While bigger seems to benefit a lot of golfers when it comes to rangefinders, GolfBuddy has introduced the compact LR5 for those who seek ease of use in a reasonably sized device. This ergonomical unit could very well provide golfers with exactly what they are looking for without the clumsy nature of an oversized rangefinder.
From Golf Buddy
Compact & Easy-To-Use Laser Rangefinder – GolfBuddy continues to expand its line by introducing a new laser rangefinder. The LR5 is a compact and easy-to-use device weighing just under 8 oz and featuring three different scan modes-standard, scan and pin. Unlike most of our competitors, the LR5’s scan and pin mode is used with just one click.
- 6x magnification
- 3 scan modes (Standard, Scan, Pin)
- Accuracy +/- 1 yard
- Ergonomic body design
- Default to “last used” settings
- Automatic shut-off after 10 seconds when left unattended
- Battery life: 3,000~5,000 actuations
- Diopter adjustment (eyepiece adjustment)
- Water resistant
- MSRP: 249.99
Standard Mode – Provides distance to the target
Scan Mode – Continuously scans for 10 seconds to shows distances to varying targets
Pin Mode – Continuously scans for 10 seconds to shows distances to varying targets; the LR5 will display the distance to the closest target
Out of the Box
There is an obvious quality to the LR5 as soon as the packaging is opened, revealing a high quality carrying case along with the unit itself, which is grey with some sharp blue and darker grey accents. A small quick start guide helps to get the user acclimated to the various features offered by the rangefinder, and answers a majority of the early on questions one would ask about an unfamiliar product.
The carrying case offers numerous features that maintain the safety and security of the rangefinder while golfers traverse the course. A rigid shell that is unlikely to falter within a few years, along with a strong zipper, additional stretch based latch, and carabiner to attach to the golf bag. Additionally, a lanyard and microfiber cloth are included for cleaning the lens.
While there are a handful of rather large units available on the rangefinder market today, the Golf Buddy LR5 comes in a compact, easy to hold size that makes a lot of sense. It seems to fit in a majority of the cart cup holders, and does not feel clunky in the hands. Despite the compact size, the eye piece is still quite sizeable and offers a clear view of the target even with sunglasses on.
Monocular Eyepiece and Display
The 6x magnification of the GolfBuddy LR5 monocular eyepiece is extremely easy to adjust. It juts out from the unit in a sturdy rubberized fashion, and while there is some resistance, the user can simply twist to accommodate the view.
When viewing, there are very few display features to be seen. First, a set of crosshairs that allow aiming towards a specific target. When activated, a box surrounds the crosshairs and depending on the mode selected, the device seeks a target to show distance to. Aside from the “S” and “P” (scan and pin mode icons), the only other visual element is the battery life indicator, set well onto the bottom of the display. For anyone seeking simplicity in results, this may be one of the biggest assets of the LR5.
When activating the scan feature of the GolfBuddy LR5, it does take a second or two in order to lock onto the target. With that in mind, the number it locks onto remains on the screen even if the line is not held perfectly for longer than a few seconds. During testing, there were a few occasions where it seemed appropriate to scan the target a couple of times to guarantee distances, however it never felt like a nuisance.
The advertisement suggests an accuracy level of about 1 yard, and testing against other units seemed to confirm that number. Not exactly the same in all situations, but the units (various) were always within a yard of the number provided by the GolfBuddy LR5.
While GolfBuddy boasts three different modes (standard, pin, and scan), the best results often came from the “Pin” mode as it seems to prioritize the pin that is in the foreground. If golfers prefer the variety of options in their rangefinding, a simple click of the secondary button at the top of the device will transition into each mode.
Battery Life and Changing
Despite being used at a high frequency during testing, at no point was a change of battery necessary. GolfBuddy suggests an operating life of 3,000-5,000 actuations which could equate to over 100 rounds depending on the shot quality and accuracy of these claims. For most, this will accommodate their entire golf season and more.
To change the battery, GolfBuddy has incorporated an easy to remove battery compartment cap that has a tab rather than using something like a coin that can scratch and fray the device. Of all the design elements on the LR5, this may be the best feature as this particular tester has seen numerous battery cap malfunctions from other devices in the past.
GolfBuddy has presented a rangefinder that produces accurate results, extremely easy to use features, offers decent battery life, and does not feel oversized in the hand. The LR5 offers all of this and more in a compact package, alongside some excellent secondary package items, for a reasonable pricetag. For more information on the GolfBuddy LR5, visit www.golfbuddyglobal.com.