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TOP 10 – “2012 BEST GOLF GPS RANGEFINDERS”

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So which “Golf GPS Rangefinder” do you choose? Which one is the best?  There’s a lot of choices out there and even more questions from consumers.  There needed to be a comprehensive test done of both the big name and smaller name Golf GPS units.  Which is exactly why the MyGolfSpy staff tested them, rated them and then compared them head-to-head to find out ultimately which models outperformed their competition. So…with that being said here is our {TOP 10 – “2012 BEST GOLF GPS RANGEFINDERS”}

1st Place – Callaway RAZR Laser GPS

As the score says, this is a perfect little laser.  The compact size , price point and performance put the Callaway RAZR Laser out in front of all the other GPS’s we have tested.  The Callaway RAZR is accurate up to 600 yards and displays distance to the tenth of a yard.  This unit uses “Nikon’s First Target Priority Mode” to pick up the “closest, smallest object like the pin”.  So you are able to target trees, bunkers, and other golfers as needed.  The Callaway RAZR Laser is 10% smaller and the case on the RAZR rangefinder is a huge improvement.

READ FULL REVIEW | PRICE = $333.99

2nd Place – Leupold GX-3i Rangefinder

The GX-3 was an awesome rangefinder, and the Leupold GX-3i is more accurate and faster while retaining the same great optics, compact size, and solid construction. If you’re looking to add a rangefinder to your bag, or planning an upgrade, the Leupold GX-3i needs to be at the very top of your shopping list.  In my opinion, the biggest area of improvement from the GX-3 to the GX-3i is speed.  “How much faster can it be?” My answer, “A lot.” The GX-3 is fast, but the GX-3i is Usain Bolt fast.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $347.99

3rd Place – Bushnell PRO 1M Laser

The Bushnell Pro 1M set the 2012 bar very high early on with a 98%.  And up until just recently it sat as our #1 GPS Tested.  The Bushnell Pro 1M is a fast laser rangefinder.  Powers up fast then finds the target distance almost instantaneously.  Accurate to a yard from 550 yards.  The Pro 1M also comes with Bushnell’s new Vivid Display Technology (VDT).  And don’t freak out if you drop it in the wet grass, it’ll survive.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $389.99

4th Place – Leupold GX-3 GPS

While Bushnell is still the biggest name in the golf rangefinder game, you definitely need to check out Leupold if you are in the market for a new rangefinder. The compact size and sturdiness got lots of positive remarks during our testing. The biggest attraction, however, was the red display.  It becomes hard to sell a golfer on anything other than a Leupold after they have seen the red display. The compact size and light weight of the Leupold is a major selling point, and it will definitely be appreciated by those who walk and carry their own bag.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $369.00

5th Place – Bushnell Tour Z6 Laser Rangefinder

I think that the word “little” in the previous sentence speaks to the feature that truly sets the Bushnell Tour Z6 apart from the other laser rangefinders.  This is a small unit.  The Bushnell Tour Z6 continues the attractive color scheme on its Pro 1M relative.  The body is a mix of white and black, with red accents in key positions.  With the 2012 lasers, we have reached the point where there is no real need to increase speed. The Tour Z6 gives the golfer all the speed that he or she can handle.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $358.00

6th Place – Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder

The Bushnell Hybrid is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of golf rangefinders.  While I am not sure that the Bushnell Hybrid will become as commonplace in the golfer’s bag as a hybrid club, I do believe that putting the laser and the GPS together has produced a unit that is superior to the sum of its parts. The Hybrid is comfortable and easy to use. It provides accurate readings and should help any golfer to play a more accurate game of golf.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $357.49

7th Place – Motorola MOTOACTV

Bubba Watson endorses the MOTOACTV.  The endorsement of a product by a professional golfer typically imparts some “tour-level” validity to the product.  Something along the lines of “the pro’s can use whatever they want, and they choose this”.  Bubba has definitely proven himself as an amazing golfer and by attaching his name to the MOTOACTV, the legitimacy of the MOTOACTV in the golf arena increases dramatically.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $199.00


8th Place – Bushnell Pro 1600

The Bushnell 1600 Pro has a great texture and feels great on the fingers. Overall though, I find it a little on the large size. Some of my issue may come from the fact that this unit is used horizontally while my other laser fires vertically.  The unit feels substantial, but also a touch heavy. Because of the horizontal orientation, two-handed operation is almost a necessity.  So will the Bushnell 1600 Pro be the rangefinder of choice for me this season? Alas, no. I want to restate that my issue with the unit is not one of quality; it is definitely of the highest quality. My not using this unit comes from the horizontal/vertical issue.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $299.98

9th Place – Matrix Shotmate Voice GPS

From the birth of golf-specific GPS devices until recently, manufacturers have piled more and more features into their units: color displays, better graphics, statistics, and yardages to every conceivable landmark on the course.  Of late, however, the GPS market has turned back towards simplicity and ease of use.  The Shotmate Voice GPS by Matrix is one of these new, simpler devices.  So, is less really more?  In a nutshell, Shotmate is a simple, accurate, easy-to-use GPS device that will give you the yardage to the center of the green.  My feeling is that it does not offer as much information as the avid or competitive golfer would want, but that it would be a solid choice for the recreational player.

