About Critical Golf
Our testing staff includes players ranging from low to high handicappers to provide perspectives relevant to all golfers, regardless of ability level, and each product is tested by all staff members.
For most golfers, a rangefinder can be one of the most useful and impactful tools on the course. Rangefinders are simple to use and can keep the pace of play moving along while potentially helping shave some strokes off your game.
But not all rangefinders are created equally. There are so many options out there that it can be difficult to narrow down the one that will work best for your needs. So we bought them all and did some in-depth testing to come up with our recommendations for the best golf rangefinders in 2022.
Until we got our hands on each of these rangefinders, it was hard to gauge how different each of these products are. Every model has a feature or functionality that helps it stand out. Read on to get a more detailed look at what each of these golf rangefinders has to offer, but for those looking for a quick recommendation, here you go!
It may not surprise you to see the Bushnell name on the list of best golf rangefinders. The Tour V5 Shift is our editor’s pick. Although the technology and high-end features of the Pro XE put it at the top of the list, the Tour V5 was not very far behind. When you consider the fact that this model is also priced better, it’s hard to pass up.
The Bushnell Tour V5 Shift is a tournament legal rangefinder that will easily allow you to turn the slope on and off. This is a slightly smaller model than the Pro XE that also fits easily in your hands.
A very fast and straightforward rangefinder with impressive quality and performance. Includes all your basic needs and brings an ease of use and a price point that earns it our top pick.
The features, functionality, optics, and overall accuracy of the Bushnell Pro XE makes this model the cream of the crop. Of course, you will have to pay for the quality you get with Bushnell, but it is well worth it if you play a lot of golf.
The Bushnell Pro XE has a new Slope With Elements technology that will give you your yardage, taking into consideration the change in elevation, barometric pressure, and even the wind. This can be a game-changer for playing in the elements or on a track you are less familiar with.
The Precision Pro NX7 is a great little range for a great little price. Rangefinders can get expensive, and then there are some super cheap options that are honestly not even worth trying. The Precision Pro NX7 is the best value because it is a good mix of performance and value.
Another great thing about the Precision Pro NX7 is that it has slope technology. Most rangefinders with slope are going to have a much higher price point. The NX7 has flag lock technology that helped us lock into the pin, even when our hand was a bit shaky.
Golfers looking for an excellent rangefinder for a fair price will enjoy all that the Precision Pro NX7 has to offer. It’s a no frills option, but it still gets the job done at a good price.
Does the Garmin Z82 even belong on this list? It’s debatable because it is more than just a rangefinder. It’s a highly advanced computer-rangefinder hybrid that has both laser and GPS technology. Unlike other hybrid models on the market, when you look through the scope of the Z82, you can see information that you would typically see on a GPS unit.
Knowing the exact location of the pin, plus the front of the green and back of the green can help golfers narrow down the club they need for their golf shot. There are advantageous features here, like Find My Garmin, and while the optics are actually through a screen, the Z82 offers a wealth of knowledge about your next shot.
If you like technology and can’t decide between a GPS and a rangefinder, this is the perfect option. Packed with features and backed with the extremely high-qaulity Garmin brand, this rangefinder is very impressive.
When you take a company that has built their business on having the best lenses in the industry, and you task them with creating a rangefinder, the Nikon CoolShot is the result. The Nikon CoolShot takes a bit of time and patience to set up, but once you have things rolling, the optics are better than any other rangefinder I tried.
I also like the rangefinder because it is small, lightweight, and has some really cool stabilization tech. If only It had a built-in magnet, it would have found its way into my bag!
If you’re looking for a crystal clear rangefinder with great graphic overlays, the Nikon Coolshot is a perfect solution. It may be one of the smallest on the market, but don’t let it’s size fool you…this one can get the job done and then some.
The GoGoGo GS-24 is a kind of a steal for the price point. It’s not the prettiest, and it’s a little bulky, but what this model offers for the price makes it hard to ignore on this list.
The GoGoGo GS-24 has slope technology and a built in magnet(what more do you need?!). In addition, we love the fact that this is powered by Triple A batteries. Triple A is easier to find and cheaper than the typical lithium rangefinder batteries.
Golfers that want all the basic features for a great price should run to the GoGoGo GS-24. As far as “bang for the buck,” this one is tough to beat. The batteries are a nice tough.
