A golf rangefinder is the difference between being a good golfer and a great one. Rangefinders help to see the distance to the hole, helping you to line up a perfect shot.
They can also measure distances to any obstacles and can handle long- and short-range distances. The distances are measured in yards and tend to be accurate to +/- 1 yard.
They sometimes include data to help you decide which golf club to use for the shot. These devices perform a similar function to the traditional caddie.
We have selected the top 5 budget golf rangefinders on the market at the moment and reviewed each. If you are in a rush, we have put our top choice below. We have also included a handy buyers’ guide to help you on your search, and have answered a few FAQs at the end.
In a hurry?
Our best budget golf rangefinder is the Raythor Golf Sport Pro Rangefinder. This rangefinder is on the more expensive end of budget at $118.99 but you get a lot of amazing features for this price, making it well worth the expense.
The range is up to 1,000 yards and it has an accuracy of +/- 0.1 yards. The rangefinder has built-in slope technology and comes with three in-built functions. The rangefinder is covered by a 30 day Amazon warranty and for 2 years via the Raythor seller support.
Top 5 Best Budget Golf Rangefinders
OUR TOP PICK
The rangefinder weighs 188g and measures 103x39x72mm. The maximum magnification is 6X and has a pin-seeking capability of up to 250 yards. The battery life lasts 10-20 rounds of golf (based on an 18 hole game).
There are continuous scan modes, nearest target acquisition systems adn a diopter adjustment functionality. This means you don’t have to worry about shaking hands and unclear fields of vision.
The rangefinder is rain and waterproof. It comes with a USB cable, a carrying case, lanyard, cleaning cloth, user manual and warranty card.
- Most accurate
- Largest range
- 3 scan functions
- Rain and waterproof
The AOFAR GX-2S is a very budget rangefinder at only $99.86 on Amazon. The rangefinder weighs 180g and measures 121x72x43mm, so will fit comfortably in one hand.
The maximum magnification on the rangefinder is 6X and the machine has a range of up to 600 yards. The pin-seeking range is from 5-285 yards, making it a hugely versatile machine. The rangefinder has a precision of +/- 0.5 yards, so is very accurate and will be a true asset to any golf game.
The AOFAR has a slope switch function to help you accurately estimate the slope elevation and speed your shot will play at. The switch design means that the slope function can be turned off, making the rangefinder suitable for tournaments.
The rangefinder is waterproof and has an LCD display. The rangefinder comes with a 2 year VIP warranty and lifetime customer support guarantee.
For the price, you get the rangefinder, carry case, carabiner, lanyard, cleaning cloth, CR2 battery and user manual.
- Under $100
- Very precise
- Smaller range
One of our more expensive budget picks is the Anyork Carl-1 rangefinder at $129.99. This is the heaviest at 411g and largest at 137x106x71mm.
The maximum magnification is 6X and the range is up to 650 yards. The pin-seeking range is up to 200 yards. The precision is +/- 1 yard, so not as accurate as the others but is still a huge asset to your golf game.
There are 2 pre-programmed modes, general and golf slope mode. These mean that the rangefinder can be used to estimate flat and elevated distances between you and your target.
The Anyork is waterproof and has an LCD screen. The product comes with a 2 year warranty and lifetime customer support guarantee.
For the price, you get a rangefinder, 2 CR2 batteries, carabiner, lanyard, cleaning cloth and user manual.
- Built-in slope mode
- 2-year warranty
- Not as accurate
The Gogogo Sport rangefinder is the cheapest of our picks at $94 but gives you a lot of bang for your buck! The rangefinder is lightweight at 184g and measures 106x40x71mm.
The maximum magnification is 6X and the range is up to 900 yards, with pin-seeking capabilities of up to 170 yards. The precision is nowhere near as good as the more expensive models, being accurate to +/- 1m.
There is a scan mode, golf mode and speed mode. The scan mode measures distances in the classic format of a rangefinder and golf mode is designed to assist your game. There is in-built JOLT technology and slope distance correction. The scan speed range is 20-300kmh.
The rangefinder is not waterproof, but comes with a waterproof pouch, canvas bag, box, strap, lens cloth and an operation manual. It comes with a 2-year warranty and lifetime customer support guarantee.
- Lots of pre-programmed modes
- 20-300kmh scan speed
- Less accurate
- Not waterproof
The TecTecTec VPRO500 is the most expensive of our rangefinder delections at $149.99. It is lightweight at 190g and measures 104x72x41mm, perfect for holding in one hand,
The maximum magnification is 6X and the range and pin-seeking are up to 540 yards. The precision is +/- 1 yard, so much less accurate than the others. There is no built-in slope mode, which is poor considering the high price point.
The rangefinder comes with a continuous scan mode and is rain resistant. The screen is a multilayered optic technology and the product comes with the TecTecTec Happiness Guarantee for 2 years and lifetime customer support guarantee.
