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Last updated: April 12, 2022
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There are three variables in golf that affect your shot accuracy, including yardage, wind, and slope. With a golf rangefinder, you can measure some of these variables, and as such, the gadget can help improve your game.
We reviewed and curated a list of the best golf rangefinders under $300, and the features they have in common are affordability, a wide yardage range, impressive magnification for a clearer view, and an easier time locking onto faraway pin flags, and accurate measurements for yardage and slope. If your budget for the rangefinder is $300, or lower this list should help you select the best model.
Other features: rain/fog resistant, magnahold, pulse technology
The Callaway 300 Pro Laser Golf Rangefinder is an excellent model to start off the list. It offers accurate measurements for slope by accounting for elevation changes and the incline/decline angle. Additionally, it gives measurements anywhere in the 5-1000 yard range. Notably, it also includes pin acquisition technology that works even when the device is as far as 300 yards from the pin flag. Additionally, it’s fog and rain resistant.
A key improvement for the 2021 Callaway 300 Pro over predecessors is the pin acquisition technology with pulse notification.
What makes it special?
In our opinion, the pin acquisition technology is fast and responsive, not to mention the pulse notifies users when the device has locked onto the flag. Additionally, given the finder is rain and fog-resistant, using it in unfavorable weather shouldn’t be a problem. Lastly, the magnahold makes storage convenient as you move through the golf course.
What cons did we find?
The instructions provided for use in the manual aren’t the most detailed, which means you may have to guess or look for alternative sources of information. Next, it seems to consume a lot of power since batteries don’t last. Also, the accuracy appears to dip if you’re not using fresh batteries.
Other features: magnetic mount, visual jolt, fast focus
Features-wise the BUSHNELL GOLF Tour V5 Patriot Pack is quite similar to the editor’s choice. One example of this is in the 6x magnification. Additionally, it has a magnetic mount for attaching to the golf cart. Another similar feature is the pin seeker with a jolt or pulse to notify users once they’ve locked onto the target.
This device has a 1,300-yard maximum range which is better than most other rangefinders in this price range. As such, it’s best for golfers who want extra reach for their measurements.
What are its best features?
Like the editor’s choice, you get a jolt to notify you when you lock onto the pin flag. Additionally, we noticed that even with the extra range, the device still manages accurate readings. The magnetic mount makes it easier to store the rangefinder within easy reach as you drive around in your golf cart.
What could be improved?
Notably, the BUSHNELL GOLF Tour V5 Patriot Pack is one of the more expensive binos in the sub-$300 price range. Next, it doesn’t offer slope measurements, although that may be an advantage for pro golfers since they’re not allowed to measure the slope in competitive games. Also, it sometimes locks onto objects past the pin flag.
Other features: fully multi-coated lens, scan mode, pin mode, and vibration, full package
As for the ULT-X, it offers slope measurements and is designed with fully multi-coated lenses. The latter helps provide better image quality as you try to lock onto the pin. It can take readings up to 1000 yards with an impressive +/- 1-yard accuracy. Additionally, three use modes are included, i.e., scan mode, pin mode, and slope mode.
This rangefinder is for users who want a clearer view of the course as they look through the device, thanks to the fully multi-coated optics.
What do we love it for?
We liked that there is a variety of use modes to choose from depending on the needs of the game. Additionally, the device features its own variation of pin-locking technology with vibration feedback. Another positive is that it comes almost ready to use with all necessary accessories included, e.g., batteries, lens cleaning cloths, and more.
What were we disappointed with?
In our opinion, the TecTecTec ULT-X is somewhat complicated to use, which means there may be a learning curve before you can fully utilize the device. Additionally, it may not always lock onto the flag pin with the first try depending on the distance. Of course, this may lead to varying measurements, which can be confusing for newbie users.
