In this Guide
If you’re looking to step up your golf game out on the links, a high-quality golf rangefinder can be an indispensable tool. It can remove much of the guesswork on the course, accurately calculating distance and helping you shape your shots.
There are a lot of great models on the market right now, but there are just as many that you’ll want to avoid. Like any cutting-edge tech gadgets, it’s critical to do the research before you buy.
That’s why we decided to rank some of the top-selling rangefinders on the market today, looking for the models that live up to the hype. We wanted to weigh their strengths against their weaknesses to see which models were truly worth their price tags to help you on the golf course.
To pick our favorites, we looked at expert reviews and field tests. We also weighed the opinions of amateur golfers to determine how accessible and useful each model felt to the average consumer.
Check out our rankings to find the best one for you!
Best on a Budget
Best Golf Rangefinder Comparison Reviews
1. Bushnell Tour Z6
The consensus on Bushnell is almost universal in the golfing community, and their products are seen among the gear of almost every pro golfer. The Tour Z6 is one of their flagship series of rangefinding equipment.
Part of the broad appeal of new Bushnell models is the new, patented “pinseeker with JOLT” technology. When the device locks onto the pin (or any other target), it vibrates in the user’s hands.
The Tour Z6 ranges from 5 to 1,300 yards with an accuracy within ½ yard. It offers 6x magnification and Vivid Display technology, which adapts the optics to match the current lighting conditions.
It’s also a remarkably compact unit, with a dimpled rubber exterior for better grip. Despite its small size, however, the construction is still durable. It’s also waterproof, which is good news for rainy and foggy climates.
The Bushnell Tour Z6 is one of the more affordable Bushnell models, yet it still delivers consistent quality and results, earning near perfect scores from reviewers, bloggers, and publications online.
Owners report that the Z6 is excellent at ranging a pin or hazard, even against cluttered backdrops like dense tree lines and bushes. Results are fast and accurate, enhanced by Bushnell’s E.S.P. (extreme speed precision) technology. Previous buyers said that the Z6 gives you a reading practically before you’ve finished pressing the button! They said it was a massive leap forward over older models they had used. Buyers also said that unlike older models, this one doesn’t get thrown off by trees or other natural objects in the background.
The JOLT vibrating technology isn’t just a neat perk—it really does help you keep a steady lock on the target, according to reviewers. The tactile sensation gives an intuitive feel to locating and ranging objects through the viewfinder.
When you combine the JOLT with a one-button point-and-click operation, you get a uniquely natural interface. Like many of Bushnell’s models, though it comes with a level of quality that experienced golfers will appreciate, the interface is simple enough for novices to enjoy, as well. Previous buyers said that the bright, red-colored display stays legible even in full sunlight. They especially liked having the extra JOLT confirmation for making sure they’d got an accurate reading.
Customers rated the optics and display highly as well. Most reviewers found that the Z6 was bright and readable in a wide variety of different lighting conditions, from the low light of dusk to the bright afternoon sun.
Some users found the small size and light weight of this model to be a negative quality. Though most consider it an asset, a few had difficulty holding the Z6 steady while aiming. If you suffer from unsteady hands, you may want to consider purchasing a larger or two-handed model.
The Bushnell Tour Z6 hits all the right notes for users—it adds new and exciting technology, while still maintaining high marks in essential categories like accuracy, optics and range.
It’s our top pick for its compact yet durable build, mid-range price point, and outstanding performance. If you’re looking for one that will give you an edge on the course, we highly recommend the Z6.
2. Bushnell Pro X7
If you’ve got the budget for it, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better rangefinder for golfing than the Bushnell Pro X7. This particular model is the number one choice among PGA players for its unparalleled accuracy and magnification.
Since both the Pro X7 and the Tour Z6 are both made by Bushnell, they share a good deal of the same technology and features. For example, the Pro X7 also has JOLT, as well as the E.S.P ranging system and Vivid Display Technology.
So what distinguishes the Pro X7 from the Tour Z6?
For starters, the X7 has a tremendous range of 5 yards to one mile. That’s 1760 maximum yards to the Z6’s 1300. Both units share the same margin of accuracy of ½ yard.
The Pro X7 is also considerably larger than the Z6, requiring two-handed operation. The X7 also has a superior 7x magnification.
