Best Golf Rangefinders of 2018

When it comes to golf course management and getting distances to hazards and the pin, nothing can beat golf rangefinders. Although newer variations such as golf GPS watches and GPS handhelds tend to have extra features and more detailed interfaces, they are not nearly as accurate and flexible as golf rangefinders.

Given that the golf rangefinder devices have been in the industry longer, you can expect them to come in different models and from various golf brands. With that said, finding a product that is suitable for your needs can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially to the uninitiated. Luckily for you, here is a list of the best golf rangefinders you can currently get in the year 2018.

BrandMagnificationRating (0-10)More Info
Bushnell Pro X2

Bushnell Pro X2 Golf Rangefinder - slope edition
6x9.8Click here
Bushnell Tour V4 Shift
Bushnell Tour V4 Shift Golf Rangefinder
5x8.4Click here
Leupold GX-5i3
Leupold GX-5i3 Golf Rangefinder
6x9.5Click here
Nikon Coolshot 80i VR
Nikon Coolshot 80i VR rangefinder golf
6x9.0Click here
GolfBuddy LR7S
GolfBuddy LR7S Golf Laser Rangefinder
6x8.6Click here

Top 5 Best Golf Rangefinders of 2018

None of these items are listed in any order. They are merely the best rangefinders to date, therefore each of them can be more than satisfactory. All you need to do is choose a model that will fit your play style, skill level, and maybe even budget range.

  • Bushnell Pro X2

Bushnell Pro X2 Golf RangefinderThis range finder measures 1.5 x 4 x 3 in., and has a weight of 8 oz. It has a fully multi-coated optical lens and is paired with an innovative dual display technology. Eye relief and exit pupil level rates 16mm and 3.5mm, respectively.

In terms of magnification power, the Pro X2 of Bushnell can view images 6x closer. Speaking of view, the unit provides a field of view of 393 ft. at 1000 yds. The device’s range can reach 5 to 1300 yards, and with an accuracy of ½ yd. Build-wise, this model sports a rubber armored metal housing that is waterproof (IPX7), which complements its reliable stable-grip technology.

One of the biggest features on this Bushnell rangefinder is the slope-switch technology, which lets you seamlessly switch between regular and slope modes. In slope mode, the device will take the uphill distance into account, resulting in a slope-compensated range, which then allows you to formulate the best angle of approach.

Another standout feature found exclusively on the Pro X2 is the Dual Display Technology (DDT). This unique advancement gives you the option to toggle between black and red displays. Although this might seem as just a matter of personal preference, one color might actually be better in certain lighting conditions.

The Bushnell’s distinct PinSeeker with Jolt technology has also been integrated into the Bushnell Pro X2. What it basically does is cause the main module to send out a shake (jolt) response once the laser locks on a flag, minimizing the occurrence of repeat firing.

Click here for the full review or to find the price on Amazon!

  • Bushnell Tour V4 Shift

Bushnell Tour V4 Shift Golf RangefinderCompared to the Pro X2, the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift caters to a more intermediate golfers audience, hence the lower price. However, most of the basic features on the former can also be found on this model, so you are still getting the most out of your investment.

The Tour V4 Shift has physical dimensions of 3.11 x 1.57 x 4 in., and weighs about 5.6 oz. It has 5x magnification power and a field of view of 367 ft. at 1000 yds. The device can range from 5 to 1000 yd., and is precise to 1 yard. Eye relief is rated 21mm, while exit pupil is 4.8mm.

Unfortunately, this rangefinder is not fully waterproof, unlike the Pro X2, albeit the stable-grip technology is still present. More importantly, it does come with the same slope-switch feature and PinSeeker with jolt technology, which is what most buyers are after.

Click here for the full review or to find the price on Amazon!

  • Leupold GX-5i3

Leupold GX-5i3 Golf RangefinderLeupold has always been known to release top-quality rangefinders, and it is highly likely for GX-5i3 to continue such trend. This new iteration measure 3.8 x 3 x 1.4 inches (LxHxW) in physical dimensions. It carries a total heft of 7.8 oz.

Aside from being waterproof, the Leupold GX-5i3 also provides fold down rubber eyecups for added eye relief. The machine operates on a CR2 lithium battery, which can yield up to 4,000+ actuations. Furthermore, the display is OLED quality, which works in unison with the fully multi-coated lens system.

If the weather is not looking too favorable, you can enable the product’s fog mode, which compensates for the low visibility and presence of other elemental interferences (i.e. raindrops). As for locking onto flags, the PinHunter Laser and Prism Lock technologies, all work to ensure that the displayed distance is that of the target, regardless of the foreground and background.

There are also 3 available reticles you can choose from, which can be accessed via the Club Selector menu. Moreover, firing the laser can be done in two ways. Pressing the power button once will initiate a single fire while holding it will perform a continuous scan.

The GX-5i3 of Leupold has a feature called True Golf Range (TGR), which is essentially the brand’s own take on slope technology. It still operates the same, which is to come up with an adjusted range that has taken both uphill and downhill shot distances into account.

However, the advancement does not stop there. To fully take advantage of the TGR technology, Leupold has also employed a Club Selector and Inclinometer on this machine.

The latter feature allows you to input the current temperature and altitude of the course, whereas the former will recommended an iron that is optimal for the ranged distance. By doing so, you can make the TGR feature even more accurate than it already is.

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  • Nikon Coolshot 80i VR

Nikon Coolshot 80i VR golf rangefinderThe Coolshot 80i VR measures 3.9 inches in length, 1.9 inches in width, and 3.0 inches in height. Minus the battery, the item is only 7.1 oz. light. It has an 18mm eye relief rating and 3.5mm for the exit pupil.

