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Laser Rangefinder vs. GPS device


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Poll: Laser Rangefinder vs. GPS device (132 member(s) have cast votes)

Which of the following is your PRIMARY device on the course?

  1. Laser Rangefinder (76 votes [57.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 57.14%

  2. GPS device (57 votes [42.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.86%

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#1 BankerGolfer

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 06:54 PM

In this unscientifc survey, please tell me if a Laser Rangefinder or a GPS device is your PRIMARY device on the course.

The key word is "PRIMARY" here. I'm sure a lot of people own both. I want to know which is your PRIMARY go-to device on the course. Thank you.


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#2 natelee

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 08:17 PM

there are pros and cons for both of them, but over all i prefer the GPS. A lot of the time i have blind shots and with the range finder is you cant see your target it is useless.

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#3 BankerGolfer

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 01:14 AM

bump

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#4 matracy68

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 04:03 AM

I use both on the course. I like the GPS for things that I cannot see and the range finder for the exact distance to an object that I can see. Both are worth there merit. If you have the extra scratch, get both.

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#5 petergf

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 04:40 AM

The 20/20 organic is pretty good, I did think of upgrading, but then decided to wait until I can hit to within one metre of a selected target.
cheers peter


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#6 m3bimmer2000

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 05:48 AM

I use both on the course, but I would have to say that I primarily use the GPS simply because I have it attached to my bag so I see it all the time. I do use the laser if I need a precise number to a target since GPS can be off by a few yards.

Accuracy: Laser wins hands down because it is accurate to within a couple of feet.  GPS can be off by a few yards.

Ease of use: GPS is easier to use since most models are constantly updating so by the time you get to your ball, the distance is pretty accurate, although I will say that the reading you immediately get may not be right.  I've noticed with mine (SG5) that I have to wait  few seconds for the distance reading to settle so if your in a hurry your reading may be wrong.  Pulling out the laser can get tedious sometimes because I keep it in the bag.

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#7 mcpingist

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:02 AM

View Postm3bimmer2000, on Feb 24 2008, 05:48 AM, said:

Pulling out the laser can get tedious sometimes because I keep it in the bag.


Bingo- The only thing I want to go digging for in the middle of a round is a cold beer. Just sounds like too much work/time for the laser.

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#8 tarheel

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:47 AM

i don't compete, so i use the bushnell 1500 slope.

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#9 High Plains Driver

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:58 AM

View Postmcpingist, on Feb 24 2008, 09:02 AM, said:

View Postm3bimmer2000, on Feb 24 2008, 05:48 AM, said:

Pulling out the laser can get tedious sometimes because I keep it in the bag.


Bingo- The only thing I want to go digging for in the middle of a round is a cold beer. Just sounds like too much work/time for the laser.

The case for the Bushnell 1500 that straps on the bag eliminates alot of the hassle.  It has a zipper on the flap for normal transport, and on the course the flap has a magnetic closure.
I am not brand loyal. I am just seriously OCD.

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#10 nshon

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:45 AM

GPS on home courses, laser only for 'away' games. GPS is soooo much more convenient.


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#11 BankerGolfer

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:35 PM

I don't get it. This post has had 300+ looks, but only 37 votes. Kind of pathetic. If you're going to read the post, then get out and vote....

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#12 FlemmingMertz

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:41 AM

View Postrogerhuang, on Feb 25 2008, 09:35 PM, said:

I don't get it. This post has had 300+ looks, but only 37 votes. Kind of pathetic. If you're going to read the post, then get out and vote....

Ehm, not everyone has a rangefinder or GPS?  :D

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#13 oldpalchamp

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:26 AM

I use GPS because it gives me more info.  I really like having yardage to the front and back of the green, and yardage to hazards.

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#14 PingG10

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:27 AM

I only have the GPS so I'm a bit biased but since I cannot control ball flight within +-3yds the additional accuracy of the laser rangefinder is of no benefit to me.  The ability to easily measure ball flight distance and to know "as the crow flies" distances (on blind shots) and layups to custom points (without referring to a yardage book) is of much more benefit to me.

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#15 Giantbear

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:31 AM

If a gps is available, i will glance at it, but i still go by feel and course markings.  I am real good at determing distance by looking and need to "feel" the distance to play it.  Many times i have played for a different distance than what was on the gps and been on the money.  Its not that I think the gps was wrong, its more that i play more of a feel game than mechanical one.