While not our top spot for “budget,” the TecTecTec VPRO500 had enough to like to earn a spot on this list. The enhanced pin finder technology from TecTecTec will help you lock in on your target and ensure that you have things lined up exactly as they should be.
The TecTecTec VPRO500 is a very basic model that will work for both hunting and golfing. It does not have slope technology, but the accuracy is quite good and gives you quick yardage.
Golfers that like simplicity for a fair price will enjoy the TecTecTec VRPO500. It would be nice if this range had slope, but for the price, it’s hard to complain.
If you’re one to play through the elements and are looking for a good value range, then give the Precision Pro NX9 a look. Luckily this is a water-resistant golf rangefinder that is durable and has all the features you will need, including slope.
The NX9 Slope does have a built-in magnet to help make it easier to use the rangefinder. In addition, Precision Pro will provide lifetime battery replacement for this product. Overall, it’s not as sleek or feature rich as a Bushnell or Nikon, but it certainly has the durability and water resistance you need as a golfer.
Golfers that play often and want a rangefinder that will hold up through rough days on the course will like the Precision Pro NX9. This things is a tank. IT’s the middle model from Precision but is a good middle of the row option.
Blue Tees is an up-and-coming golf rangefinder brand that has made quite an impact in the market. Overall the look and marketing surrounding the Blue Tees brand add to the experience. The Series 2 Pro will also get you all the same basic features as other standard rangefinders.
It does not come with a built-in magnet but does have a strap that accompanies the Blue Tees Series 2 to help with that. This isn’t ideal and makes it less sleek looking, but for a quick read, accurate number, and fair pricing, this is a good option.
If you want to be the cool kid on the golf course, the Blue Tees Series 2 is a great choice; clean looking design with accuracy and durability. This is a newer brand on the scene, but this is a good start and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they come out with.
Now that you have our picks for the best rangefinders of 2022, it’s time to narrow down exactly how you can choose one of these models from another. We were lucky enough to test each one out, but that can obviously be costly and time-consuming. However, there are some key features you will have to decide on as a customer to see if a rangefinder is a good fit for your needs.
The construction of the rangefinder will include its durability as well as its size. Golfers that play a lot of will like a rangefinder that has a durable outer case. This case will ensure that if the rangefinder is tossed on the cart’s seat or falls to the ground after reading, it will still make it to the next round of golf.
In addition, there is some variation in the size of these products. For instance, as much as we love the Bushnell Pro XE, but it feels substantial. If you prefer a lighter weight, smaller option, there are some great alternatives.
Like all golf technology, some rangefinders are easy to use, and others require some time spent with the owner’s manual. The golf rangefinder is typically more straightforward to use than a GPS as it is a simpler device. However, players still need to consider ease of use when shopping for the rangefinder.
If you are not a real techie person, think about going with a cheap point and shoot model that has fewer features and functionality; in the end, it may be better than the expensive options on the market.
Looking through a rangefinder to find a target should not be difficult. Players will not want to feel as though they are squinting and trying to find the target. The magnification, as well as the clarity, are important factors to consider.
For players that wear glasses or have difficulty with eyesight, it’s really important to keep advanced optics at the top of your list of qualifications and features that you may want.
The price of a golf rangefinder will range in price from around $100 to more than $400. The price of the rangefinder you purchase will likely come down to how you budget personally, but there is another important factor here.
If you are a golfer that plays twice a year and you purchase a $400 rangefinder, the value is not really there. However, if you play golf three times a week and purchase a $400 rangefinder, it was likely well worth the money that you paid for it.
Accurate distances are essential with any golf rangefinder. Whether you are looking for slope enabled distances or a yardage to the center of the pin, accuracy must be spot on. Years ago, the accuracy found in rangefinders would be within about two yards of the target. Two yards is 6 feet, and when you think about that in terms of a putt, it can make a pretty big distance.
Today some of the best rangefinders from companies like Bushnell Golf will guarantee accuracy to within half a yard. One of the things that I find more critical about accuracy is the advertised accuracy vs. the reality. When you get on the golf course, the rangefinder must be able to detect the flagstick and not a tree behind it.