Magnification power is 6x, and the total measurement range is 8 to 1000 yd. The viewfinder can display distances in either meter or yards. As for the power source, this Nikon rangefinder requires 1 CR2 lithium battery.

Nikon is very competitive when it comes to image quality in all of its product lines, and this rangefinder is no exception. While other brands rely on internal workings to improve ranging accuracy, this one uses image stabilization instead.

With its Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, the Nikon Coolshot 80i is able to compensate for any wobbles you might make while aiming. This results in a clearer and steadier view, making it easier to position the targeting reticle directly onto the target.

Apart from the VR function, Nikon’s newest Locked On technology is also introduced in this model. It works by adding a circle around the center of the crosshair only when the flagstick is perfectly lined. This is valuable for correctly distinguishing the distance of the target (flagstick) from its background (i.e. woods).

The Nikon Coolshot 80i VR also lets you range distances either individually (per laser fire) or continuously for 8 seconds. Finally, Nikon’s ID (Incline/Decline) technology is also installed in this range finder. It compensates for uphill and downhill distances and can be turned off if needed.

Click here for the full review or to find the price on Amazon!

  • GolfBuddy LR7S

GolfBuddy LR7S Golf Laser RangefinderThe GolfBuddy LR7S is 4 inches long, 1.63 inches wide, and 2.85 inches tall. It has a total bulk of 7.7 oz., not including the battery. Having said that, this rangefinder uses a CR2 3V lithium battery.

The display of the GolfBuddy LR7S is LCD. The LR7S can range from 5 to 880 yards and operates with a +/- 1 yard accuracy. Regrettably, the construction of the device is only water resistant.

You can choose from 4 different targeting modes, namely: standard, scan, pin, and pin finder. The former is the default mode and will display the distance as you shoot. The remaining 3 functions, on the other hand, will continuously scan for at least 10 seconds, but each has its own intended use.

Surprisingly, in spite of its relatively cheap cost, the LR7S of GolfBuddy is still capable of measuring slope-adjusted distances, which you can freely turn on and off. Lastly, this rangefinder will also vibrate once a target has been locked on in Pin Finder mode.

Click here for the full review or to find the price on Amazon!

Best Golf Rangefinders of 2018 Comparison

And now to compare these models using different criteria.

  • Price

If you are on a tight budget, look into the GolfBuddy brand, since most of its rangefinders are not that expensive. For a more moderately-priced investment, both Nikon and Bushnell will have what you are looking for.

However, if the sky is the limit when it comes to your price range, then Leupold is definitely worth checking out. Its products are one of, if not the most advanced in the rangefinder market. The most sold golf rangefinders are made by Bushnell. Their product line is very extensive and they have been on top of the market for a long time.

  • Features and Technologies

A lot of rangefinders operate in a similar manner, some even have features that are practically the same, but are named or operated differently. Nevertheless, there are still a number of functions that are unique to a specific brand, as explained below.

Each of the entries here has some form of a feature that makes targeting easier. For the Bushnell brand, it offers the PinSeeker with JOLT technology, which delivers a short shake to your hand when the laser locks on to a target. GolfBuddy also offers the same vibration feedback with its pin finder mode.

Leupold’s version of this can be accessed via the PinHunter Laser Technology and Prism Lock Technology, which fully takes advantage of the target’s reflectivity. Nikon on the other hand, relies on its new Locked On technology for a similar purpose, albeit it functions with a more visual approach, rather than tactile.

Regardless of some dissimilarities, each of the aforementioned targeting technology has the same goal, which is to accurately identify the flagstick.

Slope measurement has grown quite popular recently, which is why most of the products listed here have it, or at least their own version of it. Bushnell employs such function through its Slope-Switch Technology, while Leupold’s True Golf Range serves the same intention.

As for Nikon, it utilizes its own ID (incline/decline) technology in order to come up with slope-compensated distances. GoldBuddy is also capable of this, although not as sophisticated as the rest.

Being able to turn off the slope feature is also important, since using a device that can measure uphill and downhill slopes is strictly prohibited by the USGA. Thankfully, all items listed here have that option.

When it comes to ease-of-access, the slope-switch technology of Bushnell takes the lead. This is because the toggle switch is conveniently located at the side (typically the model emblem) of the unit, whereas other brands will require you to access the slope function via a menu. However, Leupold’s Inclinometer and Club Selector makes its TGR feature stand out.

Leupold’s fog mode is another highlight feature, which improves visibility to a considerable level during unfavorable weathers. The other entries do not have this, so consider your options beforehand, especially if you frequently play on courses that are susceptible to fog, rain, and etc.

  • Display

Most rangefinders come with LCD displays. But, there are some that have higher quality screens, such as OLED. If you want the latter display quality, then consider Leupold, since it does offer OLED in its products.

  • Reticle

A lot of players will not pay much attention to this since it is normally considered only as a user preference deal. Nonetheless, you will never know its impact until you have actually seen the choices available to you.

Leupold’s 3 selectable reticles is a good example of this, allowing you to choose a crosshair that you will be most comfortable aiming with. One of the Bushnell models here can also achieve somewhat the same effect via its Dual Display Technology.

  • Construction

All 4 brands mentioned here manufacture their rangefinders with optimal durability. Thus, the only obvious factor left for you to truly consider is the weather-proof capability of the product.

Among all the entries, only the GolfBuddy LR7S and Bushnell Tour V4 Shift are water resistant, meaning they will not survive water submersion. If you want full waterproofing, consider the other abovementioned brands and models.

You do not need to go for the most expensive rangefinder just to get the most amazing features. Likewise, it also not mandatory to choose a model that is jam-packed with as many functions as possible. More often than not, settling with the device that operates in a straightforward manner, is the best route, more so if you are new to such item.

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