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#16 dreed

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:26 PM

Hello all,

I used to play a Sky Caddie back in the day when the interface to the computer sucked... you could download courses but it would hang up all the time and it was a major pain.  The fact that the laser worked with any course in the world immediately sounded really cool.  Then after I made the switch being able to get the distance to ANYTHING I wanted was really cool... .I didn't have to rely on what info the GPS company had mapped out.  So, I played the laser for about 1.5 years.  About a month ago I got sick of putting the laser up to my eye for every shot... so I decided I was going to go back to the Sky Caddie because I heard the interface is much better and the courses are mapped out better now.  Well, when I got my Sky Caddie 2.5 I was really impressed.  Downloaded coarses withing 15 minutes and was ready to roll.  Here is what I noticed after that......

1.) When I was warming up for my round I wanted to know how far a flag on the range was... oops, can't do that with a GPS unit.
2.) The Sky Caddie worked great swtiching from hole to hole on its own and didn't seem to "lag" on displaying yardage as you are driving up to, and stopping, at your ball.
3.) THe yardages seemed really good, but there were times where I just didn't believe it.
4.) Knowing the distance to the front and back of the green is AWESOME.. but I still found myself wanting to know the exact distance to the pin.
5.) There were to many times that I wanted to reach for the laser to laser a tree or a rock and that was my target line so I could judge my shot distance.... you can't do this with the skycaddie unless they decided to map that specific object(which in some cases they did!)
6.) I LOVE being able to "mark" and check the distance of my drives... but after several times doing this I realized that my drives are 270 to 290 so I don't really care to measure any more.

SO, in summary, I love the skycaddie for convenience but I just found myself wanting the "exact" nubmer to much and doubting the GPS number just enough to be in my head... Maybe this is just an issue with me and needing to trust the device.... but for me... I am sticking with the Laser.... .one last bonus is that they are legal in tourneys!

Just one mans view.

later!

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#17 phil75070

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

If a "laser" device is legal in a tournament, so is a GPS. They are both "distance measuring devices"; there is no distinction between the two. If one is allowed so is the other. Actually, it would be more likely that a laser cannot be used as the laser that measures slope is NOT legal.

For speed of play, the GPS wins. For example, 7th hole at my course, par 5. On the 2nd shot I am faced with wanting the yardage to carry a bunker on the left if I want to take a left approach depending on the pin location, the distance to a bunker in the center of the fairway if I want to lay up, what the carry distance over that bunker is and what the distance is to a 2nd bunker short of the green is if I want to be closer, and what the distance is to clear that second center bunker is if I want to go for the green and how much distance I have to the back of the green on that line if I do carry it. I can get all of that with not much more than a glance at the SkyCaddie. Assuming one could even see the lips, edges of the green, etc. with a laser, imagine how long it would take to get each of those distances by comparison.

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#18 TundraToad

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 03:22 PM

I love my little NEO. The thing I love the best is information around the greens, front center back. The courses I play are marked just to the middle and have no information on green size. I see a red flag, look at my Neo and get the front - middle readings. I now have a instant range in my head and know what club to hit (not good enough for an exact distance). It takes the guess work out, searching for sprinklers, marching off from the 150 disc etc. It speeds up my game and I feel more confident that I have the right club in my hands. There has been many times I have took an extra club for a blue pin because of the information on my NEO.

I almost bought a unit with a lot more features but I am glad I have kept it very simple. It fits my game

Edited by TundraToad, 21 July 2008 - 03:23 PM.


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#19 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 07:07 PM

View Postm3bimmer2000, on Feb 24 2008, 06:48 AM, said:

SNIP

Pulling out the laser can get tedious sometimes because I keep it in the bag.

I ended up with the Nikon 500G laser rangefinder for that very reason. It is quite small and I just carry it in my left front pocket.

dave

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#20 Kyle M

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 08:57 PM

I have been fortunate enough to have tried the SG5 and the 1500TE.  I chose the 1500TE because I prefer the accuracy inside of 120 yards.  It is very easy to get distances to carry bunkers, etc in the fairway and the distance to the pin is perfect.  Now, the SG5 does work better when you are on a course you are unfamiliar with that has blind shots.  Other than that the 1500TE is better in my opinion.  As long as you can see the target you can get an accurate distance.


