Golf rangefinders are a handy tool to help the average golfer speed up play and make more precise club selections. However, many golf rangefinders are out of the budget of casual players, making them inaccessible. Today, I offer hope as I reveal the 8 best budget golf rangefinders for this year.
You’ll find that all but one of the options run for less than $200 and still consist of a host of premium technology. Besides their affordability, they are durable, user-friendly, and possess crystal-clear optics.
For golfers that just need a quick recommendation, here are our top choices:
Table of Contents
- Things to Look for in a Good Rangefinder
- The 8 Best Budget Rangefinders
Things to Look for in a Good Rangefinder
The purpose of a distance measuring device is to provide accurate readings to make better club selection choices. However, not all rangefinders offer the same precision as the other.
A good rangefinder is accurate to the nearest yard on shots up to 300-yards, but you have to be realistic. A budget laser rangefinder may only provide this perfection up to 150 or 200-yards, which is suitable for casual golfers seeking a general idea of the yardage.
Plays Like Distance
The best budget golf rangefinders possess slope mode to offer “plays like distance”. This means it factors the gradient between your golf ball and the target to provide an accurate measurement. Without this feature, your read will display a few yards further or shorter than is actually the case.
Your laser rangefinder must offer enhanced optics to quickly identify your target and receive the reading. When optics are blurry, the device struggles to identify various objects, and you resort to the yardage book.
When you are planning your shot, you must determine all the outcomes. For example, if you leave it short and to the right, will it be safe? Alternatively, if you hit it long and left, do you have a shot. Continuous scanning gives you measurements to various obstacles in your path to understand how much power you need to avoid bunkers, water hazards, and trees.
Most rangefinder manufacturers offer a version of pin seeker technology. This assists the laser rangefinder to seek out the flagstick among trees and other obstacles. Once the device has located the flag, it locks onto it and provides the reading.
Bushnell revolutionized this approach with their Jolt Technology which vibrates once the device has the reading. You’ll find that most brands with Pinseeker or Flag Lock Technology now vibrate, as the Tour V3 did in 2013.
The 8 Best Budget Rangefinders
1. Callaway 300 Pro
Accounts for elevation changes and measures the angle of incline/decline, then calculates the slope adjusted distance. Equipped with 6x magnification, this rangefinder features a range of 5-1000 yards with +/- 1 yard accuracy and measures in both yards and meters
The Callaway 300 Pro is the best overall budget golf rangefinder, thanks to its accuracy, durability, and enhanced distance. Although it is priced at the top end of the budget market, it is an ideal companion for a mid-handicapper on a budget.
You’ll find that the Precise Slope Measurement on the 300 Pro is the stand-out feature, which works tirelessly to accurately measure distances on any gradient. Callaway ensured that it is still legal by tournament standards by attaching an exterior switch to activate and deactivate the mode.
The slope mode is further empowered by the mammoth 1000-yard range it covers. I was surprised to find an accurate reading of the nearest yard on longer holes. The added distance enables you to carefully plot your path to the short grass from the tee box for superior results.
Furthermore, 6x magnification enables your rangefinder to zero in on your target in rapid time to reduce delays. Plus, I noticed that the Pin-locking technology performed from as far as 300-yards away.
Finally, the Callaway 300 Pro is fitted with a Magnahold, which saves you from storing it in your bag between shots. The magnet allows you to attach the model to your cart frame for easy access before each strike.
- Provides plays-like distance measurements
- 6x magnification
- Pin-locking technology
- Magna-hold attaches the device to a cart frame
- Rain and fog resistant
- Priced at the higher end for budget golf rangefinders
- Golfers with larger hands may struggle to stabilize the device.
2. Gogogo Sport Vpro
Integrates latest functions such as continuous range readings, ARC (angle range compensation), Pin-Seeking and Flagpole-Locking Vibration (Vibrate when the flagpole is locked), and Speed Measuring. Claims a measuring range from 5 to 650 yards, with +/- 1m high accuracy and 6x magnification.
Gogogo may not carry the reputation of Bushnell, Nikon, or TecTecTec however, they are making a name for themselves in the budget rangefinder market. They manage to pack premium technology into entry-level devices, perfect for mid and high-handicappers.
For starters, its speed-measuring function stood out because it is one you rarely find on high-end models. Naturally, it was not super accurate, but it did give me a better idea of what I was dealing with on the wind front. It does say that it measures up to 186 mph, but if you are playing golf in those conditions, I am not sure whether to respect or ridicule you.
Like a premium rangefinder, the Sport Vpro offers Angle Range Compensation (ARC), a fancy way of saying slope mode. It factors in the incline and decline of the slope between your ball and the target for improved accuracy.
