When looking for golf equipment, or anything else for that matter, it isn’t entirely necessary to get a name brand or industry leader. However, there is a certain piece of mind you get from knowing there is decades of proven results and innovation behind a product.
Titleist remains the No. 1 ball maker in golf because the company produces quality balls that do the job well. This extends to ancillary golf products, as well.
You can probably find a nice golf cart that isn’t made by E-Z-Go, but chances are one from that company is a fine choice. If you want a GPS device, Garmin is not the only maker but it is definitely a trusted source.
For optical equipment, that company is without a doubt Nikon. And for golfers, when we say optical equipment we are talking about rangefinders. Nikon has decades of experience with optical devices in a wide range of industries. Its Coolshot 20 laser rangefinder is a fine addition to the line.
While the Coolshot 20 is hardly the most robust of its rangefinders, it might well be the easiest to use. It is the most compact and lightest model the company sells. Even beyond Nikon products, it is tough to find something this good in such a small package.
And yes, this is a good rangefinder. It’s not just handy, it gets the job done well.
It is about 90 millimeters (3.6 inches) long, by 35 mm (1.5 inches) wide by 74 mm (2.9 inches tall). That’s small enough to fit in your pocket.
That small size becomes important if you are trying to keep your bag as light as possible. Even if that isn’t a concern, the small size makes it easier to carry with you and put it to use. There is no reason why you cannot use the Coolshot 20 before every shot you take.
And at a weight of less than 5 ounces, you’ll hardly notice it when you carry it around the course.
While the Coolshot 20 Laser Rangefinder provides accurate distances, it does much more than that. If you need to know how far it is to the end of a dogleg fairway, the Coolshot 20 can handle that. How far are you from the tree hanging over the fairway? No need to guess. Ditto for clearing a water hazard, or a bunker.
The Coolshot 20 is equipped with was Nikon calls First Target Priority Mode. Whatever the first target you hone in on is prioritized. This enables you to get an accurate yardage to the pin, and not the trees in the background.
You can also take the rangefinder to the practice area to find precise yardages for each club in your bag. Armed with that knowledge, you can manage the course much better.
Course management is among the keys to scoring well in the game. There is no guesswork involved with the Coolshot 20, as it is accurate down to one yard. Without an accurate rangefinder, there is a lack of specific knowledge that can hurt your game. If you know it is about 160 yards to the center of the green and the pin is in the back, you cannot know exactly how far the pin is from you.
Few things are more frustrating in golf as hitting the exact shot you want but ending up in a poor spot because of a lack of accurate distances.
That could mean the difference between a par and a bogey, or worse. Saving shots is a great way to lower your score.
To use the Nikon Coolshot 20, aim it at your target, then push and hold the power button. The rangefinder will then scan the range for eight seconds. This allows the device to locate distances for a variety of objects, even small ones.
If there is trouble behind the green, it is good to know not just how far it is to the pin but also how far it is to the trouble area. The Coolshot 20 can pick up trees, bushes, or mounds behind or in front of the green.
The Coolshot 20 has 6 times magnification and a comfortable eye relief of almost 17 mm (about 0.6 inches) for easy viewing.
The display renders a bright and clear image for easy viewing. This is done through technology that Nikon has perfected in its other products, resulting in a focusing diopter producing sharp images with high contrast.
Its multilayer coatings means greater transmission of light throughout the spectrum. In layman’s terms, that means a natural and clear view.
The Coolshot 20 can find objects up from six to 550 yards away.
It has a rainproof shell that allows you to use the device in any weather conditions. It also is heat and cold resistant. The Coolshot 20 can be used year-round.
If you want to get the same rangefinder but with slope readings added, upgrade to the Nikon Coolshot 20S. Since the Coolshot 20 has no slope function it is fully in rules compliance for tournament play.
Nikon has been in business for more than a century, and has been an industry leader in optics technology for decades. While other manufacturers make fine golf rangefinders, there is a piece of mind that comes with purchasing a Nikon product.
Of course, the Nikon Coolshot 20 is not the most powerful rangefinder on the market, nor is it the most accurate.
But when you combine its performance with its small package, which is a difficult combination to match. And the price is hardly budget-busting.
If you are looking for the best value, performance, and ease of use it is difficult to find any rangefinder that can match the Coolshot 20.