Golf is no more how it used to be. Technology has made it easier and more fun. There’s no need to stand and guess the distance when you can count on a rangefinder to find it for you.
This small yet reliable device is popular among both pros and new players since it doesn’t only add more excitement to the game but also helps the player improve the shots.
While there are a number of golf rangefinders on the market, picking one can be troublesome, especially if you do not know what to look out for. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the key features to consider to help you pick the best budget rangefinder.
Top 5 Budget Golf Rangefinders
1. Precision Pro NX7 “ Best Value For The Money
2. Nikon COOLSHOT 20 “ Best For New Players
3. GolfBuddy LR7 “ Most Easy to Use Rangefinder
5. TecTecTec VPRO500 “ Best for Accuracy
6. Bushnell Tour V4 “ Best Overall Rangefinder
You will find a list of the 5 best budget golf rangefinders on the market later in this review. But, before moving on to that section, it may be a good idea to know all about rangefinders so you can easily pick the best option among the 5 we have picked for you after researching the market.
In this section, we’ll talk more about rangefinders, what they do, and things you should consider before picking one.
What Does a Golf Rangefinder Do?
The job of a golf rangefinder is to help golfers have a clear idea about the distances of the flag or any other target.
It can help players get an understanding of how far they really need to hit each shot. It will help you know what club to use since you will always have the distance. As a result, your game will improve.
Things To Consider When Buying a Rangefinder
Here are a few factors to pay attention to when picking a rangefinder so that you can get the best golf rangefinder:
It is important to pay attention to this factor since golf rangefinders are usually hand-held. A heavy unit can leave you feeling tired. Plus, it may also be difficult to keep it steady.
You can easily find some units under 0.25 pounds but some more advanced units may be heavier than 1 pound. Such golf rangefinders typically come with a mounting bracket and can be attached to a tripod for stability. However, that can add to the trouble. If a rangefinder is heavy then make sure to check for the technology it comes with since some unit includes special stability technology that provides clear results even if the hand is a little shaky.
This is the most important factor. After all, what’s the point of using a rangefinder if it does not offer accuracy? This is usually measured in yards.
Some units offer +-0.5 yard accuracy but some are above 1 yard. In most cases, the factor begins to decrease as the distance increases. If you want to enjoy reliable readings then pick a unit that offers more accuracy.
Moreover, the magnification feature can also play an important role here. It doesn’t add to the accuracy but it can help the player hit the target. Most units offer 5X magnification but some may come with better features.
Laser Rangefinders have limitations and most will not go beyond 500 yards. However, this may not be an issue since most players will not hit beyond 200 yards. But, if you want more range then you will be able to find some units that go up to 1200 yards, however, they may not be very effective at such a distance.
A golf rangefinder with slope measurement allows you to calculate what the downhill or uphill position means in terms of distance. This is a very important feature but it isn’t allowed in tournaments. If you would like to enjoy the best of both worlds, you should opt for a unit like the Bushnell Pro X2 (this is not a low budget rangefinder) that lets you activate and deactivate the slope measurement, using its slope switch technology so you can take part in tournaments without worries.
This is very important if you are a pro or if you intend to play professional golf. Make sure to get your hands on a golf rangefinder that’s legal.
No distance measurement devices were allowed in the game until 2016 when the Rule 14-3 was revised to include stand-alone, multi-functional devices that do not offer an unfair advantage to the player. A golf rangefinder is considered illegal if it can measure and gauge slope, actively measure and gauge weather conditions, send messages to the coach, provide club suggestions, etc. Go here to know more about the laws concerning the use of golf rangefinders.
Related read: Is My Rangefinder Legal For A Tournament?
Ease of Use
A good golf rangefinder shouldn’t contain unnecessary buttons, there must be technologies such as the JOLT technology that informs users whenever a target gets locked. The unit should also have a feature that makes it easy to know if the slope measurement is active or not. Lastly, the LCD must provide readable readings no matter how bright the sun is.
Related reading: How to Use a Golf Rangefinder
The unit must be durable and made to last. Most rangefinders contain plastic and come with a warranty, hence you will have nothing to worry about. But, make sure to opt for a rangefinder that’s waterproof or at least weather resistant so you can continue to enjoy your game no matter the weather.