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#21 Calif_Mulligan

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:42 PM

View Postnshon, on Feb 24 2008, 08:45 AM, said:

GPS on home courses, laser only for 'away' games. GPS is soooo much more convenient.


Interesting...thought it would be opposite.  Thought it would be GPS for general guidance and laser for more exact yardage (laser within a yard...GPS can be off much more)

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#22 FlyFish

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:42 PM

For casual play, GPS is better because it is much quicker.  It is also handy for tracking club distances.  As someone else mentioned, it is handy for acquiring distances when you are in an adjacent fairway.

That being said, I would not rely on GPS for tournament play.  The GPS gets flaky when it is cloudy and is just not as dependable.  Sometimes the readings can be off by as much as 20 yards.  The range finder gets you exact distances to the pin, not just an estimate like a GPS.

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#23 jcholman

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:49 PM

Great topic my buddies and I have had this conversation several times. I dont have either but have plenty of experience with both. My friends all have GPS (why I dont have to have one :swoon2:)  and at my dad's CC they have range finders. I would give the edge to the GPS so you can get additional info like to front of the green, or back, and trouble. But there I have seen range finders that can zero in on sand traps and other info trouble. If you have pin sheets then I like the range finder so you know the exact yardage. There is something to be said about knowing the exact number to the stick.

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#24 Pinehurst1999

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:28 PM

I am officially addicted...I just purchased a sonocaddie and love it!

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#25 phil75070

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:43 PM

View PostFlyFish, on Jul 23 2008, 02:42 PM, said:

For casual play, GPS is better because it is much quicker.  It is also handy for tracking club distances.  As someone else mentioned, it is handy for acquiring distances when you are in an adjacent fairway.

That being said, I would not rely on GPS for tournament play.  The GPS gets flaky when it is cloudy and is just not as dependable.  Sometimes the readings can be off by as much as 20 yards.  The range finder gets you exact distances to the pin, not just an estimate like a GPS.

What GPS are you using or used that presented the problems you mention? I want to make sure I avoid getting one of those. Maybe it is because of where I am, but in almost 5 years of using the SkyGolf SG2 and this year using a Golf Guru, both in all types of weather conditions, I have never had a problem with readings fluctuating from day-to-day or under different weather conditions. The only thing I have noticed between the two is that the GPS in the Golf Guru is newer and what is referred to as "high sensitivity" so it finds and locks onto more satellites much faster than the older SG2.

The reason I went with the Golf Guru is that I play my home course probably 90% of the time and I like the ability to either map the entire course myself, or modify some of the targets in the downloaded course so I know exactly the point to which the yardage is being given. Otherwise, on a bunker in the middle of the fairway that runs at an angle from SE to NW, what point is considered the "to" point and what point to "carry"? Is it the nearest and farthest? Points running through the center? Hard to tell unless you have mapped those points yourself.

Also, though not "critical" in the decision, not having to pay an annual fee is nice.


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#26 FlyFish

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:56 PM

View Postphil75070, on Jul 23 2008, 02:43 PM, said:

quote]

What GPS are you using or used that presented the problems you mention? I want to make sure I avoid getting one of those. Maybe it is because of where I am, but in almost 5 years of using the SkyGolf SG2 and this year using a Golf Guru, both in all types of weather conditions, I have never had a problem with readings fluctuating from day-to-day or under different weather conditions. The only thing I have noticed between the two is that the GPS in the Golf Guru is newer and what is referred to as "high sensitivity" so it finds and locks onto more satellites much faster than the older SG2.

I am using the SkyCaddie SG3.  I just had the same problem once again this weekend.  It was cloudy in the morning and it would not get a lock (after fiddling with it for an hour).  The clouds lifted around 11:00 and I was able to get a lock.

I've tried resetting the satellites in the past to no avail.

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#27 phil75070

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 07:15 PM

Ah, OK. The SG3 and 4 were repackaged Magellan Explorer devices with custom software and they were inferior to the original SkyCaddie devices. A lot of people had problems with them. The SG2.5 and SG5,  and the Golf Guru among others, use a much newer and more accurate GPS chipset that acquires a larger number of satellites and faster, and provides much greater accuracy. I will see a one yard fluctuation back and forth occasionallywith both but I attribute that to the unit resolving to a yard and not feet. So if I am 155 yards and roughly 1.5 feet from the target, the unit may fluctuate between 155 and 156 yards. Taking a step back or forward and it settles to the number.

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