Golf rangefinders and GPS units might just be your secret weapon on the course.
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Let technology give you an edge. Boost your game with innovative golf electronics, ready for your on-course performance.
Whether you're trying to get a better read on your favorite course, or looking for ways to step up your swing, turn to golf electronics to make a difference in your game.
Golfers who want to take a better look at their favorite course can look to a golf watches, GPS units and rangefinders from top brands like Bushnell, Garmin, SkyCaddie and more. These cutting-edge devices track how long it takes you to play, the amount of calories you burn during the round and even accurate yardage to pin from up to 450 yards away.
Swing analyzers from industry-leading brands SwingSmart gauge swing tempo, attack angle, face angle and speed. These tools save you from spending hours on misguided practices by pinpoint what parts of your swing need the most work.
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Consider what you need from your golf gadget before making your selection.
Golf watches give you a variety of different options, all within a single device. Beyond standard functions, golf watches also include GPS technology which gauges the distance to the front, center and back of the green. Wristbands from GolfBuddy® are used with any GolfBuddy Voice or Voice+ GPS unit for even more features.
A golf GPS or rangefinder delivers up all the information you need to know about your favorite course. Most units are designed with the sleek look of a smart phone and offer easy use at your fingertips. Some models even offer images of the entire hole, letting you know where water, sand and other hazards lie.
Golf swing analyzers are ideal for golfers of any skill level, because they adapt to your playing level. If you’re just learning mechanics or tweaking your game, watch frame-by-frame to determine how to up your swing.
Golf swing analyzers are beneficial for recreational golfers who are looking to take their game to the next level. Instead of spending hours at the range and still not being able to improve your swing, golf
swing analyzers allow you to work on your game at home by providing individualized, constructive feedback.
Golf watches are an excellent option for players looking to get the most of their technology. Range-finding qualities, pin locations, and fitness tracking elements all wrapped into one device has become a popular choice among players of any skill level.
Range finders and GPS devices are useful devices for those who haven’t yet developed a trust for their instincts. By giving you detailed information about pin and hazard location and distances, these devices remove the guesswork and give you confidence as you address the golf ball.
Should I choose a Golf Rangefinder or Golf GPS?
Both rangefinder and GPS devices are designed to help golfers plan their way around a course. When determining which device would suit you best, it is important to understand the following: 1) the way each device functions, 2) operation of the device, and 3) breadth of functionality.
Here’s the difference: Rangefinders use high-frequency lasers to provide line-of-sight yardage to the pin or your target, while GPS devices utilize global positioning satellites to determine the device’s location in relation to the green or pre-programmed targets.
Some golfers prefer rangefinders because they are capable of acquiring yardage to virtually any target (pins, trees, hazards, etc.) within 500–1000 yards, while other golfers prefer GPS devices because most models simplify shot planning by automatically providing yardages to the front, middle and back of the green.
While neither device is difficult to use, GPS devices often offer automated features that help golfers maintain a more seamless pace of play (auto course recognition, auto hole recognition, etc.). Rangefinders take slightly more time to use due to their point-and-shoot nature but usually provide accurate yardage to your target within a few seconds.
Deciding which device is best for you largely depends on what you are looking to get out of it. Rangefinders are designed solely to help golfers acquire yardage information for targets within the line of sight. Some GPS devices, in addition to providing yardage, include digital scorecard, stat tracking, course map and other features to further assist in shot planning and overall convenience on the course.
Is it legal to use a rangefinder or distance measuring device?
Under the current Rules of Golf, Rule 14-3, the use of an electronic device for the purpose of measuring distance or course conditions during stipulated/tournament play is prohibited.
For handicapping purposes, golfers may use a device which measures distance only. Devices which measure slope, wind speed, etc. are deemed illegal.
It is always best for golfers to review the latest Rules of Golf and any Local Rules before play.
How do game analyzers and stat trackers help my game?
The advent of stat tracking and on-course game analysis has brought the benefits of launch monitors directly to the golf course.
In the past, working with a teaching professional and using a launch monitor was the best way for serious golfers to acquire swing metrics and understand which parts of their game required the most work. Now, game and stat tracking systems afford golfers the opportunity to receive these same insights on their smart phone or computer, in real time and during their round. Using this information to sculpt your training regimen ensures you make the most of your hours spent on the range or around the practice green.
Most systems work in one of two ways: 1) a series of low-profile tags fix to the butt end of each grip and sync with a wearable sensor or 2) a single sensor attaches to either your golf glove or the club shaft. Once successfully engaged, the system automatically records and stores key metrics, including swing plane, face angle, tempo and more for each club in your bag. Advanced systems even integrate with your smart phone via Bluetooth to display this information for immediate analysis. The hassle-free nature of these systems and the level of information they provide make them a must-have for golfers looking to improve their game.
In addition to capturing swing metrics, many systems also utilize Bluetooth technology to turn your smart phone into a high-powered GPS. This functionality puts extremely detailed course maps and yardage information in the palm of your hand for more successful shot planning during your round.
Do golf electronics require paid subscriptions for use?
Virtually all GPS, game tracker and swing analyzer devices include a standard suite of functionalities that never require a paid subscription. For instance, GPS devices come preloaded with an incredible number of worldwide courses and allow the user to connect the device to a computer for routine software updates with no additional charge. Game trackers and swing analyzers usually include a free mobile app or computer software that allows users to pull information from the device for further analysis.
However, for an additional fee, some electronics offer advanced features and functionalities. These features may include access to an online community of users, online swing coaching, advanced swing analysis or additional data storage. Although these advanced features are not required for basic use, they are designed to further the user experience and add a level of interaction with the device.