GPS or Laser Rangefinder?

Which is better the Laser Rangefinders that you directly point and shoot at targets or the GPS Rangefinders that give you information to the front/middle/back of the green and a few hazards from anywhere on the course? What aspects affected your decision (price, accuracy, accessibility, etc.)?
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Comments

  • Roadking_6Roadking_6 Members Posts: 2,483 ✭✭
    Both serve a purpose. I wear a Garmin Approach s5 to know and have a Leupold Gx3i2. Use it for shooting hazards, pins, trees and any target. I use the watch to know how far I am to the back of the green, front of the green and how far I am hitting my clubs. Works well for me.
  • ed8ted8t Members Posts: 214 ✭✭
    Agreed, no right or wrong answer. Started using a GPS for several years and as my wedge game became more consistent, added a rangefinder. Very handy to calibrate wedge distances and useful on the range. During the course of a round, I probably use the gps more often, but not by much.
  • sheldonjhackersheldonjhacker Members Posts: 3,699 ✭✭
    Once you go Rangefinder, you'll never go back. image/nyam.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':nyam:' />
  • BlackDiamondPar5BlackDiamondPar5 Members Posts: 5,102 ✭✭
    I use both gps and laser. Both are better at different things. Given the choice of 1 only, I'd pick gps for the simple reason is it's faster and works on blind shots.
  • larrybudlarrybud Members Posts: 11,224 ✭✭
    If I'm using one, it's laser. While it's true laser is no good on blind shots, that doesn't happen often, vs wanting to know pin locations, which happens 18 times a round.



    But I use both now, using GPS to get front/center/back.
  • Song DogSong Dog Posts: 91 ✭✭
    After I got a rangefinder (pro precision) I find myself hardly using a gps anymore.
  • highergr0undhighergr0und Members Posts: 10,135 ✭✭
    Rangefinder all day long. If you have a smartphone, download skydroid for $2 or something similar for if you ever need a distance to a hazard.
  • SadTromboneSadTrombone . Members Posts: 6,781 ✭✭
    If I had to pick one: GPS. When I was practicing and playing a lot I'd have said laser. I was way better at controlling yardage with my wedges back then. Now, knowing the pin is "somewhere in the front half" is good enough. If I'm putting for birdie from 20' I'm going to miss it just as much as if I'm 12' out. But both definitely have a purpose. I'd say I laser wedge shots 10x more than anything else, and that's about it.
  • fl_santiagofl_santiago Posts: 118 ✭✭
    +1 for range finder. Granted only time i've used GPS is when it's on the golf cart, but no rhyme or reason behind why I like laser, just preference.
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  • The Chicken ConnoisseurThe Chicken Connoisseur The Pengest Munch Banned Posts: 3,732
    Rangefinder + Free GPS iPhone app
  • Tcann32Tcann32 Members Posts: 3,527
    Laser.



    I've found GPS's to be off on more than one occasion and that's just been in my head ever since. If it's a brand new course, knowing front, middle, and back is nice, and the need to know if its 127 vs 125 isn't really valid for most of us.. but the difference between 120 and 125 can make a difference.. and greens that are shaped differently than just a straight forward patch of short grass can be very deceiving.



    That being said, they definitely speed things up and I'll use them if riding in a cart when they're available if the shot is straight forward, which it generally is. Hitting to the middle of the green is a smart play for 95% of golfers anyways. I think busier courses should have GPS' on their carts. It'd speed things up by quite a bit for everyone.. Having people get out of their cart, then walk around to find the nearest yardage marker is a pain.
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  • avgjoeavgjoe Members Posts: 4,999
    both have their pros and cons. you might as well ask for people's preferences.... btw, is this market research?
  • rcain1usrcain1us Members Posts: 2,938 ✭✭
    I had a GPS until it died midway through last season and I started using my laser more.



    I have yet to have the urge to buy another GPS.
  • Hateto3PuttHateto3Putt Smoking Makes You Look Cool! Members Posts: 6,271 ✭✭
    I have and use both.



    At a familiar course, I don't even fire up the GPS.



    At a brand new course, I will use the GPS for tee shot and hazard information.



    99% of approach shots are lasered.



    If I had to only pick one, without question, it would be the laser.
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 19,976 ✭✭
    Laser is a one trick pony. My SkyCaddie Touch provides an overview of the hole, which is especially important on an unfamiliar course. I can easily determine the distance through the fairway on a dogleg. It provides distance to all hazards, including hidden ones. The course mappings include preferred landing points, so I know the line off the tee.



    It shows me the shape of the green, and the distance to the front and back of the green along the line to the pin. On odd shaped, or angled greens I can move the cursor around and see how much yardage I have to work with. Firing at an elevated sucker pin might only have 15 yards to work with, but taking an alternative line may give me 30 yards to work with.



