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GolfWRX Best Rangefinders: A Buyer’s Guide



What are the best rangefinders in golf? Like most things golf equipment, it depends on your needs.

Laser rangefinders, a category that is dominated by Bushnell and Leupold, are great for golfers who are looking for the most accurate distances. GPS models, on the other hand, are the top choice for golfers more concerned with a fuller picture — distances to water hazards, bunkers, doglegs, etc. They also allow golfers to track their stats and keep their score, if they’re into that.

This list of the best rangefinders was created with the assistance of Laser and GPS rangefinder expert Nick Wallace of Morton’s Golf. It will help you make the best choice, whether you’re buying for yourself or that special golfer in your life.

For golfers on a budget, we’ve also included a value section at the bottom of the page that will get you the best yardages for the money.

Best Premium Rangefinders


Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt

  • Type: GPS
  • Suggested Price: $399
  • Weight: About 8 ounces
  • Coolest Feature: JOLT technology vibrates when you hit the flag

The Tour Z6 Jolt is barely bigger than a deck of cards, but it houses all the technology of Bushnell’s larger, slightly more powerful Pro X7 rangefinder. It’s accurate to 0.5 yards and its JOLT technology vibrates when a golfer locks onto a flag — not the stuff behind the green. That gives golfers peace of mind that they’ve got the right yardage.

Its VDT display is extremely bright, even in low-light conditions, and its 6X magnification gets golfers close enough to dial-in yardages to the corners of hazards and doglegs.

Wallace says lasers like the Tour Z6 Jolt are a great choice for golfers seeking simplicity.

“There’s not a lot of training involved and you don’t have to be computer savvy,” Wallace says. “If you’re looking to dial in your yardage to 1 yard, or a 1/10 of a yard in some cases, lasers are the best bet.”

[button color=”red” rel=”norewrite” link=””]Buy the Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt[/button]

Garmin Approach G8

Garmin Approach G8

  • Type: GPS
  • Suggested Price: $399
  • Weight: About 4 ounces
  • Coolest Feature: Smart Notifications sync with your smartphone

The Garmin Approach G8 has a battery life of 15 hours and boasts a 3-inch color touchscreen with large, bright maps that recommend layup positions. It also comes preloaded with 38,000 courses that automatically update through Wi-Fi.

There are no subscriptions or fees, and the G8’s PlaysLike Distance feature gives golfers the ability to adjust yardages to precise targets and accounts for uphill and downhill yardages. While that makes it non-conforming for tournament play, it’s still pretty cool. And the G8’s PinPointer gives you the direction to the middle of the green or your selected area of the green, even if you can’t see it.

Not into having two devices in your cart: your GPS and your iPhone? If you have an iPhone 4 or later, the G8’s Smart Notifications allows you to receive email and text alerts on its screen so you can leave your phone in your bag.

If you’re into keeping score and tracking stats on a GPS, the G8 does that too, and it allows you to enter your club information so it can recommend different clubs based on different yardages. You can also download the information after the round and upload it to your computer.

[button color=”red” link=””]Buy the Garmin Approach G8[/button]


Leupold GX-4i2

  • Type: Laser
  • Suggested Price: $624.99
  • Weight: About 8 ounces
  • Coolest Feature: Measures slope and atmospheric conditions, but can be made USGA conforming with a removable face plate

The most advanced laser rangefinders are made by Leupold, Wallace says, and if you want the most tricked-out laser rangefinder money can buy then you need Leupold’s GX-4i2.

Like the more affordable GX-3i2 ($399), the GX-4i2 is accurate to 1/10th of a yard. You might not need that much accuracy, by why wouldn’t you want it? What the GX-3i2 or any other rangefinder can’t do, however, is offer distances based on slopes and atmospheric conditions. That’s where the TRG (True Range Golf) technology in the GX-4i2 comes into play.

TRG allows the GX-4i2 to function as a training aid during practice rounds, giving golfers accurate yardages based on a course’s topography and weather conditions. When tournament time comes, however, all golfers have to do is disable TRG by installing the provided chrome faceplate and go about the distance-only measurements that conform with the rules of golf.

The GX-4i2 also has what the company calls Prism Lock technology, which beeps when golfs locks onto the prisms that are installed on many course’s flagsticks.

[button color=”red” link=””]Buy the Leupold GX-4i2 [/button]


Garmin Approach S6 Watch

  • Type: GPS
  • Suggested Price: $399
  • Weight: About 2 ounces.
  • Coolest Feature: Built-in SwingTempo trainer.

