Comparison Golf GPS Watch And Laser Golf Rangefinder

GPS golf watch and laser range finder are 2 popular devices in golf. Both of them are used for golf course navigation. However, there are many major differences and which device is better is still a debatable topic among golfers. A comparison of these 2 devices would be helpful for golfers to decide what to use.


Price & Value

Price is always an influential factor. GPS watches are available in a wide range of price from cheap one with basic features to more expensive ones with many advanced features. Whereas, most of laser range finders’ price is higher than middle price point of GPS watches. Given that GPS watches, especially ones in middle-high segment, could offer much more innovative features than laser range finders, so obviously a Golf GPS watch is worth your money more. However, sometimes, a GPS watch comes with subscription fee after purchasing while laser rangefinder’s retail price is final price you have to pay.


Regarding the quantity of features, GPS watch is definitely the winner. Besides course navigation, there are plenty of other features which offer golfers with not only courses’ information but also detailedstatistics, analyses to maximize their performance.  GPS watch could be used for other sports like swimming, cycling or as normal watch. When being synchronized with smartphone, GPS watches even have much more outstanding features.


The common feature of both devices is course navigation or in particular, measuring the distance between current location and a target. As its name implies, a GPS watch uses Global Positioning System (GPS) to measure the distance while laser range finder calculates distance based on laser wave. The accuracy of GPS watch highly depends on strength of satellite signal which is unstable. Some expensive GPS devices can offer better accuracy but overall, laser range finder provides more precise information of distance.


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In term of convenience, both GPS watch and laser range finder have their own pros and cons. Using laser to check distance, laser range finder could give accurate number at any course. Whereas GPS watch could only work properly in the courses which information is preloaded in its storage.

Furthermore, plenty of features in GPS watch consume a great deal of battery power, so it requires recharging frequently. Battery life of laser range finder is much longer than GPS watch’s.


Laser devices are quite bulky and should be kept in golf cart or bag. In contrast, modern GPS watches are hand-held and lightweight.

Ease of use

Obviously, it would be much easier to use a single function device like laser range finder than a multi-function GPS watch. However, GPS watch could show distance information immediately on preloaded course while laser range finder requires golfers to aim laser wave to the target, so inaccuracy may occur if golfer’s hand is shaking.


Generally, laser range finder is mostly kept in the golf bag or cart, so its laser apparatus barely gets damaged. On the other hand, GPS watch is often exposed to environment. Therefore, laser range finder has better durability. Besides, packed features also shorten longevity of GPS watch.

Which device is better for golfer? The answer for this question is that it depends on your priority. If you prefer accuracy, laser range finder is better. However, GPS watch should be the choice of golfers who want as much information as possible to have better performance.

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