The advancement of the technology behind laser rangefinders has changed the way many golfers play the game. A big part of the rangefinders prolific use is due to the USGA approving many of them for professional play. Any number of rangefinder reviews will tell you that a golf laser rangefinder is a great way to help you improve your game. They mark out how far away the flag is, as well as locking on to other objects of interest. Plus, you can get a better rundown of the terrain using their zoom feature, which allows them to act like tiny binoculars.
If you're looking for the best golf rangefinder, you might know about rangefinders with slope features. Slope-adjusted rangefinders take the elevation of the terrain into consideration when measuring distance. Buyer beware: the USGA is fine with rangefinders, but does not allow slope features in competitive games and tournaments. But a slope rangefinder can still be useful for practicing on your own to get a better idea of how different elevations affect your game, or for friendly non-competitive days at the golf course. Hunters and top-secret spies also enjoy the abilities of golf laser rangefinders.
The Bushnell Tour X Jolt is a bestselling golf rangefinder from a brand that is showered with praise in many golf laser rangefinder reviews. This rangefinder has a slope feature that can be disabled for tournaments so that you can get the best of both worlds. Although it is one of the best rangefinder options with that kind of feature, it has a high price. Luckily for you, we tested out a range of cheap rangefinder models to find the best rangefinder for the money that could compete with the Tour X Jolt. Our pick for the best rangefinder alternative is the TecTecTec VPRO500S, a slope-adjustable rangefinder with a low price.
The Bushnell Tour X Jolt has an insanely long range of up to 1,300 yards, plus interchangeable faceplates that toggle the slope-adjusting feature so you can make the rangefinder tournament legal (or not). This is one of the best rangefinder options for people who want long-distance readings for objects way beyond where most pins are. Vibrating feedback lets you know when the rangefinder has locked onto the pin, but the Tour X Jolt lacks continuous scan, so you might find yourself constantly, well, jolted, when you're trying to check out other areas of interest in relation to the pin. The faceplates make this is a good option for regular tournament participants so that the officials know you're "cool," plus a vibrant red display mode can make it easier to see the display in cloudy conditions. But if you want a slope rangefinder with continuous scanning abilities and similar specs overall, the TecTecTec VPRO500S is a great low-price alternative.
The TecTecTec VPRO500S may not show up in the golf rangefinder reviews in magazines, but this online-only brand has a lot to offer. The VPRO500S has a slope feature that can be disabled for tournament play, the same 6x zoom as the Tour X Jolt, and pin-seeking technology that makes the rangefinder lock onto the pin quickly. The VPRO500S has a shorter overall range and doesn't "JOLT" when it locks onto the pin, but still provides plenty of range to see from one hole to the next, and is just as good at locking onto the flag. It's a similar size and weight to the Tour X Jolt as well, and both options come with a hard carrying case. If you want a cheap golf rangefinder with a continuous scan feature, the VPRO500S fits the bill. This is the best golf laser rangefinder with a low price out of the ones we compared to the Tour X Jolt. A cheap golf rangefinder can still be versatile and help you to improve your game in a snap.
The Tour X Jolt has a range to the flag of 450 yards, with an overall range of five yards up to 1,300 yards. This gives you more than enough range to get a lock on a pin, or spy on your neighbors from just about anywhere.
The VPRO500S has a range to the flag of 540 yards. Although less than the Bushnell Tour X Jolt, the range difference would only be noticeable on some par five holes, which can be as far as 451-690 yards apart.
The Tour X Jolt has 6x magnification, so you can zoom in on objects of interest to get a better feel for the terrain and obstacles. Other rangefinders fall around 4x or 5x zoom, topping out around 7x.
The VPRO500S also has 6x magnification. It can substitute for bird-watching binoculars or opera glasses in a pinch. For spying on your neighbors, we recommend night-vision binoculars.
The Tour X Jolt adjusts range measurements based on elevation changes. This feature can be turned off by switching the red faceplate for the black faceplate.
The VPRO500S also has a slope feature that takes hills and slopes into account when calculating range. It has a distance-only mode for tournaments.
The Tour X Jolt uses vibrating "JOLT" PinSeeker feedback to reassure you that it has locked onto the pin correctly so you can swing with confidence. If you want to use this laser rangefinder for hunting, you may find the movement a little jarring.
The VPRO500S uses PinSensor Flagseeker technology is designed to accurately measure overlapping objects and target the pin quickly. Although it doesn't vibrate, the Flagseeker technology worked well for us in our tests.
The Tour X Jolt does not have continuous scanning capabilities, which can be frustrating when trying to focus on long-distance objects or for getting a smooth read of multiple areas of interest in one smooth sweep.
The VPRO500S has a scan mode that allows you to scan the rangefinder across a certain area and have it target and read any objects it notices at different distances. It's a great feature for estimating hazards accurately.
The Tour X Jolt has an error range of +/- 0.5 yards. So if you get a reading of 230 yards, the distance could actually be between 229.5 and 230.5 yards. This is on the low end of error range for laser rangefinders, so you may prefer the Tour X Jolt if you want the most accurate measurements.
The VPRO500S has an error range of +/- 1 yard, which is an average range for golf rangefinders and is still incredibly accurate considering the distances involved. A one-yard measurement difference doesn't hinder most golfers. Just don't use a rangefinder for putting, and you'll be fine.
The Tour X Jolt is USGA approved as long as you use the red non-slope faceplate, which is great for golfers who like to golf competitively.
The VPRO500S is also USGA-approved since the slope monitoring setting can be switched off, so you can use it competitions.
The Bushnell Tour X Jolt requires one CR2 Lithium battery, a rechargeable battery sometimes used in cameras. It definitely lasts more than a few games, up to 40 18-hole games and beyond.
The VPRO500S also requires one CR2 Lithium Battery. These batteries are inexpensive but long-lasting, making them a great choice for cheap golf rangefinders as well as expensive ones.
The Tour X Jolt is rainproof, but not waterproof. Splashes and dampness won't bother it, but don't take it swimming.
The VPRO500S is also rainproof, so you don't need to worry about a cloudy day interrupting your game.
You can switch what you see in the Tour X Jolt's display between a display marked with black lines and text, or to a vivid display with red lines and text. These different viewing options can make it easier to see depending on weather conditions.
The VPRO500S only has a single display color setting with black lines and text. This basic display still produces clear and bright images. However, people with vision issues may find the Tour X Jolt's vivid red display easier to see.
The Tour X Jolt comes with a hard carry case to protect your rangefinder when you aren't using it.
The VPRO500S also comes with a hard carry case, perfect for tossing into your golf bag absentmindedly.
The Tour X Jolt rangefinder measures 1.5 by 3 by 4 inches, almost exactly the same size as our cheap rangefinder alternative.
The VPRO500S is just as compact, measuring 1.5 by 3 inch by 4.2 inches, so it is just as portable as the Tour X Jolt.
The Tour X Jolt weighs 8 ounces, or half a pound, so it won't weigh you down.
THe VPRO500S weighs 7 ounces, one ounce lighter than the brand product.