Golf course navigation: Laser Rangefinder vs GPS

March 19, 2018

Well, for quite some time now there has been a debate about what technology one should use when on the golf course. Both of them are actually used for the same purpose only that they take different directions to arrive at the same result.With that being said, in this article, we are going to compare two specific models of both the laser range finder and a GPS gadget. You can also refer to reviews on the latest rangefinder golf or the best rangefinder golf in my favorite blogs like:

But in this article, the two models are, Nikon Coolshot for the rangefinder and SkyCaddie Linx Golf watch for the GPS.

In the past, golfers would use different techniques just to find the correct yardage while playing. One of these methods was looking for sprinkler heads. People don’t do this anymore, all thanks to the different range measuring devices available in the market today. GPS golf watches were introduced more than a decade ago and in some courses, golfers would always be charged for using them. It would serve as an added gear to your equipment thus the courses would often make money from that as this was the main idea. However, these days they seem to be of more value for the course management than just to attract golfers. Well, the GPS technology has grown as you can also find handheld units nowadays compared to the cart-based units used in the past.

Right now you can find different apps for your smartphone, watches that can actually help you measure the distances, keep your stats and show you the number of calories burned during while playing and many other things. On the other hand, the new golf rangefinders use a stabilized technology that makes it easy to get the targets. Most of them even use a certain technology that allows you to get the accurate measurement as possible by adding or subtracting a few yards in case you are faced with a slope.

Most GPS gadgets always come with the maps of some courses loaded in them already. This particular one is no exception with over 35,000 mapped courses, it is ranked among the top best GPS devices available.

Nikon also has a wide range of options in optics among other laser devices. This company is popularly known for its cameras and binoculars and has also been manufacturing rangefinders under other brands from other companies i.e. Calloway.

Initial and operating cost

1. Skycaddie Linx

They cost about $200 and can be connected to an app on your smartphone. It comes with a free subscription thus you will get the front, middle and back yardages around the hole.

You also get the chance to upgrade for some little fee and get even more detailed information like distance to dangers, trees, and the layup distances.

2. Nikon Coolshot 40i

This rangefinder has a retail price of about $299 with no cost subscriptions. This means you don’t have to worry about any extra costs. It also comes with the battery that lasts for a long period of time.

Ease of use

1. Skycaddie linx

With this device, all you need to do is go to settings and get the map of the course you are in. you will get much information as you continue playing like yardage distance to both the hole and dangers around.

You can also use the advanced features which can sometimes get a bit complicated mostly when you start recording your stats and saving the rounds. The ability to track down the distance you cover and the calories burned comes as an added advantage over the rangefinders. The device needs to be charged too.

2. Nikon CoolShot 40i

You will need to have some skills for you to capture targets using a laser rangefinder. However, the case is different with this one. It always works in such a way that you will always get the shortest target on the course whenever you want to measure the yardage to the hole.

It may be simple to use it but it still needs to be removed from the cart, point and then aim. Which might take more time than just looking at a watch. But can be fast if used to it.


1. Skycaddie Linx

The watch is accurate enough when talking about its ability to measure yardages. Using both the device you will get almost the same result if they are not the same.

However, the laser rangefinder will always measure to the pin or any other thing but with the watch, all you need to know is where the center of the green is if you already know the pin positions.

2. Nikon CoolShot 40i

With an accuracy measured in millimeters, you can be sure to get good results anytime. However, you still cannot get both the middle and back yardages to the pin. In short, to make better club choices, you need to know the pin positions in either way.

The laser rangefinder also has a slope adjustment feature that you can use depending on where the shot is with regards to the slope. However, it is mostly not allowed in tournaments.

With all the description and features of both the devices, this seems to be a very close call. But it depends on you the golfer. Both of them are pretty good and can be used to improve your game. Choose the one that correctly suits your needs.