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GPS or Laser Rangefinder?

Gps Laser Rangefinder golf gear GPS Golf Band Nexus Laser Rangefinder golf products golf accessories

73 replies to this topic

#61 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 11:45 AM

View PostThinkingPlus, on 28 January 2017 - 11:34 AM, said:

I am all about precision.  Standard GPS is 10 m SEP (Spherical Error Probability).  They do better in the horizontal plane (my estimate is 3 - 4 m).  If you have acess to differential you can do better, but when do you know?  Some courses may have it, others may not.  Plus you have to rely on the attention to detail of a low wage employee mapping the pin positions correctly at each course you.  I would hate to think the accuracy that I know distance to the pin hinges on whether someone had a hangover or not when they setup the course!

The worst laser rangefinder is good to a meter or better.  Additionally I have designed and built laser rangefinding systems.  Wrote the software as well.  In this case familiarity instills trust!

All good points.  But you can't laser a pin or green that is blocked by trees or rising terrain. My experience has provided 0-3 yards GPS compared to markers, maybe 5 yards on a rare occasion.  Plenty good enough for 90+% of golfers.

I carry both and the GPS is used 5:1 for me.


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#62 ThinkingPlus

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 12:04 PM

View PostBlackDiamondPar5, on 28 January 2017 - 11:45 AM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 28 January 2017 - 11:34 AM, said:

I am all about precision.  Standard GPS is 10 m SEP (Spherical Error Probability).  They do better in the horizontal plane (my estimate is 3 - 4 m).  If you have acess to differential you can do better, but when do you know?  Some courses may have it, others may not.  Plus you have to rely on the attention to detail of a low wage employee mapping the pin positions correctly at each course you.  I would hate to think the accuracy that I know distance to the pin hinges on whether someone had a hangover or not when they setup the course!

The worst laser rangefinder is good to a meter or better.  Additionally I have designed and built laser rangefinding systems.  Wrote the software as well.  In this case familiarity instills trust!

All good points.  But you can't laser a pin or green that is blocked by trees or rising terrain. My experience has provided 0-3 yards GPS compared to markers, maybe 5 yards on a rare occasion.  Plenty good enough for 90+% of golfers.

I carry both and the GPS is used 5:1 for me.

Line of sight obstructions are annoying.  I just work around them as best I can going old school walking off distances from places where I can range.  To each his/her own.
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#63 Argonne69

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:31 AM

View PostNeed2golfalot, on 28 January 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:

Why is one GPS device (watch or phone app) always (usually) different from another when compared side by side.  Is it the course mapping or sattelite positioning?

My watch would consistently underestimate the distance on certain holes.

It's probably because they use different maps with slightly different reference points for the center of the green. SkyGolf sends an individual out to map the course. They are responsible for determining the center of the green. It's not like there is a red dot in the center of the green to note the point. Garmin uses satellite images, which cab be off by several yards/meters. Basically, you have two applications guessing where the center of the green is.

Edited by Argonne69, 29 January 2017 - 09:33 AM.


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#64 nsxguy

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:40 AM

View PostHateto3Putt, on 18 July 2016 - 02:17 PM, said:

I have and use both.

At a familiar course, I don't even fire up the GPS.

At a brand new course, I will use the GPS for tee shot and hazard information.

99% of approach shots are lasered.

If I had to only pick one, without question, it would be the laser.

Totally agree !!! Perfect evaluation.

The ONLY thing the rangefinder can't do is see hidden bunkers, water, etc.

On a strange course, without caddies, or least another guy in the group who can tell you about them, the hidden hazards CAN be a problem though.

I've recently gotten a Bushnell GPS watch as well. The GPS does tell me if the tees are up or back by comparing the yardage on the card to that on the watch and that can make a difference with club selection off the tee of anything other than a Par 3.
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#65 North Butte

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:44 AM

Yep, there are all sorts of uncertainties in play with golf GPS.  There is what point is considered front middle or back of the green.  There is the possibility of mapping error with the companies that use satellite images (Garmin, Bushnell). In a few cases a green may actually have been renovated since the satellite image or in-person mapping took place.  And even though people deny it there is a fundamental several-yard uncertainty to consumer non-differential GPS which can vary from day today or moment to moment.

That said, unless there is a mapping mistake these other sources of error rarely add up to more than 5 yards or so.  Which is actually good enough for my game.  I just can't mentally deal with having supposedly to-the-yard precise yardage numbers that in fact might change by several yards if you look at two devices or the same device at two different moments in time.

