Best Golf Rangefinder Reviews

Golf Rangefinders

Golf Laser Rangefinders: Know the Distance to Up Your Game

Gone are the days of pacing the course to measure yardage. Grab the best golf laser rangefinder, aim it at your target and you’ll know the distance to the flag and to hazards in your way within a second or two. You may have used GPS rangefinders. They are useful, but a little limited. A golf laser rangefinder doesn’t need a subscription or any updates to be ready to go on any course.

Our pick

Best golf rangefinder review
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
Can a laser rangefinder help you go from bogies to birdies? If any of them can, the Bushnell Tour X is the one. It’s accurate down to ½-yard, and ranges out to 1300yds with 6x magnification. It reads slopes, then converts to be tournament-legal. All this power fits right in the palm of your hand.

 

The Top 5 Best Golf Rangefinders

I’ll share with you these top picks to help you decide on the best golf rangefinder for you. Here are the top five laser golf rangefinder reviews with the best bang for the buck.

Bushnell Tour X, premium rangefinder with Slope function

I’ll be honest – I love this rangefinder. I’m a sucker for gadgets with lots of options. The Tour X gets criticized because it’s larger and heavier and there’s more jitter when you look through the viewfinder.

The jitter, or shake, comes from the higher 6x magnification. (If you have shaky hands, this one, or any with 6x magnification, may not be the right rangefinder for you.) I like being able to see things clearly, so I found a way to adapt to using the Tour X without too much trouble. It’s as simple as using both hands and bracing my elbows against my chest, just like I would take a photo with a heavy DSLR camera.

The Tour X has a great feature – The ability to switch between black and red reticules and information displays. Black doesn’t show up well against a lot of trees, so I use red. None of the other rangefinders here in this guide have this feature.

The PinSeeker JOLT technology is another reason why Bushnell rangefinders are so popular. The Tour X vibrates the rangefinder when it locks on the pin. That way you know you’re getting the right distance reading from the flag, and not from some tree in the background.

In the end, although the Tour X is pricey, it will help you in practice play, and it’s legal in tournaments, too. The red faceplate lets you use the Slope feature. Swap it for the black plate to show that you aren’t “cheating” when it counts.

Pros

  • 6x magnification
  • Very accurate to the ½-yard under 125yds
  • JOLT vibrates when locked onto pin and scan mode to range other obstacles
  • Shows true range with slope but tournament legal (w/black faceplate)
  • Adjustable to various lighting conditions

Cons

  • Shaky hands make for a shaky view

I recommend the Tour X for any golfer that is serious about playing better, especially someone who plays a lot.

 


Wildgame Innovations Halo X-Ray Z6X 600, the best budget rangefinder with Slope function

When I first laid eyes on the Halo X-Ray 600, I thought it was a hunting scope, not a golf rangefinder. It’s actually both. If I had seen this back in the day, I would have bought it because it has a lot of value for a low price.

The X-Ray 600 has 6x magnification just like the Bushnell Tour X. Its top range is 600 yards to a reflective target, and it reads slopes. This means it gives the true distance to a target. (As far as I can tell, this can’t be turned off, so the X-Ray 600 would not be legal for tournaments.)

The scan mode helps determine the location of other objects, like water hazards or sand traps. It’s precise to plus or minus 1 yard. It’s also water-resistant, so don’t fret if it starts to rain during your game.

The 6x magnification means the view can be a little jittery just like the Tour X. If you experience a shaky view when you use it, try tucking your arm against your chest instead of extending your arm away from your body. The other downside to the X-Ray 600 is that the display information is black, and it’s a little hard to read in dim light or against dark backgrounds.

This rangefinder has a plastic housing with a pleasant ergonomic rubber grip and fits nicely in just one hand. If you forget to turn it off, no worries. It shuts down after 20 seconds when you stop using it.

