2 has truly found its place in the middle between the S1 and the S3. It goes beyond the S1 in providing distances to layups and doglegs in addition to the standard front-middle-back distances. It also has a digital scorecard, which was absent in the S1. It stops short of the Approach S3 by excluding manual pin positioning and a touchscreen. Garmin golf watches have so far proven exceptional.
- SkyCaddie Golf Watch – Read Full Review
The SkyCaddie Golf Watch will provide distance to the front, middle and back of green, measure your shots and provides a digital scorecard. Beyond that, it has a timer, alarm, odometer and calorie counter. Unfortunately, SkyCaddie still charges annual fees on all of their GPS golf rangefinders.
- SkyCaddie Gimme – Read Full Review
A basic golf GPS with large numbers providing distance to the front, middle and back of greens. It also has a scorecard and shot measuring, but unfortunately requires annual subscription fees.
- Pebble Watch – Read Full Review
The Pebble watch is not specifically a golf GPS, but rather a smart watch that utilizes a golf app running on your smart phone. We have no idea how this is going to work out, but if you’re a golfer and a gadget geek, this seems worth a try!
Here is a complete list of Golf GPS Reviews sorted by brand. For rankings and side by side comparisons, see our Golf GPS Reviews and Scores.
- Bushnell NEO-X Golf Watch – New
A thin, lightweight watch is definitely what’s missing in the golf watch market. Amazingly, Bushnell is pulling it off and still maintaining very long battery life. If it lives up to expectations, we think Bushnell may have raised the bar in this category.
- Bushnell neo+ – Ratings Score: 4.30
One of the best values in golf GPS. If you don’t need hole layout views, this small device is preloaded and has no annual fees. User reviews are strong.
- Bushnell Hybrid – Ratings Score: 4.21
Combine the Bushnell neo+ with the Bushnell V2 laser rangefinder and you’ve got the best rangefinder in the game. Read the full review, because it’s not for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a straight GPS.
- Bushnell neo+ GPS Golf Watch – Ratings Score: 3.96
The features are similar to the Garmin S1, but it’s not getting the same great reviews. The price and the battery life definitely make it worth considering.
- Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC+ – Ratings Score: 3.65
The ratings are not great for this device, so we just can’t recommend it.
- Callaway uPro MX+ – Ratings Score: 3.28
Callaway has yet again failed to have a hit in the golf GPS market. The reviews suggest looking elsewhere. The Garmin G5 & G6 would be good places to start.
- I’m Caddie – Ratings Score: 4.5
There is no screen on this little unit, so you’ll need to be able to hear it speak. We look forward to seeing how users feel about this simple device.
- Expresso AG50s – Ratings Score: 4.00
If you’re looking for a device to serve as your car navigation and your golf course GPS, this is the one!
- Garmin Approach S2 – New
Bridges the gap between the Garmin Approach S1 and the S3. It offers doglegs, layup yardages and a digital scorecard, but stops short of a touch screen with manual pin positions. The price should be in the middle too!
- Garmin Approach S1 Watch – Ratings Score: 4.5
The Garmin S1 was the first golf GPS watch to hit the mainstream. It’s popularity and ratings continue to be amazing. Simplicity, convenience and a very competitive price.
- Garmin Approach G6 – Ratings Score: 4.36
This is our #1 recommendation for a full featured golf GPS. A responsive, bright touchscreen with lots of details and a fair price.
- Garmin Approach S3 Watch – Ratings Score: 4.24
This is one slick watch and definitely our top pick if price is not an issue. We love the touchscreen, distances to hazards, shot measuring and scorecard. However it’s not for everyone – if simplicity is more your style, the Garmin S1 is probably a better choice.
- Garmin Approach G5 – Ratings Score: 4.17
This is one of the best values in a Full-Featured golf GPS device. It’s preloaded with golf courses, is easy to use and doesn’t have any fees. The reviews don’t quite measure up to the Garmin G6, but if your budget is tight, you’ll want to take a look at the G5.
- Golf Buddy Voice+ Watch – New
We expect to see this as one of the highest rated and most popular golf GPS units this year. It adds an hour of battery life and a removable watch band to it’s predecessor (the GolfBuddy Voice). It gives visual and auditory distances to the front, middle and back of every green. It’s simple, convenient and reasonably priced.
- Golf Buddy Voice – Ratings Score: 4.57
This little unit has quickly become a star in the golf GPS world. It gives visual and auditory distances to the front, middle and back of every green. It’s simple, convenient and reasonably priced.
- Golf Buddy Tour – Ratings Score: 4.27
A highly rated Mid-Range golf GPS at a fantastically low price. Preloaded with golf courses, no annual fees and ease of use, give this unit an edge in the ratings.
- Golf Buddy World Platinum – Ratings Score: 3.92
Not a bad device, but there are better models for the money.