When you spend more money on the better rangefinders, the accuracy on the course is very good. Cheap golf rangefinders make it difficult to pinpoint the pin and feel confident that you are locked on.
The display of the rangefinder may seem like a small feature and one that is not worth being concerned with, but it actually makes a big difference. Some golf rangefinders will display small text that is difficult to read; others give too much information making it really hard to determine what you need to know and what you don’t need to know.
As you look through the display, you will want to understand what each number means, and with better rangefinders, you can sometimes even customize the color of the information as it displays. Some companies find red or black numbers to be easier to see.
Our golf equipment goes through a lot when it is on the golf course. As we travel from hole to hole and grab the rangefinder, it can experience wear and tear on the case. In addition, if a rainstorm comes in, you will likely be thinking about protecting your grips before you worry about the rangefinder.
A carrying case is a smart way to store your golf rangefinder when it is not in use. In addition, look for something similar to the Bushnell Rangefinder that has the BITE Magnetic technology. This technology keeps the rangefinder securely locked into the golf cart, and you won’t have to worry about it breaking.
There are two types of rangefinders those that require new batteries and those that are rechargeable. This is really going to come down to a choice of player preference. If you are good about remembering to charge your rangefinder, then the rechargeable units are great.
The rechargeable units tend to upsell the idea that you will hardly have to replace batteries. However, we play a lot of golf and rarely need to replace the batteries in a rangefinder. Even during tournament play, you can always just put an extra battery in the carrying case and have it with you should you need it.
Another interesting feature of a golf rangefinder that is often overly dramatized is the range. Some companies will try to sell golfers on the idea that they can look through the viewfinder and get a yardage from 800 or more yards away.
Have you ever hit an 800 yard shot?
The range really doesn’t matter. However, what should matter is the pin lock technology range. Some golf rangefinders will lock in with the pin from 150 yards out, others 200, and some premium ones from 250 yards and out.
Outside of this 250 yard range, you can get a look at the hole and maybe get a sneak peek of bunkers or a water hazard, but it just isn’t necessary. If you find a rangefinder, you love, and it only has a distance measuring to 400 or 500 yards, that is plenty.
Years ago, golfers had to pay quite a bit extra to have the slope feature in their rangefinder. However, as times have changed, the slope functionality has become more affordable and is now easier for rangefinder manufacturers to include in their base models.
The slope is a great feature to have as it can give you more details about the hole you are playing. However, if your golf rangefinder has slope, just be sure you can turn it off. Slope is not allowed in a tournament, and therefore, the ability to turn it off makes your rangefinder more versatile.
Most of the time, a golf rangefinder should come with a carrying case to make it easier to hold. Companies like Blue Tees golf really care about the looks and style of their rangefinder; we tend to care more about accurate readings.
Choose a golf rangefinder that has a really durable case and a strong 1 year warranty or more, and don’t concern yourself too much with the color and style of the rangefinder. Some units sell sleeves that you can put over the model if it is not the best design for your needs.
One of the biggest things you will miss when you shop for a budget rangefinder is magnetic technology. When I tested all nine of these rangefinders, one thing I just really like having is the magnetic technology.
Although Bushnell has the best with their BITE, any type of magnet on the outside of the rangefinder is really helpful and appreciated. Keeping this on the cart as we play is pretty close to having a caddie with you as you make your way around the golf course.
Most rangefinders come with a warranty. The warranty is typically one to two years, and this is an important feature. We highly recommend looking at the quality of the case that comes with the rangefinder your purchase; if it isn’t a great quality case, think about purchasing an additional one. Most golfers come across issues with the rangefinder when they store it in their bag, especially for extended periods.
One question that I get asked all the time is whether or not it makes sense to have a GPS Rangefinder, GPS watch, or a traditional laser rangefinder. If you have noticed, with models like the Garmin Approach Z82, you can get a combination of both a GPS unit and a high quality rangefinder.
In the end, you are the golfer that needs to make the club selection. If you can do that with one number directly to the pin, then the rangefinder is for you. If you are a player that needs more information and feels like the front, back, and middle yardages are very important, then the GPS is better.
Recently I have been playing some golf using my traditional rangefinder and adding in a golf GPS app. It’s been a good way to get a better feel for certain shots and the adjusted distance using slope while also reading from the GPS. However, it’s a lot of information to take in, probably more than I need.
