Best Golf Rangefinder | Our 2020 Rangefinder Reviews

You might be able to get by using a golf GPS or even yardage markings around the course, but a laser rangefinder will quickly give you the most accurate distance to the pin or another landmark.

In this guide, we've reviewed numerous options to help you find the best golf rangefinder for your needs.

Best Golf Rangefinder Preview

If you're in a hurry, here's a quick breakdown of the best golf rangefinders:

Bushnell Pro XE

Pros

  • Overall Best Laser Golf Rangefinder
  • Most accurate laser golf rangefinder that we've used.
  • Can factor in Distance, Temperature, Barometric Pressure, and Slope to give you the most accurate "playing as" distance.
  • Quickly locks onto the target, providing both visual and "JOLT" vibration indications.
  • Has a magnetic strip so it can be mounted to a golf cart.
  • Clear lenses and view.
  • 5-1500 yards range, 5-500+ yards flag range.
  • Waterproof (IPX7 Rated)

Cons

  • More expensive than other products that offer fewer features.
  • Requires steady hands.

Bushnell Tour V5 Shift

Pros

  • Along with the other Bushnell rangefinders, it's the most accurate laser golf rangefinder that we've used.
  • Can account for slope to give you a better "playing as" distance than less advanced rangefinders.
  • Quickly locks onto the target, giving both visual and "JOLT" vibration indications.
  • Has a magnetic strip so it can be mounted to a golf cart.
  • Clear lenses and view.
  • 5-1300 yards range, 5-400 yards range to flag.
  • Water-Resistant

Cons

  • Compared to the Bushnell PRO XE, the Tour V5 Shift does NOT account for the weather in its "play as" yardage calculation.
  • Cheaper than the PRO XE, but still pricey compared to less advanced alternatives.
  • Requires steady hands.

Bushnell Tour V5 (Standard)

Pros

  • Along with the other Bushnell rangefinders, it's the most accurate laser golf rangefinder we've used to find raw yardage.
  • Quickly locks onto the target, giving both visual and "JOLT" vibration indications.
  • Has a magnetic strip so it can be mounted to a golf cart.
  • Clear lenses and view.
  • 5-1300 yards range, 5-400 yards range to flag.
  • Water-Resistant
  • More affordable than Bushnell's other golf rangefinders.

Cons

  • Does NOT account for slope or weather like Bushnell's other options. No additional "play as" estimation. It just finds raw yardage.
  • Requires steady hands.

Gogogo PRO-GS24

Pros

  • Best Golf Rangefinder on a Budget
  • Can account for slope to give you a "playing as" estimate.
  • Flag and pin locking technology.
  • 5-650 yard range, 250 yards lock-on range for exposed flags, 150 yards lock-on range for flagpoles.
  • Water-Resistant

Cons

  • Slightly less accurate than higher-priced models in our experience.
  • We've found it more difficult to lock onto flag/pins at longer distances than higher-priced rangefinders.
  • While our experiences were positive, our investigation into customer reviews leads us to believe quality control could be slightly worse than higher-end manufacturers. With that said, this is mostly to be expected from a product that's substantially more affordable than those we're comparing with.

Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized

Pros

  • Easiest to Use Rangefinder.
  • Nikon's Stabilization Technology stabilizes both the viewfinder and laser, making it easier to lock onto a target with shaky hands.
  • Can account for slope to estimate "play as" yardage.
  • Clearest view.
  • Range of 8-1200 yards.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.

Cons

  • One of the most expensive rangefinders on our list.
  • Our research has found it to be slightly less accurate than Bushnell rangefinders.

Garmin Approach Z82 Rangefinder and GPS

Pros

  • Overlays golf GPS data (for 41,000+ courses) in the viewfinder. Overlay data includes hole layout, distance to clear hazards, wind speed, and more.
  • Can account for slope to estimate "play as" distance.
  • Easier to lock onto flag than most other rangefinders.
  • Can lock onto flag from up to 450 yards and it gives visual and vibrational feedback.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Auto Zoom.
  • Waterproof (IPX7 Rated).

