Can You Use a Golf Rangefinder for Hunting?

Can You Use a Golf Rangefinder for Hunting?

On the surface, hunting and golf rangefinders are quite similar devices. They are similar in size and they’re both used to measure a distance from your standing position. So can you use a golf rangefinder for hunting?

The answer is yes, you can use a golf rangefinder for hunting albeit they are designed for different purposes. Beyond the difference in appearance, both golf rangefinder and hunting rangefinder are similar in functionality.

In this article, we are going to examine the difference between a golf rangefinder and a hunting rangefinder. We will also consider the tips for buying a rangefinder for both golfing and hunting.

What’s A Golf Rangefinder?

Golf rangefinders are devices used for measuring the distance you’re standing to the position of a pot on a golf course.

You might have seen a device hanging around the neck of golfers. Yes, that device is a golf rangefinder.

What’s A Hunting Rangefinder

A hunting rangefinder is a device that assists hunters to measure an accurate distance from their position to the position of the prey.

Hunting rangefinders assist archers in adjusting their arrows along the right trajectory to hit the prey. Hunters that use guns also use rangefinders when they are standing at a long distance from the prey.

What Are The Differences Between Hunting And Golf Rangefinders?

Both golf rangefinder and hunting rangefinder primarily serve the same purposes which are measuring a distance between two points.

However, each rangefinder has some peculiarities that make them different albeit they offer similar functionality.

The difference between both rangefinders include:


  • Golf rangefinders come with golf-specific features such as the pin lock and flag lock. These features aren’t available in a hunting rangefinder.
  • The hunting rangefinder comes in a camp print design that matches the hunting model. Golf rangefinders, however, don’t have such designs.


  • Golf rangefinders have stronger battery life and durability. Golf rangefinders also have better accuracy.
  • Hunting rangefinders are waterproof and usually more portable. While they don’t have as much accuracy as golf rangefinders, they gave a longer range.


  • Golf rangefinders are more expensive because they are made with more expensive materials. And it’s high-end like everything else in golf.
  • Hunting rangefinders are made with cheaper parts hence they are more affordable than golf rangefinders.

Tips In Buying a Rangefinder for Both Golf and Hunting

Since both hunting and golf rangefinders are so similar in functionality, it allows you to get a rangefinder for both purposes.

If you’re a golfer who also enjoys hunting, these are tips you can use in choosing a rangefinder for both activities.

Consider Distance Differences

A golf rangefinder uses a first-target priority mode. This means it focuses on the nearest object and ignores distant distractions such as trees, animals, and other golfers. 

Hunting rangefinders, on the other hand, use a distant priority mode. This allows it to focus on distant objects and ignore the near distractions such as trees and bushes.

In Choosing a rangefinder for both hunting and golf, you should choose one that has both nearest and distant modes.

You can consider the Nikon Monarch 7i VR and the Nikon COOLSHOT 40i. Both rangefinders have a technology that allows you to switch between the first and distant modes.

Consider The Distance

Golf rangefinders often have limited range because, in golf, you will rarely need more than 500 yards. Hence most golf rangefinders have a ranging distance of 600 yards.

Hunting rangefinders have more range because prey can be up to 1200 yards away. Hunting rangefinders can have up to a mile in range, however, most hunting rangefinders have about 900 yards.

While you might not need that much range in golf, you require it in hunting. Therefore, it’s right that you for one that can serve both purposes.

An example of golf rangefinders with up to 1,000 yards you can use in hunting is the Laser Link XL 1000.

Consider If It’s an LCD or LED Display

Golf and hunting rangefinders offer either LCD and LED displays. The major difference between both displays is the time of the day it can be used.

LED displays are suitable for cloudy days or daytime golfing and hunting. However, it isn’t suitable for night vision. The best option is to get a hybrid option of both golf and hunting.


Golf rangefinders aren’t built to be waterproof and a heavy downpour on the golf course might damage your rangefinder. Hunting rangefinders on the other hand are waterproof and you. And you can use it in the rain.

When choosing a rangefinder for both activities, you should choose a waterproof rangefinder that can withstand a heavy downpour. A waterproof rangefinder suitable for both hunting and golf is the Leica Pinmaster II

Consider Activity-Specific Features

One of the factors you will have to consider is the specific activities for which the rangefinders are designed.

A rangefinder for hunting will have a longer yardage range, and ballistic data, and can be pre-loaded. A rangefinder for golfing will have such extra features as short-distance calculators, club suggestions, and swing rate measurements.

Using a hunting rangefinder for golfing will rob you of these features. Similarly, using a golf rangefinder hunting will rob you of hunting-specific features.

This is a factor you will have to consider when buying a rangefinder for both activities. You will have to make a compromise for a particular activity if you’re choosing a rangefinder for both activities.

However, when you consider the cost you will be saving with a dual-purpose rangefinder, you might find that it’s worth the compromise.


Golf rangefinders and hunting rangefinders are different. However, they serve the same primary purpose. This makes it possible to use one for the other if you’re willing to make some compromises.

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