If you’re used to wearing a watch on the course, why not wear a golf-specific watch? That was Garmin’s approach with the S6, which has a color touchscreen that allows it to do everything most GPS units do from the comfort of your wrist.

Like the G8, the S6 comes preloaded with 38,000 courses and has no fees or subscription. It updates through Wi-Fi, will sync with your iPhone (4 or later) to display notifications through Bluetooth and shows full-color maps that preview doglegs, traps, water hazards and the green.

There’s more, but the coolest feature for many gearheads will be its SwingTempo trainer, which like a metronome gives golfers audible tones to tune their swing to different tempos when practicing.

[button color=”red” link=””]Buy the Garmin Approach S6 Watch [/button]

Best Value Rangefinders


 Bushnell Tour V3 JOLT

  • Type: Laser
  • Suggested Price: $299
  • Weight: About 7 ounces.
  • Coolest Feature: Affordability

Bushnell’s Tour V3 Jolt has all the cool technology of the company’s Tour Z6 Jolt and Pro X7 Jolt, yet it costs much less.

Compact? Check. Lightweight? Check. Accurate to 1 yard? Check. JOLT? Check.

Who really needs anything else?

[button color=”red” link=””]Buy the Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt [/button]


Golf Buddy Voice

  • Type: GPS
  • Suggested Price: $119.99
  • Weight: About 1 ounce
  • Coolest Feature: It talks to you!

No GPS is less intrusive than the Golf Buddy Voice, which weighs less than 1 ounce and easily clips to your hat or belt for yardages to the front, center or back of the green at the touch of a button.

The Voice comes pre-loaded with 40,000 courses and requires no fees or subscriptions. It has volume control (your playing partners will thank you) and automatically recognizes what course and hole you’re on. The latest version, Golf Buddy’s Voice VS4, sells for $149.99.

[button color=”red” link=”″]Buy the Golf Buddy Voice [/button]

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  1. James

    Sep 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    just buy Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt. This is the best range finder I used

  2. Ray

    Apr 30, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I have Golf Buddy Voice and it is really good with the price under $100.

  3. Frank

    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:58 am

    I tried the leupold GX-4i2 of a fellow in my foursome while on vacation after the battery died in my Bushnell (no battery meter) . It was love on the first aim, fire and beep. Not cheap! But you could feel the quality by just holding it .

  4. michael p

    Dec 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I have never used one and probably never will I do pretty good just by the yardage markers on the course. I adjust yardage for wind and how i am hitting the ball that day i am with in a couple of yards. I usually take one more club just to make sure and hit is smooth. don

    • adam

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Been researching “rangefinders” not GPS units from various sites, magazines, proshops etc. Only Leupold and Bushnell units are critiqued here.

      Bushnell: products with jolt are best at finding the flag and accuracy/quickness is great. Terrible customer service and return time for most. Pricey as most rangefinders are. Bushnell 1500 – a great buy for discounted pricing on a used unit, 1600 has a 9V battery which is great but the door for the battery does not stay closed. Some users reported poor battery life (batteries are $10 for 2 so when the unit itself is north of $300 who really minds paying that for a 3V battery once per year). V2/V3/Z6/x7 all come with 2 yr warranty which is decent enough. Waterproof units make my life less stressful which is a great feature for the V3 and above.
      Leupold: fantastic for customer service and fixes/returns. Unit is smaller and some users have reported the units themselves are built much more durable than Bushnell. Pincaddie ($250) technology is decent enough, but some still have issues fixing to the flag, unless the prism is located on the flags. Leupold tends to be quite pricey as the GX1i is north of $300 and the newer GX3i 2 is well north of $400 and works its way up from there. Models are waterproof as well and some users have reported having their units stop working after 2 or 3 years and Leupold sent them a brand new unit. Pretty incredible. The units sometimes will last for up to 6000 actuations in some cases.
      I am more of a range golfer and tend to only play 20-25 rounds/year but almost 100 range sessions and a rangefinder, I believe, is an invaluable tool to help scoring and practicing. From research there are many other units out there (Nikon, laserlink, callaway, etc) but for the amount of range time I put in I want to spend the money to get a decent warranty.
      These reviews aren’t set in stone but I have spent many hours doing research and this is what I came up with. I have heard many different opinions that are both positive and negative about all the companies rangefinders, but the above were the most consistent and reputable answers from actual users I was able to come up with.
      Hope this helps some as I always do research when spending cash on bigger items. Ended up with the Bushnell V3 with jolt because of a bargain ($279CAD plus tax from GolfTown). Will be sure to update with actual use of this model.

  5. Mat

    Nov 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    “Best Rangefinders” – yet you leave off the value option of $0-$30 phone apps that work as well or better than these GPS devices. I don’t get it. I love my laser, and use it a lot, but for those who want GPS numbers, a) phone apps are cheaper by 80-100% and work exactly as well. They also have updated maps and better scorekeeping.

    As for “non-conforming”, I’ve never seen a GPS, Phone App, or any other common NCD that has saved anyone a shot. All it has done is speed up the game. It’s time for the USGA to come out and allow phones and watches to be acceptable for handicap purposes. Sure; if it’s a local tournament, then you can say ‘no slope’ or whatever. However, making this sort of thing ‘illegal’ is stupid and violates the spirit of the game. If you have a caddy with a book, you get this information and more… what is the USGA scared of? Not to mention, PGA caddies should be allowed to carry lasers to speed that thing up, as well.

    • Mat

      Nov 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      and b) they work exactly as well. Damn it, I hate when I do that.

    • adam

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Keyword “rangefinder” not GPS.

  6. Pingback: Rangefinder Ringers - The Golf Shop Online Blog

  7. ChiefKeef

    Nov 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Pinsensor on ebay. $100+ CHEAPER than anything else and does the exact same thing as Bushnell, Nikon, etc.

    I have compared it with everything.

  8. MFB

    Nov 1, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I have both GPS and a Laser Range finder.
    I have the Original Upro From Callaway and the Upro MX, which I go for $40.
    I also have the Free Caddie Pro Gps app on my phone.
    Both Callaway Upro’s work fine for me and the Free Caddie app is also good and since it is on my phone has a much bigger display.
    The range finder I use is a Pinseeker I bought off of ebay for a third of the price of a Bushnell. It has the same pin seeking feature as the Bushnell my buddy has and reads the yardages just as quick and as accurately.
    GPS for me is fine off the tee or for lay ups but where the laser has the advantage is the exact yardage to the pin.

  9. Mark

    Oct 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I own a Laser Link. I have compared it, on the course, to other brands of laser range finders. Never different by more than 1 yard. If the flag has a prism, it will beep when it measures it. If not there is a vibration. It will shoot any target. Costs about half the price of Bushnell. Drawbacks: must have a clear line of sight to the target or it will register closer targets (ie. trees, branches, hills, etc…). Doesn’t have any magnification in the eyepiece.

  10. mtn1414

    Oct 31, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Or, just learn to judge distances. I played a couple days ago and got paired up with a guy who had a rangefinder. On one par 5 he said he’d give me a distance for my second shot. I said, “I’m good, it’s about 230.” He used his rangefinder and it was 232. He seemed shocked I was so close. I hate to see technology take every aspect of the game out play. Let’s actually reward people for their skill, rather than the ability to buy the best new tool.

    • Mark

      Oct 31, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Good for you that you can judge distances. I have been playing for decades and have never been very good at judging distances outside of 50 yards. Some of us will never have that kind of ability.

      • Philip

        Nov 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

        Very likely some people are not good at judging distances. I am at the point where I guess it and then confirm with my range finder. The differences I have are now 5 yards or less after 3 years of golfing (gave it up for 30 years).

        One thing I notice people don’t do is add yardage when they are farther from the centre of the fairway where the 100/150/200 yard markers are located. Thus always being short if they do not have electronic help. They forget that once they leave the centre of the fairway that they are now on the longer side of a 90 degree triangle.

  11. myron miller

    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    The non-conforming units are worse than not being legal for tournaments of any kind (including your local club weekly tournament). They are also illegal to use for any GHIN or other official handicap posting as well. So if you want to have an official handicap and play by the rules you can’t use these units at all.

    And I’ve found that many of the Slope adjustment features seriously depend upon your hitting a specific type of shot otherwise the yardage provided can be grossly wrong. A low shot will require more club than the provided yardage almost always.

    Plus besides the elevation non-conformity, the recommendation of clubs by the Garmin G8 is also non-conforming.

  12. Lou Eichler

    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Have used an older model Bushnell for three years. The battery only lasts a year and gets used only three times a week. Recently purchased the Golf Buddy VS4. Turn off the voice as it is annoying. t gets used three times a week and will find out how long that battery lasts. It is very handy when approaching a green with a towel and three clubs and don’t want the hassle of lugging the “Bush”. Love ’em both for different reasons. Had a model with a famous club maker name that showed a flyover with distances, etc. that was so useless that it was thrown in the trash. Decided it should not be given to friend or foe.

  13. Don

    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I have the GX-3i (1st generation) and it’s a great range finder. The red LED display inside is a big plus in low light conditions and the accuracy and target acquisition are very good. (not as fast as my old Nikon though). It’s a very compact unit (especially compared to Bushnell)

    That being said, the strap for the case has broken twice, which will cause much panic if you discover it’s no longer on your belt or has fallen onto the concrete. 

    The LED display had faded out (common issue on 1st gen) and had to be replaced. 

    Leopold customer service was friendly but useless (I’m in Canada). 

    The Canadian distributer did replace my unit free of charge through Golf town tho. 

    • mantan

      Nov 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I had a Bushnell for 8 years before the optics finally failed.

      I got a GX-3i largely because the red display looked great. But I was extremely disappointed at the inconsistent target acquisition. My old Bushnell got the target much faster.

  14. Darren

    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This list of Rangefinders is bogus. They don’t even have any Laser Link Products listed and clearly they are they #1 rangefinder in golf. I have used Laser Link products for the better part of 10 years and there is no faster, more accurate way to play golf. I would suggest Laser Link Golf products for your next purchase of any rangefinder.

    • Jeff Powell

      Oct 30, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      “Laser Link Products listed and clearly they are they #1 rangefinder in golf”

      Really? I play 3-5 times a well, all over the country and couldn’t tell you the last time I came across one of these actually on a golf course. What’s the stats behind this being the #1 rangefinder in golf because if it’s true, I’d like to know more.

      • Ken

        Nov 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        Ha! Sounds like Darren may have some skin in the game at Laserlink.

  15. David Ford

    Oct 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I have the distinct feeling that this whole list is rigged! Last year I was looking for a replacement laser range finder after I broke my Bushnell unit. I came across an inexpensive unit called “Kick Butt” on the internet and bought one. It works well and yardages are accurate when compared with friends who paid much more for “big name brands.” The cost was less than half of those you recommended.

  16. Jonny B

    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I’ve owned a few different GPS’s over the years, all of which were pretty underwhelming. This year I finally decided to go with a laser – and I’m glad I did. Got the new Leupold GX-2. It’s small compact and lightweight, has awesome True Golf Range – calculates distances using laser, plus slope, temperature, humidity, etc. And it even recommends what club to hit once you program in your yardages. It’s like having your own caddy!

    I couldn’t be more satisfied and will never be going back to a GPS. I can get yardages to the pin, as well as hazards around the green, forced carries, etc… all by using the scan feature on the laser. You should seriously try one out.

    The only downfall is that when it is raining or very foggy the laser is not as accurate.

  17. Kris

    Oct 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    The Garmin Approach s6 is Non-Conforming

  18. Gary hacker

    Oct 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve got the nikon from 2014 I think it’s the coolshot and it’s pretty awesome. Almost exactly the same as the v3.

  19. Dylan T

    Oct 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I own the Bushnell Tour V3 with Jolt and I love it. My only complaint is that they don’t have the 9 Volt anymore like they did in the other models and battery life is noticeably shorter with the new battery type.

  20. Golfraven

    Oct 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I have the Leupold GX-4i2 and very satisfied. Use normally the slope feature when not in turnament but it happened once to twice that I forgot to remove it when in competition. Tested the Z6 but found the button hard to press. With the GX-4i2 I have to shoot at the flag 2-3 times occasionally if the flag is not prism one but its maybe just me. Otherwise find the display and handling excellent.

  21. Pn

    Oct 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I have a Leupold Gx-3i and it is waterproof. I’d be surprised if the other Leupold models aren’t as well.

  22. Jeremy

    Oct 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Played a few rounds with the Golf Buddy before I lost it when it was clipped to my side pocket. I was never a fan of getting audible yardages. It’s either too loud and irritates other players, or when you’re playing next to an airport it’s not loud enough. Constantly adjusting the volume was an undesirable chore. Now I have a SkyCaddie watch, and I think that’s the way to go. It’d be nice if it had layup and hazard yardages as well as the distance to the flag, but more expensive models do and I have a couple apps for my iPhone for that when I really want it. Overall I love being able to just glance down at my wrist for an approximate yardage, and I love being able to track my driving distances with the push of a button.

  23. Kyle

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Leupold makes the best range finders in my opinion. I have used both Bushnell and Leupold, and Leupold has far superior customer service, and I believe the units are quicker to read the yardage. The only reason I would look at a Z6, is because it is waterproof.

    • adolfo

      Oct 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      See that’s where I’m torn bc I’ve heard good things about both but as you said the Z6 is waterproof.

      • Kyle

        Oct 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

        100% honest I’d go leupold any day. If something did go wrong with it, Bushnell makes you send the whole unit in, and it’s a long process to be without something $400 and up. Leupold has far superior customer service to Bushnell and is a much better company to deal with if you have issues.

        • DolphLundgrenade

          Oct 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

          I agree. Leopold is best. I hate my z6. Optics aren’t as good and button is hard to press. Plus, the rubber eye cushion is falling apart.

          At any rate, $600 is stupid expensive. All these prices for old tech are insane. Finders and GPS units units should range from $150 – $300…. Unless they are a phone as well, and can fit in my pocket.

          …Can I at least play games on them?

          • Ron burgundy

            Nov 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

            I just bought a brand new leupold gx-4i2 on eBay for $375. There are a bunch on there at that price.

  24. Ponjo

    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Cannot fault the Bushnell Viewfinders. It is a neat idea to have a jolt feature when the flag is in the cross-hairs.

    • Allen

      Oct 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      The jolt technology I find is not reliable. Doesn’t work half the time. Also, the Leupold optics is far superior to Bushnell.

      The Garmin G8 gps is not legal in most all competitition because it has a slope reading feature.

      • Allen

        Oct 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

        For a GPS touch screen that is legal, you can’t beat the Golf Buddy PT4. It’s every bit as good as the G8 but legal in competition.

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Pros are just like us: Putting practice at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational



The great equalizer in the game of golf is putting, and just like every other golfer that plays the game, PGA Tour players are always working to improve their work with the flatstick.

Much like the short game, putting does not require brute strength and generally comes down to simple technique and repeatability. This week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, we spotted a lot of pros on the practice green working hard with all types of training aids trying to improve on just that.

Bryson’s GC Quad meases 400-yard drives and 3-foot putts.

Spieth is always grinding with his favorite Scotty Cameron.

You don’t get to be the 16th ranked player in the world like Matt Fitzpatrick without working hard on your putting.

Kevin Kisner spotted working on core stability

Shane Lowry using the popular “gate” drill

Ian Poulter has been recently searching for a putter—and that pile behind him indicates he’s still looking.

Poulter was even spotted checking in with others around the green

Jason Dufner using the “bellied wedge drill” to help level out his stroke and improve contact.

The Putting Arc is a classic training aid that we continue to see players utilize

The Pelz trainer continues to be one of the most popular tools on tour

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Tiger’s 5 best shots at Bay Hill (and the clubs he used)



Editor’s note: We filed this piece for’s Equipment Report

During his career, Woods has reigned supreme eight times as a professional at Arnold Palmer’s place, and before these wins, there was also the U.S. Junior Amateur title in 1991, where Tiger won for the first time at Bay Hill.

As the 45-year-old continues his recovery from his serious car accident suffered last week, here’s a look back at Woods’ five greatest shots at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the clubs he used for each one.

5. 2012 (final round): Approach to No. 8

At the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Tiger was looking to end a two-and-a-half-year winless streak, on what was a windy Sunday with greens and pins that Woods would afterwards describe as the most difficult he had ever experienced at this event.

On the treacherous eighth hole, Woods held a two-stroke lead. Sitting in the middle of the fairway with the pin on the left side guarded by the pond in front of the green, Woods, who would often lean on his cut shot during his time working with Sean Foley, struck a high draw. The ball landed softly on the front portion of the green and rolled to within 5 feet of the cup.

The bold shot paid off and gave Woods a three-stroke advantage, and he would go on to secure his 72nd PGA TOUR win and begin his ascension back to World No. 1.

Club Used: Nike VR Pro Blade 8-iron with a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.

Read the full piece here.

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Callaway launches new Chrome Soft Truvis Shamrock golf balls



Callaway has introduced its Chrome Soft Truvis Shamrock golf balls ahead of St. Patrick’s Day later this month.

The balls feature all the technology and performance benefits of the 2020 Chrome Soft golf ball and the brand’s hi-res Truvis pattern design with shamrock visuals.

As a recap, the 2020 Chrome Soft golf balls feature a high-speed mantle layer for added distance as well as an inner core that is 34 percent bigger than its predecessors for higher launch and spin.

The Chrome Soft Truvis Shamrock golf balls are available at retail and online starting today (Thursday, 3/4) at a price of $47.99.

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