Imagine a caddy that before you pull club says you have 174 to the front of the green.  Then you pull the club and he says no wait a minute it's 171...err, no I mean 170.  Then as you're stepping up to the ball he says actually it really is 174.  Finally as you're putting the club back in the bag he says now that I look at it I think it was more like 169.

After a couple holes of that surely any of us would tell the Caddy to shut up, no?

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#66 Hateto3Putt

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 12:54 PM

One of my favorite GPS vs. Laser tales...Once we were playing a course for the first time, I shot a pin, pulled the club and got close, my GPS loving buddy hits his shot and skies it over by at least 20 yards....

Turns out it was a temporary green!

He said "you cheated".. (although his ball was near the "real" green....)

As far as blind shots go, living in western Pennsylvania, I play some of the hilliest, tree lined courses on the planet, rarely are blind shots an issue. And if they are, usually distance can be quickly determined by taking a few steps, left, right, or forward. Now that number is not the precise standing on the ball number that a laser normally gives, but I assure you my few steps away estimate is as good as a GPS number for the same shot.

Use whatever you like, but for me, it's laser all day long.

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#67 dono

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 06:51 PM

No mater the opinion either one or both should be mandatory equipment if it help slow play.

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#68 Gava

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 09:07 AM

Loving this thread...some great points and the debate is now 9 months old & still going  (cool)

So I bought a Golf Buddy Platinum II GPS which sat idle for a couple of years and now has suffered a battery failure early and Golf Buddy don't want to help at all.  It's complicated...but I'll never buy Golf Buddy again in any product and find myself considering the options.

I played a new course with a mate with a Garmin G6 and it was very handy at gauging hazards, blind tee shots and making it easier to assess whether there was room for driver on a dog leg etc.  The couple of yards discrepancy people describe wouldn't worry the majority of amateurs IMHO.

In this and other threads though, it seems the majority are more likely to say "...I went from a GPS to a rangefinder and never went back..." than the other way around.

I acknowledge this isn't the case for Argonne69 but if he is playing 75 new courses a year or whatever, he is in the minority there (and very, very lucky!).

Edited by Gava, 18 March 2017 - 09:08 AM.

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#69 hoganben

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 06:41 PM

Hi..

With cart gps at Orange County International one hop or two right in the hole for first h-In-1!
Without gps or range finder at a local course guesstimate downhill was way off and I blew the ball what looked like 30 yards above the hole...it stopped and then rolled straight down into the hole....sometimes it is good to guess wrong.

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#70 hoganben

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:14 PM

A lot of guys mention how great front, center, and back measurements are with gps.
I noticed that when I had a gps front was always 10 yards from the middle and back was always 10 yards past the middle...lol.
I just checked the golf town website up here in Canada and every gps they are selling show the front to be 10 yards in front of the middle and the back to be 10 yards back from the middle...lol. (You would think that even if this was the case on most greens they would lie a bit in their ad.) Even if it was sometimes 11 yards most of us are not good enough for it to matter.

So front and back measurements are useless....middle would be all you need....add or subtract 10...not too hard...lol. Red flag and the pin is probably half way to the front so subtract 5.


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#71 nsxguy

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 08:44 PM

View Posthoganben, on 24 November 2018 - 06:41 PM, said:

Hi..

With cart gps at Orange County International one hop or two right in the hole for first h-In-1!
Without gps or range finder at a local course guesstimate downhill was way off and I blew the ball what looked like 30 yards above the hole...it stopped and then rolled straight down into the hole....sometimes it is good to guess wrong.

View Posthoganben, on 24 November 2018 - 07:14 PM, said:

A lot of guys mention how great front, center, and back measurements are with gps.
I noticed that when I had a gps front was always 10 yards from the middle and back was always 10 yards past the middle...lol.
I just checked the golf town website up here in Canada and every gps they are selling show the front to be 10 yards in front of the middle and the back to be 10 yards back from the middle...lol. (You would think that even if this was the case on most greens they would lie a bit in their ad.) Even if it was sometimes 11 yards most of us are not good enough for it to matter.

So front and back measurements are useless....middle would be all you need....add or subtract 10...not too hard...lol. Red flag and the pin is probably half way to the front so subtract 5.

lol
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#72 SoCalTitleist

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:16 PM

Just ordered a rangefinder for Black Friday,  had issues with gps on my phone app playing new courses in Palm Springs .

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#73 crazygolfnut

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:29 PM

I use both.  The GPS is great for getting the overall size of the green:front/middle/back but my Precision rangefinder gives me the exact distance to the flag.  Know both has helped my game a lot.
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#74 flaghunting1987

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Posted Yesterday, 08:49 PM

I prefer a laser rangefinder... I like the ability to check distances to water edge, bunkers, trees, or anything out on the course...

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