Can Hunting Rangefinder Be Used for Golf?

A rangefinder is an essential tool for several outdoor sports, including hunting and golf. Golfers use it to locate the nearest flag, estimate the distance, and determine which club to use.

Hunters also use it to locate their distant prey while hiding within the tree line. But, what if you do both sports, hunting and golfing? You might think of just using your hunting rangefinder on the golf course.

Can hunting rangefinder be used for golf? Yes, you can use your hunting rangefinder in golf. However, there are several factors that you need to consider, such as the used target mode, allowed maximum range, and other features.

Keep on reading to find out more about how you can use a hunting rangefinder for golf.

What Is the Purpose of a Rangefinder?

A rangefinder is a measuring tool that helps users measure how far away objects are from them.

This tool was first used for surveying, anti-aircraft artillery, and naval gunnery. Now, we use it in some outdoor sports, such as golfing and hunting.

Differences Between Golf Rangefinder and Hunting Rangefinder

While the two rangefinders do the same job, which is measuring the distance between you and an object, they do work differently.

The reason for that is that golfers and hunters use them for different purposes. Let’s take a look at the difference between a golf rangefinder and a hunting one:

How Does a Golf Rangefinder Work?

When you’re on the golf course, you need to locate the nearest flag. A rangefinder can help you do that without picking up any trees or other obstacles in the background.

The specific target mode golf rangefinders use is called “First Target Mode”. This mode locates the closest object to you while ignoring distant distractions, such as trees, small animals, or other golfers.

In addition, this specific target mode can locate small targets like a pin in an open course.

How Does a Hunting Rangefinder Work?

A hunting rangefinder does the same job as the golf one, but a bit differently. See, the goal of a hunter here differs from a golfer’s.

When you’re hunting for your prize, you hide in a hiding area or a tree stand. You might get lucky and have your prey pass close by.

However, in most cases, your prey won’t be the nearest thing to you.

This is when your hunter rangefinder comes in handy. It uses “Distant Target Mode”, which allows you to hunt best for distant objects far from the treeline.

Can I Use My Hunting Rangefinder for Golf?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, you need to consider some factors before doing so:

The Type of Target Mode Used

As we just explained, hunting rangefinders and golf rangefinders use different target modes that best suit their purpose. Because of that, a hunting rangefinder can give you a hard time on the course.

It’ll be difficult for it to pick up a flag if there’s anything in the background. It might lead you to range past the pin as well.

You’ll also face a similar problem if you use a golf rangefinder for hunting. The rangefinder might pick up on the trees and the bushes rather than the deer you’re aiming for.

Nevertheless, you can still use a hunting rangefinder on golf courses. Just keep in mind that it won’t always give you an accurate reading and it can work slower.

The solution to this problem is to buy a hybrid rangefinder. This type has both first and distant target modes where you can toggle between the two modes with a push of a button.

Golf-Specific Features

Some golf rangefinders have specific features that aren’t available for hunting rangefinders. These features include:

  • Club suggestions
  • Simple reticles
  • Shot distance calculator
  • Swing rate measuring

So, you’ll be missing out on features that could help you improve your game a lot. This is something you need to consider before purchasing a hunting rangefinder for golf.

Can I Use My Golf Rangefinder for Hunting?

Just like you can use a hunting rangefinder for golf, you can do the opposite, but with limitations:

Availability of a Waterproof Feature

This is a feature that is essential for both types of rangefinders. Since hunting and golf are both outdoor activities, rainfall is a potential threat to your game time.

If you’re determined to finish your golf game or your hunting session, a waterproof rangefinder is a must.

Keep in mind that other features fall under the umbrella of waterproofing. This includes fog mode and UV resistance.

Maximum Range Allowed

If you’re using a hunting rangefinder for golf, you don’t need to worry about the maximum range. However, if you’re using a golf rangefinder for hunting, this could be a problem.

On the golf course, the distance between you and the pin is usually about 400 yards. It won’t exceed 600 yards.

As for hunting, you might need to aim at a distance way higher than this. Hunters usually hunt at a distance ranging from 75 yards to 1300 yards.

So, using a golf rangefinder that only offers up to 600 yards for hunting might not be your best option, unless you’ll use it for short-distance hunting.

Some golf rangefinders offer a higher range, such as a thousand yards. In this case, you can use them for hunting.

Hunting-Specific Features

Just like golf rangefinders have specific features for golfing, hunting rangefinders do too. You can find helpful features on hunting rangefinders, such as:

Using a golf rangefinder in this case won’t offer you all those features. So, if you think you could really benefit from those extra features, you might want to buy a hunting rangefinder instead.

The Wrap-Up

So, can hunting rangefinder be used for golf? Yes, you can use hunting rangefinders for golf. However, they don’t offer the same target mode as golf rangefinders.

There’s a big possibility that they’ll work slower and miss some flags. You’ll also miss out on other features that are beneficial on the course.

Using a hybrid rangefinder may be your best option here. A hybrid rangefinder will allow you to switch between target modes as well as provide features for both sports.

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