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Be the number!
You know as well as we do how hard golf can be. This unforgiving game can be made easier, though, when you know your numbers. That’s the benefit of a good golf rangefinder
Good luck getting the ball to the hole if you’re unsure how far away you are from the flag.
An oft-forgotten key to good golf is confidence. Seldom is a well-struck shot preceded by uncertainty. No matter how confident you are in your clubs and your ability, if you aren’t confident in your distance to the target, you’re likely in trouble.
That’s why we’ve made it our mission to test golf rangefinders in search of a truly confidence-inspiring piece of technology. Think of it this way: Do you trust the gas gauge in your car? If you don’t have the utmost confidence that the number you see is accurate, you could end up stranded on the side of the road.
See where this is heading?
If you don’t have complete trust and confidence that the number on your rangefinder is accurate, the odds are good you’ll completely miss your intended target. Kiss that personal best goodbye!
We’re confident the best golf rangefinders for 2023 can give you the level of confidence you deserve. Here are a few things you should focus on when looking for a new golf rangefinder.
Here’s what to consider when choosing your next golf rangefinder.
In the golf rangefinder category, “expensive” doesn’t always equal “better”. However, the best golf rangefinder of 2023 does happen to cost the most; around $599. That said, the best value rangefinder for 2023 costs around $150.
When looking for a new rangefinder, consider how long each will last before needing to replace the battery. A few rangefinders tested this year are USB-C rechargeable, which is great if you want to stop old batteries from ending up in the landfill.
Golf rangefinders seem to be getting smaller and smaller. A few of the rangefinders we tested this year can fit in the palm of your hand. With so many shapes and sizes, it’s important to find what fits best in your hand and your golf bag.
Above all, a rangefinder needs to be accurate. A yard or two may not seem like a lot but it could be the difference between a one-putt and three-putt. You can’t afford to be off by a few yards when the margin of error is razor-thin.
Besides providing distances to the pin, the top rangefinders for 2023 calculate things like slope, wind and more to provide the best “real feel” distance possible.
A large part of shooting accurate distances with a golf rangefinder is being able to actually see – and hit – the flag. This is where both optics and displays make a huge difference. The optics of a rangefinder are the proverbial eyes that allow you to see both near and far. Unless the optics are crystal-clear, it can be hard to find and lock on to your target.
The display is the portion of the rangefinder that actually relays the distance that you’ve shot. The best displays we tested were red but offered the ability to switch to black in different lighting scenarios.
The combination of optics and the display is what allows you to confidently see, visualize and understand how far you have to the flag. The best rangefinders in this regard are the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII Stabilized and Bushnell Pro X3.
Now that you can clearly see the flag with your nice optics and bright display, how can you be sure you’re locked on to the correct target? Between tree branches and background objects, it can be hard to pinpoint the flagstick.
That’s why haptic and visual feedback are important. Haptic feedback refers to a physical alert that you’ve locked on to the flag. In most cases, this comes in the form of a pulse or vibration. Other rangefinders rely on visual feedback (flashing lights) to let you know you’ve locked on to the pin.
The best rangefinders offer a combination of the two. Confidence is key and you need to ensure you really are shooting the flagstick. That’s why the Bushnell Pro X3, V6 and V6 Shift with Visual Jolt are so confidence-inspiring. Bushnell’s rangefinders vibrate and flash a red ring around the flag to notify you that you’ve hit the mark.
We found some of the less expensive rangefinders to provide fairly accurate distances. Our pick for best value, the Shot Scope Pro L2, was very accurate.
Unless the course you play is perfectly flat, having a rangefinder with slope is definitely worth it. This will save you from overestimating or underestimating your yardages.
Depends on your preference. A general rule of thumb is that a rangefinder will be more accurate simply because you can lock directly on to the flag. Most GPS devices just give you general distances to the front, middle and back of greens.
The Bushnell Pro X3 golf rangefinder is the best golf rangefinder for 2023. It's extremely accurate, locks on fast and has all of the features you need to shoot your personal best.
The Pro X3 provides accurate distances, fast readings, and the Visual JOLT makes sure you know when you hit the target.
The Pro X3 is bigger than some, and the large slope lock switch at the front makes it harder to switch.
The Nikon COOLSHOT PROII Stabilized golf rangefinder lives up to its name. This rangefinder features an auto-stabilization function to keep you locked on to the target. This is the best rangefinder for someone with shaky hands.
The stabilization features makes it easy to lock on to and shoot your target, and the display is very crisp and easy to read.
The stabilization function can occasionally lock onto the wrong target if you aren't careful.
The Bushnell Tour V6 Shift is as accurate as they come. This golf rangefinder fills you with confidence to grab the right club and hit your number.
The Bushnell Tour V6 Shift is fast and accurate, and features an easy slope switch for those Tournament rounds.
The Bushnell Tour V6 Shift isn't as feature filled as some of the other competition, including its big brother the Pro X3.
The Bushnell Tour V6 is fast, accurate, and pretty affordable. This budget-friendly Bushnell is still a solid choice, despite its few shortcomings.
The Visual Jolt provides phenomenal feedback, and the Tour V6 is extremely accurate.
The Tour V6 lacks some of the features that other sub-$300 rangefinders have, including slope functionality.
The Shot Scope Pro LX is accurate, provides fast readings, and can be used with a GPS if that's your thing.
Fast readings, accurate distances and the ability to change the display from red to black is a great addition.
The Shot Scope Pro LX is bigger than some other rangefinders, and doesn't have the premium build or feel of some of its competitors.
Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.learn more
Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.
Looking for more data on golf rangefinders?
Looking for more data on golf rangefinders?