Difference Between Golf Lase Range Finders and GPS Range Finders

By: Marky Martin

Golf Laser Range and a Golf GPS Range Finders are gadgets that are used to measure the distance from where your ball is lying to the pin. These have been available for some years but only recently have they been legalized by the Governing bodies of golf. This article examines the difference between Golf Laser Range and a Golf GPS Range Finders, so if you are looking to buy one of these gadgets, you will know what type suits you best.

Do Golf Range Finders Offer an Advantage?

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the US Golf Association announced a change in the rules. The Specific Rule is 14-3b, known as the range finder rule. The change in the rule allowed range finders to be used by amateur golfers. Major tournaments do not allow artificial range finding devices. But for every day golf play do golf range finders offer an advantage?

Slow play in golf is considered to be in bad taste and the average golf game today takes longer than it did 10 years ago so it is believe that to speed up play these devices have been allowed.

Golf Laser Range Finders and GPS Range Finders are the two main devices and are very similar in accuracy. The Golf Laser Range Finders looks a little like binoculars, you look through them and the unit then measures distance from the ball to the pin by use of a laser beam. You do have to have a direct line of sight as well as a steady hand. They may also be used to calculate the distance to a hazard.

Golf GPS Range Finders are more complicated; a map of the golf course is required to be loaded. Then your position on the course is determined to the pin by a satellite signal. The ability to use a GPS golf range finder is dependent upon the quality of the map. GPS maps may only show the distance to travel to the front, middle and back of the green and depending upon the model, may not even show hazards.

Maps of golf courses have to be bought through subscription or individually at an additional cost and if you are a regular player this can be a time consuming or expensive exercise, particularly if you play at many varied courses. Another con in terms of the GPS Range Finders is that if the weather is cloudy and there are many trees as there usually are on a golf course, the GPS might not be able to connect to the satellite, and you will not get a reading.

Essentially, at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself what the best golf range finder for your needs would be. Personally speaking though, fiddling about on the course with gadgets might just make my game longer, but I am no technophile so I rest my case, the decision is yours!

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