Choosing the Best Rangefinder

Riccarton Park Golf Complex Shop - Rangefinders

A rangefinder is an essential tool in golf to help you improve your game. As a golfer, you want to know how hard you need to hit the ball to get it as close to the hole as possible. A rangefinder uses a magnifier and a laser beam to determine the exact distance of a target. This lets you know how hard you need to hit the ball. There are 2 types of rangefinder; GPS and Laser.

  • A GPS rangefinder uses signals from satellites to work out the distance between you and your target.
  • A laser rangefinder uses the time it takes for the laser beam to be reflected back to determine the distance.

GPS rangefinders offer a quick way to get a general distance as you play, using pre programmed course maps. Laser rangefinders have greater accuracy, can be used on any course and often have additional features built into the product.

Once you’ve decided a rangefinder is a necessary addition to your golf game you might wonder how to choose the best rangefinder. Read on to learn about what we think are some important considerations.

What to consider when choosing a rangefinder


Most modern laser rangefinders have similar levels of accuracy – compare the specifications of any models you are interested in before you buy. A GPS rangefinder will have lower accuracy than a laser rangefinder so consider this when deciding on what type to buy.

Distance range

For this part, you need to look at the magnification of a laser rangefinder. It’s pretty standard to get 6x or 7x magnification which allows you to see your target more clearly. Laser range capabilities can extend up to 1000 yards.


Generally speaking, a handheld GPS rangefinder will be the cheapest type of rangefinder you can buy. Many watch GPS rangefinders are the same price as laser rangefinders because you are paying for all the other smartwatch capabilities. More expensive laser rangefinders will have greater magnification and other extras such as a slope function.

Battery Life

A GPS Rangefinder often requires regular battery charging – if it is a smartwatch with lots of other features it could require charging daily, and a hand held unit may need charging after each round of golf. Laser rangefinders usually have long lasting lithium batteries, which may only need to be replaced once every 6 months. The specs for the product should outline the battery type and charging/replacement requirements.

Water Proofing

If you play a lot of golf in wet, rainy conditions it would be wise to buy a water proof/resistant range finder.

Lens Display and Display Screen

When you look through your rangefinder lens you will typically see your target, the distance measurement and a battery level indicator. Some people prefer red numbering. Some rangefinders use crosshairs to identify the target. Work out what you prefer and take a look through a few lenses before you decide to buy. In addition to the lens, laser rangefinders will have a display screen – check the graphics on these, the clearer the better.

The Takeaway

There are lots of things to consider when thinking about how to choose the best rangefinder, most choices come down to personal preference. Think about the game of golf you play and what features appeal to you most. Have a look at a few different options, and decide what works best for you.

Riccarton Park Golf Complex has a well stocked golf shop that sells a variety of rangefinders both instore and online. We’re easy to find on Steadman Road, West Christchurch with access off of SH1 and we are open until 9pm Monday to Saturday and until 7pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Please contact us if you would like any further information. We look forward to seeing you!