How To Use A Golf Rangefinder

If you go to the golf course regularly you have probably seen someone using a rangefinder and thought: “that is a nifty tool.” We all want to be able to get the best shots possible on the golf course and a great way to do that is to know the distance from where you are to the hole or to a specific point on the course. Getting a golf rangefinder allows you to do just that.

A rangefinder is a great tool and they are relatively easy to use once you get to know them. Before you can use one on the course though, you will need to understand the basic concept of how to use them. The knowledge of how to use the rangefinder will help you know when is the best time to deploy it, any problems that may occur, and things that might interfere with your use.

Let’s help you to get some of that basic knowledge on how to use a golf rangefinder.

How To Use A Golf Rangefinder

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Different Types of Rangefinders

Rangefinders are available for a number of different sports and activities. Not all of these rangefinders are built the same way or offer the same features. When looking for a rangefinder to take to the golf course it is best that you find one that is specifically oriented towards golfing.

A golf rangefinder will help you to get distance to a hole and will offer features specifically oriented toward golf. 

There are two types of golf rangefinders that we recommend taking out with you to the course. One is the laser rangefinder and the other is a GPS rangefinder.

How A Laser Rangefinder Works

A laser rangefinder uses a laser beam to hit a target on the course that sends that laser back to a receiver on the device. Based on the time that the laser takes to return to the device, the device is capable of telling you how far away the target is. Science has gotten these types of rangefinders down to amazing accuracy and they are also used for other activities such as shooting.

With a laser rangefinder you need to have a visual on the target (hole) and have no obstructions. Obstructions doesn’t just include objects but weather interference such as fog and rain.

How A GPS Rangefinder Works

GPS rangefinders work on based on GPS satellite signals and maps of the course. You are able to mark where on the course you are with your GPS location or a marker and then mark the point you want to get to and the GPS can give you a distance as the crow flies or more suitable routes should it be too far or there be obstructions.

Some golf rangefinders come preloaded with maps of golf courses to make the plotting and measuring easier.

How To Use A Golf Laser Rangefinder

Utilizing a laser rangefinder is relatively easy once you learn about the various obstructions and process. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that the accuracy of the laser depends on how well it can receive the beam back into the rangefinder. Here are a few basic steps to utilizing your laser rangefinder:

  • Turn on the rangefinder and check the settings
  • Adjust for slope and other necessities
  • Aim the rangefinder at the hole using your eyes

Most golf courses install a reflective piece to the top of the flag. This is where you will want to aim to get the most reliable distance measurement.

How To Use A GPS Golf Rangefinder

You will find that many GPS rangefinders designed for golf are pretty straightforward. They either use a touchscreen interface or a simple toggle and button design. While easy to use they will also often come with advanced features for those who want to get more out of their devices. Have a look at how to use the GPS Golf Rangefinder:

Before going to the golf course it is a good idea to check for updates to your GPS rangefinder and make sure you have all maps loaded. In most cases you won’t be able to load a map once you get to the golf course. Some users download all of the area golf course maps to a SD card that allows the GPS rangefinder to have more space.

Are Golf Rangefinders Legal To Use?

Those who are considering the use of a rangefinder for golf want to know whether or not they are legal for use. Let’s take a look at the answer because it isn’t always a simple yes or no.

When it comes to playing golf with friends, you can use a golf rangefinder all you want. In fact, this has become a popular practice in the last few years. Just make sure that all of your friends agree to the use first.

As for competition or tournament play that varies. Old rule books used to say no electronic devices could be used during tournaments. As time has gone by electronics have been more popular and people have asked to be able to use them.

In many cases you can now use rangefinders in competition and tournament golf. You have to first make sure that the specific event to make sure that they aren’t banned. When rangefinders are allowed for play you need to make sure you have turned off the following features:

Before going to the golf course it is a good idea to check for updates to your GPS rangefinder and make sure you have all maps loaded. In most cases you won’t be able to load a map once you get to the golf course. Some users download all of the area golf course maps to a SD card that allows the GPS rangefinder to have more space.

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