    If you primarily play the same course(s), then a lot of these features may not be useful as you learn the course. However, if you play a lot of new courses, or a lot of courses infrequently, the added information is invaluable.
  • ItsjustagameItsjustagame Members Posts: 1,262 ✭✭
    I use both, particularly when I play unfamiliar courses.. Have a Garmin G6 and Bushnell V3. I find the GPS to be quite accurate, and of course if you are not careful you can shoot the wrong thing with a laser so I do tend to reality test readings from either one.
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  • Roadking_6Roadking_6 Members Posts: 2,483 ✭✭
    larrybud wrote:


    If I'm using one, it's laser. While it's true laser is no good on blind shots, that doesn't happen often, vs wanting to know pin locations, which happens 18 times a round.



    But I use both now, using GPS to get front/center/back.


    It happens quite often for me. Hit driver into trees, I need to get an idea of where I am and where I need to hit my punch out too. I like using both so I can shoot the flag, and get a rough estimate. Pin is 140 (range finder) and front of green is 125 (GPS) I have a 135 club so we are good to go. My Garmin S5 has touch screen so if you can't shoot hazards, you can touch them on the watch and get a better idea.
  • dcmidnightdcmidnight Marshals, BST Volunteer Mods Posts: 11,539 mod
    Argonne69 wrote:


    Laser is a one trick pony. My SkyCaddie Touch provides an overview of the hole, which is especially important on an unfamiliar course. I can easily determine the distance through the fairway on a dogleg. It provides distance to all hazards, including hidden ones. The course mappings include preferred landing points, so I know the line off the tee.



    It shows me the shape of the green, and the distance to the front and back of the green along the line to the pin. On odd shaped, or angled greens I can move the cursor around and see how much yardage I have to work with. Firing at an elevated sucker pin might only have 15 yards to work with, but taking an alternative line may give me 30 yards to work with.



    If you primarily play the same course(s), then a lot of these features may not be useful as you learn the course. However, if you play a lot of new courses, or a lot of courses infrequently, the added information is invaluable.




    If it wasn't for the SG customer service I would have bought this device a year ago. But I've been suckered in too many times in the past and when I gave up the last time I swore I wasn't going back. They could release the greatest device in the history of mankind and I would never spend $1 with their company again. Terrible releases and even worse customer service. Wouldn't recommend anyone giving them a dime.



    I guess your recommendation is odd though given the months and months of complaints (certainly not just you but many people in their forums too) regarding the CSE software releases and the customer service in general in the Touch thread. But overall, they pull the same stunt every time. Terrible release. Impossible to back out. Terrible service when you inquire about it.



    Me, I use a simple Garmin S1 - front middle back yardages and a laser. Anything outside of 150 or so the FMB yardages are just fine for me.
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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 19,976 ✭✭
    dcmidnight wrote:

    Argonne69 wrote:


    Laser is a one trick pony. My SkyCaddie Touch provides an overview of the hole, which is especially important on an unfamiliar course. I can easily determine the distance through the fairway on a dogleg. It provides distance to all hazards, including hidden ones. The course mappings include preferred landing points, so I know the line off the tee.



    It shows me the shape of the green, and the distance to the front and back of the green along the line to the pin. On odd shaped, or angled greens I can move the cursor around and see how much yardage I have to work with. Firing at an elevated sucker pin might only have 15 yards to work with, but taking an alternative line may give me 30 yards to work with.



    If you primarily play the same course(s), then a lot of these features may not be useful as you learn the course. However, if you play a lot of new courses, or a lot of courses infrequently, the added information is invaluable.




    If it wasn't for the SG customer service I would have bought this device a year ago. But I've been suckered in too many times in the past and when I gave up the last time I swore I wasn't going back. They could release the greatest device in the history of mankind and I would never spend $1 with their company again. Terrible releases and even worse customer service. Wouldn't recommend anyone giving them a dime.



    I guess your recommendation is odd though given the months and months of complaints (certainly not just you but many people in their forums too) regarding the CSE software releases and the customer service in general in the Touch thread. But overall, they pull the same stunt every time. Terrible release. Impossible to back out. Terrible service when you inquire about it.



    Me, I use a simple Garmin S1 - front middle back yardages and a laser. Anything outside of 150 or so the FMB yardages are just fine for me.




    I don't disagree with your assessment. I've been a disgruntled but loyal customer for 12+ years.



