Our Picks for Best Golf Rangefinder

As of Oct 21, 2014Below are our picks for ‘Best Golf Rangefinder’ by category. Our picks are based on performance, price and customer reviews.

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

Best LASER Golf Rangefinder

  1. Bushnell Tour V3 – Read Full Review
    The reviews for the Bushnell V3 are the best we’ve seen. Although differences in laser rangefinders may be subtle, ease of use is likely the reason the V3 shines. It utilizes Jolt Technology which creates a vibration in the unit when it locks on to the flag. Combined with the Pinseeker Technology, it’s easy to get your distance quickly and to have confidence that you hit the right target.
  2. Nikon COOLSHOT – Read Full Review
    Nikon doesn’t just make great camera lenses, they’ve been making the optics for the successful line of Callaway rangefinders for years. Although the Nikon COOLSHOT doesn’t play a sound or vibrate when it locks onto the closest target, it does have First Priority Targeting, 6x magnification, scan mode and high performance optics at a price point that makes it a real contender.
  3. Breaking 80
    The specs on the Breaking 80 laser rangefinder match up very well to the top performers in this category and the price on it is hard to beat. If you’re looking to get a laser rangefinder for under $200, this one has 6x magnification and First Target Priority to help you lock on to the target. It’s available in Red or Black.
  4. Leupold GX-3i – Read Full Review
    Leupold developed their own engine for this series of rangefinders, making it faster and easier to lock onto the correct target. This is a well built golf rangefinder with 6x magnification with a red OLED that makes seeing the number very easy. It also beeps when it locks on to a pin reflector, giving quick reassurance that you’ve got the right number. The name isn’t as well-known as Bushnell in the golf world, but this fifth-generation American owned family business has been making high-performance optics for hunters since 1907.
  5. Bushnell Hybrid – Read Full Review
    This one is for those who want the best of both worlds – Laser and GPS. You get laser for accuracy and GPS for times when you can’t see the flag or need distance to the front or back of the green. Amazingly, this device is still quite compact and easy to use.

Best LASER with Slope

  1. Leupold GX-4i – Read Full Review
    We love the red OLED that makes this easy to read in any light. The bells and whistles and the low price have put this on the top of our list. Besides providing slope information, the GX-4i can also calculate the distance a shot will play based upon temperature, altitude and slope. Not every golfer will want all the extra information, but the geeks will love it!
  2. 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 most golfers, the easy to use Bushnell Tour V3 with slope, will make a great choice.
  3. Leupold GX-2i – Read Full Review
    For price and features, we think this is the best value. Like the GX-4i, it has 6x magnification and can calculate the distance a shot will play based upon temperature, altitude and slope. It has more features than the V3, but costs quite a bit less.

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

Legal for use in tournaments allowing rangefinders

  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.

Not legal for use in tournaments allowing rangefinders

  1. Garmin Approach G8 – Read Full Review
    If you’re not planning on using it in tournaments, the Garmin G8 is pretty much the ultimate golf GPS rangefinder. It has everything the Garmin G6 has, but with a sleeker design and several worthwhile new features. Until now, you could only find “slope” information on laser rangefinders. Garmin changes that with the G7 and G8, which both offer “plays like” distance that is adjusted for elevation, plus club recommendations based upon slope and your hitting distances. The G8 will also let you get notifications from your iPhone, which is a nice feature for some users, but we really love is that it has Wifi for updating golf courses.
  2. Garmin Approach G7 – Read Full Review
    The G7 is the same size and shape as the G6, but incorporates the “plays like” distance and club recommendations found on the G8. It doesn’t have wifi or connect with your iPhone, but if those things aren’t important to you, you’ll like the lower price on the G7.

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

  1. Golf Buddy Voice+ – Read Full Review
    The Golf Buddy Voice+ is small and easy to use and the user ratings are outstanding! You can clip it onto your belt or visor, or you can snap it onto the included watchband and wear it on your wrist. It provides distance by both voice and a digital display. Of course it’s preloaded with tons of golf courses and there are never any fees.
  2. Bushnell neo+ – Read Full Review
    The Bushnell neo+ is definitely at the top of our picks for a golf GPS. We love that it has distance to the front, middle and back of the green on the main screen. You can easily get to additional targets, but many golfers will never have to touch this unit once the round begins. Of course it’s preloaded with courses and never has any fees and the price is excellent.
  3. Izzo Swami 4000 – Read Full Review
    The Izzo Swami 4000 is a great looking device that’s easy to read. Of course it’s also preloaded and has no fees and it’s very easy to use. It’s doesn’t have hazard and layup information, but for the price it’s an excellent choice.
  4. Voice Caddie VC300 – Read Full Review
    The Voice Caddie VC300 is a great choice for the golfer who wants to keep it simple, especially if he or she wears a cap or visor. It’s small, sleek and unobtrusive and provides auditory distances to the front, middle and back of every green. The sound quality is excellent, which is good, since there isn’t not a digital display. It also has shot measuring, but we just like the fact that it does what it’s supposed to do without any hassle.

