Jump to content
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Golf Guys - Laser rangefinder or GPS?


Recommended Posts

My most frequent course, and some others in the area, don't have nearly enough yardage markers.  Finding one can frequently slow down play more than I like.  So...

GPS unit?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/IZZO-Golf-Izzo-Swami-6000/dp/B07YH18GNC

Rangefinder?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/Callaway-Laser-Rangefinder-Slope-Measurement/dp/B01KP195PY

What makes a rangefinder better?  Seems like the GPS unit would be quicker and easier to use.  Less accurate?

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

My most frequent course, and some others in the area, don't have nearly enough yardage markers.  Finding one can frequently slow down play more than I like.  So...

GPS unit?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/IZZO-Golf-Izzo-Swami-6000/dp/B07YH18GNC

Rangefinder?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/Callaway-Laser-Rangefinder-Slope-Measurement/dp/B01KP195PY

What makes a rangefinder better?  Seems like the GPS unit would be quicker and easier to use.  Less accurate?

Lost 2 range finders over the last 7-8 years.   Bought the Garmin watch range finder and like it much better.  Don`t have to dig it out and try to hit the pin, then put in back  in, pull it out again.  With Garmin watch you just walk up to you ball and look at the watch and you have the distance.  Much less hassle.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

My most frequent course, and some others in the area, don't have nearly enough yardage markers.  Finding one can frequently slow down play more than I like.  So...

GPS unit?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/IZZO-Golf-Izzo-Swami-6000/dp/B07YH18GNC

Rangefinder?  Like this, maybe?  https://www.amazon.com/Callaway-Laser-Rangefinder-Slope-Measurement/dp/B01KP195PY

What makes a rangefinder better?  Seems like the GPS unit would be quicker and easier to use.  Less accurate?

Funny, I have that rangefinder and like it. I also use just the SwingU app on my iPhone, it gives yardages that are pretty accurate and I Lee score on it. 
 

i use my phone for all my shots that are not reaching the green and the rangefinder for my shots into the green. If it’s my first time playing a course I usually only use my phone so I can see hazards and to figure out how much green I have to work with in front or behind the pin. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rangefinder hands down so you can shoot other things than the flag. I use to get edges of hazards, for landmarks to anticipate carry, etc. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Judge Smails said:

Damn that ain't cheap. 

Worth it over the others? What's the primary difference? Mine was only $200 and seems to work just fine. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Zow said:

Damn that ain't cheap. 

Worth it over the others? What's the primary difference? Mine was only $200 and seems to work just fine. 

Get the 4i. Previous model. It is just so accurate and picks up yardage instantly. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Da Guru said:

Lost 2 range finders over the last 7-8 years.   Bought the Garmin watch range finder and like it much better.  Don`t have to dig it out and try to hit the pin, then put in back  in, pull it out again.  With Garmin watch you just walk up to you ball and look at the watch and you have the distance.  Much less hassle.

So does that just give you the distance using gps like a phone app like golfpad does?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Zow said:

Rangefinder hands down so you can shoot other things than the flag. I use to get edges of hazards, for landmarks to anticipate carry, etc. 

never used a rangefinder so I can’t say what’s best, but I can do all that with a free app on my phone 

I did play a with a guy once using a bushnell  range finder and my free app was within a yard or 3 of him all day 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

never used a rangefinder so I can’t say what’s best, but I can do all that with a free app on my phone 

I did play a with a guy once using a bushnell  range finder and my free app was within a yard or 3 of him all day 

Which app?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zow said:

Rangefinder hands down so you can shoot other things than the flag. I use to get edges of hazards, for landmarks to anticipate carry, etc. 

I think it depends on how good you are and how often you want something other than distance to the green. I'm a hack so I don't need mega detailed info. My wife had gotten me a rangefinder like 3 years years ago and I loved it. But then I started running a lot and got a Garmin to help track that and now I mostly just use it when playing golf. Now, most of the time I just use the watch. It's so easy to just look down at the wrist and I can keep score and everything right on it. 

That said, I still carry the rangefinder in my bag and will occasionally get it out to verify distance to significant obstacles - i.e water, a fairway bunker, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Truth is for most of us anything that gives a reading to the middle of the green is enough.  While I can do all of the calculations, the smart play is to the middle of the green anyway.  Where I really use it is on any layup shot.  If a fairway bunker is 200 out and I'm laying up, I make sure nothing I hit can reach it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How good at golf are you?  How good are you wanting to be?  

A laser range finder is going to be the most accurate, but if you don't know you distances down to 2 yards or so, it doesn't matter.