Pros

  • Accurate to +/-1 yard and measures out to 600yds
  • Shows true range with slope
  • Scan mode to range other obstacles
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Hard to read on dark background
  • Can’t turn off slope readings so never legal for tournaments

I recommend the X-Ray 600 for new golfers or those who aren’t ready to invest in a more expensive rangefinder. If you plan to play in tournaments, remember that you can’t take this one with you.

 


Value Price, Premium Performance without Slope: TecTecTec VPRO500

The VPRO500 Rangefinder from TecTecTec was a surprise find for me. It’s from a little-known startup that wants to give Bushnell a run for the money. There’s no slope function, so it’s automatically legal for tournament play.

This little wonder looks a little like a toy. It weighs only 6.53 ounces and fits right in my hand. It’s accurate down to plus or minus a yard, and measures out to 540 yards total. Its readings look equal to those taken by my Bushnell Tour X. It has 6x magnification and gives a nice, clear view down the range. There’s also a convenient scan mode so you can measure distances to sand traps and more.

Similar to other rangefinders in its class, it has software that picks out the pin from other background objects like trees. It flashes a little flag icon once it locks on to the pin, but there’s no JOLT feature. All the information appears in black, which is a little hard to read against some backgrounds.

Overall, this is a nice little rangefinder. It gets the job done without a big price tag, it comes with a handy case, and it’s weatherproof.

Pros

  • Accurate to +/-1 yard
  • Measures out to 540 yards
  • PinSensor locks onto flags
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Hard to read on dark background

I recommend the VPRO500 for serious golfers on a budget, especially those who play in tournaments.

 


Premium without Slope: Bushnell Tour V3 Standard Edition

I have friends who refuse to upgrade from their Bushnell Tour V3. (My retired friend hasn’t even upgraded from the V2 yet.) The V3 Standard Edition continues to be a favorite tool of a lot of PGA golfers because it’s reliable and simple to use.

Like the Tour X, the V3 has JOLT. It vibrates to assure you that it has successfully located the pin. Its 5x magnification makes everything look crisp and clear, and there’s no shake. The fact that it’s only accurate down to plus or minus a yard isn’t a problem for most golfers. It doesn’t have the Slope feature so it’s automatically legal to use during tournament play.

One little-known feature about the V3 is that you can mount it on a tripod. It’s also rainproof and it weighs 6.6 ounces, almost 2 ounces less than the Tour X.

Pros

  • Accurate to +/-1 yard
  • Measures from 5yds to 1000 yards
  • JOLT vibrates when locked onto pin
  • Rainproof

Cons

  • Only 5x magnification (but less shake)

I recommend the Tour V3 for dedicated golfers who want accuracy but don’t need or want slope measurements.

 


Breaking 80 (IS500 model)

Breaking 80 offers this 550-yard rangefinder as well as other longer-range scopes that measure up to 800 yards. I’m going to review just the 550-yard model since that’s the least expensive so it fits in the budget category.

Once again, here is an inexpensive rangefinder with 6x magnification, but this one doesn’t seem very shaky when you look through it. In Pin Mode, it shows a small flag icon to indicate that it’s locked-on to the flag. In Scan Mode, you’ll get 8 seconds to pass over an area to see the yardage for front and back or hazards.

There is a downside to the Breaking 80. You need to be a minimum of about 5 yards away from the target for an accurate reading. That may be fine when you’re playing golf or hunting

You may appreciate Breaking 80’s replacement policy – if it breaks down after a year, they will ship you a new rangefinder.

Pros

  • Accurate to +/-1 yard
  • Measures out to 550 yards
  • 6x magnification
  • Scan mode to range other obstacles
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Shaky hands make for a shaky view with 6x magnification

I recommend the Breaking 80 for golfers on a budget who also like other outdoor sports like hunting and archery.

 

When selecting a rangefinder, look at these features

Here’s a short list of the most important qualities of a good rangefinder and my recommendation as a recap below in order to find your best golf rangefinder.

