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For those who left GPS for a RangeFinder


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Poll: For those who left GPS for a RangeFinder (163 member(s) have cast votes)

You miss the GPS?

  1. Yes (23 votes [14.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.11%

  2. No (140 votes [85.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 85.89%

What did you buy?

  1. Bushnell (84 votes [51.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.53%

  2. Bushness Hybrid (1 votes [0.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.61%

  3. Callaway (20 votes [12.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.27%

  4. Leupold (58 votes [35.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.58%

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#1 VA_Astra

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:09 PM

I have had a Sonocaddie V300 since it first came out (a few years).  And it has worked well, I have even taken it to Ireland with me and played at different places around the US.  Bad part is that if you are not linked in with 9 or 10 satellites your distances can be a fair amount off.  For example, I was standing at the 150 marker one time, had 6 satellites linked up and it said i was 167 to the center...

But I have played with a couple of people over the last year that have Rangefinders.  I played yesterday at a new course, didnt have the course loaded and was a last minute deal, but my playing partner had the V2 Tour w/Slope, so that was nice.


Who has switched?  Who wished they didnt?


Right now I am thinking of the new GX3 or 4 or getting a Bushnell (not sure what model).  I can always go back to the Sonocaddies, never have to pay a membership for it.

I do play a ton of golf, usually at least 2 times a week.  One thing I do wish I had it for was time at the Range, hate firing at a flag without knowing how far I am hitting the ball.

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#2 dhammer

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

They both have there pros and cons, I have personally used both.  Usually my foursome will have atleast 1 rangefinder and 1 gps.  I can tell you this, if I were going to play and could only have 1, I would take the rangefinder.  I would rather know I am 154 from the pin as opposed to 138 front, 149 middle, 159 back.  But that is just my preference.  

IMO the GPS's are best when you are playing courses you are unfamiliar with, but it you play most of your golf at courses you are familiar with then I believe a rangefinder will yield the best results.  It basically has all the capabilities of a GPS as you can still shoot bunkers, tress, different points in the green, etc.  I have a Bushnell Tour V2, but after seeing the new Leupold's I may go that route this year, as the Bushnell is technically my dad's haha.  Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other question.  Maybe I can answer.

#3 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:04 PM

The functionality that a rangefinder in theory offers is something I occasionally wish I had available. Having owned one and eventually dumped it for a laser, the actual functionality in real life is nothing to be missed. A laser works about 99% exactly the way I thought it would work when I first heard of the concept. The GPS gadgets are all hassle and very little payoff.

If everything I ever wanted to know the distance to was correctly mapped on every course and my current position was calculated reliably (say, within five yards 99% of the time) and if the whole thing were ready to go whenever I decided to use it...that would really be something. But it doesn't work that way, you get mostly accurate maps of a fair number of features on most courses and its estimate of current position sometimes lags a minute or two behind or just goes off on a tangent for no reason. And the whole thing takes downloads and/or subscriptions and/or creating your own maps (WTF???) and it has to warm up for 10 minutes before you can use it for the first yardage. About like a Windows PC, all "Features" and very limited real-world "Functionality".

#4 LongBomber12

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:35 PM

I honestly miss using my golfshot app on the iphone. I have the GX-3 and its great but I get tired of having to crouch down to try and aim through say, a tree line. PITA.

#5 Gbyeball

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:03 AM

I have a Sky Caddie SGX and a Callaway / Nikon LR550 laser range finder. I voted laser because since getting it and using both side by side I like the simplicity, speed and ease of use I get from the laser. The biggest advantage is when you are inside 100 yds, a quick shoot of the flag and I know exactly what the distance is. Using just my eyes I cannot tell if I am 60 or 70 yards away, guess wrong hit the perfect shot and you might still have a 30 ft put. I cannot say enough good things about the Callaway unit, love everything about it. I was convinced into buying this over the bushnell by a golf store manager I know very well who is scratch, an equipment junkie, has owned and played with everything and this was his favorite.

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#6 VA_Astra

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:48 AM

Thanks for the info so far....Not helping the bank account here, I may be buying a rangefinder.


One of the things I like about the GPS is the belt clip.  Makes it easy to use, I always have it and never have to drop it on the ground....


I have seen things like the Quick Draw for the Leupold, how are you all carrying your rangefinders?
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#7 LongBomber12

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

View PostVA_Astra, on 03 March 2012 - 08:48 AM, said:

Thanks for the info so far....Not helping the bank account here, I may be buying a rangefinder.


