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 in 2023.
The best rangefinders for shaky hands are:
- Bushnell Tour V5 Shift – Best Overall
- Nikon Coolshot Pr II Stabilized – Best For Stability
- Bushnell Pro XE – Best Premium
- Garmin Approach Z82 – Best Technology
- GolfBuddy Laser Lite – Best Budget
Bushnell Tour V5 Shift – Best Overall
The Bushnell Tour V5 Shift is the best overall rangefinder for shaky hands. Not only is this rangefinder going to stand out in the shaky hand category, it also is one of the best rangefinders on the market. For great accuracy, pin seeking technology, and slope mode that easily turns on and off, the Tour V5 Shift is a great solution.
Bushnell rangefinders have led the way in accuracy, and have a strong presence on Tour as a result. Golfers have become accustomed to the idea that accuracy is something you pay for, and although some cheaper rangefinders can match the top rangefinders, the Bushnell range is still our benchmark for the rest of the rangefinder world.
The Pinseeker with Visual Jolt technology will help you get yardage that you can trust – locking onto the pin with ease. Bushnell Tour V5 Shift also has a very simple and accurate slope mode.
Pinseeker with Visual Jolt is a great feature for shaky hands. In addition, there is a slope mode that can be turned on and off. The Bite Magnetic Cart Mount ensures that you won’t need another holder for your rangefinder.
When you do a lot of rangefinder testing, it’s quick to see why Bushnell earns the top spot. Truly holding this rangefinder anywhere near the flag will result in accurate yardage. In addition, the features and functionality are intuitive, so you won’t need your owner’s manual each time it’s time to change a setting.
Bushnell rangefinders are expensive; however, you will have a hard time finding something more accurate and reliable than this. Furthermore, the lifespan is impressive, we still have a working Bushnell V2 from 2008!
Golf Insider Verdict
If you can afford it, the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift will solve your problems with shaky hands. This rangefinder can make even the most loyal GPS users reconsider their options. Just remember to press the laser and wave around the flag, let Bushnell’s tech worry about the rest.
Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized
Some rangefinders are made for accuracy, others speed, and then you have the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized made for the golfer with a shaky hand. With the stability, this unit features, it easily earned a spot on this list.
The Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized has a Dual Locked On Echo technology that gives golfers a visual and audio indication that they have locked into the target. With the clear visual images Nikon provides the, combined with this pin lock functionality, it is really easy to get accurate yardage, especially from 200 yards and in.
The Nikon Coolshopt Pro II Stabilized is fast; expect your yardage almost instantaneously. With advanced lens technology Nikon makes sure that you will not have to worry about fog or low light when looking through the lens. Nikon does have slope mode, but they call it “ID,” and it can be turned on and off for tournament play.
We found the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized to be just as easy to use as any of the Bushnell models and a great rangefinder for those with non-steady hands. However, if you are used to a traditional rangefinder there is an adjustment period. The auto stabilizer mode, does what it says on the tin and stabilizes the view within the unit, but you still want to correct this with your hands at first!
Once you’re used to this mode it works like a dream inside 200-yards. Take the time to set up the lens so that it is suited to your eye; the visual technology from Nikon is some of the best on the market.
Our one slight grumble is the location of the battery. The added bump at the back of the rangefinder means this doesn’t fit as snugly into your hand as other rangefinders.
This rangefinder offers a unique approach to using a rangefinder with shaky hands and is priced about the same as the Bushnell Tour V5; it’s a good value purchase for those in the market.
Golf Insider verdict
If you wear glasses or have tried the Bushnell brand and it is not for you, the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized is a great choice. Give yourself 10-20 attempts to get used to the stabilizer function, then you’ll likely keep this rangefinder for a very long time.
Bushnell Pro XE
The most advanced rangefinder for shaky hands is the Bushnell Pro XE. This model has Slope with Elements and PinSeeker with Visual Jolt; essentially, the technology and accuracy are going to be hard to beat.
The Bushnell Prox EX is accurate because of the features it will take into account when reading the yardages. The Slope With Element technology takes into consideration the temperature and barometric pressure when giving you a slope reading. These yardages are accurate to within one yard; if only we could get our swings to be this accurate!
Golfers with shaky hands need a rangefinder that lets them know they have found the pin. The Bushnell Pro XE has Visual Jolt technology that enables you to see and feel that you have found your target.
From testing, we can confirm that the XE is superb at locking onto the pin instead of the background when pointed towards the flag. Slope Switch technology comes in handy when playing in golf tournaments; this is a USGA conforming device.
The only slight complaint we have about the usability of the Bushnell Pro XE is the fact that the unit is a bit larger. When it comes to creating stability, it can be a toss-up as to whether a larger rangefinder is better or a smaller, more compact option lets golfers find the target easier.
