How To Use a Laser Rangefinder To Play Better Golf

Laser rangefinders are one of the best technology devices to hit the game of golf in decades. But you need to use your rangefinder in a variety of ways in order for the technology to actually lower your handicap.

I just discovered a new way to use my rangefinder to save even more strokes. And it’s not how you think…

I know what you’re thinking, it’s a rangefinder. You look through the lens at an object and get your distance, so you know which club to hit, right?

Well, yes. That’s the most obvious use of your laser range finder. But there are ways I’ll bet you are not using it, that can help you go even lower.

And no, I’m not going to tell you to look through it and see how far the hazards are. That is another obvious way to use your rangefinder that almost everyone know about.

But here’s a rangefinder strategy you may not be using…

How often do you pull out your rangefinder when you are inside 100 yards? Probably less often than when you’re faced with a standard approach  shot from say, 170 yards.

What about when you’re inside 50 yards. Do you use it then? Not many golfers do. They eye the distance and hit a feel shot. But that’s a mistake that could be costing you strokes. Especially when you have a rangefinder.

In fact, I now save more strokes every round using my rangefinder between 20 and 50 yards than I do everywhere else on the golf course. Here’s how:

In addition to my pitching wedge, I also carry a 50 degree wedge, a 56 degree, and a 60 degree wedge. Most golfers now have at least 3 wedges in their bag, if not four.

After just a one hour range session with my wedges and my rangefinder I locked in my carry distances with my backswing to 9 o’clock with each of these wedges. The  carry distances were as follows:

Pitching wedge: 40 yards

50 degree wedge: 30 yards

56 degree wedge: 25 yards

60 degree wedge: 20 yards

These carry distances are easily repeatable by swinging back to 9 o’clock then through with a good tempo. That is invaluable information to have. And it opens up your rangefinder for a whole new stroke saving job on the course.

I do get an occasional funny look from my playing partners when I pull out my rangefinder from such close ranges, but when I stick it close over and over the looks go away.

If you want to try this rangefinder strategy, all you need to do is go in your back yard. Then get your carry distances for all your wedges with a 9 o’clock backswing. Then write them all down or put them in your smartphone.

Next, go to the course you play the most and measure your average roll out distances for each of those shots.

Now you’ll have a go to shot for almost every in-close situation on the course. I use the PW bump and run to land 40 yards and roll out to 50. I use my 60 degree wedge to flop 20 yards on the fly and roll out to 25.

Most golfers never consider that a rangefinder will help them with their short game,  yet I get up and down more than 60% of the time most days, using this rangefinder strategy.

Now that’s using your laser range finder to save strokes where they matter most!

About the author

Jim D

I live and breathe golf. My dad had me on the course at age 5 and I've been playing almost 50 years now. With the help of new golf technology (launch monitors, simulators, swing analysis, range finder, etc.) I've lowered my handicap to a 7.8 index. I'll share all my favorite golf technology with you here, so you can keep improving too!

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