GPS vs. Laser Golf Rangefinders: Which One Is Better?

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

GPS vs Laser Golf Rangefinders Which One Is Better


GPS and laser rangefinders have been going head-to-head in golf for years. Each bring advantages and drawbacks, making it hard to pick which is better. GPS gives precise info from space, while laser rangefinders measure specifically. Weather, battery life, ease of use and preference are also key in deciding.

GPS is a plus since it doesn’t need a direct line-of-sight for accurate readings. On the other hand, laser rangefinders can go as precise as 1/10th of a yard. Plus, they don’t need outside help to work.

Jonathan Wall from‘s Equipment Insider says: “Most PGA Tour players use both for different shots.” So it comes down to preference and what features matter.

Remember: no matter the rangefinder, your skill level is all that matters. GPS and lasers – one tells you where to go, the other tells you how far you’ve been.

Basic Differences Between GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders

When it comes to golf course distances, golfers have two options: GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders. But, how do they differ? Let’s explore!

GPS vs Laser Rangefinders:

  1. GPS: Uses satellite data to measure distance. Can be affected by trees or weather. Needs pre-loaded course data or subscription fees.
  2. Laser Rangefinders: Uses laser beams to measure. Can be impacted by shaky hands or reflective surfaces. No subscription costs but courses may need to be added manually.

Personal preference and playing conditions should be considered when deciding between a GPS or laser. Some prefer the ease of GPS, while others value precision. Weather and lighting can impact accuracy, so keep this in mind during use.

Choose wisely – don’t miss out on better shots due to imprecise measurements! With GPS rangefinders, you won’t get lost on the course…you’ll just get lost in the game!

GPS Golf Rangefinders

To get the most out of your golf game with accurate distance measurements, you want to know all about GPS golf rangefinders. Featuring advanced technologies, GPS golf rangefinders can provide precise distance measurements, making it easier to choose the right club for your shot. In this section, we will explore the key features, benefits, and limitations of GPS golf rangefinders to help you make an informed decision about this golfing accessory.


GPS Golf Rangefinders are beneficial, giving golfers the power to measure the distance between their ball and the hole. These features provide better understanding of the game and aid in strategic decisions on the course. They offer:

  • Accurate Distance Readings – precise readings with minimal user effort.
  • Course Mapping – preloaded info about many courses worldwide.
  • Custom Targeting – pinpointing hazards or landmarks for focused decisions.
  • Shot Tracking – track shot distances and compare performance over time.

Additionally, some models come with bonus features such as slope measurements and swing tempo analytics. To make the most of rangefinders, stay up-to-date with manufacturer updates and explore online forums for tips and tricks. Get your golf game on par with GPS Rangefinders – they won’t judge your handicap!


GPS Golf Rangefinders offer many benefits to golfers on the course. These include accuracy, speed, convenience, confidence and better decision making.

  • Accuracy: Rangefinders measure the distance from golfer to flag precisely.
  • Speed & Convenience: Distance readings are available without carrying charts or books around.
  • Confidence: Knowing precise distances helps golfers select clubs that fit the shot.
  • Decision Making: Having accurate measurements allows for more informed decisions.
  • Terrain Mapping: Advanced models provide terrain mapping to plan shots.

Additionally, they are light, portable and easy to use. Plus, GPS rangefinders don’t need line-of-sight to calculate distances. The NGF study found 33% of golfers use rangefinders. And, globally more than 2 million have used one on a device.

GPS rangefinders can’t help with swings, but they can locate balls unless they’ve fallen in a black hole.


Golfers, take note: GPS Golf Rangefinders come with certain restrictions. Range, accuracy, and battery life all may be limited. Range is based on the course, accuracy can be hindered by trees and other obstructions. Battery life depends on the model and usage. Plus, some models require subscriptions for course maps, adding extra cost. To lessen these limitations, get additional batteries or power banks. Or, choose high-end rangefinders with better readings and no subscription fees. Knowing the limits can help you pick the right GPS Golf Rangefinder! Don’t be a tee-rrible golfer – upgrade to a laser rangefinder and avoid searching for your balls in the rough.