Best Budget Golf Rangefinder Review
Now that you know all about golf rangefinders, it is time to look at the best golf budget rangefinders for pros and new players. Let’s have a look:
#1 Precision Pro NX7 – Best Value For The Money
The Precision Pro NX7 is a great golf laser rangefinder that is relatively a newcomer to the market. Let’s see how it fares:
The NX7 pulses and locks-on the target with sharp accuracy and can measure the distance instantly. It is accurate to one yard and easy to use. Perhaps, it’s biggest and most attractive feature is the low cost.
It comes with all the standard features of other expensive brands such as TAG (Target Acquisition Technology), pulse vibration, and slope mode.
You will enjoy great distance since it goes up to 400 yards with 6x magnification. Plus, there will be no worries about using it in the rain since it is water resistant, but remember that it isn’t waterproof.
The Precision Pro NX7 can be a great pick for users looking for an all-rounder budget golf rangefinder. It works well but is slower than similar options.
#2 Nikon COOLSHOT 20 – Best For New Players
The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 is one of the most compact and lightweight rangefinders you will find. It’s fully rainproof and tackles all obstacles and even has fog proof viewing lens.
This rangefinder is suitable for new players since it does not feature the slope technology.
One of the most unique features is the unit’s First Target Priority mode that automatically displays the range to the nearest target. It also features a Continuous Scan Mode that only requires the user to press the dedicated button for 8 seconds for the unit to continuously measure the range.
Expect great accuracy under 100 yards (1-yard) but it falls to 2-yard as the distance increases and goes up to 600 yards. However, the 6X magnification feature will prove to be a winner.
The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 can be a good rangefinder for new players looking for an affordable option that is lightweight and compact.
#3 GolfBuddy LR7 – Most Easy to Use Rangefinder
This rangefinder has 4 different targeting modes namely:
- Standard: Offers distance to the flag or target
- Scan: Scans for 10 seconds at a stretch to show distances to targets
- Pin: Scans for 10 seconds at a stretch to show distances to different targets to the closest target
- Pin Finder: Scans for 10 seconds at a stretch to show distances to targets to the closest target confirmed with a vibration
It features a vibration technology that will let you know when the distance gets locked. It goes up to 880 yards and offers an accuracy of 1 yard no matter the distance. You also get to enjoy 6X magnification.
It is small, compact and lightweight just like the Nikon COOLSHOT 20. You can easily adjust the mode to switch between meters or yards and it’s also water resistant.
The GolfBuddy LR7 is not the most advanced option out there yet it’s still in demand since it is easy to use and comes with a number of accessories.
#4 TecTecTec VPRO500 – Best for Accuracy
One of the best selling golf rangefinders, the TecTecTec VPRO500 is among the best options when it comes to accuracy.
It boasts 6x magnification, a 500 yard range with +/- 1 Yard. We have listed other options with the same accuracy but this one wins since it offers excellent precision, which you’ll notice when you get your hands on it.
The downside of this water resistant and tournament legal model is that it does not come with the slope adjustment mode while its sibling, the TecTecTec VPRO500S, does.
Still, thanks to an adjustable diopter, sharp optics you cannot complain much about this device.
The TecTecTec VPRO500 can be a great pick for users looking for peace of mind since this one comes with a money back guarantee. You can return this device if it does not meet your requirements.
#5 Bushnell Tour V4 – Best Overall Rangefinder
The Tour V4 Shift rangefinder allows users to toggle the slope measurement on or off depending on tournament play. Compared to the previous model V3, it is also lighter. Its weight is just 6.6 ounces, a nearly 30% reduction from the previous model, Tour V3 that is now discontinued.
It offers excellent range up to 1,000 yards with an accuracy of +- 1 yard at 5X magnification. The unit is highly durable as it comes with a carry case and protective skin.
One of its top features is the PinSeeker with Jolt technology that helps the user know when a target gets locked. You can use it with the free Bushnell app that offers 3D flyovers with distances and hole-to-hole layouts with distances. The app comes with 36,000 built-in courses.
The Bushnell Tour V4 can be a great pick for users looking for a reliable and affordable device.
Best Golf Rangefinders FAQs
Best Budget Golf Rangefinder: Conclusion
These were some of the best budget rangefinders out there. While they’re all great, not all may be right for you. It is important to know why you want to own a rangefinder and then pick one according to your requirements.
All golf laser rangefinders do the same thing, i.e: measure distances, but they differ in terms of affordability, reliability, accuracy, and ease of use. Some units come with a money back guarantee, which gives users a chance to try out the device. If you are new to the game of golf then it may be a good idea to go for a rangefinder that has a friendly return policy.