You’ll notice that the Flag-Pole Locking Vibration technology is another feature commonly spotted on superior products. However, the Gogogo Sport Vpro emits a mild vibration once it has calculated the length to your target zone.
Moreover, I found that this laser rangefinder had a maximum range of 650-yards, but it struggled to produce accurate measurements beyond 250-yards. However, that is expected on affordable devices, and it still does not change my view that it suits the average golfer on a budget.
- Highly affordable
- Flag pole locking vibration
- Speed measuring technology
- 650-yards maximum distance
- Slope mode
- Inaccurate readings beyond 250 yards
- The flagpole function only works from within 150-yards.
3. Acegmet Q9
Another brand often overshadowed by premium rangefinders is Acegmet which develops suitable products for weekend warriors. It is the best cheap golf rangefinder on our list this year, earning its place thanks to its slope mode, 6x magnification, and accuracy on shorter distances.
I found that the Q9 locked onto the flag from shots less than 150-yards away. This made it easy to pick up the flag and reduced the delay of the read. In addition, it was accurate to the nearest 0.5-yards on shorter reads. But the discrepancies increased when they were closer to the maximum range of 650-yards.
Acegmet was not prepared to skimp on quality features and decided to include its own slope feature variation. Although it improves the plays like distance accuracy on shorter shots, there is a catch. You cannot disable the feature, rendering it illegal in tournaments under USGA rule 4.3a.
This may not bother a weekend warrior or golfers who seldom play with no intention of teeing it up in a competition anytime soon. Finally, you’ll find that this highly affordable rangefinder sports a 5D diopter for hassle-free adjustment and 6x magnification to help you zoom in and focus on your target easily.
- Super affordable
- Slope functionality
- Measures up to 650-yards
- Accurate to 0.5-yards over shorter distances
- Locks onto the flag for a quick and easy read.
- You cannot disable slope mode, rendering it illegal
- It does not contain a magnetic mount to attach to your golf cart.
4. Mileseey Golf Laser Rangefinder
Mileseey golf rangefinders take us into the mid-range budget options, where you’ll notice improved durability and greater longevity. In my experience, this option works for mid and high-handicappers who operate a golf cart, thanks to a magnetic strip that allows you to fasten the device to your golf cart.
Although the Mileseey does not offer the maximum range of some models on this list, it is sufficient to cover most holes from the amateur tees. You still have 660 yards to play with, which goes a long way to planning your attack on each hole.
In addition to its maximum range, the Mileseey boasts a 6x magnification, enabling it to zoom in and focus on your target in split seconds. You’ll see that your experience is further enhanced by the slope mode function that offers plays-like distance on each shot.
I felt that this rangefinder delivered superb accuracy from within 200-yards and was only 0.5-yards off of my Bushnell XE. Furthermore, the engineers equipped this model with flag lock and pulse vibration technology to quickly detect the flag stick and notify you of the reading.
Finally, Milseseey went the extra mile to rainproof the device for greater visibility and durability in the wet. Unfortunately, I struggled to read the figures in poor lighting because the screen was not backlit.
- 660 yards range
- Slope mode
- Magnetic strip attaches to your cart
- Flag Lock Technology
- The LCD display backlit, which makes it difficult to read in bad light
- You cannot disable slope mode
5. Nikon Coolshot 20 GII
There is no surprise seeing optical experts Nikon on our list, as we admire their years of dedication and experience in the industry. The Coolshot 20 GII is a quality, durable, and moderately accurate device that forgoes the premium technology in other products. However, it offers a simple, reliable apparatus for an affordable price.
Despite the lack of slope mode, I was still impressed with the First Target Priority (FTP) technology offered by the 20 GII. I found that it identified the pin despite numerous trees and distractions in the background and provided the measurement in record time.
Next, I enjoyed the freedom provided by the Continuous Measurement Mode. It allows me to scan ahead of me for 8-seconds to detect the yardage to various hazards and landing zones on the hole. This made it easier for me to plan each hole from the tee box.
Moreover, I noticed that the Nikon engineers boosted the maximum distance of this rangefinder to 800-yards, leaving you ample room to play with. Plus, they equipped the 20 GII with a 6X monocular to speed up your ability to clearly focus on your intended target.
Despite its performance, you must know that it does not possess slope mode, unlike most of its competitors on this list. In addition, it does not inform you once it has locked onto the flag, requiring you to focus during the read.
- 8-second continuous measurement mode
- 6x monocular
- Maximum distance of 800 yards
- It does not contain slope mode
- It does not vibrate or inform you once it has locked onto the flag
6. Precision Pro NX7
The Precision Pro NX7 is the predecessor to the NX9. Although it covers a shorter distance than its predecessor, I find that it offers an affordable and accurate device for mid-handicap golfers. However, if you operate a golf cart, you may curse at the lack of a magnet to mount on its frame.
