Golf Gear Reviews

Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Rangefinder: For Golfers on a Budget


Last Updated: Mar 4, 2019 @ 6:34 pm

Yard Range: 6-500 yards/6-250 to flag
Magnification: 6X20 mm objective diameter
Display Type: LCD/Black
Dimensions: 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches, 4.4 ounces
Tournament Legal: Yes
Measurement System: Yards/Meters
Measurement Distance: Distance only
Waterproof: No. Rain-resistant: Yes

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Review

This Nikon COOLSHOT 20 is an extremely compact golf rangefinder that’s completely weatherproof and ready for all types of obstacles, including atmospheric, while on the green.

It’s the perfect, little unit to really learn how to take charge of your game and hone your skills with thanks to First Target Priority Mode and an 8-Second Continuous Scan Mode for 550 yards of accurate measurements.

For under $200, it really does fall into the budget league, but you don’t have to skeptical about its performance. A load of reviewers feel that this little rangefinder is worthy of its rating, with a solid portion of them giving it two thumbs up. That’s not shabby at all. It gets my nod of approval for sure.

  • Price
  • First Target Priority Mode
  • Scan mode
  • Compact
  • Auto shut-off
  • No pin technology


Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Rangefinder Q&A:

Is there a Scan Mode with the COOLSHOT 20 rangefinder?

There isn’t technically a Scan Mode on the unit, but there is the ability to pan the course for a continuous eight seconds and get distances as you move over objects.

Why this isn’t just called Scan Mode, I don’t know, but it pretty much is. Since a lot of quality golf rangefinders seem to be doing away with the scan mode, like the Bushnell golf line, I’d say it’s a bonus feature that’s way too convenient not to have.

Being able to get a couple distances in the matter of seconds such as the pin and the edge of a bunker is pretty invaluable.


Does the rangefinder have a pin locking feature?

The COOLSHOT 20 doesn’t have a pin locking feature, and so it also doesn’t have a confirmation setting once it’s found the flag.

Despite this, you’ll know you have the flagstick when you get a distance reading back for it. A lot of people who buy this rangefinder find they appreciate the lack of a pin locking feature.

Even after you get a distance reading you can move the rangefinder any which way and continue to get updated readings on various targets, say the front and back of the green.


How big is the Nikon rangefinder?

This particular unit is not only the smallest Nikon golf rangefinder, it’s also the smallest unit in their entire inventory of rangefinders. It only weighs 4.4 ounces. Your smartphone is way heavier than that.

Its very small dimensions are 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches, which is quite smaller than its predecessor, the COOLSHOT. The benefits of its small and compact size is that it can unobtrusively be stowed in your pocket without interfering with your position or swing.


Does the rangefinder automatically shut off?

Most conventional rangefinders have an automatic shut off feature and the COOLSHOT 20 is no exception. After about 10 seconds of non-use, it’ll shut itself down.

The time lapse may seem a little short, but it’s super easy and fast to power it up again. Just aim at your target, hit the laser to power up and line up the cross hairs, then shoot.


How are increment readings displayed?

Surprisingly, this unit displays increment readings in 1 yard increments. This is pretty typical for an entry level rangefinder with a maximum yard range of 550 yards.

However, it does surprise me that the older version, the COOLSHOT, displayed distances in half yard increments, which you’ll see more with higher end rangefinders. Why Nikon downgraded the newer version beats me.


Noteworthy Features:

  • First Target Priority Mode for nearest distance acquisition
  • Continuous eight second panning mode
  • Extremely small, light-weight, and compact


Our Verdict on the Coolshot 20

To ping up the strokes, the Nikon Coolshot 20 is a great, basic rangefinder for the green. It’s a no-thrills unit that has a no-fuss attitude. Besides, it has a reasonable price tag that’s locked-on for good.

However, the newer model of the Coolshot 20 is the Nikon Golf Coolshot 80 VR that just hit the market. This one has a longer distance range, vibrating technology, and LOCKED ON technology. While it might be almost double the price as the Coolshot 20, it’s well worth the upgrade.

The Leupold Pincaddie 2 is comparable. However, it has less of a ranging distance. But, unlike the Coolshot, the Leupold is completely waterproof.

Nikon knows how to deliver fantastic optics for a fair price. The Coolshot 20 is the only evidence you need!

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