What should you buy? 1 – A Laser Rangefinder or 2 – A GPS Watch?

What should you buy? 1 – A Laser Rangefinder or 2 – A GPS Watch?

8 December 2023

A question many golfers will face at some point during their time playing, should you buy a laser or GPS watch, this blog will help make up your mind.

What are the main differences between a GPS watch and golf laser rangefinder?

Shot Scope Golf GPS watch and Golf Laser Rangefinder
Shot Scope Golf GPS watch and Golf Laser Rangefinder

A laser rangefinder provides an exact distance to the location of the pin, providing you can see the pin to laser it. Whereas, a GPS watch cannot provide the exact distance to the pin but can give dynamic distances to the front, middle, and back of the green.

Neither is inherently better than the other and it largely comes down to personal preference but both are great products. 

Used in harmony, a laser rangefinder and GPS watch ensures you have every distance you could possibly need on the golf course. If you like the sound of that, you’ll love our PRO LX+!

Why would you choose a laser rangefinder?

Shot Scope PRO L2 Laser Rangefinder
Shot Scope PRO L2 Laser Rangefinder

As previously mentioned, lasers can give players exact yardages to the pin as opposed to the front, middle, and back distances that a GPS watch provides. A laser can however give you an exact distance to anything that you can see.

For example, if you can see a bunker in the distance, simply laser to the top of the bunker and armed with this information select a club to either layup short or carry the hazard. 

One of the main benefits of using a golf laser rangefinder is its degree of precision. All Shot Scope lasers come with Adaptive slope technology which when turned on, takes into account elevation changes to give a ‘plays like’ distance. 

For example, if you are playing downhill on a blind shot, laser the pin before turning around and lasering your bag. Then, simply add the two numbers together and you have your distance. The maths isn’t ideal but it works!

Using a laser rangefinder can take a bit of getting used to but features like Target-lock vibration make them a lot easier to use compared to older models. All Shot Scope lasers come with this as standard and the PRO L2 is an affordable entry-level model for those considering their first laser.

You don’t need to charge a laser, the battery required is available in most supermarkets/superstores and lasts for a long time, approximately 5,800 measurements.

Why would you choose a GPS Watch?

X5 Golf GPS Watches
X5 Golf GPS Watches

Unlike laser rangefinders, a golf GPS watch provides front, middle, and back distances to the green. In addition, it all includes the distances to all hazards on every hole and their location on the hole.

Distances to hazards, you could argue, are more exact than if you were to laser them as they are mapped on GPS, and distances given are based on their location and yours. These distances are usually only one button press away.

It is not uncommon for golfers to lose a laser rangefinder, either leaving it in a cart or misplacing it, whereas a GPS watch is almost impossible to lose when using it. Why? Well, it should be attached to your wrist! 

Likewise, having the golf watch on your wrist allows you to quickly glance down and receive the information you need at a glance.

Generally, displays are large and easy to read, most come with daylight readable touchscreens and are designed to be unintrusive to the golfer.

Course mapping is an interesting consideration with golf GPS watches. Some manufacturers subcontract their mapping and so are slow to react to any course layout changes. However, Shot Scope have an in–house course mapping team and can update any course map within 48hrs of a user’s request.

GPS watches are easy to use, but if you are looking for a distance to the pin, then they may not be for you. Additionally, a GPS watch will require charging, and battery life can leave you without a device if you forget to charge your watch.

The last consideration you may need to have, will you like wearing a watch when you play? With their lightweight design watches do not interfere with the golf swing but some golfers can find it uncomfortable if they are not used to it.

What should you buy then? A laser rangefinder or GPS watch?

A laser cannot give you front, middle, and back distances but a GPS watch can. Golf rangefinders have limited effectiveness when lasering hazards, whereas a GPS watch has exact yardages.

A GPS watch cannot tell you the exact location of the flag, but a laser rangefinder can. It depends on what suits your specific game and what you need your device to do, what information will help you when on course.

Regardless, a distance measuring device in the modern game is a must have for golfers looking to improve. 

The PRO LX+ laser rangefinder is a 3 in 1 device combining both laser and GPS handheld with performance tracking making for the ultimate on course distance measuring device. 

Still struggling to decide whether to buy a GPS watch or a laser? Check out this blog.

The future of golf is powered by Shot Scope.


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