If you're a weekend golfer?  Just download one of the hundred GPS apps that are out there for $5 or less and call it good.  Those GPS apps will get you within 5 yards, so unless you need it to be more accurate than that?  Don't waste your money.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, encaitar said:

How good at golf are you?  How good are you wanting to be?  

A laser range finder is going to be the most accurate, but if you don't know you distances down to 2 yards or so, it doesn't matter.

If you're a weekend golfer?  Just download one of the hundred GPS apps that are out there for $5 or less and call it good.  Those GPS apps will get you within 5 yards, so unless you need it to be more accurate than that?  Don't waste your money.

This is probably good feedback.  For background, I am not good.  In my 20s, playing 3-5 times a year, I was a high 90s player.  For the next 20 years, playing once a year, I struggled to break 100 on an average course.  I'm now playing 10-20 times a year and I'd like to improve, but I doubt I'll ever be a serious player, shoot in the low 80s, etc.  "Weekend golfer" seems accurate enough.

I did download an app on my phone last summer, Hole19, and I thought it worked well enough for my purposes, with one major drawback.  Specifically, because I use the same phone for work, it has security features enabled, including a pretty short screensaver timeout.  I typically wear a glove on both hands, which means every damn time I want to use the thing, I have to take the glove off, punch in my security code, reopen the app, get the yardage, and put my glove back on.

I figured if I can pick up that Izzo GPS for $100 and call it a day, that might be a good way to go.  Then I got sidetracked by all the different options and here I am posting questions about it.

Edited by Rich Conway
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

I had the OG leupold (might have been the of 3) and got it for like $150 bucks.  Was a fantastic range finder.   THe lense just got too cloudy over the years.  I got a deal on Bushnell a couple years ago.

Leupold makes sniper scopes also

Edited by belljr
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Zow said:

Rangefinder hands down so you can shoot other things than the flag. I use to get edges of hazards, for landmarks to anticipate carry, etc. 

Agree. Depends on your level of interest/attention, but most ‘serious’ golfers will choose the rangefinder.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

This is probably good feedback.  For background, I am not good.  In my 20s, playing 3-5 times a year, I was a high 90s player.  For the next 20 years, playing once a year, I struggled to break 100 on an average course.  I'm now playing 10-20 times a year and I'd like to improve, but I doubt I'll ever be a serious player, shoot in the low 80s, etc.  "Weekend golfer" seems accurate enough.

I did download an app on my phone last summer, Hole19, and I thought it worked well enough for my purposes, with one major drawback.  Specifically, because I use the same phone for work, it has security features enabled, including a pretty short screensaver timeout.  I typically wear a glove on both hands, which means every damn time I want to use the thing, I have to take the glove off, punch in my security code, reopen the app, get the yardage, and put my glove back on.

I figured if I can pick up that Izzo GPS for $100 and call it a day, that might be a good way to go.  Then I got sidetracked by all the different options and here I am posting questions about it.

Start with a GPS.   I prefer a range finder.   I know my club distances and tbh I dont need to know if its 139 yards or 142 yards.   I need to know maybe a 7-8 yard difference.   I prefer to know the exact distance to the pin so I know if I can be a little long if the pin is up and vice versa.  Free GPS dont usually give you pin locations but front middle back.   The cart gps are a little more on point.  That being said some apps will give you the location.

For me it takes me like 10 seconds to get to my ball and shoot.  :shrug:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rich Conway said:

This is probably good feedback.  For background, I am not good.  In my 20s, playing 3-5 times a year, I was a high 90s player.  For the next 20 years, playing once a year, I struggled to break 100 on an average course.  I'm now playing 10-20 times a year and I'd like to improve, but I doubt I'll ever be a serious player, shoot in the low 80s, etc.  "Weekend golfer" seems accurate enough.

I did download an app on my phone last summer, Hole19, and I thought it worked well enough for my purposes, with one major drawback.  Specifically, because I use the same phone for work, it has security features enabled, including a pretty short screensaver timeout.  I typically wear a glove on both hands, which means every damn time I want to use the thing, I have to take the glove off, punch in my security code, reopen the app, get the yardage, and put my glove back on.

I figured if I can pick up that Izzo GPS for $100 and call it a day, that might be a good way to go.  Then I got sidetracked by all the different options and here I am posting questions about it.

