Knowing exactly how far the basket is for each throw is a simple way to save strokes off of each disc golf round. If you know how far your throw needs to be, you can determine which disc you should use for an appropriate shot. It also helps you to know how much effort you need and what throwing style you should use for that distance.
Most disc golf courses have tee signs that list the distance to the basket, but these distances are not always accurate. In addition, what do you do if you are playing a long par 4 or par 5 hole? What if you just want to know how far away an out of bounds area or water hazard is?
But how can you get the exact distance to the target in each of these scenarios? The answer is with a disc golf range finder.
A rangefinder is a device that uses lasers to give you a very precise distance measurement. At the time of this article, there are only two rangefinders on the market designed specifically for disc golf. While any rangefinder will do, a disc golf rangefinder provides distances in feet which is the primary measurement used for courses in the United States.
Best Disc Golf Rangefinders
So what are the best disc golf rangefinders? In this article we will compare some of the top rangefinders designed for disc golf and will also mention other options if you are simply looking for an affordable way to accurately measure distance on the course.
Disc Golf Rangefinder Comparison Table
|Rangefinder Name||Distance Range||Best Choice For||Key Highlight|
|Apex Disc Golf||10-1,500 Feet||Value, Features||Measures Slope and Height|
|Bushnell Sport 850||5-2,550 Feet||Simplicity||Sponsor Professionals|
|Wakyme Rangefinder||15-1,950 Feet||Budget Shopper||Ultra Low Price|
1. Apex Disc Golf Rangefinder NF-600
The Apex Rangefinder is in my opinion the best disc golf rangefinder currently on the market. This rangefinder is super easy to use, has a default setting in feet, and has many great functions that the Bushnell does not. Not only is it easier to use, but it is also less expensive and appears to be of better quality.
The Apex Rangefinder is small and compact making it easy to fit in any disc golf bag. It also comes in a handy belt loop case that can be fastened to the belt on your pants or to the exterior of your disc golf bag. It is super easy to use and you simply need to click on the top button to get the distance measurement you desire.
This rangefinder uses a glass optical focusing eye piece similar to binoculars. To focus in on a relatively close or distant object simply turn the eye piece.
It comes with a 3v battery which is not a size that I was previously familiar with. This battery is like half the size of an AAA. I haven’t had to replace this battery but it looks like replacements can be found on Amazon for about $10.
One of the big advantages of the Apex is its many functions. The primary function a disc golfer wants is the ability to measure distance in feet. Besides that, the Apex also measures slope distance, vertical distance, horizontal distance, speed, height, closest and farthest. This rangefinder even stores your last 20 readings in case you want to later go back on your round and find out where you went wrong. While I find the slope and storage measurement useful for disc golf the other features don’t really meet any needs I desire. While the speed feature is pretty cool to play with, it is nearly impossible to use to measure the speed of a flying disc golf disc.
The Apex NF-600 not only measures in feet (which is the default setting), but can also measure in Yards and Meters if you want to use it for another sport where those measurement methods are more appropriate.
This is a quality rangefinder that is just fantastic for disc golf.
- Measures in Feet
- Easy to Use
- Low Price
- Doesn’t measure within 10 feet.
- Speed feature does not work for flying discs.
2. Bushnell 850 Sport Disc Golf Rangefinder
Bushnell has made great strides to get into disc golf and sponsors many of the top professionals and tournaments. It’s common to see professional disc golfers sporting a Bushnell Hat as part of their sponsorship agreement. While watching disc golf broadcasts you will often see the “Bushnell Distance” mentioned when measuring big throws on long holes.
The Bushnell Sport 850 has more range than does the Apex, and can accurately measure distances for up to 2550 feet. Personally, I’ve never played a disc golf hole longer than 1,100 feet, and don’t see any advantage of being able to measure distances that long for DG. If you need an accurate distance reading inside of 8 feet, you probably need to work on your putting game more than you need to worry about using a rangefinder.
One of the nice things about the Bushnell is that it is super simple to use. This rangefinder literally only has one function and that is measuring distance. If you don’t like getting bogged down by too many features, then this is the rangefinder for you. This range finder does have a little bit larger display than the APEX and so is a little bit easier to see through.
