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Is a laser rangefinder really necessary?

GPS Garmin g6 Rangefinder

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#121 shanx

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:20 AM

I'll never rely on GPS again.

The rangefinder is so easy to use, and much faster and accurate than the GPS apps I was using.

I played with the rangefinder yesterday, I hit many more greens than I am used to, and was a lot closer to the targets all day. I had three birdies on the front nine, never had that many before!

It has allowed me to hit more confident approach shots, and I am getting a better idea how far my irons fly.

I wondered why it took me so long to buy one of these!


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#122 nitram

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:03 PM

I've used both GPS and laser for the past decade. I like the GPS when playing a new course as it provides more information and helps guide me around the unfamiliar landscape.

The Laser is my "go-to" for 95% of my shots just because most of the time I want a simple number or two i.e.; front and pin distance etc.

If given a choice, I'd take the laser because it's simpler. And in golf (to me), simpler is better.
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#123 dlygrisse

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:38 PM

The course I learned to play on had a bush planted next to the fairway at 100,150 and 200 yards.  We walked it off from there.  It was easy if you walked the course instead of riding.  Then they put the colored disks in the fairway, then the sprinkler heads...after they installed sprinklers.....now nothing is marked because almost everyone has a laser or GPS.  

I use a laser, but the times I ride and the cart has a GPS I probably only use my laser once or twice a round.  Front, middle, back is usually good enough for me.  The main thing I don't like about a GPS is keeping it charged, it kills my phone if I use an app and when I had a Sky Caddy it was often an issue.
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#124 new2g0lf

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 04:37 PM

You need a good rangefinder and must learn to use it properly or it can cause problems with your game.  A golf buddy bought a TecTecTec rangefinder which has pinseeker technology but doesn't provide feedback like the Bushnell Jolt.  Throughout his first day of using it, he was constantly coming up with bad distances because his hands were shaking and it was picking up objects behind the flag.  He flew over the green twice and eventually had to use his Golf GPS app to give him a distance range so he knew if he was on target when he used the rangefinder.

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#125 shanx

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 04:48 PM

View Postnew2g0lf, on 16 October 2017 - 04:37 PM, said:

You need a good rangefinder and must learn to use it properly or it can cause problems with your game.  A golf buddy bought a TecTecTec rangefinder which has pinseeker technology but doesn't provide feedback like the Bushnell Jolt.  Throughout his first day of using it, he was constantly coming up with bad distances because his hands were shaking and it was picking up objects behind the flag.  He flew over the green twice and eventually had to use his Golf GPS app to give him a distance range so he knew if he was on target when he used the rangefinder.

Yeah, the jolt technology really helps.

I was amazed at how much hand shake I had (I'm 50), but the two young dudes in my group this past weekend also had troubles with the shakes.

I have been at least a half a club short for the most of the season, I can't tell you how many of my approach shots landed short, and how painfully frustrating it got to be.

I was not short once this weekend, most approaches were on the green or pin high off the green..


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#126 hybrid25

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 05:09 PM

I love my GPS watch, but my watch and a friend's watch both Bushnell's are sometimes five yards different from the same spot.

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#127 browne11

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:51 PM

I have always been quite happy just using my GPS watch with front center and back yardage.  This along with a quick look at the sprinklers gave me a pretty good idea of how far I needed to hit a ball.  The problem I have encountered in the last couple of years is the nicer courses around me seem to have all gotten rid of the different color flags to indicate front/center/back. I was constantly guessing only to be walking up to the green and the pin being in the opposite place I thought it was. I saw a Nikon COOLSHOT 20 at my local Dicks the other day on clearance for $79 and it was a no brainer. After using it a few rounds, I can never go back now.
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#128 Londoner

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 07:44 PM

View Postdg_1983, on 04 October 2017 - 02:27 AM, said:

I can hit my wedges 50,60,70,80,90,100,110 and each 5 yards in between because I have practised a lot.

I can't however eye ball those distances with any sort of accuracy. In fact I would say I am positively horrendous at eye balling yardages. Mainly because I have not practised.

It is a good job eye balling yardages don't count towards the score.

I'm lost without my laser - sure I can still hit a green with my wedge - but that simply isn't good enough when I need to carry it 65 yards for a 65 yard front  pin, or carry it 85 yards to a 90 yard back pin.
When i hit a wedge mine will also go between 50 and 110.
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#129 Chazb

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:39 AM

View PostNYC243, on 21 August 2017 - 03:27 PM, said:

technology is truly killing so many things....

the best ball strikers in the world never had rangefinders....what happened to playing with your eyes and your feel...

count me out...
Your right they had caddies who walked off yardage’s and yardage books which gave them yardage’s......I can’t afford a full time caddie and I play at courses who don’t hand out yardage books..