One of the things I like about the GPS is the belt clip.  Makes it easy to use, I always have it and never have to drop it on the ground....


I have seen things like the Quick Draw for the Leupold, how are you all carrying your rangefinders?

My Gx-3 came with a case so I leave it in the cart until I need it, this unit is easy to use unless the flags do not have a reflector to auto-lock the laser. Then you will have to try and catch a distance off the flag.

#8 dhammer

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

Just leave it in the cart if you ride, or attached or in the bag if you walk...i could never swing with a GPS buckle on, IDK maybe it's just me

View PostVA_Astra, on 03 March 2012 - 08:48 AM, said:

Thanks for the info so far....Not helping the bank account here, I may be buying a rangefinder.


One of the things I like about the GPS is the belt clip.  Makes it easy to use, I always have it and never have to drop it on the ground....


I have seen things like the Quick Draw for the Leupold, how are you all carrying your rangefinders?


#9 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

I carry both a Bushnell Neo (low end, but still nice GPS) and a Nikon 550G. I use the GPS a couple times per round. I use my laser probably a couple times per hole. I could live with either device EXCEPT from inside 100 yards where I REALLY want to know the yardage TO THE PIN. I would badly miss my laser in those cases.

I use GPS for the occasional really long shot where a laser makes it somewhat harder to get a reading and for the occasional blind lay-up or carry. But over-all I find the accuracy of the GPS barely tolerable (but tolerable). Otherwise full of PITA aspects like

1) Warmup time
2) Battery life
3) Downloading courses
4) Poor mappings
5) Can't necessarily just 'stuff it' in your pocket as you might lose signal and get iffy numbers 'right out of your pocket'

dave

#10 The Golfing Boy

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:50 PM

I do not miss my gps at all.  Ever since I got my bushnell, I would not want anything else.


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#11 cristphoto

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:10 PM

I had a Skycaddy model SG2 (I think that was the model) about 4-5 years ago and got rid of it due to it being innacurate. I confirmed its innacuracy by comparing with other units. GPS may have improved in the past few years but mine was a pain. You had to download the courses you wanted to play and pretty much after each round it had to be recharged. I recall having to pay an annual fee also. I replaced it with a Bushnell V2 rangefinder two years ago and never looked back. I  just leave it in the bag and its ready to go at any course I play. I'm still on the original battery and the V2 even came with an extra battery. No uploads, downloads, fees, bringing chargers/cords/laptops with me on vacations. Additionally I work at a golf course and we're on the Skycaddy list of covered courses. Two years ago we had a major bunker rennovation with some added/removed/modified but Skycaddy hasn't been to the course to take new readings. Perhaps they now use satellite readings like the other companies.  I thought they advertised that they physically walk the course and claim that's more accurate that satellites.

Edited by cristphoto, 05 March 2012 - 10:14 PM.


#12 kevinho

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:00 AM

I'm with the majority here. I had the Callaway uPro and my wife got me the Bushnell 1600 tournament two years ago.  I haven't looked back since.  To re-emphasize those talking about speed and ease of use with a laser, I know the proponents of GPS talk about getting distances to locations when you can't see them like if you're in the trees.  For me, I use a combination of the range finder and old school walk off; shoot it from the fairway and approximate, if I'm in the trees I don't need exact yardages.  But like many others, when I'm 100 in, exact yardage to the flag is reassuring.

I always keep my Bushnell on the bag, never worried about it not being there when I need it.

#13 mickw

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:32 AM

View PostGbyeball, on 03 March 2012 - 06:03 AM, said:

I have a Sky Caddie SGX and a Callaway / Nikon LR550 laser range finder. I voted laser because since getting it and using both side by side I like the simplicity, speed and ease of use I get from the laser. The biggest advantage is when you are inside 100 yds, a quick shoot of the flag and I know exactly what the distance is. Using just my eyes I cannot tell if I am 60 or 70 yards away, guess wrong hit the perfect shot and you might still have a 30 ft put. I cannot say enough good things about the Callaway unit, love everything about it. I was convinced into buying this over the bushnell by a golf store manager I know very well who is scratch, an equipment junkie, has owned and played with everything and this was his favorite.


I agree 100%. I've had the Callaway LR1200 for a few years now and can't speak highly enough about it. Put it this way...if it crapped out tomorrow, I would be going out and getting the next closest model Callaway/Nikon had available.