Best Golf GPS Watches:

  1. Garmin Approach S4 – Read Full Review
    More features than any other golf watch and amazingly intuitive and easy to use. Distances to the front, middle and back right on the main screen and in one touch, you get distances to doglegs and layups. It has one button access to a diagram of the green shape that allows manual pin positioning with it’s perfectly responsive touch screen. Scorecard and stats are easy to input, as is shot measuring. iPhone users can get notifications from their phones easily, but somehow Garmin worked in the feature so that it’s not in the way when you don’t need it. We love this watch!

  2. Bushnell neo-X Golf Watch – Read Full Review
    Claims to be the thinnest and most lightweight golf watch on the market and the reviews are outstanding! There is no touchscreen, but it’s easy to use and has distances to hazards. Even though users seem to love most everything about this watch, the price makes it even easier to love. However, you may want to take a quick look at the brand new Bushnell neo-XS
  3. Garmin S1 GPS Golf Watch – Read Full Review
    This is the golf GPS watch that started it all! It’s preloaded with no fees and provides distance to the front, middle and back of every green. It’s simplicity and convenience has made it a huge hit with users.
  4. GolfBuddy Voice+ Watch – Read Full Review
    Works as a watch, or can be used without the band. Based on the highly rated GolfBuddy Voice and user feedback is excellent.

Garmin S6 Review

Just when we thought the Garmin Approach series had reached the peak of potential in a golf GPS watch with the Garmin S4, they introduced one with even more features. Our Garmin S6 Review will be available in the very near future, but here are our thoughts and expectations for the most advanced golf watch on the market to date…

“Garmin Approach S6″

Garmin S6 Golf Watch

No Ratings Yet No Ratings Yet

First of all, let’s take a look at the features that set Garmin S6 apart from the Garmin S4:

  • Dedicated CourseView button with Green View for manual pin positioning. We love the dedicated green view button on the S4 that made it easy to see the green shape and adjust the pin location to get more precise distance. The dedicated CourseView button on the G6 gives the same information, but also allows you to view the shape of the entire hole, as well as see layup and dogleg distances. This is definitely a feature we haven’t seen on any other golf watch.
  • PinPointer blind shot assistance tells you where the pin is, even if you can’t see it. This can be a life saver when you are at the bottom of a hill and can’t see the green.
  • Features swing metrics: SwingTempo, TempoTraining and SwingStrength™. We can’t wait to take these features to the driving range. At the very least, it will be interesting and at best, may help you lower your handicap. If you are working on swing changes, it seems like the SwingStrength™ indicator would help you identify which “tweaks” are working and which are not. As for tempo… all golfers know that we play our best on days when our tempo is just right. Hopefully using this tool on the range will make for more consistency on the course.

Like the S4, the Garmin S6 also has a glove-friendly, high-resolution touchscreen. Distance to the front, middle and back of every green, plus par and hole number shows on the main screen. In addition to the doglegs and layups already included with the course maps, you can save custom points for future reference. As with most GPS devices, you can measure your shots. Both the S4 and S6 have an easy to use scorecard feature with stat-tracking and the S6 will utilize handicap information. Both of these golf watches will also connect via bluetooth to your iPhone and get notifications whenever you want them. Both of these watches come preloaded 38,000 international courses and never have any subscriptions or fees.

When the Garmin S4 was announced with so many features, we were skeptical that it would be easy enough to use, but were totally impressed with Garmin’s implementation and it quickly became our favorite golf watch. The same thoughts occur when looking at all that is promised on the S6… but we are far more optimistic this time, having seen Garmin pull it off over and over again with their golf GPS handhelds and watches.

Our bottom line… If Garmin has indeed pulled off another easy to use golf GPS with the bonus features that we can take to the driving range and improve our game, we think this watch will likely be worth the price!

Garmin S6 Golf Watch Specifications
Model Garmin Approach S6
Type GPS
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Available Courses 38,000
Battery Life 10 hrs GPS / 20 wk
Battery rechargeable Li-ion
Height 1.8 in.
Width 1.8 in.
Depth .56 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 1″
Resolution 180×180
Display Type hi-res color touch
Weight 1.6 oz.
Rainproof Yes (50 meters)
Touch Screen Yes
Touch Targeting N/A
Manual Pin Positioning Yes
Stat Tracker Yes
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Aerial Hole View Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle Yes
Add Courses Manually N/A
Compatibility Windows/Mac
USGA Compliant (local rule) N/A
Notes Swing tempo trainer and swing strength measurements. Notifications from iPhone available via bluetooth.

Garmin Approach S6


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