Golf Magazine

Can Beginners Benefit from a Golf Rangefinder?

By Golfforbeginners
If you are a golf beginner, you may be thinking “no way do I need a golf rangefinder. All I’m trying to do is get it off the ground and then hope it stays on the golf course! Maybe next year I’ll be ready for one.”  In this article, Val Brennan discusses the use of golf rangefinders for the beginner as well as for players of all levels.

In my opinion, if you’ve ever hit a shot that felt good and made you smile (at least on the inside), then you’re ready for a golf GPS rangefinder.  A GPS device or golf app can help you improve more quickly by making your good shots count. It will help you become more decisive on the golf course and maybe even make you a faster player. It might even have the added benefit of keeping you motivated by helping you see gradual improvements. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be painful like changing your grip or trying to keep your left arm straight! Your golf GPS device or app needs to have the capability to measure your shots and record the club you used to hit the shot.  You should also be able to look up your average distances for each club.  The Garmin Approach G6 does this very well, and if you’re looking for a low cost option and have an iPhone or Android phone, GolfShot will also serve you very well.  By using shot measuring features, you’ll get a sense, fairly quickly, of how far you hit each club.  Be sure to only use the shot measuring feature on shots where there is not much elevation change and when there is not much wind. Those factors can really affect the distance of the shot. Most importantly, only use the feature on your good shots. Your goal is to discover how far you’re likely to hit the golf ball when you hit it well. Always input the club you used.
Golf_gps_rangefinderYou can start applying what you learn about how far you’re hitting it almost immediately, but after a half a dozen rounds or so, you should have a pretty good representation of how far you hit each club. You can now comfortably look at that distance to the center of the green on your golf GPS and choose a club accordingly. You’ll also start to understand how wind and elevation affect your distances.
Once a month or so, write down your distances for each club and reset the GPS so you can begin collecting new averages. As a beginner, you’re fairly likely to increase your distances the more you practice and play. By comparing your monthly averages, you might surprise yourself with your improvements. If you’re not getting any longer and think you should be, you may want to talk with your instructor or even find a new one. Let’s face it, beginner golfers don’t hit a high percentage of solid shots which makes the good ones all the more critical. What could be worse than hitting your best golf shot of the day and having it fly right over the green and land in a deep bunker? If you want to play better golf, it’s time to start treating yourself like the player you hope to be one day. You deserve to know how far you are from your target and you deserve to know how far you hit your clubs… even if only an occasional shot really measures up. When you do connect with your best shot of the day, you should be rewarded for it!  
----------------- Val Brennan writes GPS and laser rangefinder reviews She is a former caddie, player and media coordinator on the Symetra (Futures) Tour and is passionate about the game of golf.

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