Cons

  • Most expensive rangefinder on our list.
  • We've found the rangefinder to be slightly less accurate than Bushnell products.
  • Significantly worse battery life than a non-GPS rangefinder, though it is rechargeable.

Best Golf Rangefinders

Continue reading to learn more details about the best golf rangefinders.

Bushnell Pro XE (Overall Best Laser Rangefinder)

Bushnell Pro XE Golf Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell Pro XE is our clear top pick for the best range golf rangefinder.

Not only is the PRO XE the most accurate rangefinder at finding "raw yardage" (along with other offerings from Bushnell), it also can account for slope (uphill/downhill), temperature, and barometric pressure. These features allow the PRO XE to give you the most accurate estimation of the "playing as" distance for the day's specific conditions (in addition to giving you the simple yardage readings).

Bushnell Pro XE True Play as Yardage Accounting for Distance, Temperature, Barometric Pressure, and Slope

The PRO XE is also very fast at locking onto targets. It indicates that it has locked onto a target with both a pulsing red ring and a vibration.

Bushnell PRO XE JOLT Visual and Vibration Indicators

Other features we love about the PRO XE is that it has a magnetic strip to mount to carts and has one of the largest ranges (5-1300 yards, 5-500 yards range to flag).

Bushnell Magnetic Cart Mount

The only real downside we've found to the Bushnell PRO XE is its price. If you want all the features it offers and the best accuracy, you'll need to pay a bit more for them than some of the other rangefinders on the market.

If this golf rangefinder is in your price range, we'd go for it. If it's a bit too costly or you don't require weather and slope adjustments, keep reading for other alternatives.

Bushnell Tour V5 Shift

The Bushnell Tour V5 Shift essentially offers everything the PRO XE does, aside from the Tour V5 Shift NOT accounting for the weather (temperature & barometric pressure).

It still:

  • Is the most accurate at finding raw yardage.
  • Can account for slope to give an improved estimated "play as" distance.
  • Very quickly locks onto targets and gives visual and vibration indications when it has done so.
  • Has a magnetic strip to attach to carts.
  • Clear lenses and offers a great view in general.

If you want to save some money compared to the Bushnell PRO XE, we rank this as the next best golf rangefinder.

Bushnell Tour V5 (Standard)

The Bushnell Tour V5 Standard (NOT Shift model) is Bushnell's most basic golf rangefinder in their current lineup.

The Tour V5 Standard is still the most accurate golf rangefinder we've used for finding basic yardage, but it can NOT account for additional factors like the Tour V5 Shift or PRO XE to estimate "play as" distance.

Despite this, the Tour V5 Standard an excellent purchase for someone who doesn't need the additional features of Bushnell's higher-priced laser rangefinders and is merely looking for the most accurate yardages.

Gogogo PRO-GS24

This laser rangefinder by Gogogo Sport is the most budget-friendly option on our list. It's a few hundred dollars cheaper than many competitors while still being packed with features.

In our time using it, we found it only slightly less accurate than higher-priced options.

Like the Bushnell V5 Shift, this rangefinder can account for scope and lock onto flags/pins (up to 150 yards on pins and 250 yards on flags).

The only major drawback compared to other options we've used is we found it a bit more challenging to lock onto pins/flags at further distances.

Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized

Nikon's Coolshot Pro Stabilized golf rangefinder does something the above rangefinders on our list do not.

As the name suggests, this rangefinder manages to stabilize both the viewfinder and laser

If you've found other products challenging to use, the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized is probably the best rangefinder for you. 

It's the easiest to use option we've tried. Older golfers, those with certain disabilities, or anybody with shaky hands should find it particularly useful.

Like the higher-end Bushnell models, the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized can adjust for slope, though it does NOT account for weather like the Bushnell Pro XE.

Our research has shown that this rangefinder is slightly less accurate than Bushnell products. Despite this, Nikon's Stabilization Technology makes it a strong contender as the best rangefinder for many golfers.

