The best of the best! We roundup the best distance measuring devices in 2023
The right distance measuring device can significantly elevate your golf game by providing accurate and precise information. As we step into 2023, the market presents us with a variety of excellent options to help you gain the edge.
Whether you prefer the classic laser rangefinders or the latest GPS devices, our top picks for the year include the Shot Scope Pro LX+, Bushnell Tour V6 Laser, SkyCaddie SX550 GPS, GolfBuddy Laser 2S Rangefinder, Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS, and Shot Scope Pro L2. These devices are designed with advanced technology to offer exceptional accuracy and ease of use, enabling you to make more informed decisions on the course.
So let’s run through the best distance measuring devices 2023 has to offer…
Best Distance Measuring Devices 2023
Shot Scope Pro LX+
Wow! I love this concept. I always use the combination of a GPS and laser in competitions to help with shot selection and having them both together on one device would make this so much easier.
The Shot Scope Pro LX+ has to be the best all encompassing GPS on the market. It really covers every aspect giving you precise laser slope adjusted distances to the pin, hazard and front and back of green distances as well as tracking your stats.
The most ingenious part about this product is the multi-component design, each element works really well on its own but the full Pro LX+ package really gives you anything you would need from a GPS perspective.
The Shot Scope Pro LX is excellent if you want a stand-alone rangefinder. I like that it is very lightweight, so it doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your bag. The best feature is the slope technology which gives you accurate playing yardages relative to any slope. This can be turned on and off, so it is still legal for competition play.
The Shot Scope Pro LX laser now features slope technology which, importantly, can be turned on and off so it complies with tournament regulations within the Rules of Golf.
To make sure you get accurate numbers it has target lock and vibration mode so you know when you’ve hit the pin.
For clear visuals it provides x7 zoom as well as black or red optics so users can select which they see best. You can also alternate in poor weather or light making this readable in all conditions.
- Laser and GPS in one
- On and off-slope function
- Distances to front middle back and hazards
- RELATED: Read our full Shot Scope Pro LX+ review
More info: Shot Scope Website
Bushnell Tour V6 laser
I currently use a Bushnell Tour V4 slope edition which I’ve had for roughly four years. The first thing I noticed about the V6 was how much heavier it seemed compared to mine. I actually weighed them both out just to check and the V6 is 69 grams heavier. The quality of the V6 is excellent and feels like it’s made of better quality materials than the plastic bodies V4, which is where I think the added weight has come from. Both devices hold the same CR2 battery and the V6 actually came with a new Duracell battery, which was very handy. Through the lens, you can also see how much power is left in the battery so it doesn’t unexpectedly run out on you mid-round.
The Tour V6 only has two buttons, both on the top. The orange button is what you press to lock in and laser a target and the other allows you to change between yards and metres.
I really liked how the V6 sat in my hand. There is a textured, rubber area where your thumb sits that helps with grip. That area is molded so your hand sits nicely when holding the laser. This is great as it allows for a more stable hand when trying to lock in flags.
The V6 has improved pin seeking accuracy. Just like previous models, there is vibration feedback when you lock in a flag. The V6 offers additional feedback as the outer circle of the lens flashes red. At first, this scared me as I wasn’t expecting it but once I got used to it, it was just like it always happened. I found all of the numbers to be very similar to my current Bushnell as well as the Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope that I was also testing at the time.
- Excellent quality
- Added confidence with pinseeker technology
- Sleek design and feel
- Secure case
- Heavier than previous models
- RELATED: Read our full Bushnell Tour V6 laser review
More information: Bushnell Golf
SkyCaddie SX550 GPS
I should start by declaring that I know and respect SkyCaddie’s handheld GPSs and have done for several years. I am looking for more than just a number to the centre of the green so I love the visuals and the large screen on the SX550. It’s really easy to work out, for example, how far away a certain hazard is or what the carry is to clear it. The touchscreen is intuitive and behaves in much the same way as a smartphone.
The bread and butter of a GPS is that distance to the middle of the green and whether you need a 7-iron or an 8-iron. However, I very often get my SkyCaddie SX550 out on the tee, especially when playing a course I am not overly familiar with. It really helps to know that a fairway runs out at a certain distance on a certain line, or that a visible hazard is actually not in play.
On a full charge, I reckon I could get two days of full play from this device, which is great.
While charging, you can also perform a sync over wifi to make sure the device is up to date.
When you arrive for your round, power on the SX550 and give it a minute to work out where it is. A couple of verifying taps through various menus and you are ready to go with the 1st hole shown. Thereafter, you shouldn’t need to touch it again all round if you don’t want to. It automatically updates to the hole you are playing.