Included with the rangefinder, you get a premium carrying pouch, CR2 battery, wrist strap, microfiber cleaning cloth and a quick start guide.
- Rain resistant
- Most expensive
- No slope mode
Best Budget Golf Rangefinder for Beginners Buying Guide
What kind of rangefinder are you after?
There are 3 main types of rangefinder - laser-operated, a GPS watch, and a GPS handheld device.
The laser rangefinder is the most accurate and can read distances of hundreds of yards with ease. They can run into issues with accuracy when obstacles obstruct the path of the laser beam, but they are good at magnification.
GPS watches work via GPS (Global Positioning System) to read distances. They are best when there are lots of obstacles and in poor weather conditions.
GPS handheld devices work in the same way as the watches but are just for rangefinding. You can track your game statistics on the easy-to-use touch screens.
GPS devices are often more expensive as you need to subscribe to a monthly service to be able to download satellite maps of your golf course. This can also lead to inaccurate readings if the layout of the golf course changes after the GPS satellite map has been downloaded.
The only rangefinders we have included are laser-operated for this reason, however, if you have the financial ability to spend a little more, GPS devices are very good.
Rangefinders are primarily intended for single-hand use to make them more portable. Due to this, they tend to be fairly small and lightweight. If you are using it with a child or you have a weak upper body, there are models made specifically for dual-hand use.
These tend to be heavier though, and it is worth holding a few different sizes and designs to see which suits you best before purchase.
The average lifespan of a rangefinder’s battery is between 6 and 12 months, but this will vary depending on usage frequency, weather conditions, and the length of time between uses.
Infrequent use and cold weather conditions will cause the battery to deteriorate faster.
There is no point in buying a rangefinder that you cannot read. The screen should be large enough to ensure the readings are clearly legible. If you are older or have bad eyesight, it is a good idea to check how big the display on-screen is to ensure you can read it.
Some rangefinders will also come with options to accommodate for glare from the sun, such as changing the color of the numerical display.
This is also known as the first target-tracker, target finder, or pin-seeking technology. This enables the rangefinder to lock onto flags and pins on the course, separating them from the visual background.
The rangefinder will indicate you have locked onto a target through visual and audible cues or a vibration. This feature consistently improves as the price spent on the rangefinder increases.
As you are measuring distances in the real world, the rangefinders will never be accurate.
The standard precision for rangefinders varies from around ½ yard to 2 yards.
This function works to measure changes in elevation from your vantage point to the target you have set. This estimates the distance to the target and how far a shot will go, accounting for hills.
This is incredibly useful for golf practice, but tends to be forbidden in most tournaments. You should be able to turn this function on and off, making rangefinders with this mode suitable for use in competitions.
All rangefinders come with the ability to magnify the image on-screen, usually from a base of no starting magnification to up to 7X magnification.
Obviously, as the magnification increases, you can find and lock onto your target with more accuracy. For ease of use, buy a rangefinder with high magnification.
This is the length of time that it takes for the rangefinder to lock onto your target. Higher quality rangefinders will do this faster than the cheaper counterparts.
To lock onto a target, you must press and hold the trigger while pointing at the target. At most, this process should take 10 seconds.
Good quality rangefinders will be waterproof, as golf is played in most weather conditions and your device needs to be able to withstand wind and rain.
It is vital to dry out your rangefinder thoroughly if it gets wet, to ensure no long-term damage is sustained.
As with all electronic devices, there is the potential for some of the parts to be faulty or the rangefinder to break.
Looking for a device with a warranty is often an indicator of higher quality as the manufacturers promise to replace it free of charge if it breaks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What else can you use a rangefinder for?
Rangefinders are not only useful when golfing. Many shooters and hunters make use of them for their own purposes.
They can also be put to use in virtual reality systems, for outdoor sports, forestry and hiking.
What other equipment do I need to play golf?
When we think of golfers, we think of the iconic diamond sweater and white trousers, but there is more to the game than this.
To play a round of golf you will need a set of clubs, some balls, tees, a bag, and depending on your golf club, golf shoes.
Your course may provide a set of clubs for you to play with, but it is wise to include a driver, 2-3 woods, pitching, putter, sand wedge, and a few irons in any set you begin to build.
It is smart to bring lots of balls and tees to the golf course, as these are misplaced easily. A golf bag will help you to keep all of your belongings together as you make your way around the course.
We advise bringing a pencil to mark the scores down. Some golfers wear specific gloves and shoes, although these are not vital. Other good suggestions include a pitch fork to repair marks on the green, and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
How do I use a rangefinder?
Rangefinders are very user-friendly and don’t require much skill to operate.
You put the viewfinder up to your eye and center the target on your hole. You then pull the trigger and the rangefinder will generate your result.