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#130 Boricua Golf

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:54 AM

I have save a few strokes per round since going to the laser, I have the actual true yardage to the pin, my wife bought me the Bushnell Pro X2 and knowing the slope plus or minus it is simply amazing!!!

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#131 leftcoastgolfer

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:17 PM

I'm a laser guy just for the confidence factor.  I know when I've hit the flag and the distance is very accurate.  I hate standing over the ball and not having the exact swing I want in mind.  I've used GPS a couple times and I just don't feel as confident.
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#132 North Butte

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:19 PM

I picked up a cheap deal on one of the older slope-capable Bushnells and at my home course found it not useful. Quite a few holes would show -1 or +2 or something negligible like that. But the only really meaningful slopes (say five yards or more) were a handful of uphill approach shots where I already knew it was a full club uphill or whatever.

If I didn't play about 130 of my 140 rounds per year on a course I know like the back of my hand the slope would quite possibly be useful. There are a couple of holes on my home course that by eyeball you'd swear play a half to a full club uphill (both of them Par 3's) but from long experience I know it's best to just play the straight yardage. Sure enough, that V2 Slope confirmed that one of them is actually dead level with the tee and the other is only +1 or +2 depending on where the pin is. That's the kind of "fooler" that will catch you out on a course you're playing for the first time or two.

What I actually use is a Nikon Coolshot 40 with the Vibration Reduction feature. Once you get used to using it (there's a certain knack to waiting a second or so for the VR to settle down) it makes aiming so stable that I can easily pick out very low-profile features and get yardages. With practice I can now often, from 100 or even 150 yards, get separate yardages to the flagstick, the lip of a greenside bunker and the back edge of the green. It's far more reliable than GPS "hazard" yardage estimates and I can do a three-yardage shoot like that (and check each yardage twice to make sure) in 10-15 seconds.

So without having seen the hole location of the day (and not having any sort of pin sheet) I can tell that my carry is 112 to clear the bunker, just 118 to the hole and that there's plenty of room past the flag because the back of the green is 135. On another day, what looks like a similar shot but with the hole in a different location might be 109 to clear the bunker, 125 to the hole and 132 to the back of the green.

For me that's two totally different shots with a short club in my hand. Without that information I'd just take enough club to get it at least to the middle of the green and if the flag is up front I'm facing a brutal downhill putt. With non-VR rangefinders my hands just aren't steady enough to reliably distinguish between the edge of the green or some random spot 6-8 yards away from the edge.
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#133 leftcoastgolfer

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:25 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 01 December 2017 - 12:19 PM, said:

I picked up a cheap deal on one of the older slope-capable Bushnells and at my home course found it not useful. Quite a few holes would show -1 or +2 or something negligible like that. But the only really meaningful slopes (say five yards or more) were a handful of uphill approach shots where I already knew it was a full club uphill or whatever.

If I didn't play about 130 of my 140 rounds per year on a course I know like the back of my hand the slope would quite possibly be useful. There are a couple of holes on my home course that by eyeball you'd swear play a half to a full club uphill (both of them Par 3's) but from long experience I know it's best to just play the straight yardage. Sure enough, that V2 Slope confirmed that one of them is actually dead level with the tee and the other is only +1 or +2 depending on where the pin is. That's the kind of "fooler" that will catch you out on a course you're playing for the first time or two.

What I actually use is a Nikon Coolshot 40 with the Vibration Reduction feature. Once you get used to using it (there's a certain knack to waiting a second or so for the VR to settle down) it makes aiming so stable that I can easily pick out very low-profile features and get yardages. With practice I can now often, from 100 or even 150 yards, get separate yardages to the flagstick, the lip of a greenside bunker and the back edge of the green. It's far more reliable than GPS "hazard" yardage estimates and I can do a three-yardage shoot like that (and check each yardage twice to make sure) in 10-15 seconds.

So without having seen the hole location of the day (and not having any sort of pin sheet) I can tell that my carry is 112 to clear the bunker, just 118 to the hole and that there's plenty of room past the flag because the back of the green is 135. On another day, what looks like a similar shot but with the hole in a different location might be 109 to clear the bunker, 125 to the hole and 132 to the back of the green.

For me that's two totally different shots with a short club in my hand. Without that information I'd just take enough club to get it at least to the middle of the green and if the flag is up front I'm facing a brutal downhill putt. With non-VR rangefinders my hands just aren't steady enough to reliably distinguish between the edge of the green or some random spot 6-8 yards away from the edge.

I've tried the Nikon VR rangefinders, but I found the display floating inside just made me chase the flag as it floats around.  I've never had an issue holding a rangefinder steady though.  Maybe when I stop drinking and start getting the shakes it will work for me :drinks:
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#134 Bob Cat

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:04 AM

Ravines in front of greens always make the pin seem closer than it is.  Yet another reason to lean on my laser technology.
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#135 8thehardway

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:41 AM

A laser will tell you the exact distance to the cart girl and your next cool frosty.