The last benefit to the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is that Nikon is one of the most trusted optics brands, making everything from high-end cameras to firearm optics.

Garmin Approach Z82 Golf Laser Rangefinder and GPS

The Garmin Approach Z82 is another unique rangefinder option. Not only is it a rangefinder, but it's also a golf GPS.

The rangefinder can be used to find accurate yardage to your target, but you'll also benefit from additional overlay GPS data.

Approach Z82 GPS overlay features include:

  • Mapped hole layouts.
  • Distance to the front, center, and back of the green.
  • Distances to and to clear hazards.
  • Wind speed.
  • "Plays like" distance, adjusting for elevation uphill or downhill.
  • The direction of the pin on blind shots.
  • Scorecard
  • Compatible with Garmin Golf App.

If you like to have as much information as possible and only want to use one device rather than two, then Garmin Approach Z82 is for you.

What We Look For In a Golf Rangefinder

We've narrowed the best golf rangefinders down to a handful of picks and one outright winner... But what factors did we consider when choosing our picks?

Accuracy

Accuracy is king when looking for the best rangefinder. If the device isn't extremely accurate, you might as well save money and use a golf GPS or course markings to estimate yardages.

In recent years, practically all options on the market have dramatically improved in this category. Despite this, accuracy was still the primary factor we used to determine our winner. A measurement that's off by only a few yards can completely change how you approach a golf shot.

Our experiences using and testing rangefinders, combined with hours of meticulous research, have shown that Bushnell currently makes the most accurate golf rangefinders.

"Play As" Distance (Slope, Weather, and More)

While knowing the distance to your target is great, rangefinders that can account for factors like slope (uphill/downhill), temperature, and barometric pressure are even better.

These factors change how far a golf shot "plays as."

Uphill shots will play longer, while downhill shots will play shorter. Cold temperatures lead to less carry distance, while hot temperatures let the ball fly further. 

Moisture and elevation can also dramatically change a golf ball's flight. Rangefinders can account for this by measuring barometric pressure (atmospheric pressure).

The Bushnell PRO XE measures all of this, giving you the actual yardage and estimating an accurate "play as" distance. These features come at a cost, making it one of the more expensive options on our list.

The Bushnell Tour V5 Shift, the Gogogo PRO-GS24, the Nikon Coolshot PRO Stabilized, and the Garmin Approach Z82 don't account for temperature or atmospheric pressure, but they do account for slope.

Ease of Use

The most accurate rangefinder is useless if you can't actually get it to measure the correct target.

We've found Bushnell products to be intuitive and straightforward, but they do require steady hands. Older golfers, disabled golfers, or anyone else who has struggled to keep rangefinders steady should strongly consider the Nikon Coolshot PRO Stabilized.

The Coolshot PRO Stabilized is the easiest to use rangefinder to lock onto your target.

Additional Information

Rangefinders are great, but many of us will still want to use a golf GPS for additional data and an overhead view for planning out the hole.

The Garmin Approach Z82 combines a golf laser rangefinder and golf GPS into one device. While it's the most expensive option on our list, it will let you go from using two devices to one.

Waterproof / Water-Resistant

Though no golfer wants to play in the rain, most of us will experience wet conditions at some point (even if that means getting sprayed by a sprinkler).

All of our list options are water-resistant, but the Bushnell PRO XE and Garmin Approach Z82 score the best in this category. Both are waterproof with an IPX7 rating.

Battery Life

Battery life isn't a huge issue we considered, as most laser rangefinders can be used for months without changing their batteries.

The exception to this is the Garmin Approach Z82. Because it's also a golf GPS, it uses significantly more energy than the other options. If you opt for the Z82, you'll need to recharge it every couple of rounds or so.

Price

Our best golf laser rangefinder list includes options a variety of price points.

The best options tend to cost a few hundred dollars, though we didn't include higher-priced options that we didn't feel were worth the money.

If you're looking for the best golf rangefinder on a budget, we found the Gogogo PRO-GS24 to offer suitable accuracy and account for slope at a fraction of most competing options.