- Golf Buddy World – Ratings Score: 3.77
Definitely worth considering if lots of features and a low price are important to you. It’s a small full-featured rangefinder with a nice price point.
- Golf Buddy Platinum II (2012) – Ratings Score: 3.35
Golf Buddy was trying to improve upon previous versions, but early indications are that you should stay away from this one.
- Izzo Swami 3000 – Ratings Score: 4.25
A very basic golf GPS with a wonderfully low price. It’s preloaded with courses and has no annual fees. Ratings are very good.
- Izzo Swami 4000 – Ratings Score: 4.11
This is a great looking, easy to read golf GPS. It only has the basic front middle and back distance information, but it’s preloaded, has a scorecard and shot measuring feature.
- Izzo Swami Watch – Ratings Score: 3.78
A great price for a golf watch. Like everything in the Izzo Swami line, it only has distances to the front, middle and back of the greens. It is preloaded, has a scorecard and shot measuring feature. For those with small wrists, this may not be the best choice.
- MOTOACTV Golf Watch – Ratings Score: 3.92
The MOTOACTV is a fitness watch with several editions to make it a multi-sport watch. The Golf Edition does an okay job, but unless you plan to use it for other fitness training, there are better choices in golf watches.
- Pebble E-Paper Watch – New
If you’re looking for a golf GPS watch that you simply use on the golf course, this isn’t the watch for you. However, if you are interested in a Smartwatch that works with your Smartphone for other applications as well, this may be the ticket for you.
- SkyCaddie Watch – New
The SkyCaddie Golf Watch would be a great value if only there were no annual membership fees.
- SkyCaddie Gimme – New
Although the base price is reasonable, SkyCaddie charges annual fees for using the Gimme. We believe other golf GPS devices without annual fees are the way to go.
- SkyCaddie Breeze – Ratings Score: 4.17
SkyCaddie Breeze requires annual membership fees even with the basic version. The basic version only includes front, middle and back distances. Upgrade packs are available to provide more features and distances to additional targets.
- SkyCaddie SGX – Ratings Score: 3.95
We think it’s tough for SkyCaddie to compete, as none of the other full-featured golf GPS devices charge annual fees or require downloads. The SGX does a great job on the course, but holds a limited number of courses, so you’ll have to keep going back to your computer.
- SkyCaddie SGXw – Ratings Score: 3.65
Although the wifi feature on this golf GPS is an improvement over other SkyCaddie models, it’s still a lot more work and a lot more money than other full-featured devices and it’s reflected in low user ratings.
- Voice Caddie VC200 – Ratings Score: 4.67
The VC200 provides distance to the middle of the green and it can measure and track your shots. There is not screen, so all information is via audio. Other voice GPS devices seem to offer more features at a similar price.
It has more features than the top-rated Garmin Approach S1 and it’s as fast and accurate as any golf GPS device we’ve tested. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a golf GPS watch, you should consider the Izzo Swami Watch.
To learn more, see our Izzo Swami Golf Watch written review.
“Izzo Swami Watch”
Features of the Izzo Swami Golf GPS Watch
- Preloaded with over 25,000 courses (nearly 29,000 in the database) which is why I recommend updating before first use. Allow some time for this.
- Provides distance to the front middle and back of every green.
- A shot measuring feature.
- A scorecard for keeping one player’s score.
- Auto course recognition
- Auto hole Advance – this works only if you take the watch onto the green. If you have it clipped on your bag, it may not change holes, but it’s very easy to advance to the next hole manually, if necessary.
- Edit Green Locations – I recommend doing this for any hole on your home course that’s not perfect… because then it will be!
- Time, date and alarm
- Rechargeable Li-polymer Battery – holds a 6-8 hour charge
It should be noted that Izzo provided the watch that was reviewed in this video. We hope they don’t mind that we were totally honest anyway!
“Bushnell V2 Patriot Pack
The Bushnell V2 Patriot Pack is often around the same price as the Bushnell Tour V2 by itself, so a terrific value that also benefits the Folds of Honor Foundation. It comes with a case, a skin and an extra battery. The description on the Bushnell website indicates it also includes a Patriot Pack golf towel. The photo on the website and on Amazon, shows a mount and some tees as well, but we’re not completely sure.
All we know is that if the price is pretty close to the Bushnell V2 by itself, this is a good deal that does a good thing. Folds of Honor gives back to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to the United States through scholarships and other assistance.
The Bushnell V2 Patriot Pack is available with and without slope. For more information, check out our Bushnell Tour V2 Review.
Here is a complete list of Golf GPS Reviews sorted by brand. For rankings and side by side comparisons, see our Golf GPS Reviews and Scores. Bushnell Bushnell NEO-X Golf Watch – NewA thin, lightweight watch is definitely what’s missing in the golf watch market. Amazingly, Bushnell is pulling it off and still maintaining very…Read More »
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