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GPS vs Rangefinder in 2020


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At the point you hear psychobabble like that, rational discussion has ended.

I wear a Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire DLC when I play, and I also use a new Bushnell laser. Both the watch and laser provide slope-adjusted distances. Over the last several rounds, I’ve used them both for

I have and use both laser and a GPS watch, but if I had to choose one it would be GPS hands-down. I use the GPS on every single hole, usually multiple times. I check the distance off the tee (not stri

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Had a laser range finder for 7 years. Moved to Garmin Approach G80 for two reasons. (9.9 handicap)

My biggest weakness is course management. Visually seeing (even if it's within 3-5 yards) where best to land my tee shot with a reasonable margin for error is extremely valuable to me.Firing at pins (which is all I used my laser range finder for) often went against my newly adopted philosophy on course management.There are several different approaches based on associated skill levels, but for ME and MY game, this is the area I feel will drastically improve my score, course management, patience, iron play, and enjoyment of the game.

Play well, be safe!

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For people who think that lasers are exact and GPS is not. Have you ever lasered the same pin say 10 times from 150 yards?

I put the odds of you getting the exact same reading all 10 times at 0.0%.

Again for the record - I have/use both.

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By the way this is the kind of tracking you get with the Fenix

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Golflogix has some neat features for the greens

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Thats a bit much for even me!

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I have and use both laser and a GPS watch, but if I had to choose one it would be GPS hands-down. I use the GPS on every single hole, usually multiple times. I check the distance off the tee (not strictly necessary but I like the information), plus again on approach (or approaches if I screw things up). I find I generally only use the rangefinder on Par 3s or the occasional approach from the fairway. Even on Par 3s I will often just go by the GPS unless I really feel like I will benefit from knowing a more precise distance.

The biggest thing that GPS has going for it is that it's so quick and easy. I just look at my wrist and I'm done. With a laser I have to pull it out, hold it steady to get a ready, check it again just to be sure, and then put it away. Is that difficult? No, but it's not nearly as easy as just looking at my wrist. An added bonus of my GPS watch is that it tracks all of my shots during my round, which gives me the ability to replay my entire round later and check the distance of any particular shot that I hit. I didn't think a ton of this feature before I used it, but now I really love all the information that it provides (I just have a cheap Garmin too, the S20, no need to spend the big bucks to get it). I guess laser is better if you need to know the distance to something specific, but the included hazards with the watch are generally good enough for me (no line of sight necessary either).

Anyway, while it's great to have both, GPS is the hands down winner for me. My game isn't good enough to demand the extra precision of a rangefinder on 90% of shots and the ease of use and the extra features (like shot tracking) of the GPS watch seal the deal.

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Good points. I have both as well and at the good prices these days it makes having both an affordable option.

 

Both have pros and cons. While laser is absolutely more accurate I've lost count of the number of times someone lasered the trees behind the green or couldn't shoot the flag.

 

Like I said I have both and wouldn't have it any other way. Otherwise It would be like having to chose on whether I had a wrenches or pliers in my tool box.

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Definitely both. A laser can't reliably tell me how far it is to reach that fairway bunker, nor can it tell me how much to carry the bunker hidden around the dogleg, or how far to the end of the fairway around the corner. Similarly no GPS I have ever owned is accurate enough to tell me there is 7 yards between the face of the trap and the pin, and yes the carry over the trap is EXACTLY 102, not +/-5 of that. Those things can make a real difference, particularly if you like to play aggressively from time to time. Without the most accurate numbers you can get your hands on, you're leaving performance on the table.

 

All that said, if you tend to play safe and never attack tight pins, then a good GPS would win for sure. The large screen on my SX500 is awesome for my ever-worsening eyesight :-)

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If on my Approach shot my Rangefinder tells me it's 137 yards to the PIN , do I have the skillset to be able to hit it that exact distance? If yes, then a rangefinder will be a good purchase. If I can't, like 90% of golfers out there, I believe a rangefinder is pretty much a waste of money as far as reducing your score. Sure it's fun to see and know the exact distance, but can you really take advantage of that exact distance? A GPS watch gives the ninety percent of golfers great information to be successful, at a relatively low price and convenience. Most golfers just want to be on the green somewhere, and it is just a fantasy if they think they can hit the ball to any part of the green at will. For you good golfers I would definitely recommend a rangefinder as you genuinely can take advantage of it. I have been looking at rangefinders to purchase and almost pulled the trigger on I'm buying a Bushnell V5 slope but came to my senses and realized it wouldn't save me any strokes so I said no and I am sticking with my Bushnell GPS watch. I am thinking of getting a new Bushnell Neo Ion 2 which also comes with a nice looking golf app for my phone. What a great combination for most golfers.

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I was a long timer user of a GPS handheld unit. I am now a convert to laser. There is something about confidence knowing the exact distance. I play a lot of the same courses so I kinda know where things are. The laser can shoot trees, bunkers and other things. I still use the GPS on course that I am not familiar with as mine has a hole layout which is nice so I can see various yardages on the hole. This is useful when I do not know the course. I also use the GPS on 1 specific course that has many doglegs as on 2-4 holes I might not have a direct sight line to the flag. Overall, if I had to choose one, I'd go with the laser for the confidence in yardage and ability to shoot other objects.

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Im the opposite for my one choice. What about when you have blind shots? Thats why i am GPS now. To many of those on my home course. Fact is there will be times where a laser it actually useless.

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Well it is extremely rare for me to be hitting a blind shot and needing a distance to the pin. So for me having accurate readings with a laser and being able to shoot individual trees, bunkers, etc far outweighs the GPS being useful on a blind shot. When I am at a dogleg, being able to shoot the last tree for an exact measurement is invaluable. GPS typically will not get me that number. Cannot see a laser becoming useless. Will always be more accurate.

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Not saying it will become useless just saying it is already in some situations. Like when I can’t see the flag because I’m so deep in the crap

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One more reason I got the watch. I know what I’m hitting before I put my bag down

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Any of you using Arccos? I recently lost my rangefinder and used Arccos for the first time a couple of days ago. I felt very anxious at the start of the round without the rangefinder, but actually played better just knowing FMB. Could get rough measurements to the pin when I wanted and measurements for layups when needed. Still feel a little lost without the laser and am trying to decide if I wan to replace it.

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I use both.

The free GPS app on my phone (iGolf) that is better for showing distances to objects and hazards, and long approach shots where I don't care where the pin is - I'm just shooting for the green. When I'm in shorter range and have a good reason to know the exact pin distance, I use the rangefinder. I find the combination of the two to be pretty handy.

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