- Numbers that you can trust – and the ability to calculate lay-up distances and run-outs
- Brilliantly clear, at-a-glance visuals from the big screen
- The battery lasts for at least two rounds per charge and in practice much more
- An annual subscription is required to access all the features.
- RELATED: Read our full SkyCaddie SX550 GPS review
More info: SkyCaddie website
GolfBuddy Laser 2S rangefinder
Out of the box, the Laser 2S looked pretty small compared to my current rangefinder. However it was only about 1.5cm shorter front to back and the other dimensions were the same. The weight of 209 gms is also the same as my older model. The Laser 2S has a smart black/white and red colour style. It is very comfortable to hold. There’s a ‘quick grab’ magnet on the right side of the device to attach to a buggy, trolley or any other metal object (I’d advise against a clubhead). There are two buttons on the top. One is an on/off button. The second accesses the ‘scan’ mode and enables the ‘slope’ function to be toggled on and off as required.
The screen is clear, bold and bright. I felt that the 6x magnification certainly helped. It’s easy to switch off the slope function which I tended to do. It almost feels like cheating. I was initially unconvinced about the scan function. This enables you to measure the distance of a number of targets. So if, for instance, you’re playing a dogleg you can scan the far side to get an idea of where to aim.
Laser rangefinders are , or certainly should be, straightforward to use. The GolfBuddy Laser 2S was certainly easy to use. It provided quick, accurate and clear information. The additional features all worked seamlessly and well. This really is a neat package and will be replacing my 10 year old laser from now on.
- Accurate measurements.
- Clear display with 6x magnification.
- Useful slope and scan features.
- It’s magnetic.
- RELATED: Read our full GolfBuddy Laser 2S rangefinder review
More information: GolfBuddy website
Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS
The Phantom 2 Slope is as per the name the slope edition of the Phantom 2. This handheld GPS device can easily fit in the palm of your hand which is incredible for something with so much technology. It comes with 38,000 pre-loaded courses!
Getting to the course and setting the Phantom up was quick and easy. I didn’t really have to wait for it to load which is great for those get out of the car and go golfers. When you get out on the course the main screen displays the par, hole number, and in the top right corner, your score. The middle left button can be pressed to display the hazards as well as the time and the pin position option. Unlike some devices, there isn’t a visual display of the hole, just a list stating the hazard and its distance.
Out on the course, the numbers were basically identical between both my laser and the Phantom. The Phantom was so quick and easy, considering I didn’t even have to touch it when I got to my shot unless I wanted to check a hazard distance or alter the pin position. If you just wanted the front, middle, and back distances, the automatic hole progression means you wouldn’t have to touch it at all.
Bushnell states that the Phantom 2 Slope has up to 18 hours of battery life, equating to 4 rounds of golf. I charged it after each time I took it out but there was a good amount of charge left after I used it for a round.
- Very small
- Records your stats
- Loads up quick
- Slope mode is handy
- Not touchscreen
- RELATED: Read our full Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS review
More info: Bushnell Golf
Shot Scope Pro L2
My first impressions of the Pro L2 were positive. I like the simple design and it couldn’t be any easier to set up. It comes with a Smart Case that can be clipped onto your bag with ease or a handy feature of a strong magnet that could be attached to the cart you’re playing on. It felt comfortable to hold and even in the wet conditions the grip was great thanks to the enhanced anti-slip rubber grip.
Like most lasers in the market, the Pro L2 comes equipped with adaptive slope technology, target lock vibration and a range of up to 700 yards. I found it particularly easy scoping out and getting fast accurate yardages on a range of different situations. This is thanks to the rapid fire detection and target lock vibration which gave me good assurance on the yardage for my intended target.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Shotscope Pro L2. It has a nice simple design and is nice and simple to store on your cart or attach to your bag. It is fantastic value for money and is ideal for those wanting to not break the bank to add to their golfing armoury.
- Perfect entry level laser
- Small & compact
- Easy to store, magnet and clip
- Slow at finding courses
- RELATED: Read our full ShotScope Pro L2 review
More info: Shot ScopeWebsite
Best distance measuring devices 2023
In conclusion, the Shot Scope Pro LX+, Bushnell Tour V6 Laser, SkyCaddie SX550 GPS, GolfBuddy Laser 2S Rangefinder, Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS, and Shot Scope Pro L2 stand out as the top distance measuring devices for 2023.
Each device offers unique features and functionalities that will aid in improving your golf performance by providing reliable and precise distance measurements. Your selection from these options depends on your personal preferences, whether you value the immediate accuracy of a laser rangefinder or the course-wide data offered by a GPS device.
Whatever your choice, each device offers a surefire way to enhance your golfing experience and improve your game.
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?