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#136 Sam Bennett

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:12 PM

View PostNYC243, on 22 August 2017 - 12:59 AM, said:

View PostKrt22, on 22 August 2017 - 12:15 AM, said:

View PostNYC243, on 21 August 2017 - 08:51 PM, said:

rosco, buddy

of course its related and relevant. if it wasnt why would the pga not let players use all and any tech that is available to them?

grooves and anchored putters are results of technology, so are rangefinders and gps. pants however have been around a lot longer..... :)

the fact that the pga makes these things illegal defines the point that there is a limit to what they will and wont allow, which nobody seems to want to answer.

if it didnt matter, why not make anything that helps all players legal?

Why wont you answer my question as to why the PGA allows the use of range finders during practice rounds if they were truly only illegal because of the technological advantage you think they provide? The truth is every single pro and their caddies use range finders before a tournament during practice/prep days (even with slope calcs). What is the difference between having an extremely detailed yardage book with multiple distances to landmarks vs simply doing the measurement on the spot?

you need to ask the usga that, bc it doesnt make any sense to allow it in practices but not in competition to me. theyre contradicting themselves with that ruling.

but maybe theres advantages that getting a reading during play can yield as opposed to having to do it beforehand. i cant answer that one, unless you know the reason?

either way i stand by my original point that nobody NEEDS this stuff to be a better golfer. it just make it easier and faster to get there.

im sure sam snead would have won more tournaments had he known exact laser pointed yardages as someone pointed out.

the question is, is that where the game should go? technology driven precision to the point of becoming robotic, calculated and formula?

the usga is giving into some of it which they need to to stay relevant and up to date. after all it is a business. but theyre also trying to maintain some level of integrity to the sport on which it was founded.

time will only tell where it all goes...

I think your way of thinking is completely backward. We are trying to grow an ever shrinking game and a large part of the problem is slow play caused by people not knowing the course (I understand there are many other factors to this also).

However, why is it not acceptable that we and tour pros alike cannot use a rangefinder to speed up the process of finding yardageís to certain points if they are just going to come to the same outcome anyway by not using technology. You say that golfers used to be more skilled, I completely disagree technology has given us a massive leap in understanding of the fundamentals on Golf - I mean look at the technology Ping has with ping man and envo the camera system - this allows us to understand the game and how we can improve the skill of the game.

What you fail to understand is that technology has not removed any of the skill, yes hickory clubs were harder to hit and ball technology has improved to but the difficulty of the course has dramatically increased to to counteract that. By knowing a yardage or having a wedge that spins a bit more than an old one or a driver which offers a bit more forgiveness than your hickory one doesnít mean that skill has gone from the game it means that skill has to be seen in different ways.

The skill is getting the best results from whatís available and thatís what your players for all of time have done with what has been at there hands. Just because DJ knows a yardage doesnít mean he isnít skilled to hit it that exact number that is the skill in his case. The skill in sneaks case was estimating how far he had to hit it. Skill is a too broad term and can only be applied for that situation it is how you utilise what is available and then your skill is getting the best outcome from that.

Do you really think people want to watch Rory JT Ricky etc hit hickory clubs going 230 yards and then not knowing how far there next shot is. The best thing about Golf is our awe at the good shots they play. That what makes professional golf exciting and when you eliminate there accuracy and the tools which time has made available then what is the point in industry I general if you want us all to live in 1952?

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#137 HeadonaStick

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:20 PM

View PostPerseveringGolf, on 18 August 2017 - 12:52 PM, said:

good luck using a laser on a dogleg or over trees.
Thew few times this happens to me do not outweigh the exact distances I get from a laser.

GPS: Can give an estimated distance to a target, even one you can't see.  Happens a few times a round and I can normally get as good an estimate with a laser shooting to alternate targets.

Laser: Gives more accurate distances to actual targets rather than areas on the course.  Can't shoot through or over objects between the hole and my balls.  Happens infrequently and I can usually work around the object with the laser.

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#138 groach

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 05:25 PM

Lasers are great to use on a new course and you're not sure how far it is to a dog leg, or a trap, etc.  They are also extremely helpful on the range to dial in club length when you're targeting flags, etc.
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#139 hybrid25

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:10 PM

View Postgroach, on 08 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:

Lasers are great to use on a new course and you're not sure how far it is to a dog leg, or a trap, etc.  They are also extremely helpful on the range to dial in club length when you're targeting flags, etc.
I guess it depends what range you were on. If you're hitting range balls everything pretty much goes out the window as far as distance.

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