#14 avgjoe

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

As posted previously...

have had a couple of gps in the past few yrs, and sold em all... the downsides for me were:
* subscription needed (less common now), and gotta pay for advanced features
* need to load courses (less common now), so tied to computer
* need to remember to turn on and allow to acquire sat signal before using
* need to remember to charge batteries or make sure they are charged up
* units would drop/lose sat signal (even w/ new sirf III chipset), or lag in giving a reading
* need to advance holes (most now have auto-advance)
* F-C-B only on most (not a dealbreaker)

all of that wasn't a big deal individually, but together made for a pita, esp when travelling

#15 ladahl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:39 AM

This thread talked me into it....

Sold my NEO+, thought I was goign to get a S1 watch....

Last night I pulled the trigger on a V2....  I laswys kind of hate when mid/high cappers are using a laser (thought it was kinda like the iron cover deal-I won;t go there :))

BUt, as a 12 HCP, and someone who shoul dbe practicing more anyway I thought this would be a great item for the driving range too...

I can always have an app  running on my iphone for basic GPS...

Also:  help me here guys... I am ussually in a cart with another guy, and we play "ready golf".. Another thing holding me back was having to carry this (and set it on the ground) when I;m away from the cart with a few clubs....  Anyone have a great way of doign this?

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#16 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:01 AM

Man, it's tempting to say lose the cart and get a Sun Mountain three-wheeler. But that wouldn't be helpful so I won't say it. :blush:

#17 ladahl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:10 AM

I have a bayBoy Quad....  I walk once a week (Early Friday moring)

The rest of the week.. It's lazy golf :)

View PostFourmyle of Ceres, on 07 March 2012 - 10:01 AM, said:

Man, it's tempting to say lose the cart and get a Sun Mountain three-wheeler. But that wouldn't be helpful so I won't say it. :blush:

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#18 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Yourself or someone had recently posted another comment about not knowing what to do with the laser while you hit a shot. My thought was "Hey, mine just hangs there on my Speed Cart. No worries". Don't you know it like the very next day I have to take my laser way down into a gully full of trees and underbrush so I can get a yardage for my punch shot back toward the green. Of course my Speed Cart can't get down in there with me.

So I shoot my distance and look around for a flat, dry spot for the laser. Place it carefully on the ground and hit a miracle shot through the trees, just over a bunker and it rolls right past the hole and finishes 20 feet from the flag. Of course to see that miracle shot land I had to scurry forward as soon as I hit it and climb out of the gully...

...stepping on my laser rangefinder in the process. Hmm, so that's what those guys were talking about. Fortunately, it was sitting on a pile of loose pine straw and leaves so it just mashed down in there and wasn't harmed. I'm tempted to say "Just don't hit the ball into a gully next time" and I'd be right!

Edited by Fourmyle of Ceres, 07 March 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#19 VA_Astra

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:47 PM

Great responses guys, I appreciate the effort to post up here!

Now im trying to decide.....GX-4 or Tour Z6/Pro 1m
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#20 WJLIII

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:56 PM

I have not used my Golf Guru 4  GPS on a course since I bought the Leupold rangefinder almost 2 years ago.  I  hang the case on my bag and work from there, very easy and efficient.   No system is perfect but for me the rangefinder meets 99% of my needs.  I also like the rangefinder for the practice area.


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#21 ladahl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

All good to know... Great thread OP.

Like i said, we often will play 36 on Saturday (quickly and in carts), so the GPS was handy for a quick peak and shoot.... But, I think this will get my game, for sure.. If nothing else, it wil help me slow down...

I am a 12HCP, so I feel like I may be embarrassed to pull out a laser, get my perfect 190 club out, and proceed to skull it....  That' smy only issue with the RF vs. GPS, the GPS was very low-key (gave you ball park distance)... Just not sure I have the "game" to be pull this thing out and hitting fat or thin shots...
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#22 phil75070

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

I bought the Bushnell Tour V2 but don't miss my GPS because I still use it. I use the laser to get accurate distances to the pin on my approaches, but use the GPS off the tee to get distances to and to clear hazards, or to certain features on the course. I can glance at the GPS and get multiple distances to various targets even if they aren't visible, such as the start or end of the fairway on certain holes, or the front lip of a depressed bunker. I have a GPS that has self-mapping capability so I was able to add to its value by mapping waypoints that are meaningful to me and my game on the course(s) I play all the time.
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#23 Bodee

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

View Postphil75070, on 10 March 2012 - 08:22 AM, said:

I bought the Bushnell Tour V2 but don't miss my GPS because I still use it. I use the laser to get accurate distances to the pin on my approaches, but use the GPS off the tee to get distances to and to clear hazards, or to certain features on the course. I can glance at the GPS and get multiple distances to various targets even if they aren't visible, such as the start or end of the fairway on certain holes, or the front lip of a depressed bunker. I have a GPS that has self-mapping capability so I was able to add to its value by mapping waypoints that are meaningful to me and my game on the course(s) I play all the time.

