Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

Garmin Approach Z80 Garmin

Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

Equipment

Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

Gear: Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder
Price: $599.99
Specs: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, water resistant, color OLED display, 8 ounces

The Goal
Garmin attempts to fuse the best attributes of laser rangefinders and golf GPS devices in one product, combining them with a unique visual display.

The Scoop
The Approach Z80 is not the first laser rangefinder to have a built-in GPS device, but the way it uses its ability to show the course in multiple ways is unique.

After turning on the Z80 at the start of play, it uses GPS to determine the course being played. There are three buttons on the top of the unit, and when a player looks through the viewfinder and presses the largest button, it displays distance to a target up to 350 yards away.

Off the tee, a look through the viewfinder will show a 2D, color representation of the hole about to be played, including distance to hazards. If a drive strays off the fairway with no clear line of sight to the hole, looking through the viewfinder shows GPS data and a compass to give the distance to the center of the green and its direction.

Garmin Approach Z80

The Approach Z80 combines laser distance to the flag with GPS yardages to the front, center and back of the green. (Garmin)

After hitting the flag with the laser on approach shots and par 3s, the Z80 will not only display distance to the hole in the viewfinder, it shows distance to the front, center and back of the green on the bottom of the screen. Plus, a color illustration of the green complex appears and graphically displays the information, including a yellow arc that represents the distance to the hole and its relation to bunkers, hazards, and the front and back of the green.

The GPS functions are available on over 41,000 golf courses around the world, and the Z80 has a slope feature that provides “plays like” distances based on uphill and downhill shots. The feature can be disabled to make the Approach Z80 legal for tournament play.

Garmin said the Z80’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 16 hours, so it should easily handle a 36-hole day.

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