In this article, we’ll compare the last 3 versions of the rangefinder and indicate the progress that the brand has made with each release.
Bushnell discontinued the Tour V3 and replaced it with the Tour V4, but you can still find some Bushnell V3 Tour rangefinders available for sale hence the inclusion into the comparison.
The dimensions, speed, and accuracy have changed over the years and new technology included in the Bushnell rangefinders has evolved. The most notable changes throughout the ranges include Stabi-Grip technology, PinSeeker™ technology, JOLT™ which grew into Visual JOLT, changes in the clarity of the view, and BITE Magnetic Mount.
Concerns that were raised on the Bushnell V3 Tour were addressed with the release of the V4 especially related to the accuracy of locking in on the target. Advances on the Bushnell TOUR V4 allows you to lock onto the flag quickly without being affected by the background trees and other moving objects. This allows the golfer to easily and quickly “zero” in on the flag without acquiring background targets.
The latest in the range is the Bushnell® Tour V5 with advanced digital technology and turbo processors. Technology advances to the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder include the Visual JOLT that will vibrate and have a red ring that flashes when locked onto the target. The BITE magnetic technology enables you to mount the rangefinder onto a cart.
Slope calculation technology is available on some specialized models in the Tour V3, Tour V4, and Tour V5 ranges.
Areas that have stayed the same since the release of the Bushell Tour V3 rangefinder is described below. We will go into more detail on the improvements made on every model later in this piece.
Bushnell Golf App
All Bushnell Tour models come standard with the app that provides access to vital information such as distances, hole layouts, and 3D flyovers powered by the latest additions and updates.
The Bushnell range of Tour rangefinders is not waterproof, and it would not be recommended that you drop it into a pool of water. The battery compartment protects the battery via the Posi-Thread battery door protecting it against occasional splash of rain. For durability it is recommended to dry it as soon as possible after contact with water.
A rechargeable CR2 battery is standard on the Bushnell Tour range of rangefinders that requires to be removed from the plastic cover before the first use. Replacement of the battery every 6 months is recommended by Bushnell.
The Bushnell Tour rangefinders are available in a red/black/gray or red/black/white color scheme and improvements have been made to the ergonomics of the unit to fit more precisely into your hand during use.
Ease of Use
Using a Bushnell Tour rangefinder is a simple and straightforward experience. Everything works accurately and the process to start it up happens swiftly by pushing the only button on the rangefinder.
Lock-on and Speed
The Bushnell Tour V3 recorded some of the quickest times locking onto multiple targets even though the PinSeeker mode is always on. You can obtain distances by panning across a range of targets and waiting for the distances to appear without having to re-fire the laser for every target.
Rather than panning across several targets and getting distance readings for every target, the distances are returned quicker by firing at every target individually.
TOUR Bushnell V4 comfortably fits into the palm of your hand and does not depend on reflectors to determine distances. It will provide distances to any object such as bunkers, trees, any selected target.
Even though it is more accurate locking onto a target there is no deterioration in the speed in comparison with the Bushnell Tour V3 range finder.
The Bushnell Advanced Digital microprocessor and ASIC chip (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) returns accurate readings instantaneously without fail.
This is achieved through the sophisticated digital technology that instantaneously calculates distances by measuring the time from emitting the invisible, eye-safe, infrared energy pulse until it returns to the rangefinder after contact with the target. This makes the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder one of the fastest rangefinders available.
Bushnell Tour V3
- Jolt technology is outstanding and offers reassurance that you have found the yardage to the flag
- PinSeeker technology increases accuracy in picking up targets
- Slope adjustment available on some models
- Ergonomics, this unit fits very comfortably in the hand
- Multi-coated lens
- Rainproof but not impermeable
- Fast Target acquisition
- Improved protection case for protection of the rangefinder
- Accurate to within +/- 1 yard
- Comes standard with a 2-year warranty
- Bushnell rangefinders are one of the top brands available and therefore it sells at a premium, but the value gained will override the cost
- There have been some reports that the battery does not last as long as it could
- The tour V3 has 5x magnification and some of the competition provides more
- The JOLT technology takes a little time to notify you that it has acquired the target
Here are the Bushnell Tour V3 Specs:
- Accuracy -/+ 1 yard
- Bluetooth No
- Display Type LCD/Black
- Dimensions 3 Inches x 2.8 inches x 1.6 inches,
- Magnification 5X
- Objective diameter 24 mm
- Measuring System Yards/Meters
- Measuring Distance Distance (Standard Edition),
Distance & Slope Compensation (Slope Edition)
- Magnification 5x
- Power source 3-Volt Lithium (CR-2)
- Protection Premium carry case
- Range 5 yards – 1,000 yards ranging performance.
300+ Yards to a Flag
- Tournament Legal Yes (standard)/No (slope)
- Waterproof No, rain-resistant
- Weight 6 ounces
- Other Built-in accessory mount
2 Year Warranty
Posi-Thread™ Battery Door
Multi-coated lens for enhanced brightness and contrast
Ergonomic design provides a stable grip
- PinSeeker technology enables you to search for a target and once locked in on a target it will display a circle around the target. The terminology of PinSeeker is slightly misleading as it can be used to lock onto any target that you desire and not only the pin on a golf course.
- JOLT Technology provides feedback to the rangefinder when you are locked onto a target creating short vibrations. JOLT technology can be turned off if you do not appreciate the technology or find that it distracts you. The PinSeeker technology will still provide sufficient information when locked onto a target.
- Bushnell combined the technologies to provide the most accurate visual and sensory feedback to indicate to the golfer that the target has been located and locked onto.
- There is no specific Scan mode on the Bushnell Tour rangefinders, but you can scan across the field of view and it will provide distances when you stall at some obstacles. The alternative is to re-fire the laser for quick reading.
The Tour V3 rangefinder from Bushnell makes use of 5X magnification of objects for easy selection of the desired target. Multi-coated optics enables the V3 Tour to measure distances up to 1000 yard accurately and swiftly. Locking onto the flag from within 400 yards is simple and you will find that it is accurate to +/- 1 yards of the flag.
The ranging accuracy of the Tour V3, Tour V4, and Tour V5 is +/- 1 yard under most circumstances. The maximum range depends on the reflectivity of the target but has improved from 1000 yards on the Tour V3 up to 1300 yards on the Tour V5. The optimum distance for most objects is 700 yards and highly reflective objects it is 1000 yards
The addition of the JOLT technology has ensured that there is no guessing required when locking onto a target. Once locked onto the target the vibrations will notify you that the target is acquired, and you will know that the reading is within 1 yard of the actual distance.
There were some concerns expressed with the Tour V3 that it picked up targets behind the green such as trees thus providing inaccurate readings. This could be rectified by taking a second reading. The Tour V4 and Tour V5 have become more accurate in the acquisition of our required target and there is less misreading presented.
Bushnell Tour V4
- Addition of Fast Focus System for enhanced clarity and accuracy
- Active Laser provides crosshairs around the aiming circle
- Bushnell golf app for useful information
- UNIT OF MEASURE selection
- MODE selection
- There was no improvement on the 5X magnification
- LCD with black dots
- Dimensions Length: 4 Inches long X 1.57 inches wide X 3.11 inches high
- Extra Long Eye Relief 17mm
- Exit Pupil 0 mm
- Field of view 420 feