Finding out how many yards you’ve got left until you can make that golf ball go into your desired target doesn’t have to break the bank as four of the best budget golf rangefinders 2018 have been reviewed below for your consideration. After all, trying to measure your distance from your target by either sheer guesswork or relying on yardage markers should be a thing of the past by now. With rangefinders, you can gauge your distance from your target more accurately.
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But What Is a Golf Rangefinder Anyway?
Golf isn’t only about trying to make the ball shoot into the hole even if most casual observers of the game tend to think of it that way. More than a mere target-based sport, golf is also about making as few strokes as possible. To achieve that, you would want to accurately measure the number of yards between you and the flag indicating the hole where you’re supposed to shoot the ball or some other target.
- A golf rangefinder eliminates the need of having to either estimate or mentally calculate the distance between you and your target by measuring it as precisely as possible.
- If ever a distance reading in a golf rangefinder isn’t the same as the calculated yardage, the difference is usually either above or below by only one yard.
- Golf rangefinders come in two types: GPS and laser. However, GPS rangefinders are a bit more expensive since aside from buying a unit, you also have to sign-up for a monthly subscription service so that you can download a satellite map of the golf course where you want to play.
- GPS rangefinders also don’t provide a real-time map of your preferred golf course, especially if changes have been made to its layout shortly after you’ve downloaded its satellite map.
- On the other hand, a laser golf rangefinder doesn’t require you to pay any additional monthly fees as you can buy it, take it home, and use it on your next round of golf.
- Thus, all budget golf rangefinders featured here are of the laser variety.
So How Does a Laser Golf Rangefinder Work?
As almost everyone owns a point-and-shoot digital camera nowadays, a golf rangefinder works very much the same way as a digital camera’s autofocus feature allows you to get steady and clear shots no matter where you are.
- The typical laser golf rangefinder has three basic parts: the viewport, the trigger, and the readout screen.
- To set your target into focus, you should aim at it by looking at the rangefinder’s viewport and then pulling the trigger so that an invisible laser beam would be sent to it.
- The distance that the laser beam travels from the rangefinder to the target is then displayed on the former’s readout screen.
- The only drawback to using a laser golf rangefinder is that your target has to be within your line of sight so that you’ll have something to aim your rangefinder at. Other than that, laser golf rangefinders are more convenient to use and cheaper than GPS ones.
Now Which Budget Golf Rangefinder Should You Buy?
With so many brands to choose from, finding the best budget golf rangefinder for you to use on your next round of golf can become overwhelming. To help you make a more informed decision as to which budget golf rangefinder you should take home, four of the best ones currently being sold in the market have been selected and reviewed as follows:
Best Cheap Rangefinders Reviews 2018
While French startup TecTecTec has only been around since 2014, they’ve already taken the golfing world by storm with their VPRO500 golf rangefinder which has become an Amazon bestseller for the past two years, and still counting.
- Despite the 500 in its name, the TecTecTec VPRO500 can measure a target located up to 540 yards away from you, or only 60 yards below the maximum distance that most budget golf rangefinders can track.
- Compared to other budget golf rangefinders that can magnify only up to four times the object’s original size, the TecTecTec VPRO500 can zoom in on your target up to seven times its distance from you.
- Some experienced golfers might give the TecTecTec VPRO500 a second thought before buying it right away as the company itself is still relatively new as mentioned above.
- You wouldn’t want to drop the TecTecTec VPRO500 while standing near a water hazard though as it’s not waterproof and doing so can damage it for good.
Read more reviews on Amazon
When you say Nikon, one can’t help but immediately think of its wide array of cameras that turned it into an optical industry leader. But aside from cameras and other optical products, Nikon has also penetrated the golf rangefinder market with the Coolshot 20 that’s touted as the smallest one ever to have been put out for golfers to use.
- The Nikon Coolshot 20 measures only 3.6 by 1.5 by 2.9 inches, thus making it a golf rangefinder that you can easily slip in your pocket.
- As you wouldn’t want your rangefinder to run out of power in the middle of your round of golf, the Nikon Coolshot 20 automatically turns itself off if you haven’t used it between eight to ten seconds.
- The small size of the Nikon Coolshot 20, which is its greatest asset, can also turn into its biggest drawback as stability and ease of focus can become affected by it which isn’t helpful if your dominant hand tends to shake whenever you’re holding the rangefinder and aiming at your target.
- If your target is more than 200 yards away from you, it might take a while for the Nikon Coolshot 20 to get a distance reading which can considerably set you back in your game.
Read more reviews on Amazon
Golf rangefinders don’t need to be overly complicated nor prohibitively expensive. Launched back in April 2015, the LoftHouse ProScope 400X provides a more affordable alternative by providing only the basic features that a golf rangefinder should have.
- The Lofthouse ProScope 400X is so easy to use that even someone who doesn’t know how a golf rangefinder works can use it in a matter of minutes after reading the manual that comes along with it.
- You can configure the Lofthouse ProScope 400X to make it secure only a flag or its stick that you’ve targeted with its Pinseeking technology and Flag-Lock feature where a flag is also displayed on its readout screen.
- Unlike the two other budget golf rangefinders listed above that can cover distances beyond the 500-yard mark, the Lofthouse ProScope 400X can cover only a maximum of 400 yards as evident in its name.
- If you’re aiming at a flag or its stick but its distance away from you is more than 200 yards, you wouldn’t be able to secure it using the Lofthouse ProScope 400X’s Pinseeking technology and Flag-Lock feature.
Read more reviews on Amazon
Another high quality low cost rangefinder is the lightweight, easy to handle Breaking 80 rangefinder. The Breaking 80 rangefinder is packed with technology at an affordable price point. The Breaking 80 rangefinder has pinseeker technology, picks up a variety of targets with ease and is very accurate in comparison to the high end rangefinders available on the market. With a Breaking 80 rangefinder in your bag you can’t go wrong.
- The Breaking 80 rangefinder features their third generation PinSensor software, this ensures that the rangefinder quickly locks onto the flag while ignoring any background objects.
- The Breaking 80 features IntelliScan, this makes it easy for users to obtain a distance to a selection of different targets such as bunker, trees etc.
- The Breaking 80 rangefinder has a model that can measure slope. For golfers that play on very hilly golf courses it can be a great asset to have in the bag.
- Small, lightweight and easy to hold while using.
- Features a sleek design, it has the look of a high end rangefinder.
- The range and accuracy of the Breaking 80 isn’t very good when shooting a target that is more than 250 yards away.
- The construction of the Breaking 80 is water resistant but not waterproof.
Read more reviews on Amazon
Are rangefinders tournament legal?
Majority of rangefinders are tournament conforming, unless they measure slope. The local rules for an event will decide if rangefinders are allowed or not.
How accurate do rangefinders measure distance?
Majority of rangefinders on the market will measure distance accurately within +/- 2 yards of the target.
What batteries do rangefinders use?
Always check your rangefinder before purchasing a replacement battery, but in general most rangefinders take a CR2 3V battery.
Best Budget Golf Rangefinder 2018: Conclusion
Choosing a rangefinder can be a difficult task, but at the end of the day there are a few key points that one has to keep in mind before pulling the trigger.
Price is without a doubt a main determining factor, if you are on a strict budget then that should be the deciding factor. If your budget allows some wiggle room then it will definitely be wise to choose the rangefinder that has pinseeker technology.
After reviewing multiple different rangefinders under $200 two favorites emerged as race leaders.
Those two leaders are the TecTecTec and the Breaking 80 rangefinders. Both are affordable and can shoot distances in excess of 200 yards. When we look at accuracy and ease of target allocation the Breaking 80 emerges victoriously.
Both of these rangefinders are good options if you are shopping on a budget, but if you have the luxury of choosing then the Breaking 80 might just be the way to go.
Majority of reviews on the Breaking 80 is very favourable and it has been a hit among golfers that have purchased one.