3 Yardage-Measuring Devices Revolutionizing Golf: What's Right for You?

Aug 31, 2015

3 Yardage-Measuring Devices Revolutionizing Golf: What's Right for You?

Have you ever watched professional golf on television and marveled at how easily the network is able to use technology to show a player's distance to the hole on a given shot? Wouldn't you like that sort of accuracy of information when you play golf?

Thanks to the explosion of distance-measuring devices in golf, anyone now has the ability to navigate the course with previously unheard of accuracy. But before you dive headlong into this new genre of golf equipment, you need to understand the three major types of distance-measuring tools in the marketplace. We embrace golf technology here at Golf Academy of America, so we took a look at these game-changing devices and put together a few things you should know:

Golf rangefinders

Hunters have used these sorts of gadgets for years to measure distances to their prey, and now those capabilities are firmly in the hands of golfers everywhere. These devices are equipped with sophisticated laser sights where the player looks through one end, points at a target (flag, bunker, mound, tree, etc.), clicks a button and receives a measurement to that landmark, usually accurate to within a yard or a half-yard. Companies like Bushnell, Leupold and Nikon rule this category, though Nikon recently received and tested a new model called the ScoreBand Pulse, which features similar capabilities to its better-known competitors at a lower price. Whereas Bushnell and Leupold charge upwards of $300 for their rangefinders, the ScoreBand Pulse can be had for as little as $180.

Golf GPS devices

For those who feel buried under stacks of yardage books from various courses, a handheld golf GPS device may be the answer. Most of these products, such as the SkyCaddie ($300), are about the size of your smartphone and come pre-loaded with accurate, phenomenally detailed maps of thousands of golf courses worldwide. Such devices function as digital yardage books wherever you go. You can discern your position on the course and easily note your distance to the flag, bunkers, hazards and other important course features. The only drawback to these handheld devices is that they are usually not allowed in tournament play. But it's doubtful your regular foursome will raise a stink, especially if you permit them to borrow yours from time to time.

Golf watches

Perhaps these fall under "Golf GPS devices," but they've become so popular that they deserve their own category. Golf watches are a more stripped-down and generally less expensive alternative to a handheld GPS device. Most often, watches will supply you with yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. More sophisticated ones, however, will provide maps of holes in a similar way to their bulkier cousins. Be prepared to pay for such compact sophistication, though – Garmin's Approach S6 watch, for example, retails for just under $400.

Thanks to these new distance-measuring systems, golfers can enjoy precision and accuracy like never before.

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