Joel Tadman takes the Garmin Approach Z82 laser rangefinder for a thorough test of all its features out on course.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Garmin Approach Z82 Laser Rangefinder


  • Unique full hole maps let you see what lies ahead. Factoring in environmental factors enhances accuracy. Genuine wow factor.


  • Fairly complex to navigate. Big and bulky compared to most other rangefinders.


Garmin Approach Z82 Laser Rangefinder


Price as reviewed:


Clubhouse Golf

Garmin Approach Z82 Laser Rangefinder Review

While it is one of the most expensive rangefinders on the market, the Garmin Approach Z82 is also one of the most unique and feature-packed offerings on the market and takes what a laser rangefinder can do to the next level.

Watch as Joel Tadman tests out a number of different laser rangefinders from 2021

The absolute stand out feature on this device is the 2D hole map overlay that is displayed on the side of the view as you look through it.

Garmin-approach-z82-testing 2

The map provides you front, middle and back distances as well as a full view on the hole ahead to give you a picture of what lies ahead.

Furthermore, if you enter your driving distance before you play, the device shows you via the hole map where you should roughly expect a good drive to end up.

This was an incredibly useful feature, especially on courses we hadn’t played before, and adds a whole new dynamic to what we consider is capable of a laser rangefinder.

garmin approach z82

Other features include a slope functionality – which can be easily turned on and off at the press of a button – and distances to lay up or carry hazards.

All this was also available on the prior Z80 model, but new in the Approach Z82 is the ability to link to the Garmin app and gain access to live wind direction. This, along with the Slope adjusted-distances, can be disabled for competition use and there is now an external tournament mode indicator light to show your playing partners it is legal for use.

It genuinely is one of the best golf laser rangefinders we have ever tested but what we also loved about the Approach Z82 is that it does the basics really well.

The screen is clearer than the prior version and a small vibration lets you know you’re locked on to the pin. When you do so, a line on the green in the map shows you how far on the green the pin position is – something you can’t normally see from where the shot is being played from.

garmin z82

It’s certainly a bit heavier in the hand that some other rangefinders, but we didn’t find this an issue when using it out on course and it fits in the hand really nicely thanks to its well designed shape.

The battery life has improved somewhat, although in full GPS golf mode it drains it more than most – such is the wide functionality on offer.


You certainly get what you pay for with this feature-packed laser rangefinder. The full hole map is a unique feature that stands out from anything else currently on the market. Pricey as it is, the Garmin Z82 feels worth every penny out on course by seamlessly blending the best GPS and laser rangefinder functionality together..