Phone ones are OK and I used an app for awhile after losing my Ranger Finder.   Only problem was if I was playing 18 the battery would go dead on the back 9.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, belljr said:

Start with a GPS.   I prefer a range finder.   I know my club distances and tbh I dont need to know if its 139 yards or 142 yards.   I need to know maybe a 7-8 yard difference.   I prefer to know the exact distance to the pin so I know if I can be a little long if the pin is up and vice versa.  Free GPS dont usually give you pin locations but front middle back.   The cart gps are a little more on point.  That being said some apps will give you the location.

For me it takes me like 10 seconds to get to my ball and shoot.  :shrug:

What's this?   I only play at munis and if they give you pin positions (some don't), then i can use the app to just pick that spot of the green.  That's close enough for me.  If I was just relying on what the app gives me which is typically just center green, then that could be a ways off so the range finder would really come in handy there  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, NutterButter said:

What's this?   I only play at munis and if they give you pin positions (some don't), then i can use the app to just pick that spot of the green.  That's close enough for me.  If I was just relying on what the app gives me which is typically just center green, then that could be a ways off so the range finder would really come in handy there  

Some courses I play have gps in the carts to the exact pin location

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, NutterButter said:

So does that just give you the distance using gps like a phone app like golfpad does?  

The older versions of The Garmin watch are not that expensive now.  They give you front, middle and back yardage to the green.  My new one has all the new features that I hardly ever use.  90% of the time I  just want yardage to the middle.  If I can tell the pin is in front of back I use that distance.  From 150 in I want to know front, back and middle yardage.   From 170-180 out if I hit the green anywhere at all I am happy.

Edited by Da Guru
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Lost 2 range finders over the last 7-8 years.   Bought the Garmin watch range finder and like it much better.  Don`t have to dig it out and try to hit the pin, then put in back  in, pull it out again.  With Garmin watch you just walk up to you ball and look at the watch and you have the distance.  Much less hassle.

does that also have a stroke counter?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

back in my day we were happy if the course had those white 150/yd stakes - AND WE WERE THANKFUL!!

I actually said in our golf thread,  I think I became a better player because I could walk off yardages

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a rangefinder for shot distance but I have GolfLogix on my phone for keeping score and it has a GPS built in I will use for blind shots or for a second look. I have friends with the Garmin watch who love it but I hate anything on my wrist when I play. Even back when I wore a watch before cell phones I took it off to play.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm probably nothing more than a weekend golfer myself, but I've played more golf since Covid hit than any other time in the past 20 years.  In the last year, I've played about a dozen courses in CA, and another half-dozen in MN/WI, and I've noticed two trends across the board.... One, there are definitely far fewer yardage markers on most courses than there were 3-5 years ago.  I grew up playing courses that, at the very least, had the 150 marked on both sides of the fairway... with a post, painted rock, etc.  And, a lot of the courses, particularly the nicer ones, would have sprinklers with yardage as well.  Now, good luck finding either of those on probably half of the courses I've played.  You'll be lucky to find the mid-fairway painted stones at 100/150/200, and even those are many times so faded that you can't really tell what color you're looking at.  

Two, the in-cart GPS systems are mostly a thing of the past.  A few years ago, I was seeing a trend in which more and more courses were adding them.  Now, out of about 20 courses played this year, I've seen them twice.  Both courses (Pete Dye course at the Westin in Palm Springs and Ojai Valley Inn resort) were in the $150-250/round range (I paid less through Groupon, golf apps, etc.), so maybe it's still a thing at courses in that range.  It's just not something that the standard/average course is looking to do any more.  Probably because of a combination of cost, and there are just so many other options for players to find yardage these days.  

My GF got me the Gogogo Sport VPro range finder for Christmas.  Having never had one before, I definitely like it.  Haven't exactly figured out how accurate it is (it gives an adjusted distance based on uphill/downhill that I'm not sure makes complete sense), but in terms of getting a rough idea, it's good enough for me.  That said, if I wasn't opposed to wearing a watch, it seems like the GPS option would be easier than trying to zap a pin every time (the hardest part of using the range finder for me is getting my hand to be still enough to make sure I'm hitting the flag, and not a tree branch 20 yards behind it... LOL).  

I do have one question, for those who use an app or GPS watch.... Do they typically give you distance to the pin, or just middle/back/front of the green?  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Golden Gopher said:

I'm probably nothing more than a weekend golfer myself, but I've played more golf since Covid hit than any other time in the past 20 years.  In the last year, I've played about a dozen courses in CA, and another half-dozen in MN/WI, and I've noticed two trends across the board.... One, there are definitely far fewer yardage markers on most courses than there were 3-5 years ago.  I grew up playing courses that, at the very least, had the 150 marked on both sides of the fairway... with a post, painted rock, etc.  And, a lot of the courses, particularly the nicer ones, would have sprinklers with yardage as well.  Now, good luck finding either of those on probably half of the courses I've played.  You'll be lucky to find the mid-fairway painted stones at 100/150/200, and even those are many times so faded that you can't really tell what color you're looking at.  