The Pro X7 comes in two versions, one with slope technology and one without. Slope technology gauges the difference in elevation between the user and the target. While it is absolutely a useful feature, it’s not allowed under USGA tournament rules.
Bushnell brags that the Pro X7 is the most powerful rangefinder on the market—and we are inclined to agree.
All of the good that comes in the Tour Z6 can be found in the Pro X7 (except for the small size). Ranging is fast and accurate with the E.S.P. technology, and the optics are bright and clear in any light conditions. Previous buyers said the image is simply fantastic, with a balance of both clarity and magnification power. They said that it worked equally effectively in all lighting conditions, which made tricky shots much easier to judge.
You’ll know you’ve got your target, too, without any guesswork. This one even vibrates to confirm target acquisition!
With its superior range and higher magnification, the Pro X7 is a must-have for the golfer who wants the true top-of-the-line option. It has a very impressive amount of power in its small package, and any competitive player will not be disappointed!
Though it is the most widely-used model among pro golfers, first time users found the X7 very easy to use. The design is ergonomic, making ranging far-off targets simply a matter of aiming and clicking. New golfers said that this tool helped them improve both their accuracy and distance, both on the driving range and on the green.
The primary downside of the X7 is the higher cost—all that extra power, of course, is going to be more expensive. However, among those who have purchased this model, almost all agree it is well worth the investment.
The other downside of this one is the opposite problem of our top pick—a few owners complained that the Pro X7 is bulky.
With widespread praise among both professionals and amateurs, the Bushnell Pro X7 truly earns its title as the most powerful rangefinder on the market today. With unparalleled range, magnification, and speed, this one is the standard of quality by which other models are measured.
It’s easy to see why this is the model preferred by the vast majority of professional golfers today. If you’re looking for the best performance available in your next rangefinder, the Pro X7 is well worth the investment.
3. TecTecTec VPRO500
If the price tags of high-end rangefinders make you nervous, or if you’re shopping for your first rangefinder, there are a number of great rangefinders that won’t break the bank.
Our favorite budget-friendly rangefinder is the TecTecTec VPRO500. This inexpensive device is one of the most popular on Amazon, and earns top marks in its own price bracket—often outperforming pricier models.
This rangefinder delivers accurate readings up to 540 yards, with 6x magnification and accuracy within one yard. The interface is displayed through the eyepiece, and features pinseeker technology designed to target subjects, even against a crowded background. It also features scan mode, which allows users to cycle through the ranges of all the targets in the view of the device.
The VPRO500 has an eye-catching, modern design that’s made to fit in the palm of your hand. The build is ergonomic, durable and lightweight. It’s both water- and dust-resistant (but not waterproof).
Many fans of this rangefinder argue they don’t need anything more than what the VPRO500 offers—which, for the price, is plenty. This rangefinder is a great option if you don’t want to spend a few hundred extra dollars on the bells and whistles of higher-end rangefinders. It’s accurate, fast, and very easy to read, thanks to the spartan design.
The stripped down interface was preferred among many first time users. Within the range of the VPRO500, this model proved just as accurate as more expensive models. The simple operation has the added bonus of being useful in other applications—a few hunters and contractors also stated that the VPRO500 was their favorite model to work with. They said that while it might not be as sophisticated or feature packed as more expensive models, it got the job done just as well. In fact, many buyers bought this as an all-around utility rangefinder. They used it for planning fences, landscape designs, and hunting ranges, among other things.
Reviewers were also big fans of the customer service department at TecTecTec. Many reported that customer service representatives were friendly, accommodating, and eager to help. That’s a big plus if you’re buying your first rangefinder. Plus, with any purchase, it’s comforting and reassuring to find a company who really cares about customer satisfaction.
The shortcomings of this model are what you would expect at the price—most critical reviewers complained of the limitations in accuracy and range of the VPRO500.
It also falls somewhat short in its ability to distinguish the right target immediately. Though the scan mode can help pick out the right target, the response time is significantly longer than the other two models we looked at.
The low price of the TecTecTec VPRo500 shouldn’t lead you to think it’s a low-quality product. On the contrary, this rangefinder has invested in the right qualities where it counts.
If you have a limited budget, or if you’re new to the world of rangefinders, we recommend the VPRO500. It’s easy to use, accurate, versatile and (best of all) it won’t set you back hundreds of dollars.
