By Ed Donlin, AmateurGolf.com Player Staff
What does a retired married couple do on a cold and wet rainy afternoon in early spring? Well, this long-time golfer and his lovely non-golfing wife took six moderately-priced rangefinders on a quick test drive. I have been using a rangefinder for 20+ years to get the perspective of a novice user, we asked my wife to open the box, read the instructions, insert the battery, and then attempt to use the rangefinder.
The six rangefinders we tested were: Blue Tees Golf (GS24), Gogogo (Sport VPRO), Harry Taylor Golf (Black Edition), Precision Pro (NX9 Slope), Profey (VPRO X5), and The TecTecTec1 (Vpro50).
After our initial at-home testing, we took all of the rangefinders to our course for some on-site testing. It was a sunny but windy day which can make it difficult to capture the correct distance, especially for a new user. We graded each range finder on how it felt in our hand (weight, ruggedness, size), how easy it was to lock onto a target, and how accurate it was from multiple yardages.
The Blue Tees Golf, Harry Taylor Golf, and the Precision Pro devices felt like they would stand up to the wear and tear of normal usage as well as handle and capture distances. The Gogogo, Profey, and TecTecTec1 were not as good, especially for my wife, who has smaller hands. She had a hard time holding the devices still and said it was harder to push the capture button.
We used the “Golf” mode on all the rangefinders to test the device's ability to lock onto a target. The two devices (Precisions Pro and Blue Tees Golf) have a slight delay before locking on a target which makes it much easier to operate, especially for a new user. The Harry Taylor Golf device had a shorter delay and was a little more difficult but still easier than the Gogogo, Profey, and TecTecTec1 rangefinders that had no delay. My wife had difficulty getting accurate yardage with any of these three. The yardage display on all of the rangefinders was very similar with the exception of the Harry Taylor Golf device that had a reddish-orange look where all of the others had black numbers displayed.
There was very little difference in the accuracy of the devices from shorter distances. At 150 yards, they were all within 1% of each other to capture the correct yardage. From over 150 yards, some were difficult to get an accurate lock on a flagstick. At 340 yards, the Gogogo and TecTecTec1 would not capture a flagstick.
All of the devices have basically the same items in the box: Written instructions, a lens cleaner, a wrist strap, at least 1 battery or USB cable (except GoGoGo), and they all have a very good storage case. The Blue Tees, Harry Taylor, and Precision Pro also have a magnetic strip to attach them to a golf cart.
The TecTecTec1 (Vpro50), Profey (VPRO X5), and Gogogo (Sport VPRO) were our least favorite devices. They were all more difficult to operate, especially for a new user. Unless you are looking to try a rangefinder for the first time, l would steer clear of these budget devices.
We agreed that the Harry Taylor Golf (Black Edition) was our third favorite device. It was slightly heavier than most of the others, but that made it feel tough and sturdy. It has a USB port used to charge the battery so there is no battery to change. They do suggest charging it after every round. We were able to lock onto a target up to 500 yards. It was slightly harder to lock onto the flag than our two favorites, but this is still a good device.
The Blue Tees Golf (GS24) was our 2nd favorite device. It felt good in our hands, the buttons were easy to push, and the delay on the target lock was very good. We were able to lock onto a target up to 500 yards. It is a very good rangefinder.
The Precision Pro (NX9 Slope) was our favorite device. It felt good in our hands, the buttons were easy to push, and the delay on the target lock was very good. We were able to lock onto a target up to 500 yards. I actually have used this rangefinder for a few rounds to see that it was as good as in testing. I have a Leupold GX5C that I have been using for 5 years and I don’t see any difference.
Our conclusion is that like most things you purchase, nearly every time you get what you pay for. The three higher-priced rangefinders were our favorites. Unless you just want to save money to try a rangefinder I would not suggest the more budget-friendly rangefinders for an avid golfer.