Pros and Cons of GPS and Laser Rangefinders

Playing golf as a professional player definitely involves using a GPS or a laser rangefinder. Both of these devices are extremely useful, and will certainly help you improve your game. However, there are some differences between them. In order to offer you some information regarding these two devices, have a look at the following article with the pros and cons of GPS and laser rangefinder.

Why do you need one to begin with?

Before we jump to the pros and cons of these devices, let’s analyze what makes them indispensable in the gear collection of a beginner or pro golf player. Note that the exact helpfulness of the device fluctuates depending on the features it comes with and technologies it puts at your disposal, so feature-rich models are bound to enhance your play more than basic ones.

    • Know the distance to the flag: One of the most problematic issues for beginners especially is estimating the distance from their current location to the flag. This piece of information is of an utter importance as it affects the manner in which you are supposed to hit the ball as well as the club that you should use for that specific move. Thankfully, the precision in distance measurement provided by the golf device ensures you will always be informed on what yardage stands between the two locations.
  • Know what obstacles lay ahead: When the hole is far away from your current position, you aren’t able to clearly see what obstacles and hazards are along the way. Thus, your shot might inadvertently be ruined by their presence as you could end up hitting them instead of landing the ball in the hole. With the device, this won’t be an issue any longer as you can zoom in on your target, thus more clearly seeing what lays ahead.
  • Know what club to pick: One of the major influential factors in the decision-making process regarding club selection is the distance that stands between the current location of the ball and where the hole is located. As you are informed regarding the position of the hole and the exact distance that stands between it and the ball, you will be able to make a 100% correct decision in regards to the club that you will use.
  • Know the outlay of the course: Some devices come with pre-installed courses on them, and if you happen to play on one of those courses, you enjoy the added benefit of getting to plan out your strategy before you start, properly modifying it along the way while taking into account future obstacles and hazards.

Laser rangefinder


  • Provides more accurate measurement than GPS models do.
  • You will know the precise distance to any object which might interfere with your shot and the exact distance to your target.
  • Easy to use, all you need to do is to point the device at the target from your current position to receive exact yardage.
  • They give you the possibility to download different courses so that you can see the course as a whole.
  • They provide faster readings as opposed to their GPS counterparts.


  • You need to hold it steady for an accurate reading.
  • Won’t give you as good of an overview of a hole as a GPS model does. However, modern laser rangefinders have shown some improvements in this matter. Just take a look at some of the rangefinders reviewed on

GPS rangefinder


  • Gives you a better overall view of the hole, which results in an increased pace of play.
  • Easier to use in comparison to their laser counterparts.
  • Steadiness is not required when you operate them as it doesn’t affect reading precision.
  • They tell you what size and shape the green has, and this can help you improve your game.
  • Even if it’s raining or it’s foggy, you will still be able to use it.


  • Less precise than laser models are.
  • Even though they come with mapped courses, you will eventually need to download some of them from the internet, companies usually charging for this type of downloads.
  • Variety in terms of features is overwhelming, making it a bit more difficult to stick with a specific choice.
  • Feature-rich models usually come at high prices.

Verdict – Which Is Your Best Guess?

Even though both types have their good and bad sides, some argue that laser models are better, while others prefer GPS rangefinders regardless of their flaws. In the end, both laster and GPS models are suitable for improving your golf game and helping lower your handicap, so the matter of which is the best device to use comes down to your personal preference. We recommend that you read plenty of online reviews before you stick with a certain product, and not set your mind towards a specific type of rangefinder as you could end up missing on better quality products due to preconceived notions.

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