There is no denying that the technology from the Bushnell Pro XE is good, but the price tag is a tough one to take. If you are on a budget, this is not the rangefinder for you. The technology is nice to have, but for many golfers, it won’t be worth the extra money.
This is for golfers who want the most accurate yardage they can get, packaged inside a rangefinder that offers superb usability.
Golf Insider verdict
Golfers that like technology, features, and premium equipment should consider the Bushnell Pro XE. Shaky hand golfers that just want stability are fine to go with the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift or another lower-priced option in this list.
Garmin Approach Z82
Some golfers like to keep technology off the golf course; others can’t get enough of it. If you love all the gadgets, this is the rangefinder for you.
The Garmin Approach Z82 rangefinder is a mix of a rangefinder and GPS. However, unlike other hybrid models, when you look through the scope of this rangefinder, the GPS readings show in addition to your laser rangefinder numbers.
The benefit of this tech is a number that is exact to the pin, while also seeing yardages to the front, middle, and back as well. Allowing you to better plan your target into greens.
The Garmin Approach Z82 has a full color course view and mapping of more than 41,000 courses across the world. This means you can get all the numbers you would ever need to hit a golf shot. For some golfers, these numbers are a bit too much, for others who like data, the Garmin Approach Z82 is a dream come true.
When you have shaky hands, it can be helpful to know the GPS yardages that help ensure you have actually locked into the pin. All of the data combined can help you have confidence in your number, and provides a strong backup for the times you can’t lock onto the pin from distance.
Similar to the Bushnell Pro XE in price, this is a rangefinder where you will pay for the extra features it includes. If you don’t care too much about extra costs, and you love the idea of GPS and rangefinder data combined this is a great solution.
Golf Insider verdict
It’s nice to have an idea of the front, middle, and back to ensure that your shaky hands have locked into the proper pin. However, there are cheaper ways to get this technology with a golf GPS app and a lower-priced rangefinder. What the Garmin Z82 provides is a lot of tech conveniently packed into one unit.
GolfBuddy Laser Lite
The other rangefinders in this list are all on the expensive end. Luckily the GolfBuddy Laser Lite offers accuracy, and good usability with a fair price tag attached. This rangefinder comes in at ~50% the cost of premium rangefinders but still holds its own from an accuracy and features standpoint.
For a reasonably priced rangefinder, the GolfBuddy Laser Lite is accurate within a yard and gives a yardage in about a half a second. Even when testing this device by waving it around the target this had no trouble picking up the pin – great news for shaky hands.
One of our favorite features of the GolfBuddy Laser Lite is its sleek design. This model just fits into your hand and moulds itself right into the palm. The way it feels in the hand will encourage more stability and an easier time reading the yardage.
GolfBuddy Laser Lite comes with a really handy zip case that gives a great place to store the rangefinder when not in use. In addition, the slope feature is accurate and easy to turn off when you no longer need it.
We’re always here to be your honest guide, this doesn’t match the ease of pin-locking offered by the Bushnell, Nikon and others that are twice the price, but it isn’t far off! From the multiple rangefinders we’ve tested under $200/£200, this is the best out there for accuracy and usability combined.
When it comes to value, the GolfBuddy Laser Lite was our favorite find. We can’t tell you it has the same feel, or build-quality as a Bushnell, but it’s still a solid rangefinder that works fantastically well.
Golf Insider verdict
If you have shaky hands but are also on a budget, the GolfBuddy Laser Lite is the best pick for you. The pin lock takes a few milliseconds longer, the feel isn’t like a top of the range product, but its functionality, usability and accuracy are superb for the price.
Golf Insider readers can get an extra 5% off when buying directly from GolfBuddy, using promo code: ‘golfinsideruk’ at checkout.
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 Tour models or the Pro XE are the easiest rangefinders to use because of their impressive pin-seeker technology and functionality. The Nikon Stablizer 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 that 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 that you have a firm grip, the lens is properly adjusted to your eye, and your feet are 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 that have stayed away from rangefinders because of their difficulty to get a yardage should consider both a stabilizing function and a rangefinder that picks up flags easily. Most golfers that use either a Bushnell or a Nikon Stabilized will not have any trouble getting a yardage they can trust.
At what distance are rangefinders most useful?
Rangefinders are most useful from 350 yards and in for scanning background and 250-yards and in when targeting the flagstick. The majority of golfers will want a distance to the flag in the 50 to 250-yard range. Outside of this, rangefinders are often used to help calculate layups or work out distances to bunkers and obstacles off the tee.
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
Golfers with a shaky hand are not stuck with GPS rangefinders; the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift or the Nikon Pro II Stabilized can give you accurate yardage even if your hand cannot stabilize the rangefinder. Always keep an eye out for pin seeker technology, stabilizer functionality, and clear visual optics when you struggle with keeping a steady hand.
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