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It’s a common function on golf rangefinders, but should you be investing in a rangefinder with slope, or should you opt for something without it?

It might not be something you’ve considered in the past, but if you’re buying a new bit of kit, then it’s a question you’re likely to come across.

Many rangefinders, including every option in our best rangefinders of 2024, boast slope technology, but will you benefit from using it?

What does slope in a rangefinder mean?

For many golfers, having the option of slope is a great thing. This function allows you to get a more accurate reading on how a shot is going to play, by factoring in the undulations in the ground between you and your target.

On your screen, you’ll receive two numbers. One will be the actual yardage, while the other will be your slope adjusted yardage. You might find these two numbers are the same, but if you’re playing a hole with a vast incline or decline, you’re going to find a big difference. If you play golf courses that are very hilly, this can be very useful.

Can I use my slope enabled rangefinder in a tournament?

The simple answer to this is no, but there’s a little more to it than that. You can use that rangefinder, as long as the slope function isn’t enabled. Currently under the rules of golf, any device that reads slope must be used without that function.

However, if you’re able to turn slope off, which is the case with virtually every golf rangefinder on the market, it’s a big advantage to have it on your rangefinder.

For example, if you’re someone who plays a lot of medals at your club, there’s a good chance you play a hole where there is at least some change in elevation. The next time you play that hole outside a competition, you can turn your slope on and see how far the hole really plays. While you can’t use it in the competition, you’ll be able to think back to your practice round and factor that into your strategy.

This is even more valuable if you’re someone who plays at a high level, and you get to play a pre-tournament practice round before an event. You’ll often see caddies of tour players jotting down notes from slope readings before a tournament gets underway.

Which rangefinder should I buy with slope?

If you want a quick recommendation, why not opt for the Shot Scope Pro ZR? It’s a high quality, premium offering, and features an easy to turn off and on slope setting.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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