There are many things you’ll need to think about when it comes to choosing the right rangefinder for your needs, such as deciding between models with and without a slope measuring option.
As someone who has likely never used a golf rangefinder before, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between a golf rangefinder: slope vs no slope?
There are numerous ways you can look at it, such as one unit might be illegal for tournament play whereas the other may be able to take your golfing game a step further while you’re playing with friends, family, or yourself. Nevertheless, first learning about what the slope feature is and what it does is important to make sure you’re making the right decision.
When it comes to discussing rangefinders with and without slope, we’re talking about differences in elevation between yourself and your target, or between two points in general. When you’re walking on the green and you’re going up and down hills, you’re treading on slopes.
You might be wondering what this has to do with golf. The answer is simple as a slope can severely influence the quality of your swing and the number of swings and strokes it will take for you to get from the tee to the hole.
Also, it’s important to consider slope when you’re lining up to take your shot because in most cases when golfing, you’re not going to hit the ball in a straight line, but more in an arc. Once the ball has hit the peak of the arc, it will fall, and depending on the slope that you’re faced with, this could significantly affect the distance of your shot.
The main premise behind a rangefinder with slope is that it takes any variation of elevation into account when it calculates the distance between you and your target. This is typically done with the help of a laser that is shot out of the rangefinder once you pull its trigger (or push its button). The laser will bounce off the target and be received by the rangefinder, calculating the distance.
However, with the slope function enabled, the rangefinder will also calculate the angle of the return of your ball. It will take any slopes and obstacles into consideration and adjust the distance accordingly so that you don’t have to worry about doing math in your head.
In all reality, a rangefinder with slope has the potential to improve your score but it still heavily depends on your playing ability. If you’ve never hit a golf ball before and you pull out a rangefinder with a slope function, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to immediately become the leader. You’re still going to need to know what clubs would be the best for specific distances, how to hit the ball properly, and how to calculate wind speeds, among many other things.
With all of that being said, a rangefinder with slope does the entire calculation for you so you can spend more time adjusting your swing and less time worrying about variations in elevation. Being able to have a general idea of the true distance between you and the flag, with the slope being taken into consideration, it can help you save dozens of strokes by the end of your game.
There are many instances where the more technologically advanced something is, the better it is, but that’s not particularly true when it comes to finding a golf rangefinder slope vs no slope. Even though you might be tempted to get the best of the best, a rangefinder that calculates slope may work against you, depending on where you play.
According to the USGA, using any type of rangefinder with the slope function enabled is illegal and is grounds for immediate disqualification. This is why if you see a professional golfer use a rangefinder, it will be to measure distances on flat ground rather than with obstacles in the way.
It’s also important to remember that although a golf rangefinder without slope may not do as many calculations, it’s still a phenomenal tool to have at your disposal. The main difference between the two units will be that one takes changes in elevation into account while the other does not. However, they still measure distances the same way and may offer other similar measuring functions that are legal for a tournament and casual play.
The first thing you need to do is think about is when you’ll use the device because if you’re going to start playing in professional tournaments, you’d be better off choosing one that doesn’t have a slope function. However, there are models that allow you to toggle the slope measuring on and off. You’ll then need to consider price, as you’re not going to want to spend extra money on a feature that you may or may not use, based on your personal preferences.
Being able to choose between a golf rangefinder with slope and without can be simple, all you need to do is figure out whether it’s an important calculation to have or not.