Laser Rangefinder VS. GPS Rangefinder: Which One Is Better For Golf?

Are you confused, whether you should buy a laser golf rangefinder or a GPS rangefinder? Well, let me tell you, it’s not just you. When it comes to buying a rangefinder, many people get confused between these two options.

But you don’t have to worry anymore, because we are going to help you decide. In this post, we will elucidate the pros and cons of laser and GPS rangefinder, and decide which one is better for golf. But, first, we must understand each rangefinder in detail.

What I can say is that in most cases golfers tend to go for the laser rangefinders.

Laser Rangefinder

Laser rangefinders are the most common and popular rangefinder device. You don’t have to download a rangefinder application in your smartphone or carry any extra device with you. You will find multiple features in a single device.
To measure the distance, you just have to point it towards the target, and the distance will be easily measured using a laser beam. You can enjoy many features like slope measurement, pin seeker, magnification, etc.

GPS Rangefinder

GPS rangefinders are available as a rangefinder device and GPS watches. You may conveniently wear it on your wrist instead of carrying a device with you.

With this device, you can easily measure the distance and calculate yardages. You can take your golf performance to another level by using its features. This watch will track all your swing history to make suggestions. You can also enjoy accurate close views and hazard information.

Laser rangefinder vs GPS rangefinder

Although these two devices have some functions, they have completely different features. Here, we will see all the pros and cons of these two rangefinders.

The Good and Bad

As each of the products are different in the way they work, each of them also have their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them now.

Pros of Laser Rangefinders


It is very easy to use. You don’t have to learn complicated techniques and process to use this device. You just have to aim this at the target to know the yardages.


The golf laser rangefinder is compact devices which can be easily stored. You can easily carry it in your bag or pocket.


Golf laser rangefinders are more accurate than GPS rangefinders. You don’t have to rely on GPS location to know the distance. You can easily get the accurate distance by aiming at the target. It is one of the biggest advantages of the laser rangefinder.

Quick yardages

You will get quicker results with a laser rangefinder. While tracking hazards, GPS rangefinder takes a lot of time. With this device, you can quickly know the hazards and their distance by simply aiming it on the target. It will save you time.

Cons of Laser Rangefinders

Climate problems

You will not be able to use this device properly during rainy weather and foggy conditions.

So if you are living in a rainy region, you must not choose this device.

The target must be in sight:
You have to aim the laser properly on the target to get the accurate distance. If the target is not in your sight, you won’t be able to aim and get an accurate distance.


Laser rangefinders are costly compared to other rangefinder devices. You can find other rangefinder devices with lesser price and many features.

Need stable hands

In order to get the correct distance, you need a steady aim. You can’t use this device with shaky hands.

If shaky hands is a problem of yours, be sure to see my article on how to keep a golf rangefinder steady when aiming.

Pros of GPS Rangefinders


Golf GPS rangefinder watches also work as smartwatches.

You can take calls, receive messages and notification on this watch.

Sky view hole layout

With premium GPS watches, you can enjoy the whole layout on the field from the sky. You can easily know the holes and hidden bunkers.

Tracking shots

You can also track all your shots with this device. It will track your shots and analyze your performance to make suggestions.


As the GPS rangefinder watches are always connected to GPS, you don’t have to calculate the distance again and again. As it is not on wrist, it moves with you and set the location accordingly.


These rangefinders also give accurate results. Although they are not as accurate as laser rangefinders, they are a close match.

Fast Play

It is used for fast plays as you don’t have to set the target and aim continuously. Just one look at the watch, and you will know the distance.

Cons of GPS Rangefinders


You might face problems like discrepancies in the hole location and distance sometimes. It is very rare but can’t always trust GPS location, right?


If you are used to the traditional rangefinder device, you might feel quite uncomfortable wearing this watch.

Hazard tracking

It is very difficult to measure hazard distance with a GPS watch.

Conclusion: Which one is better for you?

These are all the pros and cons of laser and GPS rangefinders. Now you can choose which device is suitable for you. Both the devices are better for golf as they serve the same purpose.

You can keep certain factors in consideration as the price, features and ease of using each device.

If you are a budget problem, go with GPS rangefinder. But if you want accuracy, go with laser rangefinders.

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