Two, the in-cart GPS systems are mostly a thing of the past.  A few years ago, I was seeing a trend in which more and more courses were adding them.  Now, out of about 20 courses played this year, I've seen them twice.  Both courses (Pete Dye course at the Westin in Palm Springs and Ojai Valley Inn resort) were in the $150-250/round range (I paid less through Groupon, golf apps, etc.), so maybe it's still a thing at courses in that range.  It's just not something that the standard/average course is looking to do any more.  Probably because of a combination of cost, and there are just so many other options for players to find yardage these days.  

My GF got me the Gogogo Sport VPro range finder for Christmas.  Having never had one before, I definitely like it.  Haven't exactly figured out how accurate it is (it gives an adjusted distance based on uphill/downhill that I'm not sure makes complete sense), but in terms of getting a rough idea, it's good enough for me.  That said, if I wasn't opposed to wearing a watch, it seems like the GPS option would be easier than trying to zap a pin every time (the hardest part of using the range finder for me is getting my hand to be still enough to make sure I'm hitting the flag, and not a tree branch 20 yards behind it... LOL).  

I do have one question, for those who use an app or GPS watch.... Do they typically give you distance to the pin, or just middle/back/front of the green?  

Both.     What I found after I got a range finder is that many times my ball would be right around the 150 marker yet the pin at times was 160 or more and 140 or less depending on the size of the green.  So you need an extra club or less club.  They do help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the precision of a rangefinder over the general front/middle/back distances of a GPS.  I also use it for carry, hazards, trees etc. which is especially valuable on courses I have not played before as course architects often use optical tricks.  With that base number, I can then add/subtract for wind, slope, firmness, warm air, etc. to figure out a "true" yardage and what club to hit.  The only trouble I have is with blind shots.

For high handicappers, a GPS is all you need as the middle of the green should usually be your goal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4 minutes ago, Da Guru said:

Both.     What I found after I got a range finder is that many times my ball would be right around the 150 marker yet the pin at times was 160 or more and 140 or less depending on the size of the green.  So you need an extra club or less club.  They do help.

and if you're using the phone apps, you have a satellite view of the course and you can get the distance to any point you want.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the GPS unit listed in the OP. It works perfectly fine for me on the 4-5 courses that I play consistently. At this point, I know most of the shots and distances. And I'm not a good enough player to really care whether a pin is 150 yards away or 155.

But I would certainly like to have something more precise on courses that I dont know. The last time I took a golf trip (like 4 years ago), I was still a horrendous player. So it didn't really matter. (plus 2 of the 3 courses we played had in-cart GPS). If I went on a trip now, (which we're hoping to do soon if COVID allows) I'd want to be able to shoot distances. I actually think I'd benefit from it more off the tee. Nothing hurts my confidence more than stepping up to the tee and not knowing how far certain things are (bunkers, dog legs, forced carries etc). I want to be able to know "ok, if I flush my driver (or 3 wood, or hybrid, or whatever) ....its staying in the fairway"

So yeah, if I went out to Bandon or Wisconsin or Arizona or Palm Springs or whatever, I think I'd probably pick up a range finder for peace of mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

the gps specs for the latest smartphones are pretty good, and make them the easiest option.  Unless your a pro like woz and need to be right on the button, and want to laser all sorts of things besides distance to hole.

GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Cell ID, Wi-Fi positioning

Edited by Punxsutawney Phil
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NutterButter said:

 

and if you're using the phone apps, you have a satellite view of the course and you can get the distance to any point you want.  

They all have uses.  Just depends on what you want and convenience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

Truth is for most of us anything that gives a reading to the middle of the green is enough.  While I can do all of the calculations, the smart play is to the middle of the green anyway.  Where I really use it is on any layup shot.  If a fairway bunker is 200 out and I'm laying up, I make sure nothing I hit can reach it.

 

13 hours ago, encaitar said:

How good at golf are you?  How good are you wanting to be?  

A laser range finder is going to be the most accurate, but if you don't know you distances down to 2 yards or so, it doesn't matter.

If you're a weekend golfer?  Just download one of the hundred GPS apps that are out there for $5 or less and call it good.  Those GPS apps will get you within 5 yards, so unless you need it to be more accurate than that?  Don't waste your money.

