Do I Need a Golf Rangefinder with Slope?

golf rangefinder slope

Do I need a golf rangefinder with slope?

Whether you play golf often or just occasionally, you most likely know about golf laser rangefinders, including those that offer slope calculations. However, you may not know if this is a device that is right for you. A golf rangefinder with slope can help you determine the slope of an area, which especially be helpful for your uphill and downhill shots.

You might want to invest in a golf rangefinder with slope mode if you answer yes to any of these questions:

  1. Do you want to be able to choose the correct club for a shot?
  2. Do you play on golf courses that have different types of elevation?
  3. Are you trying to improve your golf game?
  4. Do you want to be able to size up accurate distances to the pin quickly?

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What is slope and how does it affect my game?

hitting ball up the slope

The slope, in terms of laser rangefinders, refers to a change in elevation between two different areas. In other words, if an area is not flat, it will have a slope of some sort, whether it is minor or severe.

This is an important thing to know in golf, mainly because it can help you determine the correct golf club to use for each shot. It isn’t just as simple as hitting the ball a certain distance in a straight line.

When you know the slope of an area, it will help you figure out how hard to hit the ball, so that it travels the exact distance you want it to go. The reason why you should trust a golf laser rangefinder to do this is that it is not easy to do by yourself. There is a bit of math involved, which would take a while to calculate by hand, and include measuring aspects of the landscape.

How accurate is the slope calculation and how will it affect my shot?

The slope calculation that is done by a laser rangefinder provides you with a number called the adjusted distance. Here’s how it works.

First, a golf laser rangefinder with slope mode uses its laser to measure the distance from where you are standing to the pin or flag, which is simply the horizontal distance to the hole. It also calculates how long it takes the laser to reach back to the rangefinder, which is called the angle of return.

Essentially the difference between these two calculations will provide the height of the elevation or ground that is between you and hitting your target. They are used to provide the slope adjusted distance, which is the number you’ll need to know before you are able to figure out your shot. The formula for slope adjusted distance is horizontal distance plus height.

What are the best golf laser rangefinders with slope?

  1. Bushnell Tour V4 Shift (Slope) Golf Laser Rangefinder
  2. Bushnell Pro X2
  3. Precision Pro Golf, NX7 Pro Slope Golf Rangefinder
  4. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder
  5. Leupold GX-5i3
  6. Bushnell Pro XE
  7. TecTecTec VPRO DLXS Golf Rangefinder
  8. TecTecTec Laser Golf Rangefinder VPRO500S
  9. Callaway Tour S Golf Laser Rangefinder
  10. Wosports Golf Laser Range Finder with Slope

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Best golf rangefinder with slope

Here are our top 3 selections of best golf rangefinders with slope measurement.

#1. Best for high-end specs: Bushnell Tour V4 Shift (Slope) Golf Laser Rangefinder

  • Measures up to 1000 yards
  • Is accurate within 1 yard
  • Has 5x magnification optics
  • Can measure in yards or meters
  • Dimensions: 3.11 x 1.57  x 4 inches

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This Bushnell rangefinder is easy to hold, comes with plenty of proprietary features, and provides feedback when you use it. You can also check out the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift which is the latest Bushnell model.

  • Is quite accurate
  • The battery will last a long time
  • Made of high quality materials
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t work well in low light
  • Must have steady hands for accurate results


#2. Best for ease of use: Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder

  • Measures up to 1200 yards
  • Has 6x magnification optics
  • Waterproof
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 6.6 x 3.4 inches

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This compact laser rangefinder is good for smaller hands and has a clear lens, which makes everything easier to see and use. This product has an attractive design as well. Read the full review here

  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Has a mode for 8-second continuous measurement
  • Stabilize feature tells you that the target is locked in
  • Works in different types of weather
  • Will need to read instructions to learn how to operate it
  • Needs a rubber case


#3. Best for price: TecTecTec Laser Golf Rangefinder VPRO500S

  • Measures up to 540 yards
  • Has 6x magnification optics
  • Accurate within 1 yard
  • Water resistant
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 3 x 1.5 inches

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This one is affordable and still has plenty of features to like. It also comes with a money back guarantee and accessories to keep it protected. It is a good option for your first laser rangefinder.

  • Lightweight
  • Great ergonomics
  • Has continuous scan mode
  • Not as durable as others
  • Doesn’t measure as far away as other products



You are not allowed to use a golf rangefinder with slope activated at a golf tournament. At the same time, the official rules state that you may use a golf rangefinder in some tournaments, as long as the slope feature is turned off. This means the product you buy can be used, even if it measures slope, granted that you are able to disable the feature when you use it in a tournament. You will not have to purchase multiple rangefinders, to use for multiple purposes. It is a good idea to check out the local rules on the courses you frequent, as well as the tournaments you play, to see what they allow. You should also note that you can always use them when you are practicing.
There is a chance that you can become a better player with a slope rangefinder. You will still have to practice and learn how to use the rangefinder. You will also have to be familiar with what your clubs are designed to do. Otherwise, it is unlikely to do you any good, in terms of being able to decrease your strokes.
A GPS device is something that is used to determine a specific point or location. Satellites in space point out exactly where something is, so that it can be found using latitude and longitude, and distances can be determined. Since the device is unable to measure heights, it will not be able to measure slope. However, some call golf rangefinders, golf GPS devices, which isn’t entirely accurate.
Most rangefinders allow for you to be able to turn off the slope function. In some cases, there will even be indicators, so everyone will be able to see that you aren’t measuring slope. You can always read the directions that come with your device to see how to turn this feature off. At some courses, turning slope off will allow you to be able to use them to play.

Final thoughts

If you are considering purchasing a golf rangefinder with slope technology, you should now have a better understanding of what these products do and how they can help you.

While a golf rangefinder will not change your game overnight, once you get used to one and learn when to use specific clubs, you will likely be able to improve your golf game and score. This is true for those that golf nearly every weekend or just sporadically.

Keep in mind that you have to follow the rules at your local golf course since not all places will allow you to use a golf laser rangefinder and you will not be able to use a device with slope compensation technology for tournament play.

Read related article: Is My Rangefinder Legal For A Tournament?