The best way to improve a game in this day and age is to invest in a GPS or rangefinder device. Knowing proper course management is a great way to achieve better shot ratio and lower scorecards, while it can work as a second pair of eyes when trying to work out distances to hole or a way around water hazards or bunkers.

Golf GPS systems work via satellite to pinpoint the exact location a player is in. The device then relays information back to the player informing them of valuable yardages, including distance to green and distance to hazards.

At American Golf we are fully behind players using GPS and rangefinders on golf courses, and this useful buying guide will offer advice on all things to do with these popular little devices.

GPS & Rangefinders: What’s the Difference?

Whether it’s a GPS or rangefinder device a golfer has in his or her bag, both can really make a difference on the greens. GPS devices work using satellites to pinpoint an exact location and then use the information to give golfers exact yardages, distances to green and hazards and other useful information to help them make the right decisions on the golf course. Rangefinders on the other hand offer similar benefits without the use of satellite navigation, instead measuring distances and yardages via pinpoint lasers.

GPS devices

A golf GPS is the most popular gadget on the planet right now! From cars and phones to the golf course and beyond, not many people are without a satellite navigation system in their possession. However, some people are put off by the thought of downloading road maps and golf courses to their GPS devices and so spurn the opportunity to own one themselves, which quite honestly is a great shame as they work exceptionally well.

The following section details downloaded and downloading golf courses and the best options for golfers wanting to just ‘pick up and play.’

Pre-Loaded Golf Courses

Some golfers don’t want to download courses from their computers. Others may feel the membership fees are too expensive. And some golfers simply just want to ‘pick up and play.’ Whichever group you fall into, pre-loaded GPS devices are the perfect solution.

Pre-loaded GPS devices are able to store between 6,000 to a staggering 50,000 golf courses worldwide and are available for use right off the bat so they won’t cost a penny extra of a player’s hard earned cash. A pre-loaded GPS has all the necessary functions for an in-depth game of golf, including keeping pinpoint scores for you and a friend, shot distances measurements to front, middle and back of the green, flyover holes, dog-legs and hazards. It’s basically an electronic caddy offering invaluable advice as you play through each round.

Some of the most popular GPS devices which are available now include the Garmin G6 Approach GPS, SkyCaddie Touch GPS, Golf Buddy PT4 Platinum GPS, Shotsaver Tour Pro S340 Revolution GPS, Izzo Golf Swami Sport GPS and Izzo Golf Swami 4000+ GPS to name just a few of the devices we have available today.

Want to see the whole range? View all golf GPS devices now.


The common alternative to GPS devices, a rangefinder does not require any downloading of golf courses or seek reliance from a satellite signal to function. Simply by pointing the rangefinder at an area of the green will activate its laser, which then bounces a signal off the target and back to the handset, giving you accurate distances. This is a useful method for working around bunkers, flags and any other place of interest. Other benefits of rangefinders include the ability to measure change in elevation or other hindrances that could upset a shot such as changes in temperature.

Some of these perks, however, are not permitted for use in competitive play and will need to be disabled before playing. Of course every tournament has its own set of rules, so checking this first will save time and hassle.

As great as rangefinders are, they can struggle in poor weather conditions, especially fog and rain. Bright sunlight can also be a bane to some rangefinders as it will block the laser pulses needed to measure distances. However, in ideal weather (which is 99% of the time) a rangefinder offers better accuracy than a GPS system and is an excellent navigator on driving ranges when trying to work out the distances of each golf club in the bag.

Popular golf rangefinders include the Bushnell Tour X Rangefinder, Bushnell Tour V3 Rangefinder and Bushnell Tour V3 Slope Edition Rangefinder among others.

Want to view the full range? View all golf rangefinders now.

At American Golf we stock only the highest-quality GPS and rangefinders around, so shopping with us guarantees you’re getting the best deal. View our full ranges now, or browse by brand, including Garmin, Bushnell, GolfBuddy, Shotsaver, Izzo, SkyCaddie, GAME GOLF.