The Leupold GX-1 is Leupold’s entry-level offering in the laser golf range finder market. But don’t let the term entry-level misguide you. The GX-1 is an excellent range finder that has a strong following among it’s user base, with good reason. Officially introduced in May 2010, the Leupold GX-1 is the successor to the GX-I (introduced in 2008). Aside from the switch from Roman to Arabic numerals in its name, the Leupold GX-1 offers new ...
The Leupold GX-1 is Leupold’s entry-level offering in the laser golf range finder market. But don’t let the term “entry-level” misguide you. The GX-1 is an excellent range finder that has a strong following among it’s user base, with good reason.
Officially introduced in May 2010, the Leupold GX-1 is the successor to the GX-I (introduced in 2008). Aside from the switch from Roman to Arabic numerals in its name, the Leupold GX-1 offers new features not found in its predecessor.
The Leupold GX-1 is legal for tournament play (when allowed by Local Rule), as it provides only line-of-sight distance measurements. If you don’t care whether your range finder is tournament-legal, consider the GX-2. It has all the features of the GX-1, plus advanced technology that corrects distance readings by slope, altitude and temperature, and even makes club recommendations. See our Leupold GX-2 review for more.
Leupold GX-1 Specifications
Weight: 6.8 ounces
Dimensions: 4 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches
Maximum Range: 750 yards, accuracy to within 1 yard/meter
The GX-1 introduces two new features the earlier GX-I does not have – Fog Mode and Prism Lock.
Fog Mode filters out interference from fog, rain, or drizzle, so that an accurate yardage to your target can be obtained. It’s turned on by default, but can be disabled in the GX-1’s Options menu.
If you regularly play on courses fitted with reflective prisms on pins and hazards, the new Prism Lock feature will add a measure of confidence when you’re obtaining the yardage to these targets. As you scan your target downrange, the GX-1 will emit a beep, letting you know it’s locked on to a prism. The display will show a lock icon on the lower left, and the distance reading will freeze to the yardage of the target.
Aside from these features, the GX-1’s grip area has been changed to a dimpled surface that looks very much like a golf ball. It also has a bit of a harder feel to it, whereas the older GX-I’s grip is softer and more tacky. We’ve heard from some GX-I owners that they actually prefer the older model’s grip to that of the GX-1.
Like other vertically-oriented range finders, the Leupold GX-1 is small enough and light enough to fit in your pocket. The included case has a clip that allows you to attach it to your golf bag if you’d prefer.
The Leupold GX-1’s maximum range of 750 yards is less than many range finders, but who really needs to target the pin from that far? If you can drive the ball 750 yards, well, why haven’t we heard of you?
The yardage to the pin, of course, is what we’re all most interested in. According to Leupold, the GX-1 has the ability to lock onto the flag from up to 400 yards away. In our view, that’s not likely unless the pin is fitted with a reflective prism. Absent that, the GX-1 performs admirably up to about 300 yards.
The Leupold GX-1’s 6x magnification is on par with other laser range finders on the market. It beats the Bushnell Tour V2’s 5x, but is less than the 7x offered by others, such as the Bushnell Pro 1600.
If you’re into personalizing your gadgets, the GX-1 offers 7 different aiming reticles (cross-hairs) to choose from. It’s nice to have the choice, though it doesn’t have an impact on how the device performs.
The Leupold GX-1 features PinHunter technology that ignores stronger signals from larger objects in the background, making it easier to lock on to the pin. One of the things we love about the GX-1 is that this feature is always on. Bushnell’s equivalent PinSeeker feature, by contrast, must be turned on explicitly.
Thus, the GX-1 has only a single mode of operation, which we found to be much more convenient than having to manually switch back and forth between scanning and trying to lock onto the pin. Kudos to Leupold for this user-friendly piece of engineering.
Our Opinion of the Leupold GX-1
While the GX-1 is Leupold’s entry-level offering, we found it to be an excellent range finder to have on the course. We were impressed with its accuracy, and we love the Prism Lock feature. When we heard the beep, we felt highly confident that an accurate yardage to the flag had been obtained.
We’re also fond of the “always on” feature of the PinHunter technology. It makes the Leupold GX-1 a lot easier to use by not having to manually engage a separate mode to locate the pin.
Negatives About the Leupold GX-1
Leupold positioned the yardage readout in the upper part of the display, above the aiming reticle. As a result, it can sometimes be a bit hard to distinguish the reading against the most likely background, namely trees.
We also think the 1-year warranty is a bit skimpy, especially for such an excellent device.
What Other Golfers Are Saying
Owners of the Leupold GX-1 have high praise for the device, and rightly so. Amazon buyers give it a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. We have paraphrased excerpts from buyer comments, and you can read more reviews here.
“Gives an accurate reading regardless of hand shake.”
“Its accuracy and ease of use are impressive.”
“Best range finder on the market!”
“Nearly instant readings to targets while scanning.”
“I’ve been a GPS guy, but I really love this device.”