The Best Golf Rangefinders of 2018: An In Depth Review
One of the best parts about being a golf blogger is that I have opportunities to review a lot of different products.
And for whatever reason golf range finders are one of the products that I’ve become most familiar with.
A rangefinder is pretty much designed to do one thing: tell you how far away you are from the pin.
So considering it is just one relatively simple task, it’s pretty amazing considering how many different models and price points there are out there.
This review of the best golf rangefinders was updated in November 2018, and will continue to be updated as new models come out in 2019.
What to Look For in a Golf Rangefinder
So the rangefinder that is going to be the best fit is going to come down to a few different personal preferences:
While any of the rangefinders mentioned in this post will do the job of telling you distances, there are some that will do it faster, are more enjoyable to use, and have features that while not always essential are really nice to have.
Some questions to ask yourself before deciding on the best fit for you:
- What is your budget?
- How long do you plan to have this?
- Do you want a slope feature? This will give you a second “plays like” distance number that accounts for the flag being uphill or downhill.
- Will you be using it in tournaments?
- Is feel and quality more important, or price?
Keep these in mind as you read about the best golf rangefinders on the market below.
The Best Golf Rangefinders of 2018:
- Best Overall Golf Rangefinder – Bushnell Pro X2
- Best Budget Rangefinder – Precision Pro NX7 Pro
- Runner up Budget Rangefinder – Golf Buddy LR7s
- Best Value Rangefinder – Bushnell Tour v4
- Worst Rangefinder – TecTecTec
And if you want to know all the details of why we selected each of these, then read on!
Best Overall Golf Rangefinder: Bushnell Pro X2
Hands down, there very best golf rangefinder I’ve ever used is the Bushnell Pro X2. It was the first time I was literally surprised and delighted by one of these devices.
From the moment you pick it up, it just feels high end. It has a little bit of weight to it (in a good way), and you can tell this thing was built with quality in mind.
It’s extremely fast and it’s “jolt” technology is the best implementation I’ve seen on a rangefinder.
Note: Jolt is Bushnell’s name for a feature that makes the device vibrate when it locks onto the pin to help you know you’re getting an accurate reading.
Two features that set this apart are being able to easily hit a button to change from black to backlit red text within the device, and also an easy slider that allows you to switch back and forth between Slope and non-Slope.
Downside? All this quality doesn’t come cheap at $499 retail.
- Price: $499. But I’ve been seeing it for as low as $439 on Amazon as of November 2018, which while still expensive, is a solid deal on a fantastic product. A year after reviewing it, this is still the rangefinder I personally keep in my bag.
- My Rating: 9.4
- My Review: Bushnell Pro X2 Rangefinder Review
- Where to Buy: Buy it on Amazon Here.
Best Budget Rangefinder: Precision Pro NX7 Pro
When I first reviewed the Precision Pro NX7 Pro, I wasn’t overly familiar with the company. They were the new guys on the block with a goal creating a full featured rangefinder at a budget price.
And I was pleasantly surprised to see they’d done just that.
It has most of the features you’ll see from rangefinders that are double the price, and generally it does things pretty well. Not quite as well, but its good enough for me to absolutely recommend it for someone in the sub $250 range.
The build quality feels like cheaper plastic compared to the Bushnell.
The optics aren’t quite as sharp, and I prefer the 5x magnification of the Bushnell to the 6x of the NX7.
The vibration doesn’t feel quite as high quality.
It’s not quite as fast at getting distances (but we’re talking less than a second here).
So while yes, it’s not as good as the top tier of devices it’s half the price. And it definitely isn’t only half as good. I’d say it’s 80% as good 🙂
- Price: $249
- My Rating: 8.0
- My Review: Precision Pro NX7 Pro Review
- Where to Buy: Buy it on Amazon Here.
- Also Consider: The NX7 model which doesn’t have Slope for $199
Another Budget Rangefinder Option: Golf Buddy LR7S
While I haven’t used the Golf Buddy LR7s personally, I have used and reviewed the LR5S. The drawbacks to this are similar to what you’ll see with most rangefinders in this price, it’ll be a little bit slower than the top tier, and the build quality will feel quite a bit cheaper.
My big knock on the LR5s was the fact that it didn’t have a vibration feature. The added this to the LR7S so it could be a another very feasible option for under $300.
When I first posted this, the LR7S was selling for around $250. Now you can find it on Amazon for under $200, which makes this a strong one to consider.
- Price: $299. But recently found on Amazon for around under $200.
- My Rating: 7.5
- My Review: Golf Buddy LR5s Review
- Where to Buy: Buy the LR7S on Amazon
- Also Consider: The LR7 without slope for around $150
One I’d Probably Stay Away From: TecTecTec
There’s a good chance if you cruise around on Amazon, you’ll come across the TecTecTec and be intrigued by both the $149 price point and Amazon’s designation of “Best Seller”.
I found this Rangefinder to be extremely disappointing. It was cheaply made, I couldn’t trust the distances it provided, and the other budget rangefinders I mentioned for slightly more money are much better bets.
In that $150-200 range definitely go with the NX7 or LR7.
Wildcard Rangefinder: Bushnell Tour V4
Bushnell’s offering before the X2 was the Tour V4 and I had very mixed reviews on it. It’s build quality is excellent. Optics, fantastic.
However it had two things going against it: a high retail price point, and flakiness with performance.
It retailed around $400, and when it worked it was excellent. However I often found it had difficulty locking onto the flag, and I often had to fire multiple times to get a reading. The Jolt was fairly intermittent with it as well.
After using it more, I updated my review to reflect these concerns. So originally, I wasn’t going to mention this one in this post. I’d say spend the extra money for the X2 if you want to go high end.
Then I checked prices.
The Tour v4 is now down to $250 on Amazon, and at that price? Personally I’d give this serious consideration compared to the NX7 or the LR7S.
The build quality is much better than those (though not quite as good as the X2), and using it just feels good.
Just be prepared for occasional difficulty locking onto the pin.
For what it’s worth I have all of the rangefinders above, and I personally used the Tour V4 over all of the others until the X2 showed up.
UPDATE: Prices on this seem to fluctuate and in mid-November 2018, I’m seeing them back at the $299 price point. This isn’t a horrible deal, but I’d keep an eye on it and see if you can find it at the lower price. It’s a much better buy at $250.
- Price: $399 Retails. But now consistently $249 on Amazon and other places.
- My Rating: 7.6
- My Review: Bushnell Tour V4 with Slope Review
- Where to Buy: Buy the Tour V4 on Amazon
Final Thoughts on the Best Golf Rangefinders for 2018 (And Moving into 2019)
The good news for golfers right now is that there are a lot of options out there for rangefinders at nearly every price point.
For $200-250 you can get a great device that will do the job of finding distances well.
For $400-500 you’ll get a few more convenient features, faster readings, and a package that is frankly, just more enjoyable to use.
Have a rangefinder you love? Let me know what it is so I can check it out!