Other features: magnetic grip, pulse vibration, lifetime battery replacement
Next is the Precision NX9 Rangefinder. The 600-yard range may not be as impressive as what’s offered by the rest of the list. However, it may still be good enough, depending on your gameplay. Also, the device features the same 6X magnification offered by other alternatives despite the smaller range. Another key highlight for potential buyers is the shockproof construction.
One of the top unique features of this rangefinder is the lifetime battery replacement warranty for registered users.
What makes it special?
The lifetime replacement warranty for the battery is unique and offers more long-term value to users. Next, the device's accuracy is top-tier thanks to 6X magnification, even with a lower range compared to other rangefinders. Lastly, the fact that you can turn slope measurements off allows you to use the device in tournaments.
What cons did we find?
With the positioning of the buttons, we noticed the rangefinder could be a little tricky to use, which can frustrate users mid-game. Also, the viewing screen is relatively small, not to mention it can sometimes get blurry. Lastly, the readings are quite slow and depending on whether the device is locked onto the right pin, they could be wrong.
Other features: Flag Lock technology, water-resistant, HD clear display
The Blue Tees Golf Series 2 Pro Slope Laser Rangefinder is water-resistant, so there shouldn’t be any issues with using it in rainy conditions. Furthermore, it boasts an 800-yard range with +/- 1-yard accuracy. Another inclusion is the flag-lock technology and the feedback pulses, which are common in devices at this price range. The HD clear display is also another asset.
The series 2 Blue Tees rangefinder is an improvement to the series 1 alternative, especially regarding the range. Buyers get an extra 200-yard measurement range.
What are its best features?
At just about $200, the Blue Tees Golf Series 2 Pro Slope Laser Rangefinder offers some of the best value for money on the market. This is inclusive of the HD clear display that allows for a better view of targets as well as the waterproof construction. The hard shell carry case is also effective at preventing damage.
What could be improved?
While the device is water-resistant, we noticed it isn’t as resistant to fog. Consequently, the visibility of your targets and the pin flags may be hindered in some weather conditions. Next, it doesn’t lock as easily to targets if you don’t have steady hands. Lastly, the interface may be a little confusing for newbies.
The Nikon Coolshot 20i Rangefinder has a unique design with the dual display. The range offered with this purchase is between 600 and 800 yards. That said, the accuracy isn’t among the best in class, given the +/- 2-yard discrepancy once you start taking readings for targets over 100 yards away. The IPX4 waterproof rating also means it’s usable in wet conditions.
If you want a rangefinder that allows quick measurement of multiple targets, the Nikon Coolshot 20i GII Golf Laser Slope Rangefinder is for you.
What are its best features?
The dual display allows for more information to be displayed which is an asset when selecting the club for the shot. Additionally, the continuous measurement will enable users to account for hazards, trees, obstacles, and more as they take their shots. Lastly, high-quality multi-coated glass is used in construction to improve image clarity.
What could be improved?
The +/- 2-yard accuracy is the lowest on this list, especially at just over 100 yards. Also, the design is so compact that it feels tiny and fragile in some users' hands. In our opinion, it doesn’t maintain focus all that well if you have shaky hands, which may further lower the accuracy of the readings.
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for a bad to mediocre rangefinder. With this buying guide staying within your budgetary limit while at the same time purchasing a high-quality device should be possible.
How to Choose the Best Rangefinder under $300
Ultimately, here’s how to choose the best rangefinder under $300.
Optics Quality and Magnification
Just like with any other piece of optical equipment that functions by gathering light and enlarging images, you need to check the quality of the optics as well as the magnification. As for the optics, they include the quality of the glass components and lenses as well as whether they are coated.
The TecTecTec ULT-X rangefinder, for instance, is fully multi-coated, and according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary
Trusted SourceMulticoated Definition & Meaning - Merriam-WebsterThe meaning of MULTICOATED is having multiple coatings in order to reduce the appearance of light reflections in the lens. How to use multicoated in a sentence.
, being multi-coated helps reduce light reflections on the lens. The result is higher image quality.