What to Look For in a Golf Rangefinder
Now that we’ve laid out our favorite models right now, let’s take a look at some of the qualities that make a good golf rangefinder. It’s important to not get distracted by the special features in many models, though they can be useful.
Instead, you should first examine the specifications of the rangefinder you’re considering. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t help your game if your rangefinder is blurry, inaccurate, or myopic. That’s why you want to start with the essentials before you look at the extras!
Here are some crucial specifications to keep in mind when evaluating a rangefinder:
The range is the maximum distance that a rangefinder is capable of measuring. Most golfing rangefinders also have a minimum range, as well, to represent the smallest distance the device can measure.
Range is a critical quality to examine before you make a purchase. It will be frustrating to hit the course only to find that your rangefinder won’t be able to range the distance that you need it to. So, make sure you think about the kinds of shots you’re making, which courses you’ve played so far, and where you want to be with your game in the future.
Finding out the accuracy of a rangefinder should be done in two parts. First, you should check the product listing for the specs the company provides. The key number to look for represents the margin of error for distance readings.
For example, say the listing for a rangefinder states, “accurate within one yard.” If you get a reading of 200 yards, that means the actual distance is somewhere between 199-201 yards. The smaller the margin of error, the more accurate the rangefinder.
Unfortunately, we all know that a company’s claims don’t always play out in the real world. Rangefinder performance can vary depending on the quality of the product. So the second important part of evaluating accuracy should be looking at reviews to see what others have to say about the rangefinder’s accuracy. That’s one area where we can help you out! We’ll explain how the claims stack up to user experience.
The quality of visibility through a rangefinder is also a very important element. Great optics are a combination of magnification, high-quality glass, and a legible display. Many models also use technology to enhance visibility in a variety of lighting conditions, so you aren’t limited to using your rangefinder at certain times of day.
The only way to truly determine the optical quality of a rangefinder is to read the reviews of a particular model. There are many models that claim to deliver bright, clear optics, but this is a judgment best left up to the consumer. Learning how a rangefinder works will help give you a better outlook on how to choose the best product.
Which Golf Rangefinder is Best for You?
The clear winner for the average buyer is the Bushnell Tour Z6. Among the models we’ve reviewed to date, we think this is easily the best in terms of value. The mid-range price point of the Tour Z6, combined with against the accuracy, speed, clarity of the equipment, make for a great buy for the average buyer. It’s not quite as flawless or powerful as the Pro X7, but the Tour Z6 goes well beyond what most golfers actually need, at a price most players can afford.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra, and are an ambitious player, you should consider the Bushnell Pro X7. Often referred to as “the most powerful rangefinder” available right now, the Pro X7 has cemented its reputation as the model of choice for PGA golfers. For golfers want top-of-the-line equipment, the Pro X7 is a must-have. It’s more powerful and more precise than the Tour Z6, even if it’s overkill for the average weekender. You’ll need to be able to afford it first, but if you can, we see no reason whatsoever to settle for the excellent Tour Z6 when you could have the phenomenal Pro X7.
While the Bushnell’s are our clear favorites right now, we know they’re relatively costly. With that in mind, we want to recommend the VPRO500 to those may be looking for something on the lower end of the price spectrum. It’s an excellent choice for beginners or golfers with a smaller budget for gear. the TecTecTec VPRO500 is a solid unit with a respectable range that many golfers swear by. With all of the quality, range and accuracy contained in this unit, the VPRO500 is a high-quality bargain pick. However, if you’re a more ambitious player, or semi-professional, this one might not pack the punch or precision you crave.
The Best Golf Rangefinders
- Bushnell Tour Z6 – Our Top Value Pick
- Bushnell Pro X7 – Highest Quality
- TecTecTec VPRO500 – Best on a Budget
- Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder (honorable mention)
- Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Golf Laser Rangefinder (for the space-saver)
- Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder (best update)
- Bushnell Tour v3 Laser Rangefinder (an oldie but a goodie!)
Golf rangefinders are usually oriented towards performance on the green, but golfing isn’t the only field for which rangefinders are useful. Check out our Top Laser Rangefinders page for our favorite multipurpose models. We’ll show you how to find the best models for hunting as well as lots of other outdoor recreational activities!
For more high-performance golfing rangefinders, or to check out how our picks stack up against the competition, head over to the Amazon Best Sellers page.