Nikon Coolshot AS Rangefinder Review: Check Your Distance

Imagine this. You’re standing in the middle of the 18th fairway, your opponent has already hit his shot onto the green, and you’re hanging onto a one shot lead. The pin is tucked behind a bunker which, if you go in, will guarantee a bogey. If you go long, you’ll be putting straight down a tier and a two putt will be highly unlikely. The sprinkler head says 135, your phone GPS says 139, and the markers tell you that you are somewhere between 130-145. What yardage do you trust?

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These types of situations are not uncommon in golf and with a rangefinder, you’ll never have to worry about losing because of guessing an incorrect yardage. Scoping the bunker lip tells you 131 to clear, and scoping the ridge on the green tells you anything over 137 will end up on the upper shelf.

Now you can focus on the easy part; knock it close and get that W!

What’s Nikon Promising?

The COOLSHOT promises its user accurate yardage readings that will give them the confidence they need to execute quality golf shots. A couple features that the COOLSHOT offers are:

  • Pin Scanning Technology: COOLSHOT laser rangefinders feature Nikon’s advanced technology that allows you to simply scan across the backdrop of the green until the flag or pin yardage displays the closer distance.
  • First Target Priority Mode: The First Target Priority algorithm displays the range to the nearest target among the multiple results obtained. You can then exactly measure the distance to the flagstick, instead of a background object.

These days, every range finder or GPS device can give you a fairly reliable and accurate reading. What I want to see is how quickly the COOLSHOT can lock on to a target when the group behind is pressing, and how useful the First Target Priority Mode feature is when scoping a pin with lots of things around it.

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The COOLSHOT has a very clean, simple look. It comes in either all black or all white and just like its color suggests, it is designed strictly for performance (which was great by the way). I will say that there are rangefinders out there with some cool designs, but who’s out there to show off their rangefinder anyway?


In terms of feel, two things about the COOLSHOT stood out to me. The first is its compact, ergonomic design which made it really easy to hold on to. The second is the feel of the button. It was easy enough to press without causing me to lose sight of the target, and it also has a little ‘click’ that lets you know the button was pressed.



I wanted to measure the COOLSHOT performance versus the competition: GPS Apps, Yardage Markers and other Rangefinders.

The COOLSHOT gave me a much more accurate reading than the GPS on my smart phone and the yardage markers on the fairway. Those things will tell you approximate yardages, but the pin isn’t always placed directly in the center of the green, nor is it directly on the front or back fringe either. Because the COOLSHOT can give me an exact number, I don’t have to ask myself those questions on the course.

When compared to other rangefinders, the Nikon stood out quickly. Everything about the COOLSHOT is fast. It turns on fast and locks on fast. If there are multiple objects around the pin, it is able to quickly pick out the pin for you. Most of the time it doesn’t matter how long a rangefinder takes to lock in, but there is the occasional moment when you can’t begin your routine until after someone has hit. In these cases, I really appreciated that the COOLSHOT could lock on relatively quicker than other rangefinders.


The COOLSHOT is definitely going to be staying in the bag. The main reason why I stopped using rangefinders before is because I felt they weren’t as reliable and still a bit clunky. The COOLSHOT gives me the right number, quickly, every time and is extremely simple to use. I know my game is going to improve with the COOLSHOT because now I’ll know for sure that I hit a bad shot and it wasn’t my partner’s fault for giving the wrong yardage!

Written by BP Staff


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