GPS watch vs rangefinder

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G1z1

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I use a garmin watch for distances really like it but sometimes it’s useless when a winter green is on. So thinking about maybe picking up a rangefinder. How do people find a rangefinder vs a watch ? Is the Rangefinder a lot more helpful on a course ?
 

Jigger

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I much prefer the range finder in general and the use hole19 free app on phone/watch as a backup if playing a course with blind holes or the weather is too foggy/rainy for rangefinder.

the beauty of a rangefinder is you can measure to other things like backstops or bunkers/lakes to clear.

get a decent one though.
 
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G1z1

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I much prefer the range finder in general and the use hole19 free app on phone/watch as a backup if playing a course with blind holes or the weather is too foggy/rainy for rangefinder.

the beauty of a rangefinder is you can measure to other things like backstops or bunkers/lakes to clear.

get a decent one though.
What would be a brand to go with for a rangefinder ? Hopefully I can grab one in sales next week.
 

HeftyHacker

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I bought a mileesey one for 80 quid earlier in the year and it does the job absolutely fine. Although it doesn't have the option to turn the slope calculation off which makes it illegal for comps.

I watched SAS golf on YouTube compare the same model I got to his own Bushnell and I think there was a yard difference between the two over 200 yards. I don't know about you but my game is not accurate enough for that to matter.
 

jim8flog

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When I played other course a lot I would prefer a GPS because it showed the layout as well as distances.
Now I only play my own course which I have played for 30+ years the GPS has gone in to storage and the laser only comes out occasionally.

My laser is a fairly cheap unit but it does the job.

Remember if you buy one you are not allowed to use one that adjusts for slope and one that suggest which club to take. Although if the laser has these features you are allowed a unit on which these features can be turned off.
When you look around the cheaper options there are lot of similar looking ones that just have a different brand name.
 

Imurg

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I use both.
An example of why happened today.
Our 17th green is up a hill and, from where my ball was you could barely see the flag ( 110 yards out as it happens)
Playing partner was 180 away and could see all of the flag
While waiting for him to play, I zapped the flag and made a mental not of the difference my gps showed to the middle of thengreen.
When I came to play my shot I already had the yardage without being able to see the pin.
Downside of a laser is they don't work in mist or poor light and sometimes rain.....and you need direct line of sight.
 
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I have both and think there are pros and cons for each. My rangefinder was a Callaway branded unit but was relatively cheap (about £100 I seem to recall) and has worked faultlessly.

I now combine this with a Garmin watch. The watch is quick and also gives other advantages such as measuring the last shot (very helpful if your ball can't be seen and is in rough - assuming you know your yardages).

Another benefit of the watch is that, as I play a links course, distance to the flag is often irrelevant, and distance to the front of the green is more important, as if you land it on the green/near the flag, it might roll through in summer. Many approach shots are landed short of the green which would be a pain to gauge with just a laser.

However, when the situation is right, the laser is a great asset. So my advice is to have both.
 
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Having owned a plethora of both I prefer a rangefinder for no other reason than I really like the idea of knowing the precise distance to the target, even though I know I cannot hit it exactly 137.4 yards, it makes me feel more confident with my club selection.

The negative is days like Saturday when I was playing in a pea-souper which, even with fog mode, rendered the laser useless at anything over 130 yards.

As for which, keep it simple. I have owned all of the hybrids at one point, Callaway, Bushnell and Garmin with the Garmin Z80 being the most advanced, but the problem is that it does so much you find yourself stood over your ball going through a myriad of motions conscious that your playing partners are all stood waiting for you, wondering wtf is he doing?

Cheap or expensive? Many people will tell you that the cheap ones will give an almost as accurate distance as the top of the range models, perfectly true. However, the main difference between them will tend to be how quickly they pick out and lock on the flag and how confident you can be that it is the flag you are reading and not the tree behind.

My current weapon of choice is the Leupold GX-2i3 which is as rare as hens teeth in this country and generally on the expensive end of the spectrum, but it is the best one I have ever owned.
 

Backsticks

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Would strongly recommend GPS over rangefinder. Havent used my range finder in a few years and dont even carry it any more. Once I got a GPS, it was just so much quicker and convenient, that it just isnt worth the trouble. Range finder is slower, and never like to see a playing partner with one. Putting it in and out of its pouch, pointing and finding a few times. GPS is literally just a glance. I would like to lasers banned on the grounds of slow play. GPS not as accurate, but more than accurate enough for any handicap golfer. We are a long way from needed precision to 0.4m, and even the mental benefit that might bring is just self indulgent.
 

saving_par

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I carry both but only use the rangefinder from 120 yards and in.

Rangefinder is also worse than useless for blind shots of which we have a few. GPS is also great for yardages to reach or carry bunkers, to downslopes etc at a glance.

