Leupold GX Series: Digital Golf Range Finder Review

The Leupold GX series are known for their elegant and beautiful design. They are small, light, and fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. Compact, accurate, and easy to use is the pedigree that Leupold has built with the GX series. The GX series offers quality and will last for many years due to its good build and the quality it represents.

The Leupold brand of GX rangefinders have been endorsed by the professional tour caddies’ association of the US, and are a highly popular tool among PGA tournament caddies due to many reasons. The laser technology of Leupold was customized carefully to create a series of rangefinders that are easy to use anywhere, highly durable, and extremely accurate.

What is The Difference between Digital and Laser?

What is a digital golf range finder and what is the difference between that and a laser range finder? Well, the GX series is built around the laser range finder concept which is what makes them so accurate and effective when it comes to measuring distance. The digital aspect of comes into play when you add extra features to a laser range finder. In the case of the Leupold GX series they have used the “digital” in the name in terms of marketing to capture a larger audience. The truth is that most high end laser range finders have features that require “digital” aspects that simply work with the basic laser features to maximize the potential of the range finder.

In this post we will cover all the four models in the GX series from Leupold (click the link to go directly to that section).

  • Leupold GX-1
  • Leupold GX-2
  • Leupold GX-3
  • Leupold GX-4

Leupold GX-1

The Leupold GX-1 Digital Rangefinder is the first golf range finder in the GX series and offers a wide set of features that will benefit most golfers on the course. In addition, good optics that allow for a clear image and a maximum range of 750 yards, 350 yards if you are aiming for the flag and best of all is that it is legal for tournament play.

Leupold GX-1 Digital Rangefinder

The Leupold GX-1 is very easy to handle. It is light and when you hold it you can feel how compact and well built it is. The design is also beautiful as it has this elegance which makes it a joy to pick up and use on the course.

The GX-1 is built around two main features;

  • PinHunter
  • PrismLock

PinHunter: you can find the hazard or flag with ease within the 350 yard mark with the help of the PinHunter which is a feature that enables the range finder to find the flag when there are other objects in the back- or foreground, such as trees or bushes.

PrismLock: helps you to “lock” the flag in the cross-hair by identifying the prism topped flag-stick. You simply scan the area around the flag and the rangefinder will do the rest.

Other Features of the GX-1

The Leupold GX-1 Digital Rangefinder is packed with other features that helps the user get an accurate reading of objects on the course. These include fog mode which enables you to scan through bad weather, such as fog, rain, and snow, and scan mode which allows for the scanning of the  course while getting continuous readings of the chosen objects in the view of the range finder. You can scan for a hazard and find the green and flag within the same measure. This is a great feature that is very effective and helps speed up play.

The conclusion is that the Leupold GX-1 Digital Rangefinder is great. It is well built, compact, strong, accurate with many useful features that will help you get the reading you want.

  • Especially useful within 150 yards and on the driving range.
  • Can be used with one hand due to its small size, if you intent to use the magnification and you have shaky hands you should use both hands and tuck in your elbows.
  • Has great battery life
  • Has the ability to measure through bad weather
  • Has 6X magnification
  • is weatherproof
  • Has a LCD display
  • 1 year warranty

The Golfreviewguide therefore highly recommends the Leupold GX-1 Rangefinder to both beginners and those that have played the game for a long time.

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Leupold GX-2

How Does the Leupold GX-2 Digital Golf Rangefinder Perform on the Course?

Leupold GX-2 Digital Golf RangefinderWhen you have an obstacle at hand, be it a sand trap or a river, the GX-2 will quickly and easily let you know the exact distance from your current location to the beginning of the obstacle, as well as the distance to the obstacle’s end. You can know instantly how wide your hazards are, and this information makes it easier for you to make tough calls about where you choose to aim your next shot. Additionally, the GX-2 rangefinder takes into consideration whether or not your next shot will be downhill, as well as other crucial information to tell you how far you need to aim your next shot.
As many good golfers know, you don’t need to aim your shot for the entire distance to your next target if the target is downhill; in these cases you may only need to aim for a distance about 2/3 away from your current position, depending on the circumstances. This rangefinder eliminates that extra guesswork for you, so that you can focus more on actually making the perfect shot.

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The true golf range feature calculates:

  • the approach incline or decline
  • your personal hitting capacity
  • differences in temperature and altitude that will affect your shot

and the result is reliable, highly personalized advice about how far to aim, and which club will give you the best results. All you need to do is enter your average hitting distances of a 4-iron, 6-iron, and 8-iron club into the unit for reference information.

The unit will even tell you if the distance could be shot with either a five or a six iron for instance, by displaying an arrow between the symbols of 5 and 6 on your screen. When you need to use a little more power than usual in your shot, arrows will indicate that by displaying above the recommended club number; similarly, if you should use less strength than usual in a shot, arrows will indicate that also by displaying below the recommended club number.

