Rangefinder for Hunting and Golf – Can the Device Be Truly Used in Both Sports?

People use to have different passions and hobbies like golfing or hunting, for example. Both of them give them the opportunity of spending some precious time in nature. Not to mention that both activities improve their physical condition and brain functions as well. Focusing, balancing and precision are skills they can develop while doing their favorite thing.
Each sport, of course, includes using different equipment and tools. If you are a golf player, you will use specific drivers, tees and golf bags. If you like going hunting, you will definitely find useful a pair of binoculars, weapons, and protection. What about rangefinders? Are they useful when it comes to golfing or hunting? Let’s discuss a little bit.

What are rangefinders and how they work?

A rangefinder is a type of camera that is built-up with a range-finding focusing mechanism that helps you measure a target’s distance and can take photos that are in sharp focus. For a basic idea, they use a laser technology that can travel at the same speed as light, target a far object and sends back its signal. This means that a rangefinder camera can be useful for both sports, golfing and hunting.

Are there any differences between the devices used for each sport?

If you have a look at them, it might seem that there are no major differences between the device used for golfing and the one used for hunting. But in reality, there are some certain features that make the difference.

Golf vs hunting rangefinders

The golf rangefinder

The golf rangefinder generally uses the first or nearest object priority mode. This means it tends to focus on the closest target that most often is a pin while ignoring distant objects like trees, animals or other players. This is the internal function of a golf rangefinder. Those cameras that come with built-in GPS can provide different positions and distances in order to determine the gameplay.

The hunting rangefinder

In this case, the rangefinder’s priority is to seek and focus on the most distant target. Its basic internal function, unlike the one for golfing, is to focus on distant targets while ignoring nearest objects. This device can be set with ballistic data and calculate certain values based on the type of firearm and ammunition.


In essence, you can find it hard using a golf rangefinder for hunting and vice versa. Using a hunting device when playing golf, you risk ranging past the pin and missing the flag. Using a golf rangefinder can focus on the wrong target such as a tree or a bush instead of a deer.
For its best use, you will find useful a device that comes with nearest and longest distance modes built-in features. This technology of laser rangefinders allows you to choose between the two modes according to the activity you are practicing.

Advantages of using a dual mode camera

Double checking the distance

Most of the golf rangefinders are limited in ranging distance, so as a golf player, it is less probably to range past 600 yards. Hunting involves longer distances, the targets can be even at 1200-1300 yards away and it is extremely important to pick up a reflective target from such a far distance. So the ability to measure the correct distance is very important in both activities.


Weather changes can have a great impact on the rangefinder’s camera. A large amount of water, but also a heat mirage can influence its vision and give you wrong readings of the target. So maybe you could try using a waterproof laser that can survive in bad weather conditions no matter you are playing golf or hunting.

Sport-specific features

A device that has been specially created to serve a single purpose usually comes with specific built-in features. For example, a golf rangefinder can provide you golf club suggestions, swing rate measures or distance calculator. A rangefinder that serves only the purpose of hunting will provide longer yards ranges and ballistic data and maybe other complicated options.
By using a specially designed device, you will not enjoy the full potential that such a rangefinder could really provide and improve your skills. It might be hard to use a device that has special features for a certain activity, for more purposes than its actual one.


It is true that costs savings might be less, if you are thinking to buy a dual-purpose rangefinder than two separate cameras, but it is worth the investment. The performance of each of the devices when used separately will probably be compromised at some point, but you can save some money, it is your choice.

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