Rangefinder is a bit one dimensional unless you want to spend an age zapping everything.
 

pokerjoke

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Would strongly recommend GPS over rangefinder. Havent used my range finder in a few years and dont even carry it any more. Once I got a GPS, it was just so much quicker and convenient, that it just isnt worth the trouble. Range finder is slower, and never like to see a playing partner with one. Putting it in and out of its pouch, pointing and finding a few times. GPS is literally just a glance. I would like to lasers banned on the grounds of slow play. GPS not as accurate, but more than accurate enough for any handicap golfer. We are a long way from needed precision to 0.4m, and even the mental benefit that might bring is just self indulgent.
That is just pure nonsense.
It was ok for you to use one when you had one but not now you have a gps.
Slow play ,sorry but that’s just nonsense.
I have a Bushnell jolt v3 in my pocket not the pouch
Out of pocket when playing partners doing there thing,back in pocket so no time at all.
How much time wasted for you to moan about slow play.
 

IanM

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With a range finder you get to stand there doing your "Lord Nelson pose" for several minutes, whereas a quick glance of the GPS watch goes virtually unseen!! :ROFLMAO:

I reckon only knowing its 147 to the middle, rather than 153 to the flag has wrecked many a 18 handicapper's score.

On links courses, the exact distance to the top of the dune is dead handy too!;)

My mate Phil is notorious for measuring the tree behind the green, or the ball washer on the next tee too!

Make of that what you will.
 

Orikoru

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When I had a rangefinder for a while it probably did me more harm than good. So often I would zap the flag, find out it's a touch closer than I thought, go down a club, and then hit it 15 yards short of the front. Getting such an exact yardage is pointless unless you're very, very good at golf in my opinion. Not to mention the times when you think you've zapped the flag but it's actually picked up a tree 20 yards behind.

I use the free Hole 19 app for GPS. It gives me front middle and back of the greens, and 90% of the time I club for somewhere between middle and back to give me more chance of landing it on the green. My home club has colour coded flags for front middle and back as well anyway. In addition the GPS can show you how far it is to lay up before a water hazard, or a ditch, which is a bit tricky with a rangefinder. And you can still get your yardage even on a blind shot, rangefinder you can't. All in all I just think GPS is more useful, and precise enough for the vast majority of us.
 

pokerjoke

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When I had a rangefinder for a while it probably did me more harm than good. So often I would zap the flag, find out it's a touch closer than I thought, go down a club, and then hit it 15 yards short of the front. Getting such an exact yardage is pointless unless you're very, very good at golf in my opinion. Not to mention the times when you think you've zapped the flag but it's actually picked up a tree 20 yards behind.

I use the free Hole 19 app for GPS. It gives me front middle and back of the greens, and 90% of the time I club for somewhere between middle and back to give me more chance of landing it on the green. My home club has colour coded flags for front middle and back as well anyway. In addition the GPS can show you how far it is to lay up before a water hazard, or a ditch, which is a bit tricky with a rangefinder. And you can still get your yardage even on a blind shot, rangefinder you can't. All in all I just think GPS is more useful, and precise enough for the vast majority of us.
How can you find a flag closer once you’ve zapped it?
Having played with you I can understand why you would prefer a gps,however once you get more consistent with your irons a rangefinder imo would be better.
If your flags are colour coded surely zapping that flag for an exact yardage would be better.
Both are absolutely no good if you don’t know your yardages
 

Orikoru

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How can you find a flag closer once you’ve zapped it?
Having played with you I can understand why you would prefer a gps,however once you get more consistent with your irons a rangefinder imo would be better.
If your flags are colour coded surely zapping that flag for an exact yardage would be better.
Both are absolutely no good if you don’t know your yardages
My old club the flags weren't colour coded - so I'm saying when I couldn't make out if the flag was middle or front, I zapped it, find out it's at the front, go down a club and then leave it short of the green if I don't quite get hold of it. I'm better off just going middle or back every time, there's more chance of me ending up on the green. I don't think I'll ever be precise enough with irons to need to know it's 127.7 yards to the flag instead of 130. I certainly know my yardages, but they are not precise figures obviously, they are ballpark figures, i.e. 130-135 = 9 iron.
 

Backache

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Range finders certainly take me longer but I find the GPS really useful, have to say winter greens don't really bother me as it is useful to estimate occasionally and if I make a mistake too bad, I never take my winter rounds very seriously.
 
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I had a Milessey rangefinder for a few rounds last year but really struggled to trust the distances it gave as they varied so wildly. Would zap a flag 3 times and get 3 different readings like 130, 100, then 160. Ended up having to check my GPS to see which it was closer too which defied the point of the rangefinder to begin with.

Even had a few playing partners try it and all had the same problem yet their Bushnells were always within a yard or two each reading. Currently using Hole19 like many on here but looking to get a rangefinder for next season but not sure I will be able to trust a cheaper one again. On the plus side Amazon refunded me straight away.
 

casuk

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I use a garmin watch for distances really like it but sometimes it’s useless when a winter green is on. So thinking about maybe picking up a rangefinder. How do people find a rangefinder vs a watch ? Is the Rangefinder a lot more helpful on a course ?
I bought a range finder for the exact reason as you I went for a cheap one only £45 that was 3 years ago and it still works fine, I much prefer my watch tho, Lazer is to much messing around for me and if your hands shake a bit it can be hard to get a good read especially with trees ect behind the target
 
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