With a wealth of measurement devices on the market, we ask which type you should be using in your golf.


Should I Use GPS, Watch Or Laser Devices?

The development of technology in golf has taken leaps and bounds in the past few years especially in terms of devices that measure yardages and layouts of golf courses and golf holes. With the incredible breadth and depth of equipment on offer today, there is simply no excuse for getting the wrong yardage anymore.

Three such types of measuring device are GPS, watch and laser rangefinders, each of which have clear and distinct benefits. The question is, which one should you use?


GPS devices usually come with thousands or courses pre-loaded which can be a huge bonus if you have not played a course before.

You also get hazard information and overhead maps of the hole, which will hopefully guide your strategy and thusly save you shots, especially on blind holes. On many of the products the quality of the screens are excellent too.

Related: Best Golf GPS Devices


Simplicity is the key here. If you are the type of player who would rather have a quick glance at their wrist to know the yardage rather than using a larger GPS or laser, then a watch could be the way to go.

Related: Best Golf GPS Watches


Laser rangefinders give golfers pinpoint flag accuracy and that’s one of the reasons many golfers favour them over more simplistic GPS watches and other smaller units. They also usually run on batteries and so can be left in your bag between games for a much more hassle-free user experience than GPS units, which need regular charging.

Related: Best Golf Laser Rangefinders

So which should you use?

Well all of the devices have benefits and the question of which type you should use boils down to what you want from your measuring device.

What will I need to consider?

  • Your routine: A glance at a watch is much quicker than taking a device out of its case, so weigh up if extra detail or less disruption is most important to you.
  • Your course: If your course has lots of doglegs, blind tee shots, or you play at other clubs in matches or socially, then you might want the extra information a GPS offers over a laser.
  • Added extras: The larger GPS units often include scorecard and stat tracking capabilities, while some devices measure shots or steps taken, so bear all this in mind.
  • Battery power: Laser rangefinders run on powerful batteries that are easily replaced every six months to a year, while GPS devices normally need charging via a USB after two to four rounds, so consider which would be easiest for you on a week-to-week basis.

Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more golf equipment content.