Charging around and looking for distance markers, then calculating how far out you are from the pin, wastes time and detracts from the fun of golf. Fortunately, like with everything else, technology has solved this problem for us, with range finders.
The initial GPS rangefinders had their flaws as their accuracy was more of an estimation than an accurate measurement. However, the advent of laser rangefinders has brought the accuracy of some devices on the market to within one yard of the actual distance.
A laser rangefinder that golfers constantly praise for its accuracy is the Bushnell Tour V3 laser range finder. Let’s see how deserved this praise is.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Laser Rangefinder
Before considering which laser rangefinder is best suited for your needs, you may want to consider whether the laser option is necessary in the first place. If you are on the hunt for a device that gives you the yardage to the front, back, and middle of the green, then a GPS option is sufficient.
If you want more specific information such as the exact yardage to the flag, then keep reading, the laser rangefinder is what you seek. These are a few key factors to consider before going out and buying the next rangefinder you see.
To prevent the hassle of researching all the laser rangefinders on the market, set yourself a budget, and work from there. If your budget is higher, you will likely be able to purchase technology that is more accurate and provides you with more advanced information in terms of your target. That said, some golfers just want a simple measurement.
Determine the environment in which you will be using your laser range finder and the distances that you will be working with. If you only use the rangefinder on the range to help you improve your distance control, then you may not need a device with long-range. If you only use it on the course, then make sure your laser rangefinder is equipped to cover the distance you require.
Think about the space that you have left in your golf bag, as well as the size of your hands. For optimum functionality, you need to hold the pathfinder as still as a sniper. Make sure your device can fit comfortably into your hands, to maintain a stable grip, and achieve better focus.
The point of a pathfinder is to give you the distance between your ball and the target, so you would expect them to all be accurate. However, it varies, and while some devices can achieve accuracy within one yard of the actual distance, others have been known to be off by over 30 yards.
Given the variety of elements found on a golf course, it can take pathfinders some time to identify the flag or your target. In some cases, a device may mistake leaves behind the flagstick for your target and provide an incorrect measurement.
In other cases, manufacturers use Jolt technology, which creates a vibration in the device when it locks onto the target. This informs you that the device has identified the flag and measured the correct distance.
If you opt for a device with slope, you will receive accurate yardage readings, even on courses that are loaded with hills and undulating fairways and greens. If you regularly play on a flat parkland-style course, then a slope option is not necessary, however, if your home course is a links, you are going to want to use the slope feature to your advantage.
Bushnell Tour v3 Slope Laser Rangefinder
- Accurate to within in 1 yard
- Locks onto the target easily
- Range of 1000 yards
- Jolt technology notifies you when it has measured distance to the flag.
- Easy to hold and stabilize
- Older version of laser rangefinder
- Not waterproof
- It takes longer to open the case to get the rangefinder out
The Bushnell Tour V3 standard edition is another example of golf tools created to make the lives of the everyday golfer easier. From my perspective, the accuracy of laser pathfinders is in another world in comparison to GPS. On some courses, you don’t have the option of being a few yards too long or too short, you need to be on the money.
Caddies on tour often use laser rangefinders in practice rounds to know the exact distance to each location of the green come competition time.
Whether you want to work on your distance control when you are on the range. Or you are looking for dead accuracy on the course, this is a technology that may be up your alley.
Features & Benefits
We have all become accustomed to Bushnell’s Pinseeker technology in their laser range finders. It allows you to zero in on the flag, and blur any other objects out, giving you the distance only to the flag. This dramatically increases the accuracy of your distance measurements.
Jolt technology enhances the performance of Pinseeker technology. Once you have zeroed in on the flag, you will feel two brief vibrations. This is to inform you that the Tour V3 has read the distance to the flag, and the information displayed on your screen is the accurate measurement.
As a result, you have peace of mind that you have the right read, and can hit your shot without fear of going long or coming up short of the green.