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $150.00

10th Place – The Voice Caddie

The Voice Caddie GPS is a great product.  Yes, it has some shortcomings that some of you are not going to like, and that influenced its score.  Although, in the end, it still received a good rating.  As I have repeated several times throughout this review, know your tendencies before you buy something, and that goes for everything you buy.  Remember, this is the perfect product for the golfer who plays the same courses over and over.  If you are that golfer, I don’t think you will be disappointed.  You will save some money too!

READ FULL REVIEWPRICE = $139.00

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Will August 29, 2012 at 10:54 am

Get the Leupold GX-3i (or 4i) folks.
Lightning quick, solid metal construction, sweet looks and best of all Leupold Optics!
Military, tactical units and snipers chose Leupold over everything.

I think the 1 point difference is deserved since Callaway gives you a carabiner, but you also forgot to try out their customer service, I lost my case and Leupold sent me one for free, other customer love stories all over the web as well.

Cheers!

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Shockdoc17 August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I think the garmin hybrid is a ranked a little too low. I have been using this unit for about one year, and I have found having both GPS and laser to be very helpful. The GPS gives me a quick measurement to the front and back of the green and I can get a precise pin measurement from the laser. I also think the GPS is helpful for those blind shots or times when I get myself into trouble and don’t have clear line of sight to the pin. Thanks for the comprehensive review of so many different units.

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CJA August 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have the bushnell hybrid and love the fact that not only do I know the distance to the flag, but also know the stance to the front middle and back of the green. Great to know if I can be a little short or a little long on my approach. Also, if line of sight is interupted the gps comes in handy. As they say on the infomercial it’s the best of both worlds. My only issue is it is a little bigger than other units and it does not find courses automatically. It always says satellite reception not sufficient so you need to put in the course manuley. It only takes a minute to do this so not too big of a deal. Also the rechargeable battery works real well. I get a quie a few rounds in before I need to recharge.

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MH September 2, 2012 at 7:32 am

Wow does this list miss out on the best game management tool ever made. The Sky Caddie SGX or SGXw. The most accurate product I have ever used. It is the number one rated for accuracy. It gives me all targets, greens and pinpoint accuracy. It is a tour yardage book in an electronic hand held unit.
One number by laser is a very lonely number for most golfers. Play Sky caddie if you want a great experience.
They invented the GPS category. They have walked every course with precision equipment to give you the best information.

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GolfSpy T September 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

MH – You sound like a commercial.

Sky Caddie does claim to be the best, and we sent numerous requests essentially asking for the opportunity to prove it as part of our range finder/GPS review series.

None of those messages received even the courtesy of a reply. It’s one thing to claim you’re product is the best, it’s quite another to back it up.

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kona tom January 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I second that about SGX. These listed are cool but no match for sky caddie. Amazing it’s not listed. I figured it must be in a different category lol

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Andy September 3, 2012 at 3:16 am

The Pro 1M was only marked down on price. It’s the easiest to hold (horizontal orientation) with the best magnification (7x). Incredibly easy to use, and batteries last forever.

Exceptionally good bag clip too. This came free with my Pro 1M package.

If you can afford this, buy one.

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Kirby Jackson September 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

I’ve got the Leupold GX-3 GPS, and you’re spot-on when you say it’s Usain Bolt fast. Very impressed with the enhanced speed!

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MB September 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

Several of the reviewed products have nothing to do with GPS technology, yet the article refers to them as “GPS’s”. Is this a trend within the golf world? Also, is there any reason that true GPS products – such as the SkyCaddie or the Garmins or the Callaway uPRO – did not have much success on the list (I saw only the MOTOACTV)? Are they inherently inferior to lasers?

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kona tom October 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

In my view laser and gps such as sky caddie are apples and oranges. Yesterday from 220 yards, behind a low ridge and huge Oaks, the green was invisible. My caddie immediately provided yardages to all important points on and around the green. A laser…very accurate but completely useless in this case. obviously either this review was mislabeled or…….?

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TheFireFinder September 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

The Callaway Razr looks awesome. I had one from Walmart for the longest time and it was very unreliable. I love the idea that it is smaller and that is it waterproof. I have been through a few different ones because of weather issues. So hopefully this one will work better.