My buddy that I play with most of the time carries a GPS in the cart with us and we use it to get an approx. yardage to the green (especially when it is "cart path only"). We each take the appropriate club for that yardage (ie. 7 iron) and we then proceed to take a 6,7,and 8 iron to our shot and use the laser from there to get a true yardage to the flag. Other than that, my V2 works great and have had no issues with it after one season of use so far. To choose just one......Laser is the only way to go!
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#24 ladahl

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:18 PM

MIne arrived @ 11:30 this morning in the mail.. Tee time was @ 12:15...

Loved it!  Did still need to use my GPS (iphone), as my home course has many blind approaches...
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#25 VA_Astra

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:29 PM

Used a Callaway rangefinder yesterday for 18 and loved it!  I will be picking up a GX-3i on Friday :)

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#26 VA_Astra

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:21 AM

So I picked up a GX-3i and played yesterday.

This thing is awesome!  

Played in a club tourney yesterday "Irish Open", was awesome to use!  i  did not miss my GPS even though I had it in my bag as a backup just in  case.  Was able to tell distances to things I have never been able to  before on my home course.

Was very easy to use, even the fog mode worked great as it was a foggy  morning here.  On a couple holes it was tough to capture the pin as  there were trees in the back ground at around 220y out, but In scan mode  I was able to catch front, back and eventually the pin.


This really makes for club/shot selection easier as you can really  understand your bailout points, and how much room around the pin you  actually have.  I have tried out several different models over the last  month, and by far this is the easiest to use, quickest to capture  distances and easiest to read.


Another thing, working on the range yesterday, knowing exactly how far each pin is and where you are actually hitting the ball.  The range keys are never accurate and it is tough to gauge how far you hit the ball at times.
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#27 airguard

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:16 PM

Do you guys leave these things in your bag in the garage even if the temp goes below freezing. We play winter golf here, it's nice enough during the day but some nights can get down in the high 20's.

#28 phillypete

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:02 AM

I think the ideal is an interactive yardage book. The SGX is a step in the right direction, but not there yet.

I have always struggled with lasers picking up hazards such as water and bunker layups.

Some of my best golf has come when playing with a laser and a yardage book. Unfortunately it's a POA.

If I'm playing for giggles, a laser will get me close but if I'm paying for a score I'll take a gps any day.

The place that a laser really comes into play is on the range. I love knowing that the flag that I'm trying to get a lob wedge to is 110 and not 85, before I rip apart my swing looking for the 20yrds I lost over night.

Either way you really owe it to your game to use something. If anything it will help you better understand how far you actually hit your clubs.

#29 ew25950

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:28 PM

I recently left a SGX for a Leupold GX-3i.  So far I like the Laser a lot, and will be selling the SGX soon.  The SGX was a great unit and I never had an issue with it's accuracy at all.  I did have an issue when I looked up how much I've spent on SkyCaddie memberships since my initial SG2 though!! Needless to say, I won't be renewing again.

One of my best surprises with the laser is knowing how far I actually hit my approach shots.  With my SGX I had to move the cursor to a spot on a pin sheet and hope the grounds crew placed the pin where they were supposed to.  With the laser I have quickly found out that all my irons yardages are off (some by 1/2 a club).  I know the SGX has a feature to track yardages, but somehow I never used it on my approaches.

If you keep a handicap and want it to be legit, don't get any of the slope models.  Or at least be ready when someone calls you on it.

Good luck in your search OP.

#30 Rebel420

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:11 PM

Have GPS on phone, and have been window shopping for a rangefinder.  Up until now, based on most courses I have played, I think a rangefinder would be the best.   This morning I played 9 at a course I never played before.  Great course, but on at least 5 of the holes, my second shot was blind to the green.  The gps gave me numbers, where a rangefinder would have been useless.   So I definitely see the benefits of both.  I still may get a rangefinder, but not going to abandon the GPS altogether.

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