The Main Features of the Leupold GX-2 Digital Golf Rangefinder Include:

  • Line of Sight Distance Measurement
  • Unique Club Selector
  • True Golf Range Mode for optimal shot calculations
  • Scan Mode for detecting multiple distance targets
  • Inclinometer to take the guesswork out of estimating inclines
  • Pin Hunter instantly detects your target hole
  • Completely weatherproof casing
  • Fog Mode for accurate pinpointing regardless of weather conditions

Users love that the GX-2 is so lightweight and easy to handle. It also focuses very quickly, and its intuitive design means that it takes very little time to learn how to use it. When on the green, this rangefinder gives the information that golfers need very quickly, without having to spend a lot of time playing around with menus.

The Exact Specifications of the Leupold GX-2 Digital Golf Rangfinder are as follows:

  • Lens magnification of 6X
  • At only 6.8 ounces, it’s one of the most lightweight Leupold golf rangefinders.
  • The exact dimensions are 4 inches by 2.75 inches by 1.5 inches.
  • LCD display
  • Durable, plastic body
  • The reflective prisms and target tracking capability is up to 750 yards, or 686 meters.
  • The pin target tracking capability is up to 350 yards, or 318 meters.
  • It operates on a CR-2 lithium battery.

This rangefinder also comes complete with a one year warranty from Leupold against any defective workmanship.

In summary, very few customers found any drawbacks to the Leupold GX-2 Digital Golf Rangefinder. Some found it hard to keep it aimed on target to get a reading for distances beyond 150 yards, or less than 10 yards. Others mentioned that it can be difficult to use if several balls are in the same area, since the rangefinder cannot detect which one is yours and can potentially give you readings based on the opponent’s balls instead. With these minor points aside, most people agree this rangefinder is a great investment to help improve your game. You can take the GX-2 anywhere, and learn how to make pro-golfing decisions.

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Leupold GX-3

As the popularity of the GX-2 rangefinder began to grow, Leupold developed some improvements for this next model in their series, the Leupold GX-3 digital golf rangefinder.Leupold GX-3 Digital Golf Rangefinder

The GX-3 introduced some of the same great features that are also now offered in the top of the line GX-4 model. For example, they both share the same refined aluminum body, as well as the same longer distance reflective prism and pin tracking ranges on the green. They even share the same improved OLED display that looks sharper and clearer.

Let’s look at the Leupold GX-3 Digital Golf Rangefinder’s performance on the course to see how much of a difference these new features made.

The aluminum casing is rubberized, providing extra grip that’s extremely helpful for playing in all weather conditions. Just like the other Leupold GX rangefinders, you have the ultimate versatility of being able to use this device on any course because there are no preloaded maps or other information you need to download. This rangefinder is always accurate because it can recalculate if there are any changes to the course, which can be a big advantage. Customers noticed that the screen is significantly brighter and easier to see, and are also very happy that this model is legal to use in golf tournaments.

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The GX-3 has maintained the simple push button command system of simply keeping one button pressed down to scan distances of one target to the next as you look around the course, and for the yardage of only one single target just tap the button once. Even in rain, there are no difficulties in using it, and it behaves just as normal. The high quality magnifying optical lens gives the additional advantage of being able to see extra course details around your target the green. The bright red color cross hairs in the lens provide a great contrasting color to help you lock in on your goal with great precision as well. This rangefinder works especially well on reflective prism targets, giving a small beep signal to let you know when it has locked onto a flagstick accurately. Some customers have even used the GX-3 for two years with the original battery, and have never had their rangefinder miss picking up a flag on any course.

Main features of the Leupold GX-3 Digital Golf Rangefinder:

  • Line of Sight Distance Measurement
  • Scan Mode for detecting multiple distance targets
  • Pin Hunter instantly detects your target hole
  • completely weatherproof casing
  • Fog mode for accurate pinpointing regardless of weather conditions

There are primarily the following differences between the GX-2 and the GX-3:

The GX-3 assumes that you’ll make your own club selections based on the raw data provided by the rangefinder and your own personal experience, so there’s no automatic club selector feature.

Unlike the GX-2 (and also the newer GX-4), true golf range mode is not available on this model, and you are left to decide how for yourself how far you should play your shot and with which club; furthermore, the inclinometer measurements aren’t included either. Most customers who reviewed the GX-3 didn’t mind the fact that these features were missing, and if you’re primarily buying the GX-3 because all you want is a solid rangefinder, you probably wouldn’t miss these features either.

