How To Use A Golf Rangefinder

Rangefinders are a huge help in getting better at golf and becoming more instinctive with distances and your surroundings. Lots of pro golfers use these devices to help them gauge just how far they have to hit the ball.

A calculated shot with a 5-iron to avoid obstacles like sand bunkers is just as important as a powerful drive down the fairway from the tee.

Although you can’t use rangefinders in professional tournaments, they’re certainly great for improving your game. But how do you use a golf rangefinder? It’s no secret that they are useful tools, but finding out how to use them seems harder than cracking the Da Vinci Code.

No matter how hard you search, you just can’t find the answers that you need. Well, no more! Today we are here to bring all the rangefinder secrets to light! We’ve made a guide on how to use them and when’s best to implement them into your game. Keep reading to find out more.

What Does A Rangefinder Do?

It comes as nobody’s surprise that this cool bit of technology does exactly what the name suggests. Rangefinders are used in golf to allow golfers to calculate the distances between objects and locations.

For example, if you need to hit the ball towards the green but need to avoid a water hazard or a group of trees, then your rangefinder can help you to know the distance between you and your target.

Knowing the distance of features on the golf course is important for many reasons. The first, and probably most important reason, is so you can learn to calculate distances without using a rangefinder.

Lots of pro golfers will use this device when in practice but when it comes to the real thing, they’ve almost got the rangefinder and a variety of different ranges engraved in their brains.

Using a rangefinder is great for speeding up your game. As we all know, golf is a patient game for people who wish to take their time and find the right shot to take. However, it can take ages to calculate the right distances.

Rangefinders speed up the process for you and ensure that you can limit the time between taking shots, eventually leading to you taking fewer strokes during a game.

What Types Of Rangefinder Are There?

There are two different main types of rangefinders in golf and both have their own pros and cons. Different golfers will choose to go with a different type depending on what suits their game better.

Golf GPS

This is a great and handy device that many golfers will choose because of the many forms it can take. The Golf GPS is frequently seen in wristwatch form and is easily accessible on someone’s arm.

This also avoids the golfer having to carry around more equipment on top of their clubs and everything else. There are lots of GPS apps on smartphones that fit in with today’s modern reliance on technology and our phones.

An advanced GPS device will provide golfers with all of the information they could ever need and are perfect for those who are playing a new course for the first time.

For example, this piece of technology can spot bunkers, their size of them, and how far away they are, and provide you with the information to know how to treat your next move on the course.

On top of this, the GPS will also display hazards and obstacles that aren’t visible to the naked eye like obstacles over the top of hills.

Laser Rangefinder

A lot quicker than the previously mentioned GPS device, laser rangefinders are designed to make your life as easy as possible.

Focussing on accuracy and efficiency, this device limits the time between shots to an absolute minimum. Rangefinders such as these use laser technology to determine how far away a target is, rather than a rough guess.

The lasers calculate the time it takes to bounce off of your desired destination and come back to the rangefinder, calculating the distance for you.

The main difference between these and the GPS models is that they have to be manually used. Aiming at the desired target and finding out how you’d like to approach the hole.

On top of this, they come in a form similar to a pair of binoculars, rather than a strap on your wrist. This makes sure that the golfer still has some sort of input when applying these to their game.


How To Use A GPS

First, it’s important to ensure that your device has enough charge for how long you’ll need it. A lot of these products come with instructions specifying how long you’ll need to charge for.

Select your golf course and decide if you want an aerial view from satellite technology. The vast majority of golfers will choose this option and can choose any part of the course to look at via zooming in and out. This will highlight the distances of different features on the course like the green and various obstacles.

There will then be a button with something along the lines of ‘Measure My Shot’ or something similar which you can use to calculate the distance your ball traveled. You can then move to the ball from the starting point and find how far this has traveled.

To help protect your device’s battery life you can bring a portable charger or turn down the brightness to conserve energy.

How To Use A Laser Rangefinder

The easiest way to use a rangefinder is to take it out of your bag or your pocket, depending on where you keep it. Put it to your eye and point it at the location you wish to find the distance of.

Ensure that you find a rangefinder that’s designed for golf and not hunting. Although they may seem similar, a golf rangefinder can provide you with more relevant information.

If you want to find out how far you hit a ball, look for where the ball landed through the rangefinder or walk to where the ball is and point back to where you took the shot from.

Using pin-finding technology, this device can be a great way of shaping the use of your rangefinder around your golfing game.


When using a device such as this to help you improve your golfing game, it’s always important to do research first and find the one that suits you best. With regard to speed and efficiency, the laser rangefinder is the way to go.

However, if you prefer to have a clear picture of the course ahead of you, then the GPS could be better suited for you. Both have their pros and cons but are both designed to help you expand your golfing ability. What are you waiting for? Get your device and hit the course!

David Anderson
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