It seems all my playing partners are wearing their fancy Golf GPS watches nowadays. I’m still on the fence but I’m leaning toward the Laser Golf Rangefinder. It’s just a matter of time.

Being a golfer over 50, I sometimes don’t get the hype for rangefinder and GPS technology. For many years it was just me and the course and figuring it out for myself.

Obviously most courses have distance markers so you “used to” get a “feel” of the distance—sort of what Ben Hogan had to do. I always thought that made you a better golfer as it honed you and your inner faculties—not have a reliance on technology.

That being said, I understand the need, particularly for the lower handicap players. It’s important to have that number. Good golf is about precision and having that exact number will make a difference—and those small differences add up over the course of a round.

My stepson, a professional golfer, has the Bushnell Tour Laser Golf Rangefinder and I’ve used it many, many times. I love it’s small profile and laser accuracy (haha) It’s funny, you look at some of these pictures of these rangefinders and they look very large for some reason but they’re actually very compact and easy to get in and out of the sleeve.

The particular unit above offers Slope Technology and can revert back to a USGA-conforming device when needed. It also has PinSeeker and JOLT technology that provides feedback once you’re locked onto the target.

image of golf laser rangerfinder and seeing the various distances it can read - like the tree at 206 yards

A device like this, you just want it to be super accurate and be reliable when you need it. Of course, there are many others but I just happen to know this model.

As far as Golf GPS watches go, I’m a little less familiar but have (as I mentioned above) seen many models my playing partners use in my Wednesday golf league.

Of course, convenience is the biggest selling point. You just put it on and sort of forget it. It’s there when you need it.

Also, everyone of the watches seem to give different distances to front, middle and back of green but I guess this is to be expected due to the different manufacturers of these Golf GPS watches.

One player I know has the Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch (with worldwide courses). It’s a snazzy looking design, preloaded courses (over 30,000 worldwide), up to 8 hours batter life for Golf GPS mode, precise yardages to front, center and back of green and measures individual shot distances.

I’m personally a fan of the Garmin brand so no surprise I like this particular product.

It really comes down to preference regarding Golf GPS devices or Golf Rangefinder devices. Personally, I’ll (most likely) invest in a Rangefinder as they are the most accurate and they just work. Just shoot your object, get the distance and be done with it.

But the beauty is that there are plenty of choices and options for everyone, including budget, of course.

My advice, ask to see or have your playing partners show you briefly how they work. This will allow you to directly experience how they actually function in the world and on the course. I would never buy one of the devices without at least trying it out first.