Best golf rangefinder for shaky hands 2024

The number one reason golfers stay away from a laser rangefinder is a shaky hand, this is no longer an excuse; the technology is out there to get an accurate reading, regardless of your ability to stabilize the unit. Here are our top five best rangefinders for shaky hands. 

The best rangefinders for shaky hands are:

  1. Bushnell Tour V6 Shift – Best Overall 
  2. Cobalt Q6 rangefinder – Most Accurate
  3. GolfBuddy Laser Lite – Best Budget
  4. Garmin Approach Z82 – GPS Maps & Laser rangefinder 
  5. Shot Scope Pro LX2 – Simple GPS & Laser rangefinder
  6. Nikon CoolShot – Best with Stabilization

The rangefinders in this list are the best we’ve found that don’t need to be held perfectly still on the flag to grab the correct distance. Instead, these work well when you wave the laser in the direction of the target.

We also cover some rangefinder options that combine GPS with a laser rangefinder. These offer distances to the front, middle and back of the green along with the option of zapping the flag or hazards off the tee.

Bushnell v6 rangefinder

Pros

The 2nd most accurate rangefinder.

The joint best at picking up the flag.

Simple to use.

Great longevity.

Cons

Expensive.

Big price jump for the slope version.

Bushnell rangefinders continue to lead the way when it comes to performance and accuracy. They do now have some serious rivals (check out the Cobalt Q6 below), but in terms of all around performance, they still just about take the top spot, only due to price.

Along with the Coblat Q6 below, the Bushnell Tour V6 is the best in the business at giving accurate yardages when waving the crosshair over and around the flag. They give super accurate yardages and are only one of two rangefinders to score 100% on our accuracy test, and rarely pick up the background instead of the flag.

Our top two picks are two of the most expensive on the market, but the main separator between higher and lower-cost rangefinders is their ability to grab the flag instead of the background. This is the most important thing if you have a shaky hand or are looking for stabilization.

The good news – these rangefinders also last you a seriously long time. We have a Bushnell V2 that still works from 15 years ago. So do consider the extra cost over the number of years you plan to use your new rangefinder.

Read the full Bushnell Tour V6 review here.

Golf Insider Verdict 91.2

Average error 50 – 200 yards = 0.00 yards

Accuracy: 100/100
Features: 90/100
Speed: 92/100
Visuals & Optics: 90/100
Usability: 95/100
Build Quality: 93/100
Value: 85/100
Cobalt Rangefinder review header

Pros

The most accurate rangefinder we’ve tested.

The joint best at picking up the flag.

Clearest lens we’ve tested.

Simple to use.

Great build quality.

Cons

Expensive.

Most golfers haven’t heard of them.

Cobalt rangefinders are not that well known, yet they are fantastic! They are one of the most expensive rangefinders on the market but the most accurate we have ever tested and are super easy to use. They are worth every penny.

The reason we’ve placed them so high up in this review is that out of all the rangefinders that allow you to wave the crosshairs over and around the target, the Coblat Q6 give the fewest errors. It is neck and neck with the Bushnell Tour V6 in this regard, we haven’t given it the top spot just because of the cost, however, if any extra $50 doesn’t bother you, opt for this. The Cobalt is really accurate, easy to use and it super clear lens technology that makes this a pleasure to use.

Read the full Coblat Q6 review here.

Golf Insider Verdict 93.4

Average error 50 – 200 yards = 0.00 yards

Accuracy: 100/100
Features: 90/100
Speed: 90/100
Visuals & Optics: 97/100
Usability: 95/100
Build Quality: 97/100
Value: 85/100
Laser rangefinder review

Pros

The most accurate budget rangefinder.

Simple to use.

Great value!

Cons

A few more errors picking up the background.

Feel & build is more budget.

GolfBuddy are another rangefinder brand that doesn’t get the attention they deserve. Their original GolfBuddy Laser Lite has been at the top of our best budget rangefinder list for a long time, and for good reason.

The trade-off for the price is often accuracy and the ability to pick up the flag over a background, but the GolfBuddy Laser Lite excels compared to other rangefinders in its price bracket and outperforms many rangefinders that are double the price

Yes, there will be a few more times you’ll get the background if you really do struggle to focus on the flag, but this will tend to be from 200+ yards, rather than when you are inside 200 yards and need an accurate yardage.

If you need a rangefinder that doesn’t need to be held perfectly still and are shopping on a budget, this is the top pick.

At the time of writing this, GolfBuddy have released their Laser Lite 2. We’ve just finished accuracy testing but have not completed our full review. The initial verdict is it is every bit as good as the original, is it better? We’re yet to decide.

Read the full GolfBuddy Laser Lite review here.

Golf Insider Verdict 90.8

Average error 50 – 200 yards = 0.43 yards

Accuracy: 99.8/100
Features: 90/100
Speed: 90/100
Visuals and Optics: 88/100
Usability: 91/100
Build Quality: 82/100
Value: 95/100
Garmin z82 Rangefinder

Pros

Unbelievable data in distances.

Very cool visuals & graphics.

Gives GPS to the front, back, and middle.

Gives accurate rangefinder distance.

Cons

Expensive.

Need to pre-load courses.

Slightly overwhelming at first.

Needs recharging every few weeks.

The Garmin Approach Z82 rangefinder is a crazy invention, offering a laser rangefinder and GPS data to hazards and the green (front, back & middle) all on a visual layout of the hole in front of you.

It is highly accurate and offers more data about courses than anything else on the market. However, there is a learning curve when you first pick this up, and aspects like the optics aren’t as good as other rangefinders in the same price bracket.