These combine for most of the answer because there are two factors to consider:

1 - Where's the miss?  A rangefinder only helps you if you know where the pin is and where the miss is.  If it's 170 to the pin that's not enough info - is the pin in the front and you're really shooting for 175+?  Is that 155 pin protected by water behind it so you're really targeting 145?  Unless you know the course pretty well or are hitting to a downhill you're not getting enough information with what you can see.

2 - How dialed in are your numbers?  If your 7 iron is regularly between 142 and 153 then a rangefinder isn't going to help much.  If you fan a fade frequently then you need to club to the back left of the green, not the pin.

As has been said earlier, I think the biggest value a laser finder has is shooting things other than the flag.  The fair way bunker on the par 5 you need to lay up in front of (or the back of it you need to carry).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses.  I'm thinking either the Izzo from original post or a GPS watch.  I hate wearing a watch while playing, but I can just loop it around the handle on my pull cart easily enough.

Link to post
Share on other sites

try the app 18birdies if you're going with a GPS anyway. the free version is great, been using it for awhile and distance is fairly accurate. don't bother paying for anything on there. only problem with it is if you are on a course that has bad cell reception, then it takes awhile to update when you move around. i bought a cheap cupholder mount for my phone and pretty much it's like a GPS in the cart on every course. keeps score too and everyone in the group can be on the same scorecard together if they all download it and sign up. did i mention it's free.

i have a bushnell rangefinder and for reasons already mentioned above a rangefinder imo is better than any gps/watch/app. some negatives: they're expensive; i keep losing it; it sucks if battery dies at the start of a round so keep an extra handy at all times. i swear it never dies on the last hole, always on the second. just got a magnetic strap for it so it sticks to the cart. very very convenient.

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

Thanks for all the responses.  I'm thinking either the Izzo from original post or a GPS watch.  I hate wearing a watch while playing, but I can just loop it around the handle on my pull cart easily enough.

My buddy puts the GPS watch around his belt and just looks down to get yardage. Check out Rockbottomgolf.com.   They have a Garmin10 for 129.00.

Edited by Da Guru
Link to post
Share on other sites

What ever you do don't be the guy that has to stand exactly behind his ball to check his gps.   A guy I work with does this and I bust his balls all the time.  I might not have my laser or I laser and he will be near me and I'll say "what's your gps say to the front" , he will start to walk over to my ball. I just stop and say From Right There!!! And he can't handle it 😂

I tell him I'm good enough to do a few yard math ....

  • Like 1
  • Laughing 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, belljr said:

What ever you do don't be the guy that has to stand exactly behind his ball to check his gps.   A guy I work with does this and I bust his balls all the time.  I might not have my laser or I laser and he will be near me and I'll say "what's your gps say to the front" , he will start to walk over to my ball. I just stop and say From Right There!!! And he can't handle it 😂

I tell him I'm good enough to do a few yard math ....

We are standing on the tee on a par 3..my buddy says whats the distance..I look and say 188 to the pin.  After that he goes and pulls out his range finder scopes it himself and then says,,mine says 189, probably because you are standing a yard behind me.  WTH did you even ask?? He does this all the time.

  • Laughing 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/4/2021 at 8:16 PM, Da Guru said:

We are standing on the tee on a par 3..my buddy says whats the distance..I look and say 188 to the pin.  After that he goes and pulls out his range finder scopes it himself and then says,,mine says 189, probably because you are standing a yard behind me.  WTH did you even ask?? He does this all the time.

I only re laser if I think someone is way off which happens from time to time especially if we have no gps.  Like I'll be getting a club and ask "168" ... And I'll go you sure? The marker says 145.  And of course he missed the flag and laser the tree behind the hole....

This actually reminds me of a story. I just got my leupold laser. My one friend was swat for the state police. He was a sniper. He goes leupold are great , those are our scopes. So he gets on a tee box with my laser.  140.  My other friend hits a 9 iron like 30 yards over the green and hits the roof of a pump house? I'm like what did you hit? he says 9iron.  I look at the "sniper" who scoped. What did you say it was? 140.  I grab my laser , bro it's 118.

I feel real safe with you and a gun now. He says meh the bullet still goes through them at that distance :lmao:

He never lived that down. To this day every time we play that hole we ask him to double check.

Edited by belljr
  • Like 1
  • Laughing 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

my brain and eyes are superpowerd range finding machines i can look at anything and say a number of how far away it is unfortunately for you the swcer is not for sale take that to the bank bromigo  

Edited by SWC
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...