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My opinion on two things, a sincere question on another.

The only range finder I've ever owned for more than a trial period is a Nikon Laser 500 that's got to be pushing 15 years old. I change the battery every two years, whether it needs it or not, and it just keeps chugging along providing precise distances with easy operation. Yes, there are limitations. I need line-of-sight, hazards are difficult to target, & it doesn't take all that much fog to render it useless. It also adds time to make the sighting, but overall I'm very happy! While I've never owned any other brand, I have numerous friends who've owned various Bushnell models and everyone one of them have had eventual failures and have replaced them. I can't say they were high-end models that would compare price-wise to what the Nikon was (in the $275 range at the time), but I don't feel Bushnell is such a run-away product that I wouldn't first try the PrecisionPro, especially for the money. And as you can see from the earlier post, their customer service is pretty darn good.

But trying to speed up my round, I've also tried 5 different GPS products and returned all of them because they were too imprecise. I'm not looking for accurate long distances (I can't it it that far anyway), but it needs to be pretty accurate when you start getting into the 150 yard and below range. The very best of the 5 devices I tried was still no better than within 5 yards of the laser distance, one was 10 to 12 yards off - and kept moving all over the place! I'm only a 14 handicap but 4 of the 5 devices were as much as an entire club wrong. If I'm even pretending to be trying to get better, I don't want to have to figure out whether I mis-clubbed, I hit it poorly, or the GPS was wrong. I'm not even saying it's the device's fault; civilians don't have access to the super precise GPS sats necessary to have accurate data. But for now, laser is my preferred way to go.

Enough of my diatribe, now for my question. I REALLY like the idea of having a map of the hole showing the distance to hazards and the green; and having that info quickly (I don't like getting stuck behind someone taking forever to take a shot, I don't want to do that to someone else either). Those of you who are happy with the results you get from your GPS device, would you please share with me what you're using and what you do to get stable, accurate distances?  Just based on my personal experience, I don't understand why these are so popular unless one just assumes on average it's close enough.

Many thanks!

 

BTW, GSwag, I saw your post & appreciate the info. But please feel to expand on your experience if you have anything to add,

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Precision Pro.

The only problem is that they are sensitive to colder temps. Mine will not work with temps at 50 or below. I changed the battery with a fresh one and same problem. Other than that they are a "Best Buy".

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21 minutes ago, PlaidJacket said:

Precision Pro.

The only problem is that they are sensitive to colder temps. Mind will not work with temps at 50 or below. I changed the battery with a fresh one and same problem. Other than that they are a "Best Buy".

PJ, I had an issue with that (getting single digit reading in cold temps*)  and they replaced the unit. I haven't had an issue since and we do play in the 40's here both in spring and fall. 

 

* note not sure if the single digit readings I was getting was because of the cold or the unit had a problem. Regardless they sent me a new one with any questions asked. 

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52 minutes ago, MIgregb said:

My opinion on two things, a sincere question on another.

The only range finder I've ever owned for more than a trial period is a Nikon Laser 500 that's got to be pushing 15 years old. I change the battery every two years, whether it needs it or not, and it just keeps chugging along providing precise distances with easy operation. Yes, there are limitations. I need line-of-sight, hazards are difficult to target, & it doesn't take all that much fog to render it useless. It also adds time to make the sighting, but overall I'm very happy! While I've never owned any other brand, I have numerous friends who've owned various Bushnell models and everyone one of them have had eventual failures and have replaced them. I can't say they were high-end models that would compare price-wise to what the Nikon was (in the $275 range at the time), but I don't feel Bushnell is such a run-away product that I wouldn't first try the PrecisionPro, especially for the money. And as you can see from the earlier post, their customer service is pretty darn good.

But trying to speed up my round, I've also tried 5 different GPS products and returned all of them because they were too imprecise. I'm not looking for accurate long distances (I can't it it that far anyway), but it needs to be pretty accurate when you start getting into the 150 yard and below range. The very best of the 5 devices I tried was still no better than within 5 yards of the laser distance, one was 10 to 12 yards off - and kept moving all over the place! I'm only a 14 handicap but 4 of the 5 devices were as much as an entire club wrong. If I'm even pretending to be trying to get better, I don't want to have to figure out whether I mis-clubbed, I hit it poorly, or the GPS was wrong. I'm not even saying it's the device's fault; civilians don't have access to the super precise GPS sats necessary to have accurate data. But for now, laser is my preferred way to go.