This is the ultimate tool for serious golfers wanting to prepare for competitions and golfers who travel and play lots of different courses. The dual GPS and rangefinder data mean this will; always give you GPS data on days or times when you care less about zapping the flag.

From our experience, it picks up the flag very well inside 150 yards, but over this distance, it picks up the background a few more times compared to the rangefinders we’ve listed above.

A great tool for serious golfers and those who love playing new courses, slightly overkill for many golfers.

Read the full Garmin Z82 rangefinder review here.

Golf Insider Verdict 90.8

Average error 50 – 200 yards = 0.35 yards

Accuracy: 99.63/100
Features: 97/100
Speed: 81/100
Visuals and Optics: 83/100
Usability: 75/100
Build Quality: 85/100
Value: 81/100
Shot Scope PRO LX+ rangefinder

Pros

Simple rangefinder function.

Detachable GPS unit.

Gives GPS to the front, back, and middle.

Cons

Need to pre-load courses.

Replaceable battery.

We are yet to test the Shot Scope Pro LX range, but we have it on our list for this year. However, the premise seems to make it ideal for those looking for rangefinder options that don’t need a steady hand.

Similar to the Garmin Z82 Approach, this range combines a laser rangefinder with a GPS unit. However, this GPS unit is detachable and simple to use. The display is also much clearer than the Garmin Z82.

We’ll keep you up to date once we’ve tested its accuracy, built quality and usability, but we wanted to highlight it as an option to shortlist.

Golf Insider Verdict TBC

Average error 50 – 200 yards = TBC

Nikon CoolShot Pro II Stabilized

Pros

Simple rangefinder function.

Has built-in stabilization.

Cons

Takes time to get used to.

Nikon are well known for their stabilizer technology. Essentially, this tries to automatically offset any movement when you are trying to lock onto the flag.

In theory, this sounds like a great concept, however, from our experience, it just didn’t work as we expected. There is a slightly too long a lag between the jolt and the update on screen, as a result, we found this quite difficult to use.

We haven’t tested it for enough rounds to know if we’ll get used to this (we’ll report back) and many golfers who love this product, but from all of our testing, we’d suggest golfers will have more success with the rangefinder that doesn’t have stabilization, but are very good at grabbing the flag when the laser is waved over the target.

We don’t want to be killjoys, this is still a very good option and if you have previously used a stablization rangefinder you’ll know how these work. For those who haven’t this is a good option, but will take a few rounds to get used to.

Golf Insider Verdict TBC

Average error 50 – 200 yards = TBC

What we look for in rangefinders

golf rangefinder accuracy

ACURACCY

We test every rangefinder to measure how accurate they are between 50 to 200 yards.

rangefinder speed

SPEED

We share how quickly rangefinders respond to show a yardage and comment on how well they lock onto the pin.

rangefinder optics

VISUALS

We discuss how clear the lens in each rangefinder is and how clean or cluttered the displays look.

rangefinder usability

USABILITY

We test each rangefinder in practice and for multiple rounds on the golf course to find out how easy it is to use.

rangefinder build quality

BUILD

We test the rangefinder itself and the case and accessories to share how robust each rangefinder is.

rangefinder value

VALUE

We evaluate all of the above and the price to share the value we feel each rangefinder offers. Price doesn’t always align with value.

Frequently asked questions

Buying a rangefinder is a big decision because of the pricing and the longevity of some of these models. Here are a few of the questions that are asked often when it comes to the best laser rangefinders. 

What is the easiest golf rangefinder to use?

The Bushnell V6 and Cobalt Q6 are the easiest rangefinders to use because of their impressive pin-seeker technology and functionality. The Nikon Stabilizer models are great too, they just take some familiarization to get the most out of this functionality.

The easiest rangefinders to use are also some of the more expensive models on the market. If you are a golfer who struggles to keep your hand steady when using a rangefinder, investing in the more expensive models will be worth it.

How do you hold a rangefinder steady?

To keep a rangefinder steady, ensure you have a firm grip, the lens is properly adjusted to your eye, and your feet flat on the ground. When your elbow is at a 90-degree angle, it should give your hand a stronger base of support. You can then use your second hand to stabilise the side of the rangefinder.

A great rangefinder will allow for considerable movement, so your hand does not need to be held all that steady. The products featured here all work well, and pick up the flag, when the aim is moved across and around your target.

How is best to hold a rangefinder with shaky hands?

Golfers that have shaky hands should consider using two hands and putting the flag lock technology on when getting a yardage.

If you are ever unsure if you have the pin, just re-shoot, deliberately aiming for the trees in the background and make sure there is a difference between that and your first number (likely +10 to 40 yards).

Do I need stabilizing function, or just one that picks up the flag easily?

Golfers who have stayed away from rangefinders because of their difficulty in getting a yardage should consider both a stabilizing function and a rangefinder that picks up flags easily. Most golfers that use either a Bushnell, Cobalt or a Nikon Stabilized will not have any trouble getting a yardage they can trust. 

More rangefinder review articles

If a rangefinder for shaky hands is not the only feature you need, check out our other articles that will help golfers on any budget end up with the best golf rangefinder for their golfing needs. 

Summary – Best golf rangefinder for shaky hands

We hope this has been useful in helping you find a great rangefinder. We’ll keep this up to date as we test new products we feel are worthy of the shortlist. If you have any questions just leave them below and we’ll get back to you.

Happy golfing.

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Will is a PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. He spent 10 years lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in Biomechanics and Motor Control before becoming the Head of Golf for the University of Exeter. He currently runs Golf Insider UK, Sport Science Insider around wider consulting and academic roles in sport performance and motor control.

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