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2020 Golf Rangefinders and Smartwatches That Will Lower Your Score

Updated: Mar 09, 2021
2020 Golf Rangefinders and Smartwatches

It’s 2020, and new golf rangefinders and smartwatches are taking the world by storm. By collecting more information while you play, you can make smarter club selections and improve your course management - both major factors in lowering your score.

There are many new golf gadgets to choose from, but we won’t let you drown. We have compiled a list of the most innovative golf rangefinders and smartwatches to help you on your mission to lower your score. Whether you like to shoot the pin with a rangefinder like James Bond, or you would rather spare a quick glance at your smartwatch like Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible, we guarantee there’s a gadget here for you.

Golf Rangefinders

Because golf rangefinders have become so popular over the years, several big-name companies are competing to sell you the “best” one. To help you with your search, we have narrowed the list down to five rangefinders.


Bushnell Tour V5 & Tour V5 Shift Rangefinder

Bushnell Tour V5 & Tour V5 Shift Rangefinder

Bushnell Pro XE Rangefinder

Bushnell Pro XE Rangefinder

A name in the game for over 70 years, Bushnell is a force to be reckoned with in the golf rangefinder world. With so many models to choose from, here are our top three:

The Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder promises clear optics, higher magnification and incredible accuracy within one yard - this rangefinder is sure to be seen all over the golf course in 2020.

Did you know that Bushnell will now use BITE technology in their rangefinders? This involves using a built-in magnet to allow you to stick your rangefinder to the cart without buying a third-party accessory. The magnet is strong enough to remain securely on your cart while on a hilly golf course but is user-friendly enough to allow you to take your rangefinder off the cart with ease.

If you are looking for a rangefinder with an enhanced slope algorithm, the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift is for you. In addition to the JOLT and BITE technologies, this golf rangefinder seems to check off all the boxes you didn’t even know you had.

Why is it important to have an accurate slope algorithm? Let’s say you’re playing another hilly course. You are on a par-3 tee box, seemingly hundreds of feet above the green. You grab your Bushnell Tour V5 Shift from its magnetically-held place on the golf cart and shoot the pin.

Without the slope feature, you have 150 yards; however, with the slope’s calculation included, you have the original yardage AND the 120 yards you actually want to play for visible. Not only did the slope algorithm save you the humiliation of hitting a 7-iron when you should have been hitting a pitching wedge, but you will also probably save a golf ball or two from going into the water behind the green.

Don’t worry if you find yourself near the water - though your Bushnell rangefinder is only rainproof, it does have a two-year warranty.

Touted as the “most powerful golf laser ever,” the Bushnell Pro XE ups your game another level. With even higher magnification than the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift and the same JOLT and BITE technologies, this golf rangefinder is for the serious golfer.

What sets the Bushnell Pro XE apart from its relatives? The “Slope with Elements” technology. Bushnell has created the “True ‘Play As’ Distance” by combining distance, temperature, barometric pressure and slope to provide the truest distance around. It’s no wonder Tour players use this rangefinder. If you find yourself in a tournament where slope technology is illegal, never fear - you can switch out of “Slope” mode.


Leupold GX-5i3 Rangefinder

Leupold GX-5i3 Rangefinder

Known for their gun scopes, Leupold has added golf rangefinders to its repertoire these last few years. When we say Leupold knows their stuff, they know their stuff. Leupold’s technology has even been used in U.S. Army sniper rifles. Talk about spy gear.

Leupold’s technology, DNA® (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy), allows its GX-5i3 golf rangefinder to have one of the quickest measuring times - and the most accurate measurement to boot. Imagine knowing how far you are from the pin to 1/10 of a yard. Crazy!

Their slope technology, TGR (True Golf Range), incorporates temperature and altitude to give you the most accurate reading in the world. Of course, like most golf rangefinders these days, the slope feature can be turned off for tournament play.

Another incredible feature is the “Club Selector.” By inputting your distances for your 8-, 6- and 4-irons, your Leupold GX-5i3 will suggest what club to hit based off strength needed to carry to your target (which is calculated with TGR).

Add in “Fog Mode” to help you shoot accurate distances in early morning fog, and you have found yourself quite the winner! These amazing features don’t come without an expensive price tag, but imagine all you can learn about your golf game should you accept this mission.


Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized Rangefinder

Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized Rangefinder

If you love photography, you know that Nikon has supreme stabilization technology. When it comes to golf, we suggest the Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder.

Have a shaky hand? Nikon can help - with its optical stabilization technology, the CoolShot Pro Stabilized can help you achieve an accurate distance to the pin despite some hand movement.

As you would expect with a company who specializes in lenses, this golf rangefinder goes above and beyond (quite literally) in distance reading. The CoolShot Pro Stabilized’s accuracy within 700 yards is to ¾ of a yard, which is already impressive; but it also can accurately measure outside of 700 yards - to 1.25 yards. Hopefully you haven’t sliced it that far, but the Nikon technology is well-advanced, regardless.


Let’s switch to the other golf gadget gaining popularity - golf smartwatches. To help you make a “smart” decision, let’s see what this golf technology has to offer. Spoiler Alert - it’s a lot.


Garmin Approach S62 GPS Smartwatch

Garmin Approach S62 GPS Smartwatch

While you may recognize Garmin from its car GPS technology, their new golf GPS smartwatch will make you want to jump in the car and get on the golf course.

If you are tired of physically shooting your distances every shot, you will find the Garmin Approach S62 smartwatch can be everything you need - from your caddie to even your secretary.

With over 41,000 preloaded golf courses and a slightly larger screen than the Approach S60, this smartwatch displays each hole beautifully. Need to know the exact distance to the pin? Check. Distance to lay up? Check. Wind direction and speed? Check.

The Approach S62 even has slope functionality with its PlaysLike Distance technology. And if you’re behind a few trees, this golf smartwatch will act as a compass and point you in the direction of the pin.

Speaking of being lost, this golf smartwatch will help you keep score with AutoShot, which will then upload your stats from the round. Don’t worry if it takes you awhile to get out of the woods, the rechargeable battery will last 20 hours in GPS mode and up to two weeks as a normal smartwatch.

Do you have to switch back to your normal watch after your round? Nope, the Approach S62’s display adopts a classic look once you step off the 18th hole. While walking to your car, you can check your fitness and health stats from the day.


SkyGolf SkyCaddie LX5 GPS Smartwatch

SkyGolf SkyCaddie LX5 GPS Smartwatch

If you like SkyGolf’s SX500 handheld GPS, you are going to love the SkyCaddie LX5 GPS Golf Smartwatch. With golfers having witnessed SkyCaddies walking around the course measuring distances themselves, you know this golf GPS will be accurate.

Also with a bigger screen than its predecessor, the SkyCaddie LX5 GPS watch has a detailed display, down to the trees on the course. Similar to its handheld counterpart, this golf smartwatch allows you to zoom in to see layup distances before hazards and false fronts on greens.

Like Garmin’s Approach S62, the SkyCaddie LX5 GPS watch allows you to keep your score and stats, track your health activities and send you notifications. While the LX5 GPS also can switch screens to become a normal smartwatch, the battery life lasts only 10 hours on the golf course and 10 days in smartwatch mode.

That being said, the SkyCaddie LX5 GPS is less expensive than the Garmin Approach S62, though you do have to pay a subscription to gain access to the golf course maps.

Should you accept your mission, you don’t need to decode any messages. Find the latest and greatest golf rangefinders and smartwatches at GlobalGolf and choose your secret weapon; you’ll be firing lower scores in no time.

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