If you’ve ever watched the PGA tour, you may have noticed the golf pros conferring with their caddies with detailed yardage books. They did this in order to get precise yardage numbers to the flag. This helped to increase their accuracy and improve their overall golf game.
Today, technology has allowed even beginner players to harness the same accuracy-improving yardage numbers in a much more simple format. Laser Rangefinders and Golf GPS allow players of all skill levels to get pinpoint accuracy readings automatically.
However, the debate rages on as to which one is better, and we’ll talk about pros and cons for a Laser Rangefinder against a Golf GPS. We’ll help you get a clear understanding of which device will suit you better so you can improve your golf game.
Benefits to Using a Laser Rangefinder
One of the biggest benefits of a Laser Rangefinder is its accuracy level. Every rangefinder that is available on the market is accurate to within one yard of any target you can see and point the laser at. There are some Laser Rangefinders that promise to be accurate within half of a yard as well.
Ease of Use
These devices are very user-friendly, and they don’t take long to get the hang of using. You just have to read through the directions, and after using it for a few minutes, you should have the hang of it.
Your Rangefinder will work on any and every course you choose to play. It doesn’t have to update, and you just point to your target and get your reading.
Drawbacks of Using a Laser Rangefinder
The biggest con or drawback of purchasing and using your Laser Rangefinder is the cost. A more inexpensive model starts at around $200, and they go up from there. Even though this device can last for years, it is still a large expense to start with.
If your Laser Rangefinder can’t see your targeted green or flag, you won’t get accurate readings. Things like hills or trees can obscure your laser’s view, making it unable to work. Additionally, it can only tell you the distance to the pin. It won’t be able to tell you the distance to the middle, back, or front of the green.
Issues with Steadiness
If you have a tremor or if your hands tend to shake, this could be a deal breaker. You have to aim your Laser Rangefinder at your target and hold it steady to get an accurate reading. If you can’t or are unable to do this, you’ll get an inaccurate reading or no reading at all.
Benefits to Using a Golf GPS
When it comes to price the GPS device wins, hands down. If you want a standalone GPS unit, you can get a nice one for around $100. There are also several smartphone GPS apps available for little to no cost. There are more expensive options you can buy as well, but a decent one is right around the $100 mark.
Accurate Distances to Obscured Targets
Your Golf GPS will be able to give you the distance to your target, whether or not you can actually see it. Depending on the model, you may also get any hazards that stand between you and your target. This is an important thing to note because some models only give you the middle, front, and back green distances.
Individual Hole Layouts
Many Golf GPS devices give you hole layouts for every hole as you play them. This can be a huge advantage, especially if you’re playing on a new course and you’re unfamiliar with the layout.
Drawbacks of Using a Golf GPS
Update and Add Courses
Many Golf GPS systems come with several pre-loaded courses. However, you may have to plug it into a computer so it can periodically update. If you play a range of courses, you’ll also have to hook it up to a computer to load the courses into your device.
This system can be fairly accurate, but the Rangefinder Laser has it beat. Your satellite needs a clear shot of the course to give you accurate readings on any given day, and things like clouds or trees may interfere with this.
Ease of Use
Your Golf GPS is slightly more complicated to learn to use properly. You’ll have to read the instructions and take it out on the course to experiment with all of the functions. Additionally, the more you pay for it, the more functions it may have available. This could potentially slow down your golf game.
The choice of a Laser Rangefinder or a Golf GPS will ultimately come down to personal preference. If you’re not very technologically inclined, you may find the Laser Rangefinder is a better choice. If you want individual hole layouts and a more inexpensive option, the Golf GPS is the way to go. Whichever option you choose, you should see an improvement in your accuracy rating as you play your golf game with your new Laser Rangefinder or Golf GPS.