Best Golf Rangefinders
This year I have had the privilege to golf with friends that had spent a ton of money trying to improve their golf game. As we all know, this can be a hit or miss strategy, but I used it as an opportunity to try out some products. I generally get really jazzed over new gadgets and decided to do a little research, try out different brands, and come up with a review of this season’s best golf rangefinders. They led to more accurate shots and sped up the play of our games.
To keep things simple, I picked the top rangefinders for the three major categories of golf enthusiasts that I know. The golfer that always wants to have the newest, top of the line product. The more budget-conscious golfer but who also wants a decent rangefinder. And finally the golfer that lies somewhere in the middle, not afraid to shell out a little extra money but doesn’t want to go over the top.
Here is a quick summary of what I have found:
|Device Name||Weight||Range (to Flag)||Zoom|
|Bushnell Pro X2||226g||450 yds||5x|
|TecTecTec Vpro 500||187g||540 yds||6x|
|Bushnell Tour V4 Shift||158g||450 yds||5x|
Bushnell has been the leading brand in this space for some time and for good reason. The X2 Pro stood alone when considering the build quality, ease of use, and features. So naturally, it takes my number one recommendation as the current flagship rangefinder on the market. Oh, and it’s waterproof. Let’s dive into the details.
Pinseeker with Jolt Technology
A key feature of any rangefinder is being able to consistently and accurately identify your target – which is hopefully the flag and not the trees in the background. The X2 solves this problem with a reliable “jolt” or quick vibration pulse that lets the user know it has identified the flag successfully. Throughout our rounds, this became one of my favorite features mostly because of the peace of mind it gave me that the information was right. The accuracy was on point each time.
This feature is useful if you play courses that have a lot of elevation changes. It recognizes any slope that exists between you and the target and adjusts the yardage accordingly. We all know hilly courses are tough and this helps level the playing field. The Bushnell X2 Pro does it flawlessly.
Dual Display Technology – DDT
An unfortunate acronym, but a useful feature. Pretty simple too. A quick press of the “Mode” button changes the display colors. Good for different lighting situations or just the user’s preference. Some of the other rangefinders displays were a bit more difficult to make out in especially bright conditions. This type of polished features set the Pro X2 apart.
Wrapped in a durable rubber and metal housing, the Bushnell X2 Pro was definitely the highest build quality. Not to mention, the fact that it is waterproof takes away any concern of the rain ruining our fancy gadgets.
The Bushnell X2 pro does command one of the higher price tags in this space, but there’s a reason that it’s one of the most popular and sought after rangefinders on the market. With the heavy duty, waterproof casing and two-year warranty, you can expect this gadget to improve your game for a long time. The combination of features, quality and brand support* make it among the best golf rangefinders of 2017.
*Pro-Tip: Bushnell’s trade-up program allows you to trade up one of their old models and get the value discounted off your new purchase.
If you want to get the job done at a lower price point, the VPro 500 is undeniably your best option. TecTecTec is a relatively new brand in this space but has made a promising entrance with a quality product and 1 year warranty. A powerful 6x magnification, 450 yd range, and rainproof shell help sweeten the deal. The price is also easy on the eyes.
Similar to other models, the VPro500 has a decent pinseeking feature. It isn’t the easiest to use and lacks some of the polish of other models, but it’s definitely better than a GPS.
(NO) Slope Compensation
If you are a better golfer than me, you may be concerned if your new rangefinder will be USGA tournament legal for amateur championships and qualifiers. The USGA has certain rules about which “distance-measuring” devices are legal for tournaments – and you can read up more on the USGA website. The cliff-notes: a rangefinder is legal *if the slope switch is turned off*. The VPro500 does not have a slope feature so by default, it too, is legal.
The VPro500 definitely did not feel as sturdy as something like the X2, but that is expected at this price point. It did have the advantage of being able to fit in my pocket, which was convenient. Between this and its waterproof shell I found myself carrying it on my person and setting it down occasionally, not worrying about the wet grass.
I enjoyed using the VPro500. The combination of powerful magnification, convenience, and low price make it easily among the best golf rangefinders on the market. Especially if you are on a budget.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift is my pick. It has many of the features of more expensive models, at a better price. A bit smaller than its predecessor, the V3, it is easier to hold and shoots the target even faster. The V4 Shift boasts 5x magnification with 400+ effective yards to the flag.
I noticed that the response time on the V4 was much quicker than anticipated. It seems Bushnell put a lot of effort into reducing size, weight and increasing performance for this model. It shows. Adjusting focus was also simple due to a new focus ring above the eyepiece.
Of course, Bushnell puts their useful Jolt technology into the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift. It works just about as well as its older, more expensive brother the Pro X2. Bushnell products stand out as they shoot the target quickly and give you the confidence you need before taking that shot.
Bushnell has been making quality products for years so there is no need to worry here. The base model is not waterproof, so I would suggest a model that has a protective silicone skin. The premium carry case that comes with it is high quality as well.
If you took a look in my golf bag today, you would see the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift. Its older brother, the Pro X2, might be a little higher quality, but I am not convinced it’s worth it for the price you pay. Solid magnification, quick response, and convenient size make the Bushnell Tour V4 Shift my choice of the best golf rangefinders this year.