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Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

Laser Rangefinder Reviews - Overall Ranking

Summer 2017 – Reviews, ratings and rankings of the best golf laser rangefinders. Our editors test and compare the latest golf laser rangefinders head-to-head to help you determine which golf laser rangefinder is best.  Rangefinders tested include offerings from Leupold, Bushnell, Laser Link and Opti-Logic.

How We Test

Intro to Laser Rangefinders

Leupold GX-3i2

Leupold GX-3i<sup>2</sup>

The Leupold GX-3i2 has a solid aluminum body and a red OLED readout, all in a compact form factor. Enhancements in this model from the prior Leupold GX-3i are slight, but Leupold is now making enhancements on a line that is already exceptional. The device has 6x magnification, provides distances when panning and a flagstick prism lock option. Read on for more details of the Leupold GX-3i2 review.
Retail price: $499.99
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Score

91

Grade

A-


Leica Pinmaster II

Leica Pinmaster II

The Leica Pinmaster II is the supermodel of laser rangefinders. Slim and light, an exceptional form factor. Extremely expensive. You can impress your friends with it. But like a supermodel, it’s blisteringly expensive to acquire, and once you get past the surface, you’ll find it has issues that you really don’t want to deal with on an ongoing basis.
Retail price: $499 (new retail price, down from a blistering $699)
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Score

79

Grade

C+


Bushnell Tour V4

Bushnell Tour V4

Bushnell iterates on the v3 with the Bushnell Tour V4, offering the same vertically-held design, LCD with 5x magnification, and JOLT (shake it, sha- sha- sha- shake it!). Read on for more about the Bushnell Tour V4.
Retail: $299.99
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Callaway 300

Callaway 300

Callaway leverages its new relationship with IZZO to introduce the Callaway 300 Laser Rangefinder. It is reasonably priced, offering 6x magnification (the minimum we recommend), accuracy to +/- 1 yard (standard), and distances in yards and meters. The Callaway 300 is waterproof and fog proof, and comes with carry case included. It continues the line of entry-level laser rangefinders that Callaway has offered in the past. Read on for more about the Callaway 300.
Retail price: $279.99
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GolfBuddy LR5

GolfBuddy LR5

Now here’s something we didn’t expect…a laser rangefinger from GolfBuddy, and kick in an aggressive price point to boot! Known best for their GPS handhelds (and now watches), GolfBuddy expands their offerings with the GolfBuddy LR5. The laser weighs under 8oz., has 3 different scanning modes, 6x magnification and accuracy to 1 yard. Hey, with most players selecting either a laser or GPS device, why shouldn’t GolfBuddy give it a shot? Read on for more details about the GolfBuddy LR5.
Retail price: $249.99
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Laser Link XL1000

Laser Link XL1000

What on earth?! Laser Link gets crazy with their announcement of a golf laser rangefinder that breaks with their traditional and well-known pistol shaped design. As with most laser rangefinders on the market, the XL1000 is held vertically up to the eye and can target objects other than flagsticks with reflective prisms. The XL1000 introduces magnification (6x) for the first time into the Laser Link family, and the ability to scan across multiple objects for distance readings. Read more details in advance of a Laser Link XL1000 review.
Retail price: $359.00
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Laser Link Red Hot 2

Laser Link Red Hot 2

The Laser Link Red Hot 2 continues the pistol-shaped design that Laser Link is known for and provides the ability to obtain distances to any point on the golf course, unlike the more limited-use Laser Link QuickShot, which is designed to only pick up distance to flagsticks with reflective prisms. The Red Hot 2 (RH2) has a more ergonomically-friendly curved rubber handle, a red dot in the viewfinder for aiming, and the ability for distance confirmation to provide sound, be silent, or vibrate when locked on to a target. While the RH2 is available at a much more attractive (and realistic) price point than the prior generation offering, the downside and biggest difference from the competition remains the lack of any magnification in the viewfinder. Read more details in advance of our Laser Link Red Hot 2 review.
Retail price: $249
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Laser Link Switch Tour

Laser Link Switch Tour

The Laser Link Switch Tour replaces the aging Laser Link Swith, but…well, offers no noticeable changes. Laser Link continues to be the only company offering the “pistol” form factor, where the player holds the rangefinder away from their eye. And while Laser Link is best known for pairing the flagsticks that have reflective prisms, the Switch Tour allows the player to swap between modes of targeting any point (as with the Red Hot 2), and focusing on reflective prisms (as with the QuickShot). And yes, this is the only device that requires the user to actually take action when moving between targeting different objects. Oof.
Retail price: $299.00
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Laser Link QuickShot 2.0

Laser Link QuickShot 2.0

Last Link retains most all of the features of their classic QuickShot, including the pistol form factor (of course), and a red dot in the viewfinder to help align with the flagstick to obtain yardages. Just remember, this laser rangefinder will work only if the flagstick is equipped with a reflective prism. If they aren’t, and you like this shape of rangefinder, you’ll want to look at either the Laser Link Switch Tour, or the Laser Link Red Hot 2.
Retail price: $189
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Leupold GX-1i2

Leupold GX-1i<sup>2</sup>

The Leupold GX-3i2 has a solid aluminum body and a red OLED readout, all in a compact form factor. Enhancements in this model from the prior Leupold GX-3i are slight, but Leupold is now making enhancements on a line that is already exceptional. The device has 6x magnification, provides distances when panning and a flagstick prism lock option. Read on for more details of the Leupold GX-1i2 review.
Retail price: $374.99
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Leupold Pincaddie 2

Leupold Pincaddie 2

Leupold continues to get more aggressive with their entry golf laser rangefinder, with the Leupold PinCaddie 2 now at under $250 is one of the lower priced laser rangefinders in our tests. The PinCaddie 2 has an LCD display and features Leupold’s PinHunter technology (targets the nearest object), 6x magnification, and scanning mode. Read on for more details about the Leupold PinCaddie 2.
Retail price: $249.99
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Nikon COOLSHOT 40

Nikon COOLSHOT 40

The Nikon COOLSHOT 40 is the mid-level golf laser rangefinder in the Nikon COOLSHOT lineup, improving on the previously introduced Nikon COOLSHOT 20. The COOLSHOT 40 offers a similar white and blue design, with 6x magnification and scanning for up to 8 seconds. Distance accuracy is increased from the COOLSHOT 20 down to 0.5 yard and range up to 650 yards, and its rainproof too… Read more about the Nikon COOLSHOT 40.
Retail price: $299.99
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Nikon COOLSHOT 20

Nikon COOLSHOT 20

The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 replaces the original Nikon COOLSHOT as the entry-level Nikon offering, and offers a modified white and blue design versus the original, though slightly less powerful laser. The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 at release holds the title as the smallest and lightest Nikon golf rangefinder, with 6x magnification and LED illumination, scanning for up to 8 seconds, distances to 1 yard and range to 550 yards. Not bad for a sub-$200 device. Read more about the Nikon COOLSHOT 20 golf laser rangefinder.
Retail price: $199.99
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ScoreBand Pulse

ScoreBand Pulse

What the $#!#$? Well, that might be what the major golf laser manufacturers are saying about the ScoreBand Pulse, which retails for under $180. Yup, you heard that right. $180. You might not expect much, but it comes with 6x magnification, scanning mode, flag-lock mode, and claims accuracy to +/- 1 yard. Dang… You do give up some in distance, with a 250 yard range to a flag, and 400 yard range otherwise, which is less than the competition. Read on for more about the ScoreBand Pulse.
Retail price: $179.99
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