Nikon Coolshot 80 VR Laser Rangefinder Review

We test out Nikon's exciting new laser rangefinder technology

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR laser rangefinder review
Golf Monthly Verdict

These are premium laser units, no question, but the Vibration Reduction technology is a genuine step forward in laser rangefinder innovation that golfers will enjoy, not only because it makes the process easier, but because it will reduce errors and speed up play for those using it.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Fun and innovative features that make the lasers significantly easier and quicker to use than previous Nikon lasers

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The white cover does discolour quite easily. The premum price will be a deterrent to some

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Golf Monthly's Nikon Coolshot 80 VR laser rangefinder review, two new devices that boast a new Vibration Reduction feature for easier zapping

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR laser rangefinder review

You may not think there are many more advances in laser rangefinder technology that can be achieved given the one simple job these devices are tasked with out on the course.

Bushnell’s JOLT technology proved there was room for innovation in this category and now, Nikon has shown its hand when it comes to producing ground-breaking technology that golfers will benefit from.

On the new Nikon Coolshot 80 and Coolshot 80i laser rangefinders, which replace the Coolshot 40 models, there is something called a Vibration Reduction system keeps your intended the target in the viewfinder.

Nikon say this makes it more stable for easier aiming and measuring and it’s hard to argue. It’s a strange sensation at first that plays with your head and while it takes a few goes to get used to, once you’ve got the hang of it there’s no doubt it genuinely helps speed up the process of locking on to a flag from the background.

Nikon coolshot 80 viewfinder-web

Rather than receiving a vibrating burst like on Bushnell devices, with the Nikon you see a ‘Locked On’ sign in the viewfinder for reassurance the flag has been found.

The first target priority mode speeds this process along even further, as does the shape of the unit fitting nicely in your hand. The tacky material also help you maintain a secure grip on the device but does seem to gather dirt on the standard white unit should you choose not to keep it stored in the accompanying carry case.

The display is simple, easy to see and ably assisted by the focus toggle underneath the eyepiece. The distances are displayed quickly, accurately and to the nearest half a yard, which has always seemed pointless to me (what difference does half a yard make to your club selection?) but if the technology is there, it may as well be utilized.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x