Golf Range Finders Comparison

By Bill Herrfeldt

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Not since the solid-core ball was introduced has the game of golf changed as much as it has with the introduction of the range finder, or GPS. Most players do not have the luxury of a caddy to tell them the exact yardage of each shot; but now--for a meager investment--they can buy a range finder that, in many ways, is much more accurate. Now they can concentrate on their next shot and not have to worry about how far the ball must travel. Check out five of the range finders.

Neo by iGolf

Unlike more expensive models, the Neo doesn't provide a map of each hole, but it will provide the yardage of your last shot and the distance to the rear, middle and front of the green that you want to reach. Igolf has mapped almost 34,000 golf courses worldwide, and it will provide you access to all of its database for about $35 a year. The Neo has a rechargeable battery, and it will hold up to 10 courses of your choice.

Sonocaddie XV2

This company does not charge an annual fee for its database, but it has mapped only about half of the courses provided by iGolf. This unit does not have a color screen, but it will give you a raft of information about each hole including the yardage for any point on the course to the rear and front of the green you are trying to hit. On a second screen, it will show you the green itself, as well as distances you must hit the ball that are shown in large figures. It has a place to note your scores on each hole, and it will go for about 10 hours before you must replace its three AAA batteries.

GolfLogic GPS-8, powered by Garmin

This unit comes with yardage data for over 22,000 courses, and it senses which course you are playing so you have to hit no buttons. This unit will show you up to six hazards on each hole, the yardage if you have decided to lay up, the yardage of your last shot, as well as the distances to the rear, middle and front of the green. Before you have to replace the two AA batteries, it will get about 17 hours of use. This unit is also waterproof.

uPro Golf GPS

This unit provides a lot for the money because it plays a video of a hole along with the various yardages from a number of positions on the hole. The uPro can give you the distance to any point on the golf course because it gives an aerial view of both the yardage and the target. The base price includes information on courses, but the company charges extra for aerial views of your choices of golf courses.

Garmin's Approach G5 Golf GPS

This unit is the granddaddy of them all, and it has taken a huge share of the market. Besides the information about 5,000 courses that are already loaded into the Approach G5, you will not have to pay for other courses you want to download from the company's website. The unit comes with a touchscreen on which your distances appear, and you simply click and drag the data into position. Besides being waterproof, it provides a new system for keeping your score.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.