Like most devices on this list, the NX7 sports Adaptive Slope Technology for “plays-like” yardage. You’ll notice that you can deactivate it at the press of a button to comply with the pesky rule bible.
Furthermore, I noticed that the 6x magnification design allowed me to zero in on the target before providing an accurate read.
Speaking of accuracy, the NX7 Pro produced readings accurate to the nearest yard up to 300-yards. Afterward, it was more than a yard off. However, don’t get bogged down on a yard or two of accuracy beyond that range.
Finally, you’ll see that Precision pro included their edition of flag lock technology, which enhances your experience on approach. The device seeks out the flagstick, and once it detects it, you’ll feel a vibration to notify you of the reading.
- Adaptive slope technology enhances the accuracy of your measurement.
- 6x magnification
- 650-yard range
- Accurate to the nearest yard up to 300-yards
- A vibration notifies you once the laser has locked onto the pin
- It does not contain a cart magnet
- Its maximum range is 250-yards shorter than the NX9
7. TecTecTec KLYR
The French brand continues to impress me with the affordability, practicality, and durability of its products. Plus, it helps that they are highly accurate and deliver crystal-clear optics. The KLYR is a pocket-sized rangefinder that takes up limited space in your golf bag and attaches to your belt.
Let me address the practicality and usability of its size before anything else. This compact device does not weigh your golf bag down and attaches to your belt for easy access before shots. In addition, its minute design makes it easy to hold and stabilize in the palm of your hand.
As I am accustomed to their products, the engineers delivered exceptionally clear optics to help lock onto targets up to 400-yards away. While this is a shorter range than some products, it is sufficient for a high handicapper, focusing on one shot at a time.
Furthermore, TecTecTec equipped the KLYR with slope capabilities to boost measurement accuracy on inclines and declines. You’ll also appreciate the continuous scan mode that detects the yardages of various obstacles in your path.
Finally, Target Lock Vibration (TLV) is the brand’s version of Pinseeker technology, which searches for the flagstick, and locks into it once detected. The device then vibrates to notify you that it has the reading ready.
- Pocket size
- Clips onto your belt
- Exceptional options
- Provides accurate measurements
- Scan mode detects the readings to all obstacles in your path
- The higher end of the price spectrum for budget rangefinders
- Shorter maximum distance range than other products
8. Blue Tees Series 2 Pro
Featuring continuous arc technology, the system automatically takes into account the incline and decline to give you the true distance between you and your target. Quickly toggle the slope function from on to off with the slope switch to make this device tournament legal.
Closing out our list of best budget rangefinders is the trendiest and highest-priced option. The Blue Tees Series 2 Pro rangefinder is a durable, attractive model with a 2-year warranty. I find that the range, accuracy, and strength of the Series 2 Pro works for mid-handicappers looking for a longer-term solution.
The first feature that stood out was its ability to cover up to 800-yards. You’ll never use that much range on the golf course, but it is a great addition. I also found that this device is water-resistant and performs as required in the wet.
Moreover, you’ll appreciate the 6x magnification capacity of the Series 2 Pro, which provides a clear view of your target in rapid time. This allows you to pick up your desired landing in the distance, receive the yardage, and make your club selection without holding up the players behind you.
As is the standard in quality rangefinders, the manufacturer included Adaptive Slope Switch technology to factor in the elevation change on each shot. This enhances the precision of each read to give you greater insight into your club selection.
Lastly, I found that the Blue Tees Flag Lock Technology performed as it should and, similarly to other devices, vibrated once it had latched onto the pin.
- 800-yards maximum range
- Accurate to the nearest yard
- Flag Lock Technology rapidly latches onto the pin for a faster measurement
- 6x magnification
- Attractive blue and white finish
- It does not contain a magnetic strip to attach to the frame of your golf cart.
Are budget rangefinders worth it?
Yes, budget rangefinders are worth it. Despite minor inaccuracies in increased measurements, they provide valuable insight to the average golfer looking to improve their club selection and distance control.
Is there a difference between golf rangefinders and hunting rangefinders?
The sizeable difference between golf and hunting rangefinders is the distance they cover. Hunting rangefinders feature a greater distance capacity than golf rangefinders. In addition, I find hunting rangefinders can measure speed, which is a rarity in golf models.
How much are higher-range finders?
You can expect to fork out over $500 for a premium rangefinder that will offer pin-point accuracy, durability, and maximum distance range.
If you have the budget for a top-of-the-range device, I recommend reading our detailed review of the Bushnell Tour V4.