7 Tips For Using a Laser Rangefinder

There is a general belief that using a laser rangefinder is difficult because it needs to be held very steady. That’s not necessarily true, but it may take a little practice to get the hang of it. We think most golfers should be able to get pretty good at using a laser rangefinder within the first few rounds of trying it.

These 7 tips for using a laser rangefinder will have you successfully gauging accurate distances to the flag in no time… even if you have trouble holding your rangefinder steady.

Make sure you are using a rangefinder designed for golf. Laser rangefinders for hunting and other activities aren’t designed to pick up something like a golf flag. They can do it, but it’s usually more difficult.

  1. Watch videos on how to use your laser rangefinder. Go to YouTube and search for your rangefinder. Try to choose videos that have lots of “Views” or choose videos made by the manufacturer. It may take a few tries to find a decent video, but a good video can be more helpful than just about any other type of instructions. For example, take a look at this one about the Bushnell Pro X3 laser rangefinder.
  2. After you’ve watched a video or two, read the instructions (even if none came in the box). You may have to go online to the manufacturer’s website to get them, but it should help clarify anything that wasn’t fully explained in the video. If there are pictures, study the information that it shows on the display. Then aim your laser at a big target 20 – 30 yards away and make sure you understand what you’re seeing in the display.
  3. Pinseeker, PinHunter and First Target Priority Mode, are the terms used by the three biggest manufacturers of golf rangefinders to describe a technology that “figures out” distance to the flag versus things behind it. These technologies are extremely helpful and make it possible for golfers who aren’t as steady with their hands to use a laser.

    Try this technique to make the most of this technology… Aim your rangefinder at the ground first and give a quick press to the ranging button. This should bring up the reticle in the display. Now you can aim right at the target and push the button. This will reduce the chance of error, by eliminating the possibility of hitting hills or bunker that may be in front of your target.

  4. Practice on large targets that are within 50-100 yards. Go outside at your house or take your new laser to the driving range. Take aim at any large target, whether the house across the street, or Big Bertha practicing at the other end of the range. It shouldn’t take long at all before you get the hang of acquiring distances to big targets that are close. If you have trouble with this step, re-read the instructions. If you still have trouble, this would be a good time to return your rangefinder, however you might want to have someone else try it too, just in case you happen to have a defective rangefinder.
  5. Golf Flag on Driving RangePractice on pins that are close. If your driving range has flags on it, take your laser rangefinder to the range and practice shooting the flags. Start with the closest flags and don’t move on until you consistently get the right distance. Make sure you that you target the “flag” and not just the pin. The flag is much easier to hit. Most driving ranges with flags, will have some indication of how far it is to each flag, so that you can verify your distance.
  6. Don’t expect it to be super easy the first time you try it. For many users, it takes a little practice to get solid and consistent readings. During your first round, go ahead and determine yardages the way you always have, whether it’s from yardage markers on the course or from a GPS device. If you have time before or after your shot, pick up your rangefinder and give it a try.
  7. Even after you have mastered your laser rangefinder, it’s always a good idea to make sure the distance you get, matches with what you know about your location. If you’re 5 yards in front of the 150 marker and you get a reading of 98 yards, you might want to laser the target one more time.

If you’re asking, “Why bother?”… Well, there are several advantages to using laser, not the least of which is that it’s more accurate than GPS. They also don’t have to be regularly charged, so you can leave it in your bag all the time. Laser rangefinders work on every golf course anywhere in the world and provide distance to any target you can see.

Easiest to Use - Laser Golf Rangefinders
Bushnell Tour V5 - Read Full Review

Size, speed, and accuracy evolved with a new generation of tech — featuring PinSeeker with Visual JOLT, BITE Magnetic Mount, and next-level clarity and brightness.

Rating: 4.74 (510 ratings)  Magnification: 6x  Slope: No
Weight: 8 oz.   Legal: Yes
Bushnell Tour V5
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Precision Pro NX7 Pro - Read Full Review

Our initial hands-on experience with the Precision Pro Golf NX7 Pro has been excellent. It locks onto the flag very quickly and the unit vibrates immediately when it locks. It offers two modes, one with Slope and one without Slope. When in non-Slope mode, the unit is legal in events where rangefinders are permitted. It's simple to switch between the two modes, but not so simple that you're likely to do so accidentally. The price on this is much less than the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift, but the features and performance are very similar. The only thing missing on the NX7 Pro is the ability to check which mode you are in by looking at the side of the rangefinder. The NX7 Pro may also be slightly more difficult to use on hitting targets on the ground for layups, but the difference in price may make this easy to overlook.

Rating: 4.54 (3043 ratings)  Magnification: 6x  Slope: both
Weight: 5.45 oz.   Legal: Yes, with Slope Mode turned OFF.
Precision Pro NX7 Pro
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Gogogo Sport Vpro GS03 - Read Full Review

The Gogogo Sport VPro GS03 offers several extremely affordable options and the reviews are excellent. Of course, the price is even better! If you're a hunter and a golfer, this model should work just fine for both sports. Make sure to put it into Golf mode when hit the links. If you tend to be rough on your equipment or you play in the rain, you may want to check out Bushnell. The Gogogo VPro GS03 isn't water-resistant and the hardware doesn't seem quite as durable. Still, at this price point and a 30-day return policy, we're giving the Gogogo GS03 a thumbs up!

Rating: 4.55 (3782 ratings)  Magnification: 6x  Slope: Yes
Weight: 6.49 oz.   Legal: Yes
Gogogo Sport Vpro GS03
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TecTecTec VPRO500 - Read Full Review

It's the combination of price and performance that puts the TecTecTec VPRO500 in our list of top rangefinders. It used to be that it felt safer to go with a well-known brand when you bought a golf rangefinder. However, when there are over 800 hundred reviews for a product and over 75% of them are 5 Stars, those concerns can be easily dismissed. Well, actually we had to see it to believe it. We purchased it from Amazon and put it to the test. We were not disappointed. It was super easy to lock on the flag, even from long distances. The unit was compact, but the numbers were large and easy to read. It was also easy to range other targets, including bunkers and the ground. The only performance issue we noticed is that it sometimes varies 3-4 yards when ranging the same target multiple times. For most golfers, that's not really a big issue, but other rangefinders in our top picks are typically more consistent. However, they are also more expensive. If that issue is a concern for you, check out our Best Laser Golf Rangefinders.

Rating: 4.50 (848 ratings)  Magnification: 6x  Slope: No
Weight: 6.6 oz.   Legal: Yes
TecTecTec VPRO500
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  1. Can I get the distance if I aim at the ground ?

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Usually, you can get a distance to a spot on the ground with a laser. I often will aim it at a spot on the ground short of a hazard for a layup shot.

  2. Dennis Wagenblast says

    will a laser range finder still work if you cannot see the pin such as in an extremely uphill lie or a dog leg?

  3. I left my Bushnell phantom 2 on the charger for 2 days and it died after the first hole. Can one overcharge the unit?

  4. range finder 900m how do you turn it off

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Jim,

      I’m not exactly sure which rangefinder you have, but most lasers automatically go off after a few seconds. Pressing the targeting button turns them on again.

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