2017 LASER RANGEFINDER BUYER'S GUIDE

More frequently than ever before, golfers are opting to use a laser rangefinder. While many golfers use their rangefinder for pin distances exclusively, others also use rangefinders to measure the distance to trees, bunkers, and other hazards. The best lasers capture the distance to any target simply, quickly, and accurately.

The process of buying anything in today's time has become stressful and time-consuming We want to help solve that problem for you. The MyGolfSpy mission is simple: create the world's most objective and comprehensive testing in the industry. We feel the best reviews are those that help you make the right choices and help you get the most out of your time and money.

One key to our testing protocols is testing products head-to-head. We select the top products from each category and put the products through detailed head-to-head testing. We test both in the lab and in the field. We score each product across a range of weighted categories. We then rank the products and explain why, and give awards to the best performing products in the category.

This year we approached our rangefinder testing with more critical scoring and improved protocols. This was based on an intensive look at the market and feedback from consumers just like you. Several key findings from that research influenced the rangefinder testing process for 2017.

We can definitively say that some laser rangefinders performed better than others. For this guide, we evaluated each model looking specifically at the consistency of distances provided, the clarity of the visual field, and the unit's ability to capture distances above of 200 yards. Our top performers stood out among the pack.

laser-winner

THE METRICS

We're always fine-tuning our evaluation process to ensure we're collecting the best data possible. Continuing that trend we've updated and refined this year's analysis to bring you the best buying advice possible.

FEATURES CHART

Laser RangefinderMagnificationRangePin SeekingLock IndicatorLegalY/MSlope
BUSHNELL PRO X26X5-1300PINSEEKERJOLTY*YY
BUSHNELL TOUR V45X5-1000PINSEEKERJOLTYYN
BUSHNELL TOUR V4 SHIFT5X5-1000PINSEEKERJOLTY*YY
CALLAWAY 3006X5-1000P.A.T.NONEYYY
SCOREBAND VIBE6X5-400FLAG LOCKVIBEYYN
PRECISION PRO NEXUS6X5-400A.T.L.NONEYYN
SIG SAUER KILO 8504X5-1200HYPERSCANRANGELOCKNYY
PRECISION PRO NX76X5-400T.A.T.PULSE VIBRATIONYYN
CALLAWAY 2006X5-800P.A.T.NONEYYN
BREAKING 80 IS5006X5-250INTELLISCANPIN SENSORYNN
TECTECTEC VPRO5006X5-540PIN SENSORF.T.P.YNN
TECTECTEC DLX6X5-600PIN SENSORF.T.P.YNN

Over the course of the test, golfers lasered flagsticks from three different distances. The flagsticks were outfitted with reflective prisms to best evaluate the laser's effectiveness at capturing a distance to a flag.

To establish whether the distance produced was consistent and accurate, testers shot each distance ten times with each device.

We found that some products struggled to pick up the target from our longest distance. If a product failed to acquire the correct target in three tries, the incorrect distance was recorded.

Accuracy (45 Points) - The goal was to test the consistency of the distances provided. Products that performed well here time and time again provided the same distances. While minor variations, +/- one or two yards, were fairly regular some entries provided distances that varied more than five yards or failed to pick up the flagstick at all.

Naturally, in a sport described as the "game of inches" it is imperative to be provided with a consistent distance. If you practice believing that a club distance is one thing, then even if the actual distance is different your club distances should correlate to what you believe the distance to be. In other words, a consistent distance is more important than the correct distance.

Speed (15 points) - How quick you can get from a blank display to an accurate distance. We found rangefinders with pin-sensing technology were more efficient because they notify the golfer when the distance has been captured. Units without the pin-sensing technology place a greater burden on the golfer to decide when the distance is correct. We also found non-sensing rangefinders were more likely to pick-up foreground and background objects instead of the intended target, creating a lack of trust in the measurement.

Optics (25 points) - How clear is the visual field?  Is it possible to easily see the course's topography? Can you make out invalid blades of grass and grains of sand? While this level of detail may seem insignificant, it can be helpful in assessing the layout of the golf course during play. The slopes of the fairways and greens can be better-taken advantage of when they can be seen clearly.

