A golf rangefinder is a laser device used to measure the distance between you and a certain target. It shoots a laser beam and measures the time needed for it to reflect, come back, and trigger the device sensor. By measuring that time, it can very precisely measure the distance of the object that the laser hit.
If you want to buy a rangefinder, there are various features that you should consider. The fact is, the more features you want to get, the more you will have to pay.
You will also need to make some decisions, depending on what exactly you need the rangefinder to provide. One of those decisions is whether to buy a slope or no-slope rangefinder.
In this article, we will show you the main differences between the two of these devices. So let’s tee off and take a look at what these devices are all about.
What is the slope?
This is the first thing that we should make clear. Basically, when we are talking about rangefinders with and without the slope, we are talking about the difference in elevation between you and the target you are aiming at. Measuring the distance when on a level field and when walking up and down hills are two different things.
In golf, this is very important. The slope can have a big influence on the quality of your swing and on how many strokes you will need to reach the hole.
Most of the time, you won’t hit the ball in a completely straight line. You will usually hit it in an arc. However, once the ball reaches the peak of the arc, it will fall, and this can have a great influence on the distance of your shot. Even a small elevation can be important.
What can a golf rangefinder with a slope do?
When calculating the distance between you and the target, it will take into account any variation in elevation when calculating the total distance. Even after knowing this, you might still be wondering how can it measure the elevation.
If the slope function is turned off, it will fire the laser beam and measure the time needed for it to reflect back. According to the measured time, it will calculate the precise distance. However, when you turn the slope function on, it will work on a slightly different principle.
When you turn this function on, it won’t only measure the time, but will also consider the angle of the return beam. That way, it can calculate the elevation between you and the target. Also, with the slope function, you won’t have to do any math in your head, just focus more on the shot.
Will using a slope improve my score?
Now that you have realized how a rangefinder with a slope works, you might conclude that it will definitely improve your score. After all, in today’s technological era, it seems that the more advanced technology a device uses, the better it is. However, this is not completely true in this case.
Even the most technologically advanced rangefinder with slope can work against you, depending on where you are playing. There is also one more interesting thing to note.
According to the USGA, if you play with a rangefinder with slope, you will be immediately disqualified. The fact is, most professional golfers use a no-slope golf rangefinder.
You should not forget that both devices have a primary goal to measure the distance, and both of them do that pretty well. The only difference is that one can measure the elevation and the other can’t.
Additionally, the measurements of both devices are very precise and useful. Both of them are excellent devices, legal, and very useful for tournaments.
Another thing to consider is that it might take you some time to get used to using a slope function. No matter how good the rangefinder is, you might become confused with the measurements in the beginning.
You should also note that, in some tournaments, there are special devices that automatically disable the slope function in all devices on the terrain. So even though you won’t be disqualified, your slope rangefinder will all of a sudden become a non-slope one.
Most people, when considering whether to buy a golf rangefinder slope vs no slope, usually think that one is better than the other. However, this is not the case. The truth is that a slope rangefinder provides extended functionality, but before buying one, you should think about whether you are going to actually use the function or not.
If you play golf only as a hobby with a few friends, then it might be a nice, useful device. However, if you play professionally, you will know whether it will be legal or not in the next tournament. Also, don’t forget that both devices are perfect when it comes to measurement. With all this info, the final choice is up to you!