How to Use a Golf Rangefinder

Wondering How to Use a Golf Rangefinder?

A golf rangefinder is very helpful not just to new golfers but also to professionals. If you want to improve your golf skills, the rangefinder is a must-have. The device’s primary function is to measure the distance between you and your target, referring to the flag on the succeeding hole so you can adjust your shot accurately. It will also help you choose the right club.

The rangefinder has another function to calculate the distance over obstacles like slopes and steep hills. But, not all know how to use the golf rangefinder.

If you want to know how to use a golf rangefinder, here are simple steps you can follow and also some tips and facts you should remember.

What You Need?

Reliable and high-quality golf rangefinder.

Steps on Using a Golf Rangefinder

For new users who maybe have difficulties using the rangefinder, below are simple steps you can follow:

Step #1 –Buy the Appropriate Rangefinder

Buying the right golf rangefinder is the first thing you need to do. If not, it will not be able to help you with your game. When choosing, you have to consider some factors before you decide. It may be hard to determine if it is easy to use until you use it on the golf course. You can read reviews about the brand and check other user’s experiences on using it.

Think about the distances of your target in a golf course. Check if the device is capable of measuring short or long distances. Buying a rangefinder that measures only a limited distance is useless for a long-range golf course. Buy the one that measures at least 600 yards from where you stand.

Step #2 – Prepare the Rangefinder

Before heading to the golf course, you need to prepare your rangefinder. Not all scope comes with a battery, which is a vital accessory to power your device, so make sure you have it. Install the battery in the appropriate compartment.

Check the instruction manual on how to install the battery. Make sure you have the correct size. Turn on the scope to check if it is working, then proceed to step three.

Step #3 – Familiarize Yourself with the Gadget

If this is your first time using your golf rangefinder, you can use it directly on the golf course or at a range where you can practice using it before heading into the game. Keep this critical golf etiquette in mind – stand away from the tee when adjusting your rangefinder to let other players play ahead.

Turn on the unit and hold it to your eyes. Start to look around the golf course to know what you will see through the lenses. Make sure you have a clear picture of what is in front of you. Make some adjustments if needed using the focus wheel to have a clearer view of the course or adjust the eyepiece to wear your glasses.

Step#4 – Unobstructed View Measuring

Test the device how well it performs by gauging the distance between you and your target. It depends on the measuring function you want to use, for instance, angles, slope, generic yardage, and others. With this, you will have an idea of how far you are from your target.

Stand near to the ball you will hit with an unobstructed view. Hold the scope into your eyes. Lock in your target and press the measuring button. Some devices are automatic once it locks in the target. You will feel the tool will vibrate, or it produces sound to alert the user.

Wait for a few seconds and allow the rangefinder to calculate the distance. The measurements will appear at the top or bottom of the scope.

Step #5 – Obstructed View Measurement

Again, it depends on the type of golf rangefinder you buy. This rangefinder will not perform well on courses with a target surrounded by trees and other obstructions. It can detect your target easily as long as you focus on it well and align the crosshairs. For first-time users, it may take some time and patience to master the device.

Step #6 – Play a Round of Golf

Since you know how to use a golf rangefinder, you can easily choose the right clubs and power for your swings. When focusing on a new hole, you can use your rangefinder in measuring the distance for hitting accurate shots. It would help if you played around with the rangefinder other functions to familiarize yourself. Also, you will have an idea of how useful the tool can be when playing golf.

Step # 7 – Clean and Pack

After every use, do not forget to clean your rangefinder before storing it. If you fail to do so, it will become susceptible to damage. Some gadgets include a optical lens cleaning cloth that you can use in cleaning the lenses after using it. You can also use the fabric you use in cleaning your glasses. Do not forget to secure the scope in a carrying case to protect it until your next game.

Helpful Tips and Facts

  • Your device will not be accurate if the course does not have striped flagsticks. The base pin is also not visible so take note of these things when playing to act accordingly.
  • The golf scopes are usually measured in meters and yards.
  • You can use a clean, damp cloth in cleaning your scope just in case the rangefinder package does not include a cleaning material.
  • If there is any visible dust, blow it out before wiping it down.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a golf rangefinder?

Yes, it would be hard for you to determine the distance and the obstacles in the midway. The rangefinder will give you an idea of how far the next target, what club to use, and how hard you will hit the ball. If you hit any obstacle, expected or unexpected, you will get penalized.

It is best to be proactive and peek into the rangefinder to know where you should hit.

How do I use my old golf rangefinder?

It depends on what type of golf rangefinder you have. For monocular, you will see on the upper part a line that is marked green. Match it on the bottom of the flag post top. Then choose the appropriate golf club according to the distance displayed.

How long do golf rangefinders last?

The battery’s lifespan will depend on how long you will use it in every game. It typically lasts between 2000 and 3000 actuation. Some devices have auto-shutoff features that turn of the device after 8 to 10 minutes of non-use.

Why are golf rangefinders so expensive?      

Some factors affect the price of a golf rangefinder:

Brand Equity

Popular brands like Bushnell rangefinders usually cost higher than others. It is expensive not because it provides better quality. It’s because a famous brand makes it. Just like smartphones, Apple is costly because of the brand name. The product made of a well-known brand assures you that you will get a quality product. They will not put their names into a bad position if they provide low-quality items. But you have to pay a bit higher than less popular brands.

If you cannot afford an expensive brand of a rangefinder, you can go for less famous but make sure it is of good quality.


Rangefinders share the same components, and all can measure the distance. They differ on the materials used in making the parts. The materials are responsible for the age and quality of the product. The higher the quality of the material, the harder it will be for your rangefinder.

It is one of the reasons why some rangefinders cost higher, and the others are affordable. You will get what you pay for. A scope made of good quality material will not break easily when you drop it the first time. For a committed golf player buying one is a must. Just make sure you choose the best rangefinder.

Upgraded Models:

The upgraded versions are more expensive because of the added features and functions. A traditional long range rangefinder can measure only distance, while the newer version lets you do many things like measuring wind speed, slope, pin-seeking, reticle, and others. These things are invented to improve your golf skills, but you will have to pay the price. The new versions will help both beginner and professional golfers.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are preparing for a professional tournament or you want to improve your skills for your next game, using a rangefinder can make your golfing experience fun and exciting. With hundreds of different models to choose from, you should do some research before buying one.

The ease of use is quite essential. It will not be helpful if the tool is hard to use and control. Hopefully, this how to use a golf rangefinder guide will help you on using the gadget. If you want to share some thoughts about rangefinder, feel free to comment below.

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