Nikon was founded in 1917 in Japan and has worldwide market footprint and while they may have had most of the market share two decades ago, they are now cutting back on the number of employees and are turning their focus to medical and industrial devices.
The golf rangefinder market is heavily competitive, but Nikon have provided golfers with a slightly more cost effective option to some of their competitors.
Nikon Golf - Brief History
There are a total of six golf rangefinder options that Nikon offers. The first is the entry level Coolshot 20 that is exceptionally small in size and can easily fit into one’s pocket without causing irritation.
Despite its maximum range being a fairly short 250 yards it locks in the target efficiently and easily providing the average high handicap golfer a suitable solution that is also rainproof.
The Coolshot 20i has the same features except it also incorporates slope reading.
The Coolshot 40 is next in line and steps up to a maximum range of almost double the Coolshot 20 capturing as far as 450 yards to a flagstick. It take a miniscule 0.5 seconds to lock in the distance and helps golfers speed up their average golf game.
The Coolshot 40i has exactly the same characteristics as the 40, but it does feature a slope system which Nikon term ‘ID Technology’ measuring the incline or decline and adjusting distances accordingly.
Again this feature cannot be used during tournaments, but if you’re a regular golfer you’d quickly learn how many yards to add or subtract depending on how or low you are relative to target.
The Coolshot 80i offers bright optics and 6 x zoom with a wide field view. Another feature which is common among all of the Nikon rangefinders is the 8 second continuous measurement which allows you to measure a number of small objects such as trees, bunkers, hazards or mounds in one go.
It beats having to lock and capture one target at a time taking too long in the process causing frustration.
The top of the range Coolshot Pro Stabilized sells for just shy of $500 and is fully waterproof and fog-proof.
It measures up to 500 yards to a flagstick and the Stabilizer technology helps lock in the target easier if either your hand is shaky or perhaps you’re playing in wind or cold where capturing the target is slightly trickier.
Nikon have certainly appealed to the broader golf market with five of their 6 rangefinders costing less than $300 which is almost surprising.
A number of competitors’ entry level rangefinders are not even this cheap and with the backing of a powerful brand like Nikon, golfers can be assured of quality and precision.