How to Buy a Golf Rangefinder
Golf rangefinders are used to measure the distance to a flag or an object if your choice. The Best Golf Rangefinder has advanced significantly over the past few years and the technologies available today can even measure angled distances in a slope.
What are the advantages of a golf rangefinder?
There are a few main advantages of modern rangefinders. They help golfers achieve their objective in a shorter period of time but they also come with additional features which are seen as complementary to most rangefinders on the market.
The advantage of a mathematic approach
Rangefinders take the guessing work out of golfing. They help you calculate the exact distance to a certain subject within seconds. This teaches you to appreciate distances better in the future, but it is also a solid base for choosing a club or a certain type of swing.
The advantage of saving time
When it comes to saving time there are really no other options in the industry. While it may seem that rangefinders can only appreciate distances, they also provide a quick time-saving accessory which will help you perform or choose the right club faster. Although saving time is not among the top priorities of average players, when you plan to turn advanced you will appreciate the new pace of the game.
The advantage of accuracy
There is little doubt on the accuracy of rangefinders. They help players calculate the distance to objects like pins, with minor margins. This means you`ll be able to calibrate your tactics better and eventually improve your skills.
Top features in a rangefinder
Rangefinders come packed with the latest features. But some of them rise above due to their determining role in the game. Let`s have a look at some of the most important features to look for in a rangefinder:
The estimated distance of a rangefinder is the primary differentiator on the market. Since there are so many rangefinders on the market it might be confusing for the new user to even start looking at possible options. The good news is that product search can begin with looking or the longest range you can find within your budget. You can expect distances longer than 400 yards. In most situations, a long-distance rangefinder means you can also expect other high-quality features also.
USGA (United States Golfing Association) regulations are very strict and can prevent you from using certain rangefinders, especially in tournaments. If you play golf at an amateur level, you can use any type of device, however.
The weight of the rangefinder might not be a major issue with most modern designs. However, since the most advanced devices are waterproof and solidly made, they might be heavy to use for a long period of time, since you will have to hold them with one hand only. If you don`t need all the features and the top body construction on the market, it may be worth considering a lighter model which will not put so much weight pressure on your hands.
Most modern rangefinders have enough battery power to last through the whole year. But the more features you will have the faster the battery will drain. This is where you need to see which Li-Ion battery is better for your own needs. Since you might not need the longest battery, you may focus on other features instead.
Multiple measurements are benefit when you try to locate the flag in a dense area like a background with trees or other objects. Such features allow you to read the distance to multiple objects with a single click and can show you the distances within seconds. Of course, the reading will be influenced by the quality of the rangefinder, as it can take up to 10 seconds with some models.
The display can be internal or internal and external. The rangefinder can display its reading on the viewfinder which is most convenient. Most manufacturers offer brightly colored digits which are easy to see in the crowded image.
Protection is one of the characteristics of a rangefinder which often gets overlooked. Since you might not be using it in all weather conditions, it might be worth to check for rain proof at least, as you never know until it might be too late.
Since the best rangefinders are made from the best lenses, it might be worth checking for quality options on the market. There are just a few select lens manufacturers which work with the rangefinder industry and they are highly praised for their attention to detail and quality manufacturing. Some manufacturers who also make photo camera lenses have entered the market because they owned the technology and know-how which allowed them to develop a good product.
Accuracy is only marketed with the finer products due to the advanced technology needed to produce the results. Working with an accuracy of less than one degree might seem impossible for some manufacturers, but with the optical stabilization and the advancement in the lens industry, rangefinders have reached a position which is, arguably, the best in their evolution.
This is probably the biggest influencer in your purchasing decision. The price of the rangefinder will determine your final approach towards the product. Since there are many affordable entry-level designs which are made to solely measure distance, most players don`t have any reasons to worry about, at least in the conditions of modern products.
Ease of use
The ease of use is many times in the favor of bigger manufacturers. These manufacturers are not necessarily developing better products, but they know how to put themselves in the shoe of the user. Since most users don`t want to be technology experts, it may seem bizarre that there still are some one-handed products which cannot be fully operated with a single hand. Then there`s adjustability, where, again, the major manufacturers understood that the color themes need to be set by the user.
