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golf watch vs rangefinder - which should you chooseHey there, thanks for stopping by!  We are the #1 resource online for bringing our readers in depth reviews of the hottest GPS golf watches on the market.  You are here because you searched online for golf watch vs rangefinder, or rangefinder vs golf watch and you are looking for information that can help you decide which will work best for you.  Well, you are in luck.  We will dive into that very question in this post, and hopefully, you will feel equipped to make an educated decision by the time you are done with this post.  Let’s do it!

Rangefinder or Golf Watch – Which One is Better?

When trying to determine which device will be better for your golf game, just know that rangefinder and GPS golf watches essentially do the same thing, they just deliver it to you in a different manner.  If the quality is there, either one will help you sort out important details as you navigate your way around the course.  Things like distances to the front, center, and back, as well as key distances to hazards and other areas of trouble on the course will be easy to find.

If the quality is there, either one will help you sort out important details as you navigate your way around the course.  Things like distances to the front, center, and back, as well as key distances to hazards and other areas of trouble on the course.  These nifty golf gadgets make the days of searching for sprinkler heads a thing of the past, and they both bring a lot to the table.

A rangefinder is something you use to “shoot” distances.  Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using a laser rangefinder:

Rangefinder Pros

  • Accuracy – when you shoot a target with your laser rangefinder you can count on that distance being the right distance.  Laser finder will provide a little more consistency and accuracy than GPS devices.
  • Easy to use – Point and shoot.  Using a rangefinder to get the distance you need is extremely easy to do.
  • Battery life – You will get almost a years worth of time on the course in with a rangefinder before having to recharge.
  • No updates – Point and shoot, no need to worry about whether or not the course you are playing is on the list.  Easy peasy.
  • Magnification – A good laser rangefinder will have solid magnification, eliminating any need to have binoculars on the course to see what is ahead.

Rangefinder Cons

  • Blind Shots – If you are obstructed by hills or trees, a rangefinder is not going to do you much good.
  • Shooting the wrong target – While today’s laser has great magnification, and make it pretty easy to locate your target, it is still possible to shoot the wrong thing and get the wrong distance.
  • No front back & middle – Yes, you get the exact distance to the pin but you won’t be able to get the distance to the front, back, and middle of the green.
  • Steadiness issues – It can be hard to hold them steady to ensure an accurate distance is hit.  If you can rest your arm on the cart or your bag (or friend’s head :)) it can make it easier.
  • Accidents – One of the main reasons I switched it up from laser rangefinder to golf watch is because I lost 2.  Yes, 2!  You know what, shit happens and sometimes you do dumb stuff, like leave it on the roof of the golf cart, or anywhere else.  Before you know it (2 holes later) it’s too late, and some jackass doesn’t turn it into the clubhouse.

GPS Watch Pros

  • Key distances – No need to worry about blind shots, you get distances to things you can and cannot see on the course.  A quality GPS golf watch will provide you with a preview of the green and distances to the front, middle, and back.
  • Right target – No need to worry about steadiness or shooting the wrong target.  With a GPS device like a watch, you have the distances you need right there on your wrist or in the palm of your hand.
  • Security – You will have a hard time losing your GPS golf watch during the course of your round.  I suppose with the right amount of alcohol, anything is possible but for the most part, it’s coming home with you!

GPS Watch Cons

  • Accuracy – It’s probably nothing to worry about because as technology has evolved, the accuracy of the watches has gotten very good.  as mentioned above, a rangefinder will be a little more consistent, but worry about accuracy is not something you will have to fret about when you own a quality golf watch, like the Callaway ALLSPORT!
  • Battery – You will not get nearly the same type of battery life from a GPS golf watch, you will need to charge it regularly.  However, many of today’s golf watches have many other features, and some can be used as fitness trackers and more.
  • Learning curve – More features means more time spent learning how to use it properly.  This is listed in the cons, but is it really a negative?  I don’t believe so.


Both types of GPS devices have their pros and cons.  It really boils down to what type of features you are looking for.  This website is dedicated to reviewing the best GPS golf watches on the market, so obviously we are partial to the golf watch over the rangefinder.  For you, just weight the options and make a decision that you feel is best for you!  With all of the great watches out there from Garmin, Callaway, and Bushnell, you can’t go wrong!

We sincerely hope this GPS golf watch vs rangefinder comparison has helped.  If so, please share so others can enjoy the content too!

Feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions.

Til next time,

Hit em straight!


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