  • Legal for tournament play (without slope reading) or not (with slope reading) – The slope reading feature is illegal for tournaments but it will improve your game, guaranteed. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you need to know how steep an incline is, especially if you’re on a new course. Just two degrees up or down could make a difference of ten yards, and that means you’ll want to use a different club. This includes dealing with slopes up and down. You’ll become more accurate, and that means chipping fewer balls out of sand bunkers.
  • Accuracy – The average accuracy of a good rangefinder is +/-1yd. Don’t bother with anything less than this. Some offer more precision up to a certain distance, like the Tour X that gives spot-on readings down to 1/2yd as long as the target is within 125yds.
  • Range – At least 400 yards or not worth the money. That’s about double the distance that an average golfer can drive a ball. Some rangefinders offer more than 1,000yds.
  • Ease of use – The less time it takes to learn, the more you’ll use it.
  • Speed – Lasers range at the speed of light, but it’s their software that does the calculations, and that takes longer. If it takes a rangefinder more than 2 seconds to tell you the distance to the flag, put it down and look for another.
  • Magnification – 5x is less jittery than 6x, but 6x makes it easier to see the flag clearly when it’s far down the course. Less than 5x means you’ll have trouble picking out details far away.
  • Weatherproofing and durability – it’s a tool and shouldn’t need to be babied. Golfers play in the rain, so our tools ought to be usable when wet.
  • Extras to make your game easier, like pin lock-on and the ability to change brightness and the color of the display. Pin lock-on confirms that you’re seeing the distance to the flag. Being able to change how the display looks makes it really nice to read in varying light and weather conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, here’s what I recommend:

  1. For pro golfers and serious amateurs, it’s worth it to invest in the Bushnell Tour X. It’s accurate, powerful, easy-to-use, customizable, and legal for tournaments.
  2. For pros and amateurs who don’t want the Slope feature, I recommend the Tour V3 or TecTecTec PRO500. They are accurate and easy-to-use and always tournament legal.
  3. For new golfers, you’ll benefit from the Tour X or the Halo X-Ray Z6 600. I understand that not every new golfer will have the money to spend on a high-end laser rangefinder like the Tour X. In that case, I recommend the Halo X-Ray Z6 600 because it also has slope reading ability. It’s not tournament-legal, but it will help immensely during practice rounds.
  4. For occasional golfers, start with the Breaking 80 rangefinder. It doesn’t have a hefty price tag and it gets the job done.

Why buy a rangefinder?

How good are you at eyeballing distances, really? Especially if there happens to be a slope in the way. Yes, golf courses show you yardage markers, but those might not be spot on if they’re letting the grass recover in certain areas. GPS rangefinders (either standalone or in app format on your phone) are useful as long as you keep them up to date. Laser rangefinders are more accurate and you can choose your targets at will.

If you really want to improve your game, you need to know your abilities and the course. Don’t be shy about using a laser rangefinder. It means you’re serious about playing better. Caddies use them to help pros prep for the big tournaments.

Fine print first – the rule for using a rangefinder in tournament play

As you known, you can use a rangefinder in tournament play as long as you don’t have, or don’t use, the slope reading feature. You can read the new USGA rule 14-3/.0 here.
Hence, let’s answer the burning question before you bring home your rangefinder: “Do you want the slope reading feature or need a golf rangefinder for tournament play?”

The advantages of slope readings

The slope reading feature will improve your game, guaranteed. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you need to know how steep an incline is, especially if you’re on a new course. Just two degrees up or down could make a difference of ten yards, and that means you’ll want to use a different club. Choosing the right club is good, but there’s another benefit to slope readings.

When you practice with a rangefinder, you’ll soon see how far you can hit a ball under varying conditions. This includes dealing with slopes up and down. You’ll become more accurate, and that means chipping fewer balls out of sand bunkers.

I hope these reviews helped you choose a new rangefinder. Let me know which one you’re using and how you like it. Check back soon for more golf rangefinder reviews to change your bogeys into birdies.

I am Mark Leo Rubin, people call me Mark. I'm here to share my knowledge and experience about sports and outdoor related stuff. Thanks for reading my reviews and hope you are spending a worth time.

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