What is Inclination Measurement Rangefinder – Complete & Detailed Guide

People often ask, what is inclination measurement rangefinder?

Let’s find out!

What Is Inclination Measurement Rangefinder?

Inclination measurement rangefinders are used to measure the inclination of a surface. They can be used for indoor and outdoor measurements, but they are most commonly used in construction.

This feature in rangefinders is also known as slope.

Why Is Slope Important?

One of many factors that can influence the distance of your shots is the slope of the green. Knowing about it beforehand will help you hit better shots.

A smart golf architect knows how to use this effect to fool the gol­fer into thinking that he has to hit his shot farther or shorter than he really wants to. Golf courses often employ subtle elevation changes to accomplish this.

An uphill slop means your ball travels less far than a downhill slop. This can be used for determining where you should aim your golf shot.

How Does a Rangefinder Calculate Slope?

A rangefinder uses a beam of light to measure distance. When the beam hits an object, the time it takes for the beam to return tells you how far away the object is.

All golf laser rangefinders follow the same basic principle, but there are differences between them.

With a range finder equipped with a telescopic sight, you can measure the distance between yourself and your target by measuring the angle at which the laser beam returns. If you’re not exactly parallel to your target (i.e., if you’re shooting from an angle), the returned laser beam will be of a certain degree of angle.

The rangefinder uses this difference to determine the slope and then calculates the adjusted distances for you. You just need to play these adjusted distances.

Does a GPS Calculate Slope?

While GPS might be capable of giving an idea of your relative altitude, it won’t be capable of calculating the slope for your specific location.

A course with a lot of elevation change won’t be as effective as one with less.

Because GPS uses satellites to pinpoint your current position, then it compares your current position against a pre-programmed database of locations.

Companies have programmed devices that track their employees’ movements throughout various golf courses.

A GPS device simply measures the distances between your current position and one or more pre-determined locations.

A GPS device won’t be able to calculate the slope; however, it will be able to estimate your distance from different pre-determined points on the course.

what is inclination measurement rangefinder

What is Inclination Measurement Rangefinder?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will a Rangefinder with Slope Improve My Score?

Of course, there is no certainty. However, if you fail to take into consideration the slope, you may end up hitting the ball too high or low. This is because you might be under or overshooting the target.

As you improve at adjusting for slope, you should notice an increase in your overall score. It’s obvious that not knowing the slope makes things way harder than they need to be.

It also depends on how much your golf swing varies depending on the terrain. If your course has a lot of hills, then you may need to take into account the slope when calculating your score.

Can I Use Slope in Competitions?

The USGA has released specific guidelines for using measuring devices. However, according to Appendix IV of Rule14-3, no measuring devices that calculate slope may be used during competition. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t take measurements with your rangefinders.

The USGA does allow for a Local Rule to permit a “stipulated round” in which measuring devices like rangefinders can be used.

But even under these Local Rule situations, rangefinders that calculate for slope are not permitted. So the long and short of it is, “no,” any rangefinder that calculates for slope is illegal for tournament play.

However, depending on the level of competition, local rules permitting them are actually more and more common and it seems likely that they will be mainstream and accepted in all sorts of rounds over the next year or two.

But the good news is that these rangefinders are perfectly fine during practice, so you can easily use your rangefinder with slope to learn the lay of the land and get a feel for the changes in elevation.

Can I Turn Off Slope on My Rangefinder?

Rangefinder manufacturers are aware of this rule and have made models to compensate. Many of them have the ability to easily switch off the slope function. This might, however, still raise some eyebrows from other players or officials.

Some models have an added faceplate that makes it clear when the slope function is enabled and disabled. You should check your particular model to see just how easy it is to switch the slope calculation off and indicate to others that it has been disabled.

If you are looking for a rangefinder with or without slope, Nikon makes some of the best products out there for your money.

Are rangefinders worth it?

Yes! We believe that these products are good for saving time, lasting a long time, being easy to carry, offering detailed information about the shots you face, and sitting comfortably on your golf bag.

With a laser, you don’t need to use a sprinkler anymore, nor do you need to estimate distances when plotting out your route. You can just zap the flags or obstacles to help you plan your path.

Are golf rangefinders with slope legal?

Yes, but only during casual games with your friends and not competitively. Rangefinders that display slope reading (which shows you the actual yardages and “plays like yards” and weather conditions) are allowed in casual games with your friends, but cannot be used for competition purposes.


There are many types of inclinometers available on the market today.

The first type of inclinometer is called a mechanical inclinometer. It uses an inclined plane or wedge to measure the angle of inclination.

The second type is an optical inclinometer which measures the angle using light beams. And the third type is the electronic inclinometer which has a microprocessor and digital display.

We hope that now you know about inclination in rangefinders. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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