The exact specifications of the Leupold GX-3 Digital Golf Rangfinder are as follows:

  • Lens magnification of 6X
  • The total weight is 7.8 ounces, which is only one ounce heavier than its predecessor, the GX-2.
  • The exact dimensions are 3.7 inches by 2.9 inches by 1.3 inches.
  • The organic LED (OLED) display offers enchanced brightness while using less power than LCD screens, thus extending your battery life.
  • High quality aluminum body
  • Now increased reflective prisms and target tracking capability is up to 800 yards, or 731 meters.
  • Now increased pin target tracking capability is up to 450 yards, or 411 meters.
  • It also operates on a CR-2 lithium battery.

This rangefinder also comes complete with a one year warranty from Leupold against any defective workmanship, just like other models.

To conclude, one of the only things customers suggested improving about the Leupold GX-3 Digital Golf Rangefinder is adding a lens cap for extra protection. There is no doubt that the GX-3 is an even more durable model that does not disappoint on the green, regardless of weather or location.

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 Leupold GX-4

Leupold GX-4 Digital Golf Rangefinder

Considering all of the other Leupold golf rangefinders, it’s no doubt that the GX-4 is their best model, but the real question is why? How much more do you really get for your money?

First let’s see how the Leupold GX-4 Digital Golf Rangefinder measures up on the course:

More experienced golfers have found that the club selector function was not necessary, and is best suited for beginning golfers. When you have developed a feel for the strength needed for each shot, club selector recommendations can be a distraction. One additional point to take into consideration is that as intelligent as the GX-4 is, it still cannot detect wind conditions or green conditions that you will need to take into account while playing. It has also been suggested that to get better distance readings, it’s helpful to lean on something to steady your hand. If your hand shakes too much, it will easily disturb the rangefinder’s readings.

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Most users agree that there is no question of how useful the GX-4 is in any environment, whether wet, sunny, or foggy, as well as how durable and well constructed the body is.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of this advanced rangefinder is that you can generally use it during official golf tournaments, as long as you remove the yellow smart key faceplate in order to deactivate the inclinometer, true golf range, and club selector functions. You could almost think of the yellow faceplate as a “visual warning” to judges that you’ve got competitive insider’s information at hand!

(A word of caution: it is important to verify your GX-4 rangefinder beforehand with officials to ensure it’s acceptable, as there is no guarantee that without the smart key it would still be accepted in EVERY tournament. Different tournaments may have different criteria that may be subject to change.)

When you prepare for the tournaments on your own solo practice time, then you can attach the yellow smartkey to see what this intelligent GX-4 recommends for your shots; many have found that it helps change the way you think about planning your shots during the game. When you are not using the yellow smart key faceplate, there’s an additional chrome faceplate that you can snap onto the front that looks very attractive as well. The chrome faceplate is purely for enhancing the appearance, and does not provide any extra functions.

Just like the earlier GX-3 model, the GX-4 maintained the quality rubberized grip over its aluminum body to keep it comfortable to hold. The case that comes included with it is highly protective and has a secure magnetic closure; furthermore, there’s even an extra zipper pouch at the bottom for storing the extra faceplate and a backup battery. Most impressive are the reliable capabilities of reading targets with or without reflective prisms, which truly separates the GX-4 from many other rangefinders that can only pick up reflective targets.

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The key features of the Leupold GX-4 Digital Golf Rangefinder include:

  • Line of Sight Distance Measurement
  • Unique Club Selector
  • True Golf Range Mode for optimal shot calculations
  • Scan Mode for detecting multiple distance targets
  • Inclinometer to take the guesswork out of estimating inclines
  • Pin Hunter instantly detects your target hole
  • All weatherproof casing
  • Fog mode for accurate pinpointing regardless of weather conditions
  • PLUS: a unique, yellow smart key faceplate attaches to the GX-4 to activate the inclinometer, True Golf Range function, and Club Selector.

The exact specifications of the Leupold GX-4 Digital Golf Rangfinder are as follows:

  • Lens magnification of 6X
  • Total weight of 7.9 ounces
  • Exact dimensions are 4.1 inches by 2.9 inches by 1.3 inches, making it only slightly more bulky than earlier models.
  • The organic LED (OLED) display has been kept on this model for higher resolution options and optimal battery life, making it preferable to the GX-2’s LCD screen.
  • Aluminum body with rubberized coating
  • Reflective prisms and target tracking capability of up to 800 yards, or 731 meters
  • Pin target tracking capability of up to 450 yards, or 411 meters
  • Operates on a CR-2 lithium battery

This rangefinder is also backed with a one year warranty from Leupold against any defective workmanship, to ensure high quality.

In summary, the Leupold GX-4 Digital Golf Rangefinder offers all of the same great features that were first introduced in the GX-2. The upgraded aluminum body, as well as higher range target distance tracking abilities, and a better display definitely give better performance to the device. With the rare ability to activate and deactivate “illegal” functions for tournament use, this GX-4 rangefinder is truly a professional golfer’s best friend.

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