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John September 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

Why does the MotoActv say $199 but is nearly $100 more when you click the link?

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fleeter October 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

I have a friend that uses the sky caddie, and at the same time I use the Golf Logix app on my iphone. We have compared yardages on several occasions and they are virtually the same. Does MGS review apps at all?

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Blue Ridge CC October 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

The Sky Caddie SGXw is a terrible prooduct. I purchased one this spriing and it’s terrible. It’s overly expensive and just does not work well. Mine will sometimes jump ahead to holes or not advance. It also picks up holes from an adjacent course to the one I play most. Many purchasers have had problems with it. Read the reviews on Amazon before buying.

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Joe October 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

Only 4 of these are GPS units. The top 5 and the 8th place finisher, the Bushnell 1600, are all laser rangefinders only, they have no GPS functionality. Calling your winner the “Callaway Razr Laser GPS” and 4th place “Leupold Gx-3 GPS” are both incorrect. The list and review system you have here is tremendous, but I feel it is important to note that there are a few key differences between a GPS and a Laser Rangefinder.

GPS will not give you exact yardage to the pin. It is great for locating hazards and navigating hole layouts, but is less precise than a laser. Lasers are battery operated (not rechargeable) where GPS units have mainly lithium ion batteries that need to be recharged frequently and can require computer access. Lasers will require you to hit a target with a reticle where the GPS units provide a LED read out automatically based on position of the unit in relation to pre-mapped points on the course.

Other units:
The uPro MX+ from this year is a pretty solid all around unit as well. However, ever since Callaway has taken over the uPro their units have constantly frozen, messed up, or been mass recalled. When the MX+ is working, it is great. Have to steer clear based on the fact that it will most likely cause you problems within the first year, probably sooner.

SkyCaddie was the pioneer of the golf GPS industry with their relentless infomercial campaign, but their antiquated system of yearly fees is quickly making them irrelevant.

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David W October 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Question, do you have to release the button on the Leupold to get a reading or was that a typo in your review of the GX-3 (referred to in the review of the 3i)?

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David W November 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I am very close to purchasing a laser but am having trouble making my final decision. I really like the fact that Leupold is well known for scopes, however, I have read on other forums that people are having trouble getting them to find the pin (no problems sighting anything else). Several of the posters have gone from Bushnell to Leupold and are disappointed for this reason alone. Did you notice that it was tougher to find the pin with the Leupold than with the Bushnell Pro 1M? Also, how did the Callaway RAZR compare in this specific ability?

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Jackson March 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Do you honestly believe that ALL of the “several posters” who have gone from Bushnell to Leupold, have done so without, previously conducting extensive reseach on the product?
They made the switch for all of the good reasons; not for the unforseen (yeah! right) disapointment. If, by any chance, both were comparable in performance, that would be where Leupold Customer Service comes mostly into the equation.

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David W March 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I hate to break it to you but I wasn’t making that up. I’ve read on several forums that this was the case for the people who had switched that were posting in the forums. That being said, I bought the Leupold GX-3i and I can’t imagine that anyone is having trouble with it. It is way faster than any of the models that my friends own and they all like my Leupold better than their Bushnells. It is VERY easy to get it to lock on the pin and the red reticle is very easy to see.

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paul November 13, 2012 at 8:04 am

when will you do the leupold gx-4i

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Jackson March 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I find very odd, misleading and down right dishonest that, ALL of the Leupold results include a “peanut gallery”, *reducing* %, that is excluded in ALL of the Bushnell evaluations. And to be very precise, the difference btw a GPS and a Laser Rangefinder is like NIGHT&DAY.

In Golf, the same Rules of Golf apply equitablely to each and every player on the Course.

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Steve March 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

I have had a Callway/Nikon laser in my bag for a few years. Simple to use, accurate to a half yard, great resolution optics is a big bonus. About $200 brand new on Ebay, absolutely invaluable.

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Stephen Peszel April 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I bought the Leupold GX-4i. Responsive, accurate, bright. Just excellent. Now I know how far my miss-hits went, how far my bad shots are from the green. With my new KZG clubs I am re-learning how far each club flies and this device is a real help. The wrist loop is way too long and really needs to be a caribiner. It works best if the flag has a reflector, not all do. Just one click gives a result. Even my shaky hand does not phase it. I am very happy with this device and NO IT IS NOT GPS! It comes with two face plates, one gives slope.

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Jackson April 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

@Steven Peszel

The cure for shaky hands is not that difficult. Here’s what I do with my GX3: I rest the Rf on the fatter part of my thumb, and I extend my thumb touching a part of my face, cheek or nose. It steadies the hand.

