The Callaway LR550 laser range finder is one that has been around a few years. The device holds a lot of appeal to many golfers due to its sturdy design and ease of use.
The optics employed by the LR550 have been developed by Nikon, long known for high-quality optics in the photography field. We suppose Callaway decided to take the short route to get into the laser rangefinder market by teaming up with Nikon rather than try to develop the optics themselves. Smart move, in our opinion.
Though it doesn’t sport all the bells and whistles found on other range finders,it merits serious consideration if you’re considering adding a laser range finder to your arsenal. You just have to get past the funky colors.
Like other vertically-oriented range finders, the LR550 is small and compact, though just a tad longer than the Leupold GX-1 and Bushnell Tour V2. But it will still fit in a decent-sized pants pocket.
The bright yellow exterior is its most immediately recognizable feature. It is also available in white. (The yellow one is designated the LR550Y, white is LR550W.)
Oddly, Callaway markets the LR550 as a “women’s” range finder, though there’s nothing about the device that makes it more appropriate for lady golfers than men. Perhaps they think chicks dig the colors. Sometimes it’s best not to think too hard about such things.
As it provides only line-of-sight distance measurement to the target, it’s use in tournaments is legal when allowed by Local Rule.
- Weight: 6.3 ounces (w/o battery)
- Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 2.7 inches
- Maximum Range: 550 yards, accurate to within 0.5 to 1 yard
- Magnification: 6x
- Battery type: CR-2 lithium
- Eyepiece diopter adjustment (for adjusting eye focus on the display)
The Callaway LR550 laser range finder is packaged with a neoprene sleeve, CR2 lithium battery, and manual. The sleeve is more of a protective accessory than a carrying case, and it makes the unit somewhat easier to hold.
There is also a built-in carabiner clip for attaching the LR550 to your golf bag.
The 550 yard maximum range of the LR550 is less than most range finders, but it is more than enough to meet the needs of the vast majority of golfers – us included.
The 6x magnification places it on par with the most popular laser range finders on the market. It’s adequate to range the pin to 300 yards and a bit beyond, in our opinion.
Equivalent to Bushnell’s PinSeeker and Leupold’s PinHunter features, the Callaway LR550’s “First Target Priority Mode” places greater weight on the obtaining the distance to targets in the foreground. By ignoring larger targets like a stand of trees in the background, First Target Priority makes it easier to capture the distance to the flagstick.
Happily, “First Target Priority Mode” isn’t really a “mode” at all, in the sense that there are other modes in which the LR550 can be operated. There aren’t. First Target Priority is always enabled, relieving you of the need to change settings when you’re intention is to capture the distance to the pin. Like Leupold’s always-on PinHunter, this makes using the range finder a lot more convenient.
Consequently, operating this range finder couldn’t be simpler. You just point the unit at your target, or scan downrange (for up to 8 seconds) and get the distance readings.
Overall it is a solid range finder, certainly worthy of consideration. We’re not big fans of the yellow color, but if you have a habit of leaving possessions behind or losing them, you likely won’t be driving home after a round and have it dawn on you that you left your range finder in the cart. The color really does stand out.
Color aside, we were pleased with the LR550’s accuracy, and had no trouble getting the distance to the flagstick to about 220 yards. Further distances sometimes required a second try, but the readings obtained proved to be spot-on.
We have no doubt the this rangefinder will help you shave some strokes off your game, as will any good laser range finder. If you’re looking for a solid device that’s easy to use, you won’t be disappointed in the LR550. Saving 50 bucks or so by choosing it over similar Bushnell or Leupold models is an added bonus.
Aside from the color choices, we would like to see a longer warranty. Like Leupold, Callaway only covers the device for 1 year, unlike Bushnell which offers a warranty of 2 years.
What Other Golfers Are Saying
Owners of the Callaway LR550 like it’s accuracy and simple operation. We’ve seen quite a few testaments to its durability too. Multiple drops on the cart path were said to leave the unit unscathed, an assertion we elected not to test.