Enough of my diatribe, now for my question. I REALLY like the idea of having a map of the hole showing the distance to hazards and the green; and having that info quickly (I don't like getting stuck behind someone taking forever to take a shot, I don't want to do that to someone else either). Those of you who are happy with the results you get from your GPS device, would you please share with me what you're using and what you do to get stable, accurate distances?  Just based on my personal experience, I don't understand why these are so popular unless one just assumes on average it's close enough.

Many thanks!

 

BTW, GSwag, I saw your post & appreciate the info. But please feel to expand on your experience if you have anything to add,

Well, since you mentioned me specifically, I'll go a bit further.  Coincidentally, while I was reading your post I thought to myself, "what the heck did we do before GPS and lasers became affordable to get distances?"  I guess that's like the now cliche question, "what the heck did we ever do before smart phones?"  But I digress.

I find my Garmin Approach S20's numbers to be incredibly accurate, at least to front, center and back of the green.  I shoot the laser in tournaments and find the Garmin numbers to be dead on for the most part.  Obviously it's off by 5 or 6 yards if the pin is tucked, or isn't right in the middle, or right in the back or front of the green, but I mean, come on, like you said, you're a 14 handicap, and does 5 yards even gonna make that much of a difference on a 125 yard shot even?  I say this using my own game as an example.  I'm sitting on a par 4 at about 135 out from the number on my Garmin.  The green is elevated by at least 5-10 feet, and the pin is tucked behind a sand trap in the back left of the green.  I shoot the flag and it tells me 142.  OK, let's break this down by club selection.  My normal 135 is a 9 iron.  But here we have a slightly elevated green with a sucker pin with sand staring me in the face and the flag saying, "go ahead, I dare you to hit it at me."  That 142 that the laser gave me is probably closer to 150 with the elevation, and I haven't even factored in the  10 mph cross breeze right to left that will push any ball I send at that flag even further left.  So what do you hit here, and where do you aim?  This is the #1 handicap hole on the course, and overall, my experience hitting this green is slim and none, even as a 5 handicap.  This hole is a bogey machine, mostly because I always ignore the chance I'll hit it in the sand or come up short in the same sand pit.  I'm too good to come up short, and I never miss, right?  Yeah, that's what usually goes through my stupid head.  Ultimately, you take your numbers here, and you have 135 from the GPS on my wrist, and 142 from the laser, and factor in the elevation meaning you now have an 8 iron to the flag, or probably a strong 9 iron into the center of the green.  The wind will push the ball left, and the right side of the green is smiling at you and has a welcome mat on it.  The front of the green is 125, which is really playing 130, which is a strong pitching wedge.  What would you hit here to best increase you odds of a par?  Sure, if I am playing a match against my buddy and he gets stupid and lands one 15 feet from the hole I'm pulling 8 and letting it rip, odds be damned.  But with everything I've just given you, I pull 9 iron and swing nice and easy, aim at the right side of the green, and hope I don't pull the stupid thing into that nasty trap.  And if I miss right, then I've got a long chip over the entire green to that uphill pin, which is a simple bump and run, because I played smart and didn't short side myself.

Moral of the story, your laser may have been dead accurate to that flag, but man, having the GPS with front, middle and back numbers allows you to think through that difficult approach shot and play smart from time to time.  And if you want a GPS on your phone with a map, the Infotalk Golf GPS is fantastic with course layouts and accurate distances.  I can see the hole before i play it and know with certainty where to hit it off of the tee so as to avoid trouble and have the best angle into the green.  Both the Garmin and GPS apps will keep your score for you.  And if you are looking for a GPS app that will allow you to keep not only your score, but the score of everyone in your group, the Golfpad GPS app is great for that.  I haven't used the Golfpad GPS app for a long time though, because I found that even though I told everyone in the group I was keeping their score on my phone they just ignored me and used the pencil and scorecard on the cart.  What can you do when people ignore you and are really old school?

Hope this helps.

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I'm with @GSwag , but I use a Garmin Approach G8, and I love using it to keep track of stats and scores, but I mainly use it to get distances from the tee-box on par 4's & 5's. I use the :918457628_PrecisionPro:NX7 Pro Slope for hole distances on my approach shots.

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GSwag - Thank you very much for your additional comments! And I totally agree about a 14 handicapper trying to hit to the pin, especially to a difficult pin - I honestly don't try. But... if I'm trying to hit to a safe location and my measurement is 5 yards off (remember, that was the best of the group I tried; the others were more), then yes, 5 yards does make a difference especially if I want to understand where I went wrong.  For what it's worth, my short game is the better part of my game so I'm probably more particular here.

