Are Golf and Hunting Rangefinders the Same? 3 Major Differences

golf vs. hunting rangefinders

Do hunting and golf rangefinders seem the same to you? Well, side by side, they do look the same! Also, they both utilize laser range finding mechanisms and are mostly the same size. 

Let us not forget that they have the same purpose: to measure the distance from a starting point.

So, you will not be wrong to think that they are not different. But are golf and hunting rangefinders the same? The thing is, the answer to that question is not just a simple yes or no. 

And if you really want to know whether they have any difference or not, you need to take a closer look, which is what we will do in this article.

What Is a Hunting Rangefinder? 

First of all, we would like to ensure that you have a fair understanding of both. Let’s start with the hunting rangefinder, shall we?

are golf and hunting rangefinders the same

As the name suggests, it helps hunters get an accurate idea regarding the distance of the prey. So, that eliminates the need to work with an estimation for landing the shot.

As the device is hunting-specific, it will have loads of features that will make hunting an easy task. Most of them will have camo print on the body, which will allow you to use them discreetly. Also, the ones with no camo will at least have natural colors.

You will not find any hunting rangefinder with bright and easily noticeable colors. Why? Because that will give your position away or alert the prey you probably might have been tracking for hours.

Nonetheless, keeping the angle in mind is crucial for hunters to land their shots. Well, hunting range finders will include this feature!

It will automatically calculate the slope when you are measuring the distance. That will eliminate a lot of guesswork and allow you properly hit a long-distance target.

You are probably aware that hunters do not just go hunting every day. It is mostly a season-specific or time-specific activity. 

That is why we have periods of time during the year called hunting seasons! And the hunting rangefinder manufacturers are well aware of this. For that reason, you will find most of these devices utilizing cheaper parts.

Furthermore, as these devices will usually see a couple of minutes of use, the battery life will not be that long either. 

These rangefinders will often be light in weight, compact, and highly portable. Also, the pricing will be pretty reasonable too!

What Is a Golf Rangefinder?

Allow us now to move to the second star of the show. These devices will look pretty much similar to those we have just talked about.

man in orange shirt using golf rangefinder

And just like hunting range finders, these will offer you an accurate idea of the distance. Why would golfers need to figure out the distance? Make their shot count and get a hole in one (or even just a birdie).

These devices will certainly not come in camo prints because there is no need to be discrete. For that reason, you will find these available in flashy white, blue, or neon colors.

That being said, you will find plenty of golf-specific features on these range-finding devices. For example, some can be locked to the golf flag.

That will ensure that you do not accidentally measure the distance of a wrong object. 

But you should note that devices with this feature might not be allowed for professional games.

Another thing that is not allowed for golf games is taking the help of a device to measure the slop. So, the golf range finders will not usually come with this feature.

The ones that come with a slope-finding mechanism will offer you an option to turn it off. By doing so, you can use them for professional games.

Other than that, manufacturers of golf rangefinders know that golfing is not an occasional pastime. Some players stay on the golf field for most of the day.

So, these devices need to have a longer run time, which calls for high-capacity batteries. And most will actually come with proper capacity cells.

Additionally, these devices are most likely to see a lot of abuse, thanks to golfers using them for hours and hours.

That is why most golf range finders will have a solid build quality. The components will be high in quality. Many brands will go one step ahead and waterproof the entire thing.

Golf vs. Hunting Rangefinders

When it comes to hunting vs. golf range finders, you need to take a look at the main differences. And they are:


As we mentioned, both the hunting and golf range finders (like the Gogogo Rangefinder) will have some specific features. Those are there to help the hunters and golfers accurately measure distances.

man using hunting rangefinder in the woods

We are not just talking about the lock on and slope calculation! Both will have a different exterior color coating as well.

Battery Life

Hunting is not a daily occasion, and golfing is not usually a part-time activity. For that reason, the hunting range finders will have a comparatively low battery life than the golfing ones.


There is really no need to worry about the weight of the accessories for the golfers. They do not require to make quick and quiet movements on the field. (However golf courses tend to be quiet. See our article on why golf announcers whisper.)

The golf range finders will usually be relatively hefty when you compare them with a hunting rangefinder.

Build Quality

Another prime difference lies in the build quality.

Compared to the hunting range-measuring devices, the golf range finders will utilize high-quality and sturdy parts. That makes them capable of handling the abuse and prolonged hours of usage.

Final Words

So, are golf and hunting rangefinders the same? They might look the same, but they are actually not.

Both of them will have specific features, which will make the specific users easily measure the distance. Even the build quality and battery life are different for both.

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