If you have an old golf rangefinder in your arsenal, you’re probably wondering if you can use it for non-golf activities, like hunting. Can you use a golf rangefinder for hunting, or should you instead invest in a hunting-specific rangefinder?
The answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely use a golf rangefinder for hunting. Both devices have the same function: they estimate the distance between you and your target, whether it’s a flagstick or a deer.
Can You Use a Golf Rangefinder for Hunting?
Yes, you can use a golf rangefinder for hunting. Though it won’t work as well as a hunting-specific rangefinder, both products operate in a similar fashion: they magnify and shoot a laser beam at the target to determine its exact distance.
This information allows hunters to make more accurate shots at longer distances.
What’s the Difference Between a Golf Rangefinder and a Hunting Rangefinder?
The biggest difference between golf and hunting rangefinders is that the former is equipped with nearest target priority software while the latter has distant target priority software.
Golf rangefinders locate the nearest target on the field and ignore objects beyond it. This makes sense as most golfers use golf rangefinders to measure the distance of the flagstick.
On the other hand, hunting rangefinders mostly prioritize ranged targets as hunters usually position themselves far from their targets to avoid scaring them off.
Another notable difference is yardage. Golf rangefinders have a target range of around 600 yards while hunting rangefinders have over double the measurement at 1,300 yards. To-the-pin readings of golf rangefinders don’t usually exceed 250 to 350 yards.
There’s also the fact that golf rangefinders prioritize durability and battery life whereas hunting rangefinders value portability and weatherproofing.
Are Golf Rangefinders Better Than Hunting Rangefinders for Hunting?
Golf rangefinders aren’t necessarily “better” than hunting rangefinders for hunting.
Hunting rangefinders are specifically made for hunting purposes, so they have a lot of hunting-related functions at their disposal. These functions give them the upper hand over golf rangefinders.
However, golf rangefinders have some advantages over hunting rangefinders that might make them worth using over the former.
Firstly, golf rangefinders have better magnification power than hunting rangefinders. It zeroes in on nearby targets more promptly than hunting rangefinders, which is helpful for point-and-shoot hunting with a rifle gun.
Additionally, golf rangefinders come with longer battery life than hunting rangefinders at lower costs. They can also give you more accurate data for measuring targets at an entry-level price. As such, golf rangefinders are a more convenient option for customers on a budget.
High-end hunting rangefinders don’t face battery or accuracy issues, but they come at a premium price.
So if you want to save a couple of extra dollars for a rangefinder when hunting, consider getting yourself a golf rangefinder.
You’ll be exchanging weatherproofing and high yardage for a longer battery, better accuracy, and higher magnification power than budget hunting rangefinders.
Are Rangefinders Worth It for Hunting?
Rangefinders have one important purpose: they eliminate distance uncertainties when shooting a target.
With a rangefinder, you’ll not only reduce the chance of missing your target but also ensure a clean shot to prevent inflicting unnecessary suffering and pain to the prey.
Rangefinders allow you to get closer to your target without physically moving in.
They also improve your estimating skills with frequent use, which is vital for when that unexpected moment comes your way. When a deer suddenly runs towards or away from you, you’ll be able to accurately shoot without having to pull out the rangefinder.
So, yes, rangefinders are absolutely worth the money for both beginners and avid hunters. Plus, they replace bulky binoculars!
Are Rangefinders Worth It for Golf?
If you want to improve your game, golf rangefinders are worth the money. Though unnecessary, they make your life a lot easier on the field. They’re as just important as other non-mandatory golf accessories, like golf gloves or pitch forks.
Rangefinders prevent one of the most common amateur mistakes in golfing: underclubbing.
Underclubbing occurs when a golfer produces a shot that lands short of the target. Since rangefinders measure the distance from the golf ball to the pin or other target area on the golf course, golfers won’t have to worry about underclubbing (or overclubbing, for that matter).
Estimating the distance between you and your target without a golf rangefinder can take up precious gaming time.
Golf rangefinders solve this issue; they considerably speed up a game and make it easier overall. And with the distance measured, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which club to use, whether it’s the wood, iron, or putter.
Can You Use a Hunting Rangefinder for Golf?
Similar to how you can use golf rangefinders for hunting, you can use hunting rangefinders for golfing. They won’t be as effective or efficient when locating short-distance objects, but they do the job well enough to improve your game.
Single-laser hunting rangefinders are especially effective for golf, as it focuses on a singular target and ignores distant distractions (trees, animals, other golfers, etc.).
If your hunting rangefinder comes with multiple options, you might want to disable the distant target priority mode. With this priority mode on, the hunting rangefinder may find it difficult to locate nearby objects such as the flagstick.
Do Dual-Purpose Rangefinders Exist?
Yes, dual-purpose rangefinders—i.e., rangefinders you can use for both golfing and hunting—do exist, though they’re costlier than most.
Dual-purpose rangefinders come with numerous beneficial modes and features, allowing you to switch from one function to the other depending on the activity. Some even have both near and distant target priority modes, perfect for both golfing and hunting activities.
The Create XP Rangefinder is a great example of a dual-purpose rangefinder. It has three modes: golfing, hunting, and archery. Each mode has its subsequent functions.
For example, the golf mode allows you to accurately locate the flagstick within 400 yards, while the hunt mode allows you to detect animals within 1,100 yards.
It also has a mode that displays the compensation and slope distance of a flagstick, allowing you to choose the right club for your game.
Can you use a golf rangefinder for hunting? Yes, absolutely!
Golf rangefinders and hunting rangefinders both do a good job at estimating the distance between you and the target. However, do note that golf rangefinders have much shorter yardage than hunting rangefinders, which may limit your hunting requirements.
Similarly, golf rangefinders aren’t as weatherproof as the hunting variant, so you may want to double-check the former’s weatherproofing capabilities before taking them out on the field.