Also, with higher magnification, you’ll be able to see and lock on to target pin flags a lot easier. That said, magnification can also be a double-edged sword, as with more magnification, you get less stable images. This can be particularly problematic if you have shaky hands, as then locking onto the target will be near impossible.
Range and accuracy are other tell-tale signs of the quality of the device. Remember, if you can’t measure yardage correctly, you’re bound to make a mistake in selecting your club or deciding how you take the shot.
Like the BUSHNELL GOLF Tour V5 Patriot Pack, some rangefinders may have a wider range at 1300 yards. However, according to the PGA Tour standings
Trusted SourceLongest Drives | PGA TOUR StatsStrokes Gained | Distance (All Drives) | Distance (Measured Drives) | Accuracy | Scoring | Other | Radar
for the 2021 season, even the best professional players can’t drive the ball past 500 yards. As such, a 1300 yard range may be impressive on paper but is often surplus to requirements. That said, it can be a good planning tool for multiple shots.
With higher accuracy yardage readings, you make better decisions for your shots. However, there’s often a trade-off between the range and the accuracy. As such, even with highly accurate rangefinders, your readings may not be as accurate at 700 yards as they are at 200 yards.
Nevertheless, you should still go for the best range and accuracy you can find as allowed by your budget as they allow you more options.
Slope Compensation and Flag Acquisition
As mentioned above, the slope is a crucial variable in determining how you take your shots. While rangefinder slope compensation may not be allowed in the PGA tour, there aren’t any rules against using it in recreational games. As such, you can use it to get better readings on your target.
However, if you intend on playing professional golf, it might be better to get used to playing without slope compensation in your device. As for flag acquisition technology, it makes locking onto the pin so much easier, and this will allow for more accurate readings of the distance between you and your target.
Consequently, both slope compensation and flag acquisition features should prove beneficial if they’re included in your device.
Use modes are another area of your rangefinder to check out as they determine the different functionalities you get with your purchase. With the TecTecTec ULT-X rangefinder, for instance, the use modes include the scan mode, pin mode, and slope mode.
The first mode allows you to scan the scene to get yardage for different targets. On the other hand, the pin mode locks onto the pin flag and provides yardage. Lastly, you can use the slope mode if you want slope compensation in your yardage readings.
Examples of other features in golf rangefinders include the magnahold and pulse technology in the Callaway 300 Pro Laser Golf Rangefinder. The former allows you to attach the device to your golf cart so you can keep it within easy reach. As for the pulse technology, it notifies you when you’ve locked onto the target.
Another example of an extra feature that’s beneficial to users is the lifetime replacement warranty for the Precision Pro NX9 Golf Rangefinder batteries. Consequently, taking a keener look at the extra features before deciding which offering serves you best is highly recommended.
Depending on your needs, you can get excellent value for money in a rangefinder worth as little as $100. As such, cheap rangefinders are worth looking into if you don’t have much money to spend on the device.
Most laser rangefinders will work for golf. However, you should exercise caution in your purchase to avoid getting shortchanged. Do your research well beforehand and make a sound selection, and there shouldn’t be any problems with using your golf rangefinder.
The BUSHNELL GOLF Tour V5 Patriot Pack is another contender for the overall best golf rangefinder under 300. The 1300-yard range is undoubtedly impressive. Additionally, it’s PGA-ready and works for professional golfers, given that it doesn’t offer slope compensation. Other than that, the readings are pretty accurate.
Lastly, the TecTecTec ULT-X rangefinder has impressive optics that are just as important when scanning for the pin flag and getting yardage for different landmarks in the golf course. While these are our top rangefinders, they don’t have to be yours as well. You can make a value judgment to pick different models depending on the features you deem most important.
Multicoated Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster
The meaning of MULTICOATED is having multiple coatings in order to reduce the appearance of light reflections in the lens. How to use multicoated in a sentence.