Garmin’s Approach Z82 unique rangefinder and GPS combination

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The Garmin Approach Z82 rangefinder gives lasered distances to 450 yards and the display shows a two-dimensional color course map plus a green-view overlay.

Fast Facts:

Laser rangefinder with GPS

Unit buzzes locked on flag

GPS shows front, back, middle of green

41,000 courses preloaded

Wind speed/direction display

“Plays-like” yardage

Retail $ 599.99

What you need to know:

The price may be at the top of rangefinder category but Garmin’s Approach Z82 is a nifty combination of laser rangefinder with the addition of several GPS-generated displays.

“The Approach Z82 utilizes some of the most prominent golf features available on the market and builds on the foundation of our first range finder to add even more depth and distance precision to help sharpen a golfer’s game,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “A strong feature set of golf options that now include wind speed and direction displays, enhanced ranging performance, coupled with a new and improved viewfinder to provide a sharper, more comfortable viewing experience, make the Approach Z82 an invaluable tool for golfers of all skill levels.”

This do-it-all unit weighs 8.2 oz. in a diminutive 4.8 x 3.1 x 1.7-inch package with 15 hours of life in the rechargeable battery and an OLED display that shows target yardage plus a two-dimensional GPS view of the hole and views of the green and hazard locations. A useful feature is the Z82 places an arc on the overall view of the current hole to show everything in play at the lasered distance.

A handy wind speed and direction indicator is built-in plus if faced with a blind shot the Z82 displays an arrow delineating the proper line to the pin’s location. In order to comply with USGA tournament rules, the automatic “plays-like” distance feature, which adjusts yardage for uphill and shots, can be disabled as shown by an exterior indicator light. A no-charge Garmin Golf smartphone app allows scorekeeping and there is even a “Find My Garmin” feature.

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Ed Travis

Ed Travis is a national award winning golf journalist and has had a life long love affair with the game. He has competed in tournament golf both as an amateur and as a senior professional and though his competitive days are behind him he still plays regularly and carries a handicap of 2. He and his wife live in suburban Orlando.