Display (15 points) - How prominently is the distance displayed? Is the layout overly complicated or too basic? Does the font design and color help or hinder the effectiveness of the display?

Final grades were awarded based on total scores. The Best Overall is our highest scoring rangefinder, with additional awards given to the top five rangefinders. Additionally, more specific Best in Class recognition is awarded to rangefinders that push the industry envelope in in certain categories (optics, accuracy, display, and speed).

THE BEST LASER RANGEFINDERS OF 2017

BUSHNELL PRO X2

BUSHNELL PRO X2

Speed
3rd
Accuracy
1st
Optics
1st
Display
3rd
Score
95.38
1

What We Liked

-By Far The Best Rangefinder for 2017

-JOLT feature alerts you when the target is acquired

-Consistent repeatable measurements instill trust

-Display can be toggled between red and black to better adapt to lighting conditions

-Visual field is perfectly clear

Pros

-“Best in Class” Accuracy

-“Best in Class” Optics

-Slope Switch Technology

Cons

-Red display could be brighter

-Comparatively bulky

BUSHNELL TOUR V4

BUSHNELL TOUR V4

Speed
1st
Accuracy
4th
Optics
2nd
Display
1st
Score
93.13
#2

What We Liked

-Separate and non-slope models available

-JOLT feature alerts you when the target is acquired

-Consistent repeatable measurements instill trust

Pros

-“Best in Class” Speed

-“Best in Class” Display

-Slope Switch Technology available in Shift

Cons

-Lacks multi-color display option of Pro X2

CALLAWAY 300 PRO

CALLAWAY 300 PRO

Speed
4th
Accuracy
3rd
Optics
5th
Display
4th
Score
91.25
#3

What We Liked

-Displays slope-adjusted yardage as a total distance (not +/- yards)

-Recticle’s crosshair design increase confidence

Pros

-Easy to use straight from the box

-Accurate from all distances

Cons

-Diopter adjustment difficult to use

-Optics not as clear as top rangefinders

-No target acquisition alert

SCOREBAND VIBE

SCOREBAND VIBE

BEST BUY

Speed
11th
Accuracy
1st
Optics
9th
Display
6th
Score
84.38
#4

What We Liked

-Incredible Performer and Only $189

2017 MyGolfSpy Best Buy

-Unbelievably consistent from all distances

Pros

-“Best in Class” Accuracy

-Ultimate value

Cons

-Slow to acquire target

-Under-magnified lens

-Delayed VIBE (target acquisition alert) doesn’t alert golfer as quickly as top units

PRECISION PRO NEXUS

PRECISION PRO NEXUS

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Speed
9th
Accuracy
6th
Optics
7th
Display
5th
Score
83.5
#5

What We Liked

At $149 this is a no-brainer

-Comfortable, ergonomic design

-Comparatively less expensive

-Provides consistent distances

Pros

-Clear around the edge of visual field

-Consistent all-around performer

-Simple, intuitive display

Cons

-Slow at acquiring target

-Not a standout in any single category

-Largest of models tested

2017 LASER RANGEFINDER BUYERS GUIDE

NamePriceSpeedAccuracyOpticsDisplayScore
BUSHNELL PRO X2$499.993rd1st1st3rd95.38
BUSHNELL TOUR V4$299.991st4th2nd1st93.13
BUSHNELL TOUR V4 SHIFT$399.991st4th2nd1st93.13
CALLAWAY 300$299.994th3rd5th4th91.25
SCOREBAND VIBE$189.9911th1st9th6th84.38
PRECISION PRO NEXUS$149.999th6th7th5th83.5
SIG SAUER KILO 850$239.998th8th4th8th81.75
PRECISION PRO NX7$199.957th7th8th9th81
CALLAWAY 200$199.995th11th6th6th77.25
BREAKING 80 IS500$179.995th10th11th10th72.13
TECTECTEC VPRO500$299.9912th9th10th12th70.25
TECTECTEC DLX$179.9910th12th12th10th64.25