Garmin Approach Z82 Rangefinder Review

Garmin Approach Z82 Rangefinder Review

By Paul Liberatore



Time to read 4 min

I was looking back through our Golfer’s Authority archives the other day, and I couldn’t believe how many rangefinders we’ve reviewed over the years. Some have been better than others, but one thing stood out: every year, it seems like they get better and better.

Garmin is hands down the brand that stands out when it comes to quality. That’s why I was so excited to get my hands on their new Approach Z82 rangefinder.

This rangefinder is full of new and improved features that leave you without any doubt about your yardages.

Let’s dive in for a closer look.

Key Features

More than 41,000 preloaded courses give you GPS mapping in addition to manual yardages.

SmartGRIP handles are ergonomic and make for easy transport.

Nine pockets give you plenty of storage for everything you need.

Design and Technology

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to the tech and design features of the Approach Z82, it’s hard to pick a place to start.

But one feature that really stands out to me is the more than 41,000 preloaded courses. This opens up so many opportunities to expertly plot your way around the track, even if you’ve never played it.

Because so many courses are preloaded, you have access to many different views. Green view gives you an overlay that provides not just distances to the flag, but the front, middle, and back of the green as well. 

Hazard view lets you easily toggle to bunkers and penalty areas. You’ll get a distance to the hazard, as well as one that tells you how far it is to carry. With this information you can strategically manage your game and play to your strengths. 

Green contour data is sure to save you strokes too. This view gives you a colored overhead view of the slopes on every green. Not only will this help you read putts more precisely, it’ll help you know where to land your approach shots. 

The Approach Z82 also features a laser range arc. Used in course view, this overlay gives you a 2-D layout of the entire hole and yardages to everything on the arc so you can see absolutely everything in your landing zone. 

A lot of rangefinders can’t function when you’re faced with a blind shot. Not so with the Approach Z82. The find the pin feature shows you the exact line to the pin, even when you can’t see it. 

Most modern rangefinders give you a gross yardage and an adjusted yardage that accounts for uphill and downhill slopes. The Z82 takes the equation a step further though. It accounts for wind speed and direction. 

Lastly, you’ll never have to wonder if you’re locked in on the flag with the Approach Z82. Vibrational feedback will let you know when you’re spot on. 

Clearly, there isn’t much the Approach Z82 can’t do.


  • Screen clarity is top-notch.
  • The multitude of views and functions give you all the information you need.
  • Blind shots aren’t a problem while they are with other rangefinders


  • Price point is higher than other rangefinders.
  • Setup can be challenging and software upgrades may be required.
  • Not the easiest rangefinder to use for golfers that aren’t tech savvy.

Our Experience

As I said, I’ve reviewed a lot of rangefinders over the years. Some are more accurate and perform better than others, but the Approach Z82 is one of my all-time favorites.

Not only that, but the sheer number of features this rangefinder comes with blows the competition out of the water. So many different views and the information they all provide leaves no doubt about how you should navigate each hole. 

Even though the Approach Z82 costs some money, it’s more than worth the investment in my eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Garmin Approach Z82 Be Used for Other Sports or Activities Besides Golf?

Yes, the Garmin Approach Z82 can be used for other sports and outdoor activities. Its multi-sport compatibility and outdoor adventure tracking features make it versatile for various activities beyond golf, enhancing the overall user experience.

How Does the Garmin Approach Z82 Compare to Other Rangefinders in Terms of Accuracy and Features?

In comparison to other rangefinders, the Garmin Approach Z82 excels in accuracy and technology. Its laser precision and image stabilization make flag-finding effortless. The GPS feature and CourseView mapping set it apart, providing a comprehensive golfing experience.

Is the Battery Life of the Garmin Approach Z82 Sufficient for a Full Day of Golfing?

The battery performance of the Garmin Approach Z82 is solid for a full day of golfing. However, it may need charging every other round. Some users have reported missing golfing accessories, so it’s wise to check your purchase.

Are There Any Additional Subscription Fees or Hidden Costs Associated With Using the Garmin Approach Z82?

Yes, there are no additional subscription fees or hidden costs associated with using the Garmin Approach Z82. It’s also compatible with other sports, has reliable battery life, weather durability, and the most accurate laser range finder on the market.

How Does the Garmin Approach Z82 Handle Different Weather Conditions, Such as Rain or Extreme Heat?

In handling rain, the Garmin Approach Z82 continues to provide accurate readings, but it’s essential to protect the device from water damage. Extreme heat can impact battery life, so it’s best to store it in a cool place. The rangefinder is golf-specific.


Knowing how far you have to the target is essential if you’re going to play your best golf. While a lot of rangefinders give you the basic information, there’s nothing that compares to the Garmin Approach Z82 when it comes to leaving no stone unturned. 

If you’re ready to take the distance question out of the equation, and want to start shooting lower scores, give this rangefinder a try. I’m willing to bet you’ll love it as much as I do.

Paul Liberatore

Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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