How to Use a Golf Rangefinder

Disclosure: We may get a small commission when you shop by clicking on the links on our site. This is at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

As golfers, we are always looking for ways to improve our game. One of the ways to do this is getting a golf rangefinder. This device allows players to measure distance from the golf ball to any point on the course and can be used in conjunction with other tools such as GPS devices, lasers, or maps. However, it can be difficult to know when and how best to use a golf rangefinder-especially if you’ve never done it before! That’s why we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about using one of these important pieces of equipment.

What is a golf rangefinder?

Before we get into the crux of how to use a golf rangefinder, let’s quickly understand what a golf rangefinder is.

A golf rangefinder is a device that measures the distance from your location to an object. It has many features and capabilities including measuring distance, calculating elevation changes, displaying distances in different units of measure such as meters or yards, and providing precise yardages for hazards on the course like water hazards and bunkers. Golf rangefinders can be used for both golf and hunting.

How to use a golf rangefinder?

To understand how to use one, we need to first understand what type of rangefinder we are using and learn about how they actually work. There are three basic types:

Optical rangefinders are not used very often anymore, because they are not as accurate as GPS and Laser rangefinders.

How to use a Laser Rangefinder?

The laser rangefinder sends out pulses of light which bounce off objects in front of you back towards the detector. The time it takes for these signals to reach your sensor, the time it takes for them to bounce off, and their angle of reflection are all important in determining how far away an object is.

To start, switch on the laser rangefinder and point it at the intended object. Then press the left button to scan between two points. The laser rangefinder will then show you the distance in meters or yards (depending on what unit has been set). This technology is passive, meaning it does not need an artificial light source like a spotlight or flashbulb that can interrupt your shot. 

It is important to measure distances on a straight line between you and your target. If an object is in front of another, then there will be two readings for that distance (one from each object). The ‘true’ reading will always be slightly further away than the other one. You can eliminate this error by calculating the average of both readings. 

How to use a GPS rangefinder?

Once you have started the device, you will need to make sure that the course map you are playing at is on the device.

You will need to enter your course coordinates into the GPS so that you can track any hazards or other obstacles and get a better idea of where these things are as you play through. 

When you are ready to calculate the distance a hole or flag, you will need to press the “calc” button on your GPS and then it should calculate how far away from the flagstick you are. Since this rangefinder uses the GPS, you do not need to aim it at the object in question. Since the map is already loaded, just knowing your coordinates is enough. 

You can also use the GPS to measure how far away from a hazard you are, which is especially helpful when it comes to hazards [3] such as water or bunkers. You just need to press “calc” and then enter in your coordinates again. The rangefinder will give you an estimate on how close you are based off of your coordinates.

good rangefinder

What is a Hybrid rangefinder?

A hybrid golf rangefinder is a device that has both GPS and laser tracking features. Golfers use this type of range finder if they want to measure distances accurately but also need the ability to locate their position on the course at any time.

Hybrid golf rangefinders typically combines an advanced GPS receiver with scanning lasers, which gives them the ability to measure distances under trees and other obstacles. Some models of hybrid golf rangefinders can also measure water hazards, which are another obstacle that many golfers face.

These devices have a GPS receiver so they know where you’re located on the course, as well as scanning lasers for accurate distance measurements.


Golf rangefinders are an essential part of every golfer’s arsenal. It is the only way to calculate distance. They can be a bit pricey, but the cost is worth it if you have a hard time calculating distances or need to keep track of your shot’s distance.

The only downside is that there are so many different models on the market, so it can be difficult to know which one will suit you best. To help with this, we have researched and reviewed several popular rangefinders and compiled a list of the best golf rangefinders on the market, what they do well and which ones might be suited for multiple other uses like hunting.

We hope that this guide has been helpful and wish you luck on your next game! Don’t forget to visit us at for more golf guides and product reviews.