I've already downloaded the InfoTalk golf app but won't be able to try it out until next week when I head out west. Hope to play 2 or 3 times in LA and/or Phoenix. I'll also look into the Garmin S20. Did you find it to be stable? Three of the devices I tried would bounce all over the place if I gave it time.

Thanks again!

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13 minutes ago, MIgregb said:

I've already downloaded the InfoTalk golf app but won't be able to try it out until next week when I head out west. Hope to play 2 or 3 times in LA and/or Phoenix. I'll also look into the Garmin S20. Did you find it to be stable? Three of the devices I tried would bounce all over the place if I gave it time.

As a side note, you can pre download whatever courses you want into the infotalk GPS app.  What I typically use it for is when I am traveling to tournaments at courses I have not played before.  I'll download the course onto the app and then pull up the map at home, and study each hole, familiarizing myself with the routing and layout from the map they provide.  You can also use it to plot layups from tee shots to hazards, etc. so you have an idea of what club you will probably be hitting off of the tee from at that hole.

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Well, I see why you're a 5 handicap! In reality I should be substantially better. Not to make light of a terrible disease, but I sometimes think that my muscle memory has Alzheimer's. I'll be humming along nicely when suddenly it's like I don't know which end of the club to hold. I've had several sub-40 9 hole scores only to completely lose it on the other 9. Obviously between my ears.

Thanks again for your comments. And thanks, too, to you others chiming in. I appreciate it!

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I think technology has evened up a heck of a lot. Very few you can go wrong with these days.

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I personally have a bushnell and love it. Dont need the jolt technology on it or some other widgets but the slope is very helpful. Depends on if you play tourneys which wont allow slope feature

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I personally have a bushnell and love it. Dont need the jolt technology on it or some other widgets but the slope is very helpful. Depends on if you play tourneys which wont allow slope feature

You don’t know you don’t need something unless you’ve tried it. The jolt tech is real nice, especially if you’re not as steady as you used to be.


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1 hour ago, robertson153 said:


You don’t know you don’t need something unless you’ve tried it. The jolt tech is real nice, especially if you’re not as steady as you used to be.


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i tried a few rangefinders before buying one. I dont have shaky hands so i did not need the jolt technology. Wasnt worth the extra money. Never had a problem hitting a stick without it.

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I personally have a bushnell and love it. Dont need the jolt technology on it or some other widgets but the slope is very helpful. Depends on if you play tourneys which wont allow slope feature

On the NX7 Pro which comes with Slope you can turn it off by toggling between the M1 and M2 settings.


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15 hours ago, tony@CIC said:


On the NX7 Pro which comes with Slope you can turn it off by toggling between the M1 and M2 settings.


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Well said Tony. The NX7 Pro is USGA tournament legal. M1 is the non-slope mode for tournaments and M2 is slope mode. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:53 AM, GSwag said:

Well, since you mentioned me specifically, I'll go a bit further.  Coincidentally, while I was reading your post I thought to myself, "what the heck did we do before GPS and lasers became affordable to get distances?"  I guess that's like the now cliche question, "what the heck did we ever do before smart phones?"  But I digress.

I find my Garmin Approach S20's numbers to be incredibly accurate, at least to front, center and back of the green.  I shoot the laser in tournaments and find the Garmin numbers to be dead on for the most part.  Obviously it's off by 5 or 6 yards if the pin is tucked, or isn't right in the middle, or right in the back or front of the green, but I mean, come on, like you said, you're a 14 handicap, and does 5 yards even gonna make that much of a difference on a 125 yard shot even?  I say this using my own game as an example.  I'm sitting on a par 4 at about 135 out from the number on my Garmin.  The green is elevated by at least 5-10 feet, and the pin is tucked behind a sand trap in the back left of the green.  I shoot the flag and it tells me 142.  OK, let's break this down by club selection.  My normal 135 is a 9 iron.  But here we have a slightly elevated green with a sucker pin with sand staring me in the face and the flag saying, "go ahead, I dare you to hit it at me."  That 142 that the laser gave me is probably closer to 150 with the elevation, and I haven't even factored in the  10 mph cross breeze right to left that will push any ball I send at that flag even further left.  So what do you hit here, and where do you aim?  This is the #1 handicap hole on the course, and overall, my experience hitting this green is slim and none, even as a 5 handicap.  This hole is a bogey machine, mostly because I always ignore the chance I'll hit it in the sand or come up short in the same sand pit.  I'm too good to come up short, and I never miss, right?  Yeah, that's what usually goes through my stupid head.  Ultimately, you take your numbers here, and you have 135 from the GPS on my wrist, and 142 from the laser, and factor in the elevation meaning you now have an 8 iron to the flag, or probably a strong 9 iron into the center of the green.  The wind will push the ball left, and the right side of the green is smiling at you and has a welcome mat on it.  The front of the green is 125, which is really playing 130, which is a strong pitching wedge.  What would you hit here to best increase you odds of a par?  Sure, if I am playing a match against my buddy and he gets stupid and lands one 15 feet from the hole I'm pulling 8 and letting it rip, odds be damned.  But with everything I've just given you, I pull 9 iron and swing nice and easy, aim at the right side of the green, and hope I don't pull the stupid thing into that nasty trap.  And if I miss right, then I've got a long chip over the entire green to that uphill pin, which is a simple bump and run, because I played smart and didn't short side myself.