Readings can be done in metrical vs. imperial systems. While most quality products can easily switch between the two types, there still are limited products on the market. Since you`re going to pay or a good product, it might be worth noting that you should expect to have both types of reading available at all times.
One of the crucial elements of a rangefinder is its size. Since many products can be fitted in a pocket this might not be a big issue for some users. But you will need to find a good balance between performance and size, especially if you plan to keep the rangefinder on you at all times. As an alternative, you can look for golf bags which allow you to store the rangefinder in a dedicated pocket, with padded protection.
Since there are some different versions on the market, you can look for a model which is up to date but also affordable. Some series have new launches every year, which means you will pay a premium price to own the latest design. If you plan to save money and are fine with an older model, it`s always worth looking for alternative options.
What manufacturers don’t tell you
While there are many top features marketed as such by the manufacturers, it is worth noting that not all the drawbacks actually reach the final user.
Most entry-level rangefinders have extended warranty periods because there are not too many aspects which could break or show and impediment of usage. As the rangefinders get more complex, the warranty period also gets shorter. Since you don`t want to buy another product 6 months from now, it’s worth checking for the latest information on durability and coverage.
Regulations and non-regulation
The difference in the regulation-compliant product is, in some cases, the ability to read and calculate the distance for slopes. But this feature can be turned off with a switch of a button with some newer models. This is why many manufacturers don`t inform their customers on the ability find a product which can be a complaint to the USGA regulations.
Magnification is one of the top features of a rangefinder which is not clearly advertised anymore. Since you would benefit with good magnification to see at a greater distance and analyze details better, you need to find a product which can magnify the image, at least 3 or 4x.
There was a time when ergonomic designs were considered innovative and important. But with the latest materials which come in contact with the hand, ergonomic design is less important than before. There are certain benefits to having a good fit in the hands, but with a rubber top cover and a compact design, these become less important.
Some rangefinders can also be used in other sports on outdoor activities. They might be useful for people going hunting or even people on ships which need de rationing. But very few manufacturers actually inform their clients on the versatility of the rangefinder. Since the technology is the same in all of these situations, it might be worth noting that your rangefinder will go far beyond the golf course.
When you buy your first rangefinder it is important to fully read the owner`s manual. This will give you the chance to get to know all the functions of the device and it will also give you crucial information on the important subjects like battery quality and battery life, storing conditions etc. This is why you need to take the time to educate yourself on the workings of the device.
Rangefinders are quite easy to maintain, but some tips could help you increase the lifespan of the device. For example, if you don`t use the rangefinder for a few week you could store the batteries outside of the device.
When looking or the best rangefinders you need to keep in mind that some features will make your life easier. Finding the distance even to small objects like pins becomes on the easiest tasks in the court. It is worth noting that some rangefinders have automatic processes which can make the difference in the end. For example, some rangefinders can make multiple simultaneous readings, giving you the precise location to a flag, tree or another object. This type of technology is still under development, but with the products already on the market, you can have these readings in a matter of seconds.
Lens construction is also important for a good rangefinder. Since there are a decreasing number of quality lens manufacturers around the world, we may see rangefinders made with the same lenses. Until then, it the lens manufacturers themselves that seem to have the advantages they make their own products.
The ease of use is so a huge factor which will influence not only your purchase but future purchases around the world. Since bigger brands already have experience in this field, it might be worth looking at some of their products, if ease of use is an important element for you.
In the end, no matter which product you choose, you need to ensure it is the right product for you. With so many products which don’t abide by the regulations, you may even be required to keep it away from some tournaments. This doesn`t mean you can`t use the rangefinder on other types of events or training days. The product is a great choice for people looking to improve golfing skills with an exact approach to leave out the guesswork.
There are many benefits to using a rangefinder which will help you save time and better-appreciated distances outside. However, it is still difficult for manufacturers to offer a product that can work precisely in rainy conditions and this is why the best and most accurate readings are done in perfect conditions with sunny weather and no wind. Regardless of your choice, make sure to have a good warranty period which actually covers unforeseen events.