Knowing the accurate distance to the green, or any other target on the golf course, for a golfer, of any standard is of utmost importance. Having this information before taking a shot helps to ensure correct club selection, builds confidence and saves strokes, which ultimately leads to a golfer’s dream of lowering of their handicap.
There are several different devices available for measuring distance and giving yardage to help to enable a golfer to choose the right club. These vary from a simple viewfinder device where the flagpole height is converted through charts to yardage and GPS technology controlled by satellite. However the most accurate is a laser controlled rangefinder.
In This Article
Golf Rangefinder with Slope
Rangefinders for golf have been around for a few years, developed originally from a device used in hunting and other gun sports. Recent developments by leading manufacturers now include an even more accurate model which takes into account ‘The slope’ or the ground inclination or elevation which leads up to the target.
A word of caution when considering the purchase of a rangefinder, with, or without slope included. The rules imposed by the USGA regarding competition involving handicap only allow devices that measure distance. You can, however, play practice rounds to establish various shots, or play in competition with a standard rangefinder for distance only.
The rangefinder with slope gives a golfer a great advantage especially on undulating courses with elevated holes or tee positions that are hitting into a valley. Depending on the incline, for instance, the distance to the target can vary from a seven-iron shot to a five iron or even more. The rangefinder with slope will calculate and take this difference into account.
Standard or Rangefinder with slope
Both versions work on the principle of looking through a viewfinder to find your target. Once found a button or trigger on the unit is pushed and a laser beam bounces back off the proposed destination giving an accurate yardage. The slope unit also calculates the rise or fall in the land to enable you to determine which number club you need to hit to maximize your score.
Manufacturers have identified the growing market in distance and yardage devices and are evolving by adding updates to make the units as simple to use as possible. For example, one problem that was experienced with a rangefinder was, if not held perfectly still when aiming at the target a false reading could be given from a nearby object.
Pin Seeker and Jolt Technology
This problem seems to have been resolved by some companies with the introduction of pin seeker with jolt technology. Once locked onto the target the rangefinder gives off a slight vibration so you can feel and know the distance is correct. Using a rangefinder for the first time may feel strange but they are generally very user-friendly.
Practice on the driving range by picking out targets at various distances to aim at, and then experiment with a couple of friendly rounds, always bearing in mind other players and the problems caused by increasingly slower rounds that can end up ruining everyone’s game.
Distances of each hole from the various tee positions are shown on the scorecard. Most tee off positions have the yardage of the hole and sometimes an image of the layout of the hole which is fine for your first shot. But the second and subsequent shot is where you need the help of a rangefinder. You have to decide whether a standard or a rangefinder with slope is best for you, but now you know the difference; either will save you shots and will increase your confidence and enjoyment of this wonderful game.