The Bushnell doesn’t have an off button and it often takes 4 seconds to give you the distance reading on the object you are trying to measure the distance to. Four seconds doesn’t seem like much time, but it can get annoying if you are quickly going from one object to another trying to get a quick feel for the general area. Personally, I prefer the touch button to tell distance feature of the Apex.
- Designed for Disc Golf
- Supports Professional Players
- Bright Display
- The simplicity won’t confuse you.
- Well known brand with good reputation
- Only one function
- Doesn’t come with a case
3. Wakyme Rangefinder
The Wakyme Rangefinder offers most of the same features as the Bushnell (with the exception of measurement in feet) at less than half the total cost. It doesn’t have as much range and the accuracy level will max out at less than 2,000 feet of distance which is still more than enough for disc golf. It uses, and comes with, a CR2-3V battery and is supposedly water resistant.
This budget rangefinder has a clear view and 6X optical magnification and supposedly works well even if you ear glasses. Not only does the Wakyme measure distance, but it also measures slope, speed, and has a scan feature for measuring continues landscape. The Wakyme will vibrate when it locks in on the target.
The quality of the Wakyme does not seem to be up to par with the disc golf specific rangefinders, but if you’re just looking for a budget way to accurately measure distances on the disc golf course, this rangefinder will fit the bill.
- Low Cost
- Accurately measures distances up to 2000 feet
- Does not measure in feet.
- Less range as others.
- Initial head installation is rather complicated
When a Disc Golf Rangefinder is Useful
You may be wondering when or why a rangefinder would be useful for disc golf. Instances where a disc golf rangefinder is useful include the following scenarios.
Inaccurate Tee Signs. Many times disc golf signs wear out, fade in the sun or just become inaccurate. Whoever created them didn’t use an accurate method to measure distance or the pin position has since changed since the original course design. In this scenario, a rangefinder is very helpful to help you determine which disc golf disc to use.
Distance to Out of Bounds. Many courses have out of bounds areas and water hazards. Sometimes it looks like you should be able to clear the pond, but wouldn’t it be nice to know the exact distance you need to be able to throw to clear the hazard? In instances like this, a disc golf rangefinder will not only help to save strokes from your tournament disc golf rounds, but it will also save you money by helping you to make smart decisions where you won’t have to replace as many discs.
See if Your Putt Lie is Inside the Circle. One of the PDGA disc golf rules is that when you are outside of 10 meters (~33 feet) you are allowed to step forward with your throw. But, if you are inside of 10 meters you must hold balance on your putt. Rather than take the time to walk off the distance or pull out a tape measure, with a disc golf rangefinder you can simply point your optical scope at the target and get an accurate measurement in seconds.
Make More Putts. When you’re on the putting green it may seem like a very short distance to throw, but there is a very bid difference between a 20 foot putt and a 30 foot putt. Knowing this distance exactly can help you know what putting style to use to make more putts. Personally, I push putt out until about 25 feet, but everything outside of that I will use a spin putt motion instead. If I think my 28 foot putt is just 23 feet, I’ll likely miss the push putt short. With a rangefinder I’ll know exactly what the distance is and what putting style to use.
Elevation Changes. Some disc golf rangefinders not only measure distance, but also measure slope as well. A three hundred foot uphill shot plays much longer than a 350 foot downhill throw. Knowing what your degree of elevation change is can help you determine the “feels like” distance for selecting the proper disc and throwing style for your elevated shot.
Difference between disc golf and golf rangefinder
What is the difference between a disc golf and a regular golf or hunting rangefinder?
The difference between rangefinders designed specifically for disc golf and those used for golf and hunting is the measurement method. For traditional ball golf, rangefinders primarily measure in Yards. One yard equals three feet so it is not difficult to do the math if you’re using a yard rangefinder. Many generic rangefinders have multiple setting where you can toggle between yards and meters. Those playing in Europe and other nations that use the metric system can use any rangefinder without requiring additional head math.