Golf Vs. Hunting Rangefinders: The Key Differences

Golf vs. hunting rangefinders
Written by Erik Himmel

If you have rangefinders or a plan to buy one, then you would have a series of questions at some point. Can you use a rangefinder for both golfing and hunting? Can you save a few bucks buying one rangefinder?

Yes, you can. You can use a laser rangefinder for both activities if you choose a smart device that has features to serve both golfing and hunting adequately. However, you need to know the basic differences between golf and hunting rangefinders and some limitations before making any buying decisions. You may have the impression that the “Golf vs. Hunting Rangefinders” debate is completely unnecessary.

Golf Rangefinder

Golf rangefinders seek for the nearest flagstick for measuring the distance in an open field. “First target mode” is the default target setting of this rangefinder as they are built for the golfer. A typical golf rangefinder ignores distant objects like trees, people and so on.

Modern and dedicated golf rangefinders come with various features to make golf easier. The “Slope Angle” helps to design shots plan, and GPS enables rangefinders to calculate the distance accurately using software and satellite information.

Hunting Rangefinder

Hunting rangefinders are obviously for those who love to hunt using a rifle or bow whether a crossbow or a compound bow or a longbow. These rangefinders always are in “Distant Target Mode” by default to spot wildlife in wooden terrains. This target set automatically ignores close objects that could obstruct your view. These rangefinders come with about a mile range so that it can range beyond the brush.

3 Differences That You Should Remember

Can you buy one rangefinder for both activities? Already you got the answer, yes, you can. At some point, you will understand that the Golf vs. Hunting Rangefinders argument is worthless. Considering few facts, you can use a single rangefinder that can serve both activities. Now, let us see the features comparison of Golf and Hunting Rangefinders.

First target and distant target modes

Golfers need “First Target Mode” to detect the near objects like flag or pin in an open golf ground. Hunting rangefinders rarely good at detecting close objects. For hunting, “Distant Target Mode” is appropriate to range a target past the wood. Modern rangefinders come with toggling options between both first target and distant target modes, but they are expensive.

Quick and accurate reading

Golfing rangefinders detect the object quickly, and hunting rangefinders give the accurate reading. It is true that golf rangefinders do not need to be as precise as hunting one. Hunters want to make sure that their prey can be perfectly located.



Let us think differently. Golf rangefinders give opportunities to locate prey quickly, which is an advantage for the hunters. As the hunting rangefinders are slow, hunters may lose their target in the name of accuracy.

Magnification Strength

You might be aware of the fact that Hunting rangefinders always have more magnification than Golf Rangefinders. Golfers need the distance of the next hole, which could be maximum 400 yards. For the bow hunters and hunting, 400 yards rangefinders are also appropriate. In case of rifle hunting or long-distance shooting sports, you will be needed maximum 1000 to 1500 yards ranges.



Now you know what the basic differences between the golf and hunting rangefinders are. You can start choosing your suitable one. People prefer a high-functioning hunting rangefinder to fulfill both functions. You can easily use a hunting rangefinder on the golf course, but when it comes to quick reading, you may lose your temper.

Golf rangefinders and Hunting rangefinders have a lot of similarities, but their features are not completely congruent with each other. Considering every feature discussed above, we can now suggest that a high-end hunting rangefinder will have balanced features for both sports.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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