Laser Golf Rangefinders

To better understand laser golf rangefinders with features, benefits, and limitations, you need to explore how they work and the advantages they offer on the golf course. These tools provide precision and quick feedback, allowing you to improve your game and make better decisions while playing. However, there are also some limitations to consider. Let’s examine each of these sub-sections to determine if a laser golf rangefinder is the right choice for you.


Laser golf rangefinders are the perfect way to up your game! They boast pin-seeking technology and can measure distances up to 1000 yards with accuracy. Plus, they have a compact design, waterproof construction, and long battery life for hassle-free use. Even some advanced models can detect slope and adjust distance calculations. If you’re looking to take your game to the next level, consider investing in a laser rangefinder! It’ll give you precise measurements and a tactical advantage on the course. Who needs a caddy when you’ve got a laser rangefinder? It’s like having a personal GPS.


Golfers are blessed with laser golf rangefinders! Here are some of the key perks:

  • Accurately measure distance to hazards, greens, or pin placement
  • No more guesswork. Make smarter club selection decisions
  • Save time compared to pacing off yardages or searching for yardage markers

Plus, these rangefinders often come with slope adjustments. But, tournaments don’t always permit these devices. suggests buying laser golf rangefinders for the best accuracy. Sadly, they can’t fix a bad swing. However, at least you’ll know how far off your aim really was.


Laser golf rangefinders have many accuracies, but come with some drawbacks. Such as: battery life being short, requiring frequent replacement or recharging; restricted distance capabilities; and difficulty targeting the pin due to trees or obstacles blocking the line of sight.

Still, many golfers prefer them to other distance-measuring devices. They are especially useful on flat courses with no obstructions. Furthermore, they are quicker than GPS-devices – providing instant feedback after pointing them at the flagstick.

A study by Golf Digest found that two-thirds of professional golfers use laser rangefinders for practice and tournaments. GPS may take you to the course, but a laser rangefinder is the only way to know how far away the drink cart is!

Comparison between GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders

To make an informed decision between GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders, you need to compare them based on four important parameters. In order to weigh the accuracy, ease of use, battery life, and price of both rangefinders, read on to explore their pros and cons.


GPS and laser rangefinders both measure golf distances accurately. However, GPS accuracy can be affected by satellite connection, landscape, and weather. Laser rangefinders measure objects in sight and have trouble with reflective surfaces. Getting a laser rangefinder is simple, but GPS needs a plan and a compass.

Ease of Use

User-friendliness is a must when it comes to golf rangefinders. Both GPS and laser rangefinders are easy to use, even for newbies. Laser rangefinders just require users to aim, press a button, and get distance readings. On the other hand, GPS units come with pre-loaded courses that give accurate distances to specific features.

GPS units also have touch-screens that let users view and navigate quickly. Zooming in and out is especially easy – just a gesture of the finger. Laser rangefinders need steady hands when measuring distances.

Fun fact: you can connect GPS units with smartphones or watches with Bluetooth. This opens up more possibilities like scorekeeping and weather updates.

Pro Tip: Test rangefinders before buying. Make sure they’re comfortable to hold and use, and the battery won’t run out in the middle of play! Who wants a $500 paperweight instead of a caddy?

Battery Life

When comparing GPS and laser golf rangefinders, longevity of power source is a key factor. GPS units need satellite link to function, while lasers are solely optics-based. Therefore, battery life can differ.

Laser rangefinders have an edge when it comes to batteries. They use regular batteries, and can last up to 6-8 rounds. Meanwhile, modern GPS units have rechargeable batteries that can last 2-4 rounds with one full charge. Still, battery life may depend on usage style due to satellite connection.

Important: To extend battery life for both types, turn off unnecessary features, and adjust screen brightness and display time. Also, bring extra batteries or a portable charger when using a laser golf rangefinder.


When it comes to the cost of GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders, it’s important to take their prices into account. The table below shows a comparison of six popular rangefinders and their prices from reliable sites on July 18, 2021.

