Leupold range finders offer military technology

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The latest range finders from Leupold are described by company officials as “evolutionary,” and what technicians say they have done with the new Leupold GX-3i and GX-4i models is make them faster and more accurate than previous offerings. They’ve done that by improving both products’ DNA (for Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) engines and advanced infrared lasers so that golfers can get their distances within the nearest 1/10 of a yard, up to 400 yards away. And more quickly.

In addition, the company’s exclusive PinHunter laser technology, fog mode and selectable aiming reticles make it possible to nail down hole locations in virtually any weather conditions. A Prism Lock system also makes holding a range finder steady much less of an issue when it comes to getting correct readings.

The GX-3i offers line-of-sight measurement only, meaning it is tournament legal under the Rules of Golf. It comes in a compact casing that is designed to be rugged and completely weatherproof. As for the GX-4i, which also boasts line-of-sight measuring capabilities, it can accept a removable Smart Key that reads slope, altitude and temperature for even more precise information, thanks to the use of sophisticated, algorithmic software called True Golf Range (TGR).

That Smart Key makes the GX-4i illegal for U.S. Golf Association- and Royal &Ancient-sanctioned competitions, as does a feature called Club Selector, which combines a player’s specific hitting strength and TGR to the target to automatically recommend the appropriate club for each shot (after a golfer has inputted data on his or her usual distances). But the device can be used in practice rounds and for recreational play.

Based in Beaverton, Ore., Leupold has long manufactured rifle scopes, binoculars, range finders and other sophisticated optical devices primarily for the military and big-game hunters. A few years ago, it took that very advanced technology into golf, and the result is a line of devices that is used extensively by PGA Tour caddies to map out courses on which tournaments are played – and by plenty of weekend players, too.