You are playing what could be the best round of your life and you just nailed a drive in the middle of the fairway on the 18th hole. You have a slight downhill shot, and the pin is tucked in the front of the green. In front of that green is a water hazard which you need to carry. You look at the yardage markers on the edge of the fairway or a marked sprinkler head and walk off your distance. You think got this and pulled out your trusty 6-iron and flushed the shot. But wait, your ball bounces just short of the fringe and rolls down into the hazard for a penalty. Oh, the frustration.
Was the distance 167 yards instead of 162? You missed shooting your personal best. Why? Because you didn’t have accurate information. If only you had a golf rangefinder or a GPS golf watch at the time. Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.
Embrace new technology on the golf course
There is no debating that in the past 20 or so years, modern technology has provided us two great options to help quickly identify distances on the course. No, you don’t need a caddy or yardage book (I doubt your course even offers one). And you don’t have to go back to the last century looking for that marked sprinkler head or walking off from the painted yardage marker when your stride is 2 ½ feet rather than a full 3 feet (yard). The biggest debate for golfers is whether to buy a rangefinder or a GPS device?
Using a Golf Rangefinder
How does a laser rangefinder work? First, you look through the lens and fixate on your target. Once you are locked onto the target, push a button. The rangefinder will send out a laser beam at the object and the signal bounces back and then the rangefinder calculates the distance. Instantly, you have an accurate distance.
You might have noticed a series of glass prisms at the top or upper portion of the flagstick or reflective tape on the flagpole. These reflectors are aids in which one aims for if they are equipped with a rangefinder. However, you don’t have to have these reflectors to be able to obtain a reading.
There is also the choice of a hybrid GPS Laser rangefinder, like the Voice Caddie SL2. These combine GPS technology that we will talk about below with the accuracy and speed of laser technology. However, expect these to be the most expensive rangefinders.
What is the slope feature?
This simply provides for more accurate distances by adjusting how much uphill or downhill you are from your target. This is the reason why you are not allowed to have the slope feature on during competition. If you will be using a rangefinder in tournaments, look for a model with an on/off switch to go back and forth into slope mode.
You can look at other details such as optics if the rangefinder has 6X or 7X magnification, the distance range, vibration reduction, a magnetic mount allowing for attachments to golf carts, etc. The more features the more money, it is that simple.
How a GPS golf watch works
A GPS watch is far more than just a stylish device to tell the time. A GPS golf watch triangulates your position using GPS satellites in the sky to a GPS antenna or receiver inside the device. This works similarly to a GPS map on your smartphone. Then it can position you relative to various points of interest on the course like the yardages to the front, middle and back of the green, or the distance to a hazard, or bunker.
A GPS golf watch can provide a whole lot more information than what a laser rangefinder can. First, it may be loaded with tens of thousands of golf courses worldwide. It can show hole imagery or the hole layout and as detailed as the elevation of a green to know which way the ball will break. A GPS golf watch is especially helpful if you travel and play several courses rather than spend most of your time on one or two courses where you have local knowledge to help guide you along the course. Some GPS watches are also available with a slope feature. Lastly, you also have models that can keep track of stats and scoring.
What is a Voice GPS device?
A voice GPS is a simple device to use, relatively inexpensive and can help speed up the play of the game. While a voice GPS device does not provide any visuals of the course, it gives the distance to the front, center, and back of the green at the press of a button. They can be clipped-on to a hat or visor making them hands-free.
Hopefully this information has helped you navigate which distance-finding device to use next time you decide to go out for your next round of golf. Most golfers will elect one or the other of these devices depending on their needs. Of course, there are a few hybrid rangefinders that combine GPS technology to get the best of both worlds.
Know your distances
The million-dollar question is what good is a golf range finder or GPS device if you don’t know how far you hit each club? This is where a portable launch monitor comes into play.
Voice Caddie golf rangefinders and GPS watches now available at Hireko
Hireko is proud to offer Voice Caddie rangefinders and GPS watches and devices. There are several models to choose from in different price points and with different features. See how they can help improve your game.
|SL2 Active Hybrid GPS Laser Rangefinder
|TL1 Laser Rangefinder with Slope
|L5 Golf Laser Rangefinder with Slope
|EL1 Laser Rangefinder (Black)
|EL1 Laser Rangefinder (Mint)
GPS Golf Watches
|T9 GPS Watch (Black)
|T9 GPS Watch (Gray)
|A2 Hybrid Golf GPS Watch with Slope
|VC4 Voice GPS
|VC300SE Voice Golf GPS