How Does a Golf Rangefinder Work

How Does a Golf Rangefinder Work?

A Golf range finder is important to help determine the distances of your targets on the golf course. While there are some models available, there are three main golf ranger instruments; namely GPS, laser and optic rangefinders.

Whichever instrument you choose, you will need to know exactly how does the golf ranger work?

Golf Rangefinders Function

Laser rangefinders use light beams to get distance readings from your target.

  • The light speed varies in certain temperature conditions, but since golf is normally played on relatively clear days, there should be no drawbacks.
  • The beams of light zoom in on the target and the rangefinder clock measure the amount of time it takes the beam to hit the target and bounce back.
  • When you determine the speed of the beam, the rangefinder records the time measurement and calculates the total distance traveled.

The total distance is then displayed on the player. Laser range finders may take a bit longer to calculate the distance than other instruments.


Rangefinder ARC or Angle Compensation

So here is how the laser rangefinder works

  • First, pinpoint the target
  • Aim the rangefinder directly at the intended target
  • As the target comes into view, pull the trigger and release the laser beam on to the target
  • Check the readout of the distance on the display screen
  • If there is no positive reading, you may need to steady the instrument and repeat the range.

You can also select which feature is a priority for a specific shot. For example, if you are on a course with a gradient, there are certain factors to consider for accurate distance.

Maximum Range and Tilt Angles:

If you are playing on a hilly golf course, you need to employ the tilt angle to get accurate distances.

  • The tilt angle helps you locate and measure the angles of the object produced by the difference in elevation.
  • The ranger only calculates the horizontal distance based on the angle. The distance is much shorter than a straight line down the gradient to the base of the target.

If you are aiming at a flag from a hill:

  • Aim your mark at a larger object closest to the flag
  • Try to keep the rangefinder as steady as possible before zooming in on the flag
  • Select the horizontal distance at the tip of the larger object at your eye level.
  • Next, aim at the distance between you and the flag

GPS Range Finders

A GPS rangefinder measures the distance to the pin in 100-150 meters. They rely on satellite signals to show the exact position.

  • The GPS will compare your pre-loaded objects on the course to calculate the distances to your targets.
  • It will calculate your present position about the distance based on your preloaded points.
  • The GPS determines the distance to the various parts of the green.

But how does a golf rangefinder work?

  • First, pre-load your targets the course into your computer or smart phone before you leave for the golf course.
  • When you reach the course, switch on the GPS rangefinder.
  • Allow the rangefinder time to connect to the satellite feed for your location.
  • Select the target hole and obtain the reading for the target.
  • It should give you a good gauge of the distance about the pin.
  • You will now be able to map out your co-ordinates based on the intermediary distance from the GPS mapping.

Based on your pre-loaded figures, some GPS rangefinders may automatically go to the next target on the course.

If this is not possible, you can select the next target by hand and continue with your measurements.

Front and Back Edges:

  • The GPS picks up its position.
  • It determines a straight line through the pin and the intersection points of the course edges with the line.
  • When you locate a target, move the center aim circle directly onto it.
  • Push the power button, and the distance between the object and the rangefinder comes up very quickly.
  • The instrument then translates each point into the total distance.

Optical Range Finders

Optical Rangefinders are another good option you need to know how does a rangefinder work.

  • You focus on the target with one eye to get the distance using a pre-loaded scale inside the instrument.
  • The optical rangefinder finds the height of the pin and then converts it to a distance reading on the built-in scale.

How to Zoom In:

The optical rangefinder has two lenses at each end of the instrument that zooms in on the intended target.

  • Use the focus button to play each object over the other
  • The focusing knob then correlates with the scale to arrive at an accurate reading for the distance.

But accuracy depends on how well you focus on your target


In this article, we have tried our best to show how does a golf rangefinder work appropriately. Actually a golf rangefinder needs less time to decide your distance to the exact hole. It is very much perfect for the professional as well as non-professional golfers. If you’re playing a tournament that you’re not playing the track holes in order, you are able to manually select the next hole or even target for the unit to calculate the distance from.

Last but not the least; if you are satisfied with this post, just share it with your friends and comment below.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.