Moral of the story, your laser may have been dead accurate to that flag, but man, having the GPS with front, middle and back numbers allows you to think through that difficult approach shot and play smart from time to time.  And if you want a GPS on your phone with a map, the Infotalk Golf GPS is fantastic with course layouts and accurate distances.  I can see the hole before i play it and know with certainty where to hit it off of the tee so as to avoid trouble and have the best angle into the green.  Both the Garmin and GPS apps will keep your score for you.  And if you are looking for a GPS app that will allow you to keep not only your score, but the score of everyone in your group, the Golfpad GPS app is great for that.  I haven't used the Golfpad GPS app for a long time though, because I found that even though I told everyone in the group I was keeping their score on my phone they just ignored me and used the pencil and scorecard on the cart.  What can you do when people ignore you and are really old school?

Hope this helps.

Wife just got me a Garmin S20 as a birthday gift. Cant wait to try it out. Will continue to use my @PrecisionProGolf range finder for exact pins. 

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Following up, I got my Garmin S20 this past weekend and played 27 holes with it.

ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! Found the course quickly, accuracy was spot on. Loved the club tracking at a push of a button. Layup/dog leg/hazard distances were also extremely helpful. F/M/B of the green was so helpful and I saved a few strokes during the rounds just from that and having to think a little less. Keeping score was a breeze. Wish the stat tracking was a little bit more where I could track chips/sand shots.

I highly recommend it for any level golfer. 

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I've been a Leupold user for years. I currently have the 5i3, and while it's not cheap (got mine from Discount Dan's Golf for $450) I'm very happy with it. Specifically, I've always preferred the form factor of the Leupolds to any Bushnells and I also think the Leupolds look better than any of the other offerings. I'm sure there are some that perform better, but for now I'm happy with mine. All that said though, I'm definitely interested in getting my hands on an NX9 when they're available! 

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I just want to throw in another cheap Laser option that most people don't know about. The Dallas Golf DG1 is pretty solid and costs $130 at the moment. There's an LCD screen on the side of the finder that shows the yardage that you just shot. There is a slope and fog setting as well. I haven't been disappointed using it so far as it was comparable to the NX7. 

https://www.dallasgolf.com/dg1-laser-rangefinder-from-dallas-golf/ 

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I just want to throw in another cheap Laser option that most people don't know about. The Dallas Golf DG1 is pretty solid and costs $130 at the moment. There's an LCD screen on the side of the finder that shows the yardage that you just shot. There is a slope and fog setting as well. I haven't been disappointed using it so far as it was comparable to the NX7. 
https://www.dallasgolf.com/dg1-laser-rangefinder-from-dallas-golf/ 


Interesting, never heard of them before. Screen on the side reminded me of the bushnell combo gps unit, does it also show you the yardage through the viewfinder? Would seem counterproductive to need to target and check the distance then potentially target again on something else (like using scan mode)



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Following up, I got my Garmin S20 this past weekend and played 27 holes with it.
ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! Found the course quickly, accuracy was spot on. Loved the club tracking at a push of a button. Layup/dog leg/hazard distances were also extremely helpful. F/M/B of the green was so helpful and I saved a few strokes during the rounds just from that and having to think a little less. Keeping score was a breeze. Wish the stat tracking was a little bit more where I could track chips/sand shots.
I highly recommend it for any level golfer. 


Finally went with the S20 but haven’t had a chance to use it yet but I’m really excited.

Of course DSG just dropped the price on it again...


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