Garmin Approach Z80 Rangefinder Review

If you’re a serious golfer who is committed to this great game and want a rangefinder to match your passion, the Garmin Approach Z80 might be the one for you. While it’s definitely not the cheapest, in fact, it’s one of the most expensive, it has plenty of amazing features to warrant the price tag.

You might think that all you need from your rangefinder is to laser the distance to the pin. While that’s obviously the main point of these devices, the Z80 brings other features to make it feel like your own personal caddy on the course. While it’s not quite as good as Jim “Bones” McKay on your bag, it’s very close. I like to think of this device as a part caddy, part yardage book, and part rangefinder.

Keep reading to learn more about the Garmin Z80 and get the comprehensive review below.

Garmin Z80 Golf Rangefinder Review

The Garmin Approach Z80 laser range finder is touted as “The most accurate laser range finder available” with distances up to 350 yards. With so many features that I’ll cover below, it really gives you a new perspective on the 41,000+ courses available for download.

With the Z80 rangefinder, you can actually see a full-color course view and green view overlay in 2-D for the hole that you’re playing. Plus, the rangefinder will show you distances to the front, center, and back of the green as well as hazards, and more. Not to mention, you will get an amazingly accurate distance to the pin, within 10 inches!

Features of the Garmin Z80 Golf Rangefinder

Insane Accuracy

Don’t you hate it when you hit the wrong club because your cheap rangefinder locked in on a tree or hill behind the green instead of the pin? If that has cost you strokes before, I doubt it will happen with the Z80. It has an image stabilization feature that makes it very easy to find and range the flag precisely.

Once you hit the “flag lock”, the green view will automatically show the distance to the front, center, and back of the green through the lens. How cool is that? No more guessing and trying to do the math about what it takes to get to the front or the back of the green.

Not to mention, the picture it displays is wildly clear. The view through the rangefinder shows the hole at 6-times magnification for clear, crisp views with map overlays that show the entire hole layout.

“Plays Like” Distance

As I mentioned, the Z80 is basically like bringing a caddy with you to the course. Not only does it provide advanced green view and distances, but it also adjusts for the slope as well.

Using the “Plays Like Distance” feature, the device will automatically adjust yardages for uphill or downhill shots. It’s able to make these calculations based on the change in elevation from where you are standing to the location labeled on the map. This makes figuring out which club to hit for uphill or downhill shots so much easier.

Don’t worry, if you’re playing in tournaments you can easily disable this feature as well. There’s also a PinPointer feature that helps show you the direction to the green on blind shots. No more guessing where you should layup on a blind shot!

Laser Range Arc

If you’re someone who normally carries a rangefinder and yardage book or uses a cart GPS, this device is for you. Now you can skip the yardage book and focus on the screen to create the perfect tee box and approach shot strategy. With the Laser Range Arc feature, the device draws an arc on the 2-D course view map at the distance the laser range. This will make sure you can see everything that is in play at that distance and avoid bunkers or hazards.

Alternatives to the Garmin Z80 Golf Rangefinder

Garmin Approach S60

If you’re a golfer who prefers a golf watch over a rangefinder or golf GPS, the S60 is an awesome alternative. While it’s currently cheaper than the Z80, it still comes with tons of benefits as well. The golf watch has a 1.2” sunlight-readable color touchscreen display that shows precise yardages to greens, hazards, and full course maps.

The battery life is longer too as it doesn’t send you quite as much data as it lasts 10 hours in golf mode and up to 10 days in watch mode. The S60 also helps you improve your game by tracking your shots via the Garmin Connect App for a comprehensive post-game review. Plus, this sleek GPS golf watch looks great on and off the course.

Read the full Garmin S60 review to learn more.

Garmin Approach G80

If you’re someone who wants a high-end device but also wants launch monitor capabilities, the G80 might be a better choice. Not only is it slightly cheaper than the Z80, but it also lets you measure swing speed, clubhead speed, swing tempo, smash factor, and more.

Like the Z80, it also comes with 41,000+ courses worldwide. It also has a range mode to help practice more fun and more strategic. Not to mention, you can challenge others who have the device, track your stats, and work on your tempo with the tempo training.

Read the full Garmin G80 review to learn more.

Bushnell Pro XE Advanced Laser golf Rangefinder

The Bushnell PRO XE advanced laser golf rangefinder is another high-end choice that has amazing reviews online. First off, the appearance is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Its chrome-like design makes it look like you’re a golf assassin hunting for birdies on the course.

Aside from its great look, it also tons of impressive features as well. This Bushnell model has the all-new “Visual JOLT” that flashes when you are locked on to the pin. Plus, it has a slope switch mode to easily toggle in and out of Bushnell’s patented slope with elements function. This feature doesn’t only include the uphill or downhill slope but temperature and barometric pressure to give you the most accurate distance ever. This is a device that even Bryson DeChambeau get on board with!

If you’re looking for another high-end device without the 2-D course layout (which is available on the Bushnell app), I’d recommend this rangefinder.

If you are still wanting more Rangefinder discussion, click here to see our picks for the best rangefinders on the market.

Top FAQs about the Garmin Z80

Is there a monthly subscription fee?

No, there is no monthly fee for using the Garmin Z80. Garmin regularly adds new courses but comes pre-loaded with access to over 41,000 courses worldwide.

Does it assume the pin is always in the middle of the green?

No, it doesn’t. In fact, the Z80 locks on to the flag and gives you the actual distance no matter where the pin is located. Then, using GPS data, it determines the other distances to the front, middle, and back of the green.

Can you use this in tournaments?

Yes, you can use the Z80 in tournaments but make sure to turn off the slope feature.

How many rounds of golf can it last per charge?

Since the Garmin Z80 is part caddy, part computer, it does need to get recharged, unlike traditional range finders. Depending on how much you use the device, it should last 2-3 rounds before needing a recharge. Make sure to always update your device with the Garmin app as they are constantly updating it to last longer for each charge.

What else is included in the box?

The Garmin Z80 comes with the range finder, carry case with a carabiner, micro USB charging cable, and instructions. For an additional fee, you can also add a different carrying case and high-speed multi-charger unit as well.

Summary of the Garmin Z80

As you can tell, the Garmin Z80 is one of the best rangefinders in the game. While it’s far from the cheapest, it comes with enough technology to warrant the high price tag.

If you’re someone who is visually oriented and likes to have a game plan for every shot, this is the device for you. With so much technology in one device, you never have to worry about being unsure about anything before hitting your shot.

If you do purchase this device, make sure that you charge it regularly so you’re never mid-round and suddenly lose your personal caddy. I’d also recommend picking up the custom case for maximum protection on your investment.

Pick up the Garmin Z80 today.

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