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Tom Wilkerson April 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

This review is everything that is wrong with golf! How many golfers out there need accuracy to less than 5 yards and how many need to spend $300 plus dollars for that accuracy. Will it improve their game any more than a low cost GPS that provides front, middle and back distances – not likely! You need to get real and start addressing the needs of real golfers who are not professionals or scratch amateurs. Also you might mention that without line of sight these top rated range finders are useless.

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David W April 23, 2013 at 5:54 am

Wow, what a crazy comment. I’m a 12 handicap and I wouldn’t trade my laser for anything. Not only does it give me yardages that a gps can’t (distance to the tree at the corner of the dogleg, distance to the ditch at the end of the dogleg, distance to the 150 marker, etc. it speeds up the game big time because you aren’t waiting for a gps signal or for the software to catch up. I used GPS for several years but since I bought a laser I wouldn’t go back for anything. Not only is it better on the course, it’s the only thing you can use on a driving range to tell you how far away the pins are. If you want to complain, complain about the companies who mark them up so high, not about the people who give you insight into which ones are better so that if you spend that kind of money you aren’t wasting it on one that isn’t what you expected.

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Kenneth p July 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I have a callaway upro GPS that has any point technology and it is awesome have had it for many years now and have been one of he lucky ones I might add without having any trouble so from your point on course you can scroll anywhere with icon to get a yardage from any tree any dogleg any drainage ditch because with pro mode you have actual hole photo not to mention the enormous amount of info that is already has on it anyway thinking about buying bushnell v3 or z6

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Hugh July 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I have recently bought a ‘Shotmiser G700′, the trolley bracket (mount) broke on the first outing (part of it), on contacting the dealer I find they do not sell spare parts, you have to buy a omplete bracket, I don’t think this is a very good selling/support approach and I would not recomend their products and or service for this reason……

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Bill Shuster July 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Find it hard to believe the bushnell tour v3 isn’t on this list. The Jolt technology has truly separated it from the rest of the competition.

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David W July 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

The V3 wasn’t available at the time of the reviews. Also, how is a jolt that much better (if better at all) than a beep which the GX-3i has had since it was released?

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Kenneth p July 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

If your going to use a rangefinder there is nothing better then pin seeking technology 98% of guys on tour use the slope edition bushnell that’s right bushnell for all practice rounds to chart there books

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David W July 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

I had the Leupold GX-3i (before it got misplaced by someone at a driving range when I walked away from my bag (if you know what I mean)). I was about to buy another one when I saw that the RAZR is now selling for almost $100 less than the Leupold so I bought the RAZR. I wish I hadn’t. It’s not in the same class when it comes to speed of locking onto targets. It uses this setup where you push the button and it scans for 8 seconds and you move it from target to target. It locks onto the first target it finds and it’s HARD to get it to then lock on the pin. I have friends with the Bushnells and they are very good lasers (much better than the Callaway) but even most of them say they like(d) my Leupold better. I made a mistake that I’m going to need to fix when I bought the Callaway.

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David W August 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Update on the RAZR. As I have used it (and learned to use the scan feature) I like it a little better (but still not as good as the GX-3i). One thing I did find out when I played Bermuda Run the other day is that if the flags have the reflectors it is just about as fast as the 3i. It does a really good job of finding them.

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david October 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Never never never buy anything by Garmin!!!!! Range finder,GPS.or any thing else. They are P—poor in quality and accuracy.

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Val B January 25, 2014 at 7:14 am

User reviews just don’t bear out what you’re saying. No GPS is 100% accurate. Get laser if you want that.

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best Golf Rangefinder February 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

There are cheap laser rangefinder now in the market.. why go for a GPS unit.. The difference is not much..for $250 or less you should get a very good one like Tour V2 standard edition. Reputable brands are Bushnell, Leupold, Nikkon.. Dont wast money on anyother brand

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bob kaczenski March 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm

While they all sound good, at 65 my hands are not that steady trying to hit the flagstick. Which would be a good choice for un lsteadty hands.

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best Golf Rangefinder March 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

You should avoid golf rangefinder with a push bottom like the Bushnell Tour Z6 Tournament Edition Golf Laser Rangefinder.

With an unsteady hand it is difficult to use this because the bottom is hard to push. However, there is a new version of the tour z6 now with JOLT. This one is good. Your best bet is a rangefinder with good grip or ergonomic design and a must with JOLT and pinseeker… if its Bushnell
This will help also to assure you you have locked into the target or lock into it automatically why you move you and..

Another possibility is also leupold GX – 4i or or the lower version 3i. for ergonomics is is very good for grip. However make sure it includes PinHunter, prism lock.. just like the JOLT and pin seeker with Bushnell. If you would like to compare also check out the comparison table on this link below..
http://bestgolfrangefinder.org/golf-rangefinder-comparison
I hope it helps

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