    The trick I've learned after 5 different SG models is to sit out the initial release for 6+ months to avoid the alpha/beta quality software. My current Touch has been issue free, which is a bit lucky. Once the software kinks are worked out, the device is the best in the industry.
  • HoosierMizunoHoosierMizuno Members Posts: 3,346 ✭✭
    edited Jul 28, 2016 #21
    i've used both. for me....gps is most helpful and i'm not going to use both.



    rangefinder was good on shots inside 100 when i wanted exact distances but from that distance its easy to see where the pin is and adjust the gps pin placement. i really only found the rangefinder helpful on sharp doglegs where you could shoot and determine how much of dogleg to take on or how far it is to a creek that runs diagonally across fairway.



    i now find it much better knowing front back center over only the number to the pin. i've played plenty of holes where a rangefinder was useless on blind shots. gps watch can be worn on wrist...so i don't have to worry about leaving it on the tee box or in the cart. i don't have to worry about quickly shooting a front pin and not taking account having 30 yards behind the pin. its easy to get fixated on one number rather than having three numbers and giving a better idea just how much room you have in front of or behind a pin.



    using a rangefinder on the range is nice for estimates to flags, but hitting cheap range balls isnt a great measuring stick to begin with.



    for me, unless you really need to know the difference between 134 and 137 to the pin, gps is the way to go.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Mack83Mack83 Members Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Need glasses to read and use a range finder. Golf Buddy Voice on hat. Push and done.
  • jmar87jmar87 Posts: 85 ✭✭
    I prefer the range finder to shoot non flag targets. Bunkers, trees etc..
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  • AmberLampsAmberLamps Members Posts: 15
    I have both, Use Arccos for GPS and seeing how far to hazards and bunkers and lazer to shoot the pin
  • KARL MKARL M Members Posts: 655 ✭✭


    I have and use both.



    At a familiar course, I don't even fire up the GPS.



    At a brand new course, I will use the GPS for tee shot and hazard information.



    99% of approach shots are lasered.



    If I had to only pick one, without question, it would be the laser.




    This pretty well sums up my opinion as well.



    I find the laser most helpful for pitch shots, especially when to the sides of the green.



    Laser is more helpful on elevated greens where you can see the top of the flag but not where it is positioned on the green.
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  • ShipwreckShipwreck Members Posts: 3,695 ✭✭
    My Bushnell laser is starting to take a **** on me, so I am leaning towards a GPS right now. I am undecided between the Garmin G6 and the G7. Don't get me wrong, I love laser rangefinders. They are amazing when you have a good one that you can trust. But being on an unfamiliar course, or one where you have a lot of blind shots it's so hard to use them.



    To each their own in the end. It's all about what you do with the information that's given. I personally think the majority of golfers should use a GPS vs. a laser because them knowing that a pin is 116 yards out most likely wont help them. But them knowing the pin is a middle pin and it's 110 to the front and 125 to the back I feel would give them a larger margin for error in shot selection.
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,763 ✭✭
    The past year or so I've been playing golf more frequently than in the past and I'm back playing at the course I know best after being away for a couple of years. These past couple weeks I think I finally hit the critical mass where not only do I have a real good idea of what number I'll see on a given sprinkler head, when I do laser a pin on a semi-blind shot the yardage is usually within 4-5 yards of my guesstimate.



    Some of the old-timers had warned me that after a thousand-plus rounds on the same course the laser will be a waste of time. I think I am there now. Kind of weird.



    There was one guy I played with a few times at another course who was uncanny. Every time someone would pull out a laser he'd say "131" or "165" before they could get the reading. He was never, ever off by more than three yards and he was dead-on pretty often. But I think he had closer to 5,000 rounds on that course so maybe it's no surprise.
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  • Tcann32Tcann32 Members Posts: 3,527
    Another reason for the laser being my choice: Range time. I've been to many courses that have yardage boards for where the flags are at that day, but I've been to many more courses and driving ranges where that 150 sign stays exactly where its at, and I've shot the distance to the same mark, from different spots on the range (weather the hitting area has moved up, back, over, etc.. and had 15-20 yard differences. Practicing your 150 and in game, and not hitting to a pretty specific yardage, is a waste of time on the most important aspect of your game.
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  • HoosierMizunoHoosierMizuno Members Posts: 3,346 ✭✭
    edited Oct 11, 2016 #29
    unless you're hitting at a club that provides quality newer balls, using range balls to work on your distances is a waste of time. if you're just curious how far that last flag is, then maybe it helps. but if you're trying to dial in you 120 yard shot to a flag while using weathered range balls i don't think you're helping yourself.
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  • BrewbobBrewbob Members Posts: 14 ✭✭
    So I guess the Garmin is out of the question. Their support just got back to me and they do not have any larger than normal wrist bands.

    anyone else here have that issue?

    I have an 8.75" wrist and usually need larger watch bands



    was hoping to go the watch / GPS route and not need to carry a range measuring device, but I may be stuck
  • i*windowsi*windows Posts: 2,134 ✭✭
    I like my GPS, I play on mainly hilly courses where you cant always see where the flag is or the hazard, and the GPS will draw a nice little hole layout and I move a little pointer to pick out obstacles and see how far they are. I'm always amazed that something I think is 70 yards away is in reality 110 yards,
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