The Benefits of Using a Rangefinder
Many golfers are ditching the old method of counting steps between yardage posts and then guessing how far the flag is located from the center of the green. Not only is this method time consuming it’s also very inaccurate and relies on many judgement calls to get the yardage correct. There are a couple of modern technologies to choose from to get yardages. First, global position systems (GPS) is a choice of many golfers. The issue with GPS as I’ve noticed throughout my years of working in golf is that they too can be inaccurate and sometimes time consuming when it comes to loading courses. Some GPS systems have courses pre-loaded; however, if I’m going to spend money on finding the correct yardage I want to know with 100% certainty that my number is correct.
Laser rangefinders are my choice for knowing my yardages. I can simply point and “zap” my target and instantly have a number showing in my field of vision. With my laser rangefinder I can also zap targets on the driving range so that I can figure out how far I’m hitting shots each day (this is something that GPS cannot do). Finally, I always hear people knock rangefinders because they don’t have a steady hand. I would argue that once someone uses a rangefinder for a full round they will learn that they really are easy to use (they certainly take a little getting used to). Furthermore, most rangefinders companies are now developing optics which allow for greater focus and steadiness as people search for their target. Bushnell for instance uses a technology called “Jolt”. This allows users to feel a slight vibration when they lock onto the flag. Basically, the unit buzzes in your hand similar to if your phone is set to vibrate.
At Kamloops G&CC we carry the Bushnell V3 Tour and the Bushnell V4 Tour Rangefinders. Both have jolt technology and fast-focus optics. The number 1 rangefinder used by PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players is Bushnell. Tour players rely on rangefinders during practice rounds to sort out their yardage books so that their caddies are prepared during competition rounds. Also tour players use their rangefinders on the range and during practice rounds so that they can relate a feel to a number. As an example, if Rickie Fowler is 95 yards from the flag on a shot he would probably be able to tell you exactly what club he’ll hit and how long of backswing he would make. He’d make a swing that feels as if his left arm moves to a specific point as it relates to the arms of a clock and then follow through to a full finish position (he’d likely be able to land within a yard or two more often than not).