Rangefinders are used to have a clear idea about the distance of the flag by the golfers. A rangefinder is a device generally used to measure the distance of target from you.

Golf rangefinder

Rangefinders have other different uses like hunting and forestry but in this article, we’ll guide you to how to use a golf rangefinder and to choose the perfect golf rangefinder. Let’s dig into it.

How to Use a Golf Rangefinder- Types and Uses

It may seem simple to use a rangefinder- finding the target, aiming the rangefinder to the target, and getting yardage. 

But you have to learn about the various types of rangefinders and their features.

Types of rangefinders:

Laser rangefinder

Beams of light are used in laser rangefinder to read the distance between you and your target. You need some practice for aiming the rangefinder. If you learn aiming it, it is easier at all.

The speed of light may vary according to the temperature conditions. Clear days are suitable for people to play golf.

Light beams of rangefinder do zoom in on the target and count the time it takes a beam to bounce back off the target. You will be able to see the total distance from the target even if the rangefinders take a long time calculating it.


To use the laser rangefinder, do the following steps.

  • Turn the rangefinder on first
  • You can change the mode or the sights or adjust it for slope by multiple features of most rangefinders.
  • After making necessary adjustments, and seeing clearly the rangefinder, you’ll be able to lift the sight to your eyes, view your target, and press the button.

But, laser rangefinders emit laser beams when it is working. Its accuracy varies on the amount of beam reflected on the target flagstick. 

In other words, improve its accuracy by aiming at a more reflective surface. some golf courses attach small reflective pieces at the top of every flagstick on the course. That makes it much easier to acquire the exact distance to the hole.

GPS rangefinder

A pin seeking technology is used to design golf GPS rangefinders that enable the rangefinders to determine the distance between the target object and the other obstacles.

You’ll be able to find the flagstick by using GPS rangefinder. It can also help improve your aim.


For using the GPS rangefinder the best of it, follow the steps below-

  • Load the map of golf course to the rangefinder. Most of them have their self maps on web and made for easy finding. Get the best read on flags, the slopes, and the flagsticks by this.
  • After reaching the course, turn the GPS rangefinder on and connect it to the satellite to determine your location. 
  • You have to select the target hole to get the reading on the distance and slope of the target. It will give you an accurate distance if pin. Determine the coordinates according to GPS mapping distance.

The accuracy of rangefinder depends on GPS signal and the number of satellites it can be able to connect to at that time. 

You are recommended to update maps regularly for getting the best reads on target distance and slopes.

Optical rangefinder

Optical rangefinders are another type of rangefinders that allow you to determine the distance between targets and slopes of golf ranges. You need to concentrate on the target with only one eye to the distance.

 With this device, determine the height of the pin and then you can convert it to a distance reading.

Uses: basic but more obsolete tool to help you calculate your distance from target is the optical rangefinder.

Simply look through the sight to use the optical rangefinder. If there are any knobs to provide more clarity, move it for your vision.

After doing this, you’ll see your target more clearly.

Get a clear idea about your target location with the optical rangefinders but remember-they are not accurate as laser rangefinders.

Use golf rangefinder in a slope

For using rangefinder to adjust the effective distances for elevation changes, you must have a device with a slope setting.

You have to determine hills and slopes may affect your distance when playing golf. If your rangefinder has slope setting, calculate the slope between you and the target.

Set yourself parallel to your target to get the accurate reading of the distance between you and the target.

Now, you are advised to set the sight for the bet clarity of your vision, and to aim it at your target. It will provide you the slope between you and your target, and the angle of return.

Hold your rangefinder steady

It may feel nerve-wracking to hold a rangefinder steady, but nothing to be worry about. Use one hand to hold the rangefinder and rest your elbow on your chest that will help to stabilize your arm.

Being nervous can impact your sight. So, try to relax as you visualize the distance between you and the target by taking a deep breath.

Resting your arm and breathing can help you hold the rangefinder steady.

Something you can do is to practice using it regularly to improve the way you use the rangefinder. The more you know about handling the device, the better you will perform when you are using it.


Make your game more fun with the rangefinders. Keep one thing in your mind- do not be dependent on rangefinders to improve your skills because in some official games, the rules of using rangefinder can vary.

Remember- every rangefinder is different. So, read the user manual carefully before using it.

Hopefully you’ve learned how to use a golf rangefinder. Keep playing!