The Garmin Approach Z80 Laser Rangefinder has made it onto the Golf Monthly Tech 50 2018/19 list thanks to a host of never-seen-before features
Garmin Approach Z80 Laser Rangefinder
Laser rangefinders don’t come more cutting edge than the Garmin Approach Z80. It features a host of innovations never seen before in the category, most notably the 2D overlays of the hole and green visible in the viewfinder display.
Location of the flag should be made easier by the built in image stabilization feature, and once detected the map will automatically zoom in to show the flag’s position on the green as well as the distances to the front and back.
There’s also a PinPointer feature, comprising an arrow on the screen, which will point to the centre of the green and give a distance to it, helping golfers on blind shots. This is not legal for competition use but it can be disabled, along with the slope-adjusted PlaysLike distance feature.
Golfers can also enter their driving distance before play so that when you reach the first tee, an arc will appear on the 2D view of the hole to show the hazards in play for you.
Laser rangefinders are commonly the preferred choice of the better player but can have their limitations in certain situations compared to GPS devices.
But the Approach Z80 looks to bring together the best of both worlds in one very impressive device. The user experience is unique too – the television-style screen takes some getting used to, but certainly makes it more fun and enjoyable to employ on the course.
Being able to combine the accuracy of the laser to any vertical point in view from any position on the course with a 2D view of the hole gives golfers a much clearer view of what lies ahead, allowing golfers to make more informed decisions on strategy and club selection.
It’s admittedly a lot of money that many may think is better spent on a new set of irons or woods, but for the investment golfers are getting an unprecedented level of detail in the palm of their hand.