Range Finders

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Fabia999

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Hey All,

I play off 19. Quite consistent with short game, not long off the tee. I use a garmin watch to get how far I am away. I'm interested to see if using a range finder would help me lower my score. I'm anxious to get one as I play off 19 and still prone to the occasional bad shot.

What are your thoughts on a higher handicap using a range finder? Am I overthinking it or should I hold off?
 

jim8flog

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Can you hit your shot to within one or two yards of where you intend to hit. If yes then you need to know the yardage to that accurate an amount.

Generally speaking for most players the choice is within a 2 club range and if you are getting the distance form a GPS to within that range that is good enough. It then becomes a choice of what is better - slightly short or slightly long and basing the final choice on that.

Knowing the exact distance is not going to make you a better player.
 

Orikoru

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(I've posted this every time a rangefinder discussion comes up but I'm going to write it again anyway.)

Couple of years ago I got myself a rangefinder. I'm not a great ball-striker obviously, and I was probably off 16 or 17 at the time maybe. I found it did me more harm the good a lot of the time. Let's say I'm on a par 3 that I think is 125 yards, the rangefinder shows 114 to the flag though because it's at the front - I go down a club, only catch it about 90% and end up 5 yards short of the green. This was quite common. I got rid of it, went back to the GPS, and now my yardage will always be somewhere between middle of the green and back of the green, and I find this a lot more useful.

The other benefit of GPS of course is that you can get distances to hazards, lay-up distances on a dogleg, etc etc. I found it a lot trickier to get that info with a rangefinder, so when I had one I was still using GPS as well anyway.

Edit: As above, if you can hit accurately to an exact yardage then it might be handy, but most of us can't.
 
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Fabia999

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Thanks for the replies.

Cheers Orikoru. Thinking into it I would probably have a similar problem to you.

My watch gives me the front, middle and back of the green which is great help but sometimes with some flag positions, I wish I knew how far away it was to influence my club choice. This doesn't happen every hole.
 

greenone

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How big are the greens on your course? If they are big then get one. GPS doesn help much if the green is 30+ yds deep. I can think of one hole where hitting into a double green it is 75 yds from front to 'back'. If you hit over the hump in the middle of the green you'll do very well to 3 putt.
 

Backache

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Thanks for the replies.

Cheers Orikoru. Thinking into it I would probably have a similar problem to you.

My watch gives me the front, middle and back of the green which is great help but sometimes with some flag positions, I wish I knew how far away it was to influence my club choice. This doesn't happen every hole.
Personal opinion is that GPS for most handicap golfers for club selection is plenty accurate enough. The only thing I would consider using a rangefinder for would be pitches if I could groove my pitches to certain distances.
 

Steve Wilkes

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I'm the complete opposite, I had a range finder well before GPS devices came out, so knew the yardage but could only have an educated guess as to Front, Middle or Back of the green that the pin was cut. I'm pretty consistent with the shorter irons, Say I hit a 9 iron 107 yards carry and an 8 118 yards, so a flag at 112 yards is an 8 if cut at the front, because the worst thing is to slightly miss hit a 9 and come up short. and a 9 if at the back or middle, because a flushed 8 might find some bushes off the back of the green
This advice is fairly useful if you have run offs at the front or back of the green and could well save a few shots a round, as two putting from 24ft is easier than than an up and down from off the green
 

HeftyHacker

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I have one and use it in conjunction with my Garmin watch as an 11 handicapper.

However, at our place we have probably 6 holes where you can't see the whole green from your tee/approach shot. So using both enables me to see how much run out I have from the front of the green to the flag etc.

In retrospect its probably overkill for my ability but it takes all of about 10 seconds to check both - watch as I'm coming to my ball, rangefinder in my basket on my trolley so in hand as soon as I stop.
 

Depreston

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they're a good tool to have tbf no matter what your handicap... especially ones that factor in slope.

great for practice as well i find
 

Jaco

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Hey All,

I play off 19. Quite consistent with short game, not long off the tee. I use a garmin watch to get how far I am away. I'm interested to see if using a range finder would help me lower my score. I'm anxious to get one as I play off 19 and still prone to the occasional bad shot.

What are your thoughts on a higher handicap using a range finder? Am I overthinking it or should I hold off?
I am a similar handicap and absolutely love my watch, but in my opinion rangefinders are for better players who can consistently hit irons to within two or three yards time after time. I think that for a high handicapper they could be quite demoralising.
 

CountLippe

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Have both a watch and rangefinder. Generally, I use the watch except within 100 yards or so when the rangefinder is priceless. Combined with learning techniques to carry wedges at 5 yard intervals, this part of my game has improved drastically.
 
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For me I found that a rangefinder takes away any doubt over the distance. Had a GPS before that was fine but you always need to make small adjustments for the pin location, sometimes you can get it slightly wrong especially on course you haven't played before.

All of this is pointless if you don't know how far you hit each club (and can factor in the effect of elevation, lie, conditions etc). That can only come with reliable ball striking and knowledge of your distances, I'd recommend a gap test for your distances then work from there.
 

Canary Kid

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If you play on a hilly course, the slope function on a rangefinder might be useful … other a GPS watch should be good enough for a mid or high handicapper.
 

Springveldt

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If your short game is good then you will probably find it useful for 100 yards and in. I've got different shots for 40 yards through to 90 so I find it really useful there. I usually just use my GPS (along with the flag colour as we have front, middle, back colours) when anything over 100 yards or so.

If you play on a hilly course, the slope function on a rangefinder might be useful … other a GPS watch should be good enough for a mid or high handicapper.
Remember to turn off the slope in competitions though.
 

evemccc

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Have both a watch and rangefinder. Generally, I use the watch except within 100 yards or so when the rangefinder is priceless. Combined with learning techniques to carry wedges at 5 yard intervals, this part of my game has improved drastically.
Is this clockface with the backswing?
 
Thread starter #19

Fabia999

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I play quite a hilly course, elevated greens where, on some, if you run off the back you need a good up and down wedge shot to save the hole.
 

Imurg

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I got one for a previous course where they had no differentiation of front , middle or back on the flags..especially when you couldn't see the base of the flag.
One green was nearly 40 yards long and it was up hill so you had no idea of the distance...could easily be 30 yards out from a good shot.
I still have one and still use it for similar reasons although we do have red, yellow and white flags.
But still, one green is well over 30 yards long so the "middle" covers some 12+ yards....coupled with the possibility of running through due to the slopes on the greens it's useful to know the distance.
And in answer to a question earlier on..
You need to know the distance to the pin so you can work out where you're going to pitch the ball...imo
 
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