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The Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder combines a quality laser rangefinder with a GPS for those times when you need more information than a laser can provide.
While most people have a strong preference for either a laser rangefinder or a GPS, there’s no denying that both options have their strengths and weaknesses (explained in detail HERE). The Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder seeks to eliminate compromises by pairing a GPS with a laser rangefinder. We took it to the course to see if it really does deliver the best of both worlds.
Setup & Ease of Use
Each aspect of the Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder uses a different power source, which creates a little additional work for the user. The laser rangefinder is powered by a battery and probably won’t need to be replaced more than once a season, if that. The GPS, however, needs to be charged with a USB cord. This dual-power system is nice because the laser will work even if you forget to charge it, but the downside is that it makes it easier to forget to charge it.
Using the Hybrid is pretty easy. The laser rangefinder works like any other: push the power button, see the distance on the viewfinder. The GPS is operated by a simple four-button interface. Power it up, give it a couple minutes to connect to the satellite, then pick the course that you’re playing. Front, middle, and back distances will display, and you can get distances to hazards with a couple button pushes.
Accuracy & Performance
The laser rangefinder half of the Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder works exactly like you’d expect. It’s very accurate and surprisingly quick. Also, when used in pin seeking mode, it whistles at you when it locks on to the flag, which I found really entertaining.
The GPS half also works well. The distances are consistently +/- 2 yards from other GPS devices or course markings, which is very standard. This is definitely not the most feature-packed GPS unit you can find, but as an addition to a laser rangefinder, it’s very serviceable.
Ultimately, the question is, “Do I need a GPS with my laser (or vice versa)?” My answer is, “You don’t need one, but there will be times when you want one.” Any golfer can easily think of examples where one type of system trumps the other – GPS is king on blind shots, lasers have unlimited versatility and are more accurate, etc. With the Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder, you’ll never be without the best option.
The Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder sells for $350. It’s an interesting price because it’s not the cheapest option for either a GPS or laser, but it’s also not the most expensive in either category. I think that this unit performs well, and if you think there’s value in having both distance-measuring technologies, it’s a solid value.
Also, like the Callaway Micro Laser Rangefinder, the Hybrid is sold in a Power Pack which includes a case, a sleeve of Chrome Soft golf balls, and two batteries.
For the player who thrives on having the most and best information at their fingertips, the Callaway Hybrid Laser/GPS Rangefinder is hard to beat. It combines a very accurate laser with a solid GPS in one easy-to-use system.