One of the things I noticed while reviewing these different rangefinders is that there is a whole list of golf rangefinder terminology that is really important to understand. As I did research for the rangefinder review, I found myself trying to figure out what some of these terms mean and how I can apply them to the product that I need most. Here are a few shortcuts that I thought may help you. If you purchase the Nikon Coolshot Pro ii, a Callaway rangefinder, or even the Shot Scope, the terminology will likely be relatively close.
Slope: the adjusted distance for downhill shots, or uphill shots, this is not technology that is USGA legal for tournament play, but it’s perfectly fine to use it during practice.
Jolt Technology: Jolt technology is great for those with shaky hands; the rangefinder will buzz or vibrate when it finds the pin, so you won’t have any questions about the overall number you got.
Tournament Mode: for golf rangefinders with slope technology, you can turn this technology on and off so that it is legal to use in a tournament.
Scan Mode: rangefinders with scan mode allow you to san the general golf hole and sometimes get more than one yardage; this is different than a pin seeker mode that specifically scopes out the pin.
Slope Switch and Slope Compensation: slope switch is the ability to turn the slope on and off; as we have mentioned the slope technology is not legal on the golf course, and a slope switch helps you play with your rangefinder even if it has a slope technology.
Pulse Vibration: pulse vibration allows you to determine that you have hit your intended target.
Pinseeker: Pinseeker is the mode that most golfers will use as it helps them find the pin exactly, this is different than scan mode or continuous scan, and instead, your rangefinder will be looking out for the pin itself.
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best golf rangefinders on the market. Sometimes the key is not just to find the best rangefinder but also to find something you enjoy using. If technology, features, and advancements frustrate you, there are plenty of simple choices out there that can easily get you an accurate and straightforward number to the pin.
The most accurate rangefinder for golf is the Bushnell Pro XE. With the Bushnell Pro XE, not only do you get information about the slope and how it will impact your score, but there are also details about the weather and elevation that will impact your distance in the fairway. Bushnell put a lot of time, effort, and money into this accurate rangefinder, and in the end, they came out with a really great product.
The best golf rangefinder in 2022 is the Bushnell Pro XE. When you look at all of the features this unit has, as well as its impressive performance, durability, and warranty; there is just nothing else that compares. It is a bit higher priced, and that is something that can turn some golfers away, but you won’t be rangefinder shopping for quite some time if you invest in the Bushnell Pro XE.
The best cheap golf rangefinder is GoGoGo GS24. If you are in the market for a fairly priced rangefinder that is accurate and has almost all of the same functionality as a premium rangefinder, the GoGoGo GS24 is a great solution. Of course, considering the price range on this model, there are a few things that could be better, but from a price standpoint, you can’t beat it.
Rangefinders will work in the rain, but you must be aware of whether or not your rangefinder is waterproof. Most rangefinders do not cause any issues for golfers that are trying to get a number to a pin in a light drizzle, but in a downpour, you may struggle with accuracy. Overall, if the rain is bad enough that the rangefinder stops working, you may want to get off the course!
Rangefinders will speed up play. In fact, the best golf rangefinders on the market are much faster than a GPS unit, and they can give you yardage to the pin in a matter of seconds. For those that like to play a quick round of golf, don’t expect the rangefinder to slow you down.
Beginner golfers can benefit greatly from a rangefinder. In addition, beginner golfers should consider a rangefinder with slope. The slope technology makes it considerably easier for players to get an idea as to how uphill and downhill shots work. Beginners should be starting to learn about which clubs they need to hit certain distances, and the rangefinder helps with that.
On average, you can expect a laser rangefinder to work for about 4 years. If you take great care of it and purchase something that is premium from the start, you could see 5-7 years from a rangefinder. For golfers that play a lot of golf, there is no doubt you will get your money’s worth out of a golf rangefinder. In the end, find a model that has good value, but always keep longevity in mind as it is important in the end.
When we first started this rangefinder testing, we figured there would be some tough-to-beat brands. Now that all is said and done and we have had these rangefinders in play for several months, there definitely are some standouts. However, it comes down to your personal needs. As rangefinders continue to get more popular and grab a larger market share, it will be interesting to see how the top brands retain their position.