Golf GPS vs Laser Rangefinders: which is better

These days, learning how to play golf is not as difficult as it was in the past. There are great devices in the market that can help you learn golf more efficiently and even faster. With the right tool, you will be able to improve your game, save time, and lessen your handicap. The introduction of Global Positioning System (GPS) has brought about the improvement of the game of golf as someone can have information on thousands of golf courses in the world in a small compact device.

This GPS technology was initially used by the military to locate one’s position or find a particular area. Today, the same technologies have been applied in golf, and guess what…. it is absolutely legal to be used in competitions. But when we talk about golf rangefinders, most people don’t understand that there are different tools that work for the same purpose but used differently. There are Gold GPS and Golf rangefinders. What are the similarities and differences between these two? Well, their difference is based on their cost, convenience, and maximum range.

Bushnell Sport 850 4x 20mm 1-Button Operation Compact Laser Rangefinder


GPS systems are less expensive than laser rangefinders. The cost of the former range from $0 to $400 depending on whether you are making use of it from a cell phone or a stand-alone device. On the other hand, the golf laser rangefinders can cost between $100 and $500. But looking at it from recurrent expenditures, the laser rangefinder may be less expensive to own in the long run. This is because GPS systems may require monthly updates or subscription fees since they make use of downloadable apps. But laser golf rangefinders do not need constant updates and generally incur a one-time purchase fee.


Golf rangefinders make use of laser beam to return the yardage. This process only requires pointing the rangefinder at the target and holding it down until the device picks up the target. It feels similar to looking at binoculars. However, the GPS device requires following a lot of steps when using the device. It makes use of GPS just like the one in your car. This means that the device will stop working if the satellite gets shot out of space. Apart from that, you need to manually boot the device to load the courses installed by the manufacturer. This means that you may not be able to use the GPS if you forget to load it when playing on a new course. So, it’s obvious that a laser rangefinder is much easier to use than a GPS device.

Ease of use

Generally, the GPS device is easier to use becomes it comes with pre-programmed course and does not require any form of technical knowledge before its application. On the other hand, you have to properly hold a laser rangefinder and keep it steady before locking in on a target. Again, you will need to walk long distances to determine yardages and the distance between your golf ball and the target. This may be somehow and frustrating exercise and a boring one too. But with the GPS device, all areas have been measured and you will save yourself of the stress of measuring before you place your aim.

In conclusion, your level of skill may determine which device to choose. If your experience is above a mid-handicapper, you may only need a GPS either as a separate unit or as an app on your phone. On the other hand, if you are inexperienced and still learning the game, it will be better to use laser rangefinders to help you get accurate measurement of yardage before you aim.

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