In golf, you deserve an unfair advantage.
Golf is really a great alternative pastime for shooters. Consider this: with firearms, when you shoot at a target 100 yards away, and miss by 6 inches, you’re probably livid. Do that in golf, and you’re ecstatic. Of course, it’s much tougher to execute at this level in golf, one reason being that estimating yardage was very imprecise. Until now, that is.
Leupold & Stevens, a name that is already familiar to serious shooters, has recently produced a line of rangefinders for golf. While the core technology is identical to Leupold’s hunting rangefinders, the golf versions have some added features that greatly reduce the guesswork when determining distance and selecting a club.
The rangefinders use laser technology to calculate distances to remote objects quickly and accurately.
The Leupold rangefinders are compact and light, yet feel solid and well built. The model I tested, the GX-2, weighs 6.8 ounces and is about the size of a point-and-click digital camera.
TGR and Club Selector
The GX-2 includes a feature called TGR (True Golf Range). This feature uses a built-in inclinometer to compensate for targets above or below your position, and renders a distance figure that is adjusted accordingly. (The true distance is also displayed at the same time.) This feature greatly enhances the practical value of the GX-2, since making allowance for uphill/downhill shots is not something that many golfers do well.
Another feature of the GX-2 is the club selector. Part of the initial set-up includes entering your average distance with three clubs: your 4, 6 and 8 irons. When rangefinding, the GX-2 will use this information in conjunction with the TGR feature to suggest the appropriate club for your shot. This feature probably makes the GX-2 illegal for tournaments or strict-rules competition, but it still has great value as a teaching aid or for casual play.
Yesterday I tried the GX-2 on course for the first time. The course I played happened to have copious yardage markers, which I understand were recently confirmed by professional laser systems, so much of the usage of the GX-2 was ratifying information that was already available. A few times, however, an unusual pin placement (or an errant drive) would create a situation in which the GX-2 was quite helpful. On one par 3, it did in fact persuade me to use a different club, and the result was a shot six feet from the pin (and yes, I made the putt). There is no doubt that the GX-2 can contribute to a better score.
Ease of Use
A few words are in order on the GX-2’s ease of use. From the copious features detailed on Leupold’s website, one might get the impression that this product is somewhat complex. (I did.) Nothing is further from the truth, though. Once you have the rangefinder set up with your information (a process that is very well documented and takes about 10 minutes), the actual use is almost laughably simple. Click the power button once to turn it on. Point it, and click it again to get a reading. That’s it. For me, the hardest part of using the GX-2 was keeping my hands steady while aiming it. This issue is obviated by resting on or against something while using it.
The GX-2, and the other rangefinders, are worthy additions to the Leopold product family. While a rangefinder can’t swing the club for you, the information (and confidence) that it imparts can be a valuable asset to a golf game. Of course, the GX-2 would be equally useful on a hunting trip, when we’re done with that dumb golf game. Recommended.