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Great Golf Deals Blog - Golf GPS And Rangefinder Devices - Are They Worth It?

Which advancement in golf equipment has made the biggest impact on the game for the average golfer? Exotic Metal Woods? Graphite shafts? New Golf Ball Technology?

While all of these changes have impacted the game of golf, the one that has had the biggest impact on the game of the average golfer, is the development of the Golf GPS and Rangefinders (Electronic Measuring Devices).

In the last couple of years, the PGA Merchandise Show has begun to look more like the Consumer Electronics Show, with aisles of electronic golf devices designed to help you calculate golf yardages. The first generation of these devices simply gave you the distance to the green.  Now these devices can give distances to any point on a touch screen, keep track of your score and stats, calculate a USGA handicap and even recommend what club to hit.

What is better: GPS or Rangefinder? Both provide important information.

Scientifically laser is going to be more accurate (within a yard) while GPS can be affected by a lot of environmental factors (sometimes up to 10 yards). This doesn't mean the GPS will always be 10 yards off, only that it is possible.

The laser can give you a precise distance to any object - like a tree or the pin, but obviously you need line of sight to use it. The GPS can give you distances to known locations (hazards, greens) and display many at one time, but it obviously can't know the pin placement or where every single object is on the course.

The one I use really depends on how well I know the course and where my ball is currently sitting:  

Off the tee
I'm using GPS noting where the hazards are.

Planning to lay up, stuck in the woods, or taking a blind shot?
I'm pulling the GPS again.

Approach shot, par 3, or a green where I can't see the bottom of the flag?
I'm using the laser.

Dogleg that doesn't have any landmarks for the GPS to pick up?
I'm looking for something near the turn to hit with the laser.

Strangely shaped, difficult, or never-played-before green I can't see all of?
I'll use GPS to figure out size/shape of the green, and the laser to figure where on the green the flag is.

A course that I know well with pretty reliable markers?
 I might not pull either.

Neither device is without weaknesses

If I can't see my target, the laser can't do anything for me. I can shoot bunkers and flags, but the laser can't give me front, middle and back distance for all hazards and greens. The laser also isn't as helpful when planning lay-up shots; I not only need to find a reliable object I can shoot, but I can only shoot them one at a time.

The GPS can't give me exact distances to the pin, nor can it range a rock, bush or tree that I pick out at random.

So instead of buying that shiney new driver to add to your collection of 2 others that you already have, invest in a new electronic measurement device and watch your golf scores go down.?

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