The expert ergonomic design of the Tour V3 makes it an easy device to handle and stabilize when aiming at your target. It was designed to fit perfectly into your hands and give you a better grip and control over it.
I did mention above that the case was one of the cons of the Tour V3. My reasoning was more to do with how annoying it is to get the device in and out of the casing every few minutes when I am on the course.
That being said. The case does an excellent job of protecting your device and preventing it from falling out of your bag.
While the case of the Tour V3 is sturdy and designed to prevent you from losing your laser rangefinder, Bushnell’s made a device that is also durable and able to withstand a drop or few.
Bushnell Tour V3 Laser Range Finder Alternatives
1. BushnellTour X
The Tour X is a newer edition laser range finder than the Tour V3. It is designed with many of the same features as the older Bushnell model, including the brand’s award-winning jolt technology.
Tour X laser range finders are equipped with stage technology. This gives you an interchangeable face to switch from slope mode in practice rounds to standard in tournaments. As per the USGA rule 14-3, “multifunctional devices are permitted during tournaments, but may only measure distance, not the environment around it.
The more you use the slope feature in practice rounds the better you will become at judging the distance of undulated course designs, without the assistance of the slope feature.
The other feature that this range finder has, which was not found on previous models, is the light setting. You can change the light setting from dim to bright, depending on the time of day that you are playing. This helps your device achieve optimum magnification to better identify the pin, from dusk until dawn.
This is a rangefinder for the golfer who wants more detailed feedback regarding their distance. Mid to low handicap players that are looking to improve their distance control may want to consider the Tour X.
2. Callaway 300 Pro Laser Rangefinder
The 300 Pro laser rangefinder is an excellent example of Callaway’s commitment to innovation. This device includes the same features as most other laser rangefinders, including pin seeking technology.
Callaway has employed the use of their Pin Acquisition Technology (P.A.T), which helps you to accurately lock onto the pin from 300 yards away. The maximum range of the device is 1000 yards, useful for navigating the hazards in play on par 5’s and longer par 4 holes.
The scan feature on this laser rangefinder enables you to scan the hole in front of you and receive distances to a variety of targets simultaneously. You will get distances to bunkers, water hazards to keep you away from trouble at all times.
This is another laser rangefinder that is more suited to the serious golfer, looking for detailed information to help them with their shot selection.
3. Mileseey PF210 Laser Rangefinder
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The PF210 laser rangefinder has the lowest range of the devices we have looked at. The maximum range is a little over 650 yards, which shouldn’t be a problem if you only want the distance to the target of your next shot.
This is another laser rangefinder that is equipped with slope mode, to help you receive more accurate distance readings, that factor in your environment. It also comes with a flagpole lock feature, which is effectively Mileseey’s version of pinseeker technology.
The PF210 is a pocket-sized device, which is easy to hold and stabilize. Giving you faster and accurate yardage measurements to your target. It also powers down after 8 seconds to save battery. This is a rangefinder that has three modes. Normal, scan, and pin.
In normal, you turn on your device aim at your target and press the power button to get a reading. Scan mode allows you to continuously scan your surroundings to get real-time distances to various targets. Finally, Pin mode picks out the flagstick and gives you a direct measurement of the bullseye.
Bushnell’s continue to show why they are regarded as the best in the laser rangefinder market. While there are several newer rangefinder models available on the market, this device still gets the job done.
The biggest benefit of the Bushnell Tour v3 Slope Laser Rangefinder is that it helps players improve their distance control. This can benefit all handicap golfers, that play on courses with tight greens that offer no room for error.
The device will give you accurate readings to within one yard, allowing you to swing easy, and land the ball close.
It is also a suitable option for those players who are looking to move away from on course distance markers or GPS devices. While it may be an older generation product from Bushnell’s, its accuracy, ergonomic design, and jolt technology, still make it a product worthy of consideration.
If you are looking to make the move onto a laser rangefinder, to help improve your distance control, and accuracy around the course, take a look at Bushnell Tour V3 here.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.