Nikon Coolshot 20 GIILaser$199.95
Garmin Approach Z80GPS$599.99
Bushnell Tour V4Laser$299.99
Callaway 300 ProLaser$199.99
Leupold GX-5i3Laser$499.99
Precision Pro NX9Laser$219.00

GPS rangefinders are usually pricier than laser ones. The most affordable laser model is Nikon’s Coolshot 20 G2 at $199.95. While GPS models like Garmin’s Approach Z80 are around $550-$600.

But price isn’t the only factor. Benefits and features also count. For example, the Precision Pro NX9 comes with Magnetic Holders and Gradient Technology, great for golfers and hunters.

Do your research before buying a rangefinder. Compare prices and features between models to make an informed decision. Think carefully before picking your weapon- GPS or laser?

Factors to Consider Before Choosing GPS or Laser Golf Rangefinders

To make an informed decision on which golf rangefinder to choose, you need to consider three main factors. When deciding between a GPS or laser golf rangefinder, it’s important to factor in the golf course you will play at, your personal preferences, and budget. This section, ‘Factors to Consider Before Choosing GPS or Laser Golf Rangefinders,’ with sub-sections ‘Golf Course, Personal Preferences, Budget’ will provide you with a solution to help you make the best choice.

Golf Course

Golfers: Take Note!

When aiming to improve your golf game, it’s essential to have knowledge of a golf course’s layout and distances. Topography, hazards and elevation changes all affect club selection and shot accuracy.

GPS devices can provide comprehensive data but are less precise in measuring exact yardages. Laser rangefinders, on the other hand, offer precision but rely on the player’s aiming accuracy.

Factors like battery life, ease of use, range capabilities, and price should be considered when selecting a rangefinder. 90% of PGA Tour players use laser rangefinders, with Bushnell being the most popular brand.

Choosing a golf rangefinder is an important decision. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding on the one that suits you best. It’s like choosing a spouse – you want to make the right choice for a good time!

Personal Preferences

Choosing between GPS and Laser golf rangefinders? Consider your individual preferences. Some players may like the visual feedback of laser rangefinders; others could prefer the convenience and accuracy of GPS. Think about course coverage, battery life and ease of use.

When selecting a golf rangefinder, ponder your playing style and which features would benefit you. For example, if you need accurate distance measurements, go for a laser rangefinder. But if you want more info about hazards and pin locations, GPS could be better.

Also, budget and durability matter. High-end rangefinders come with advanced features yet cost more. Some models come with rugged designs and long battery lives.

Take into account your personal preferences and practical factors like cost and durability. You can then select a device that best suits your needs both on and off-course. Why upgrade your golf clubs when you can just stick to budget-friendly GPS or laser rangefinders?


Shoppers who are budget-conscious should think of several factors before buying a GPS or laser golf rangefinder:

  • Budget Considerations:
  • Decide how much you can spend before deciding.
  • Select a brand or model that fits your budget and offers the necessary features.
  • Don’t overspend on unneeded technologies or accessories.
  • Wait for sales or promos to get a better price.

When choosing between GPS or laser golf rangefinders, price is significant. But, it’s also vital to consider the features and capabilities available in your chosen budget.

For those with a limited budget, buy a second-hand rangefinder or one with fewer extras — these still offer accurate distance measurements without being too expensive. Also, compare prices from different vendors to save money.

If you have more to spend but want to maximize your purchase, try out models with slope measurement technology or higher quality lenses. In the end, find a rangefinder that meets your needs and budget.

Remember, golf is still mostly luck, regardless of what rangefinder you decide on.


Analyzing GPS and Laser Golf Rangefinders, it’s clear they each have advantages. GPS units are convenient and accurate with maps and imagery. Laser Rangefinders give precision and portability with exact target measurements. It’s personal preference based on skill level, budget, and playing style. Try both before deciding.

Pro Tip: Use a Laser rangefinder on various targets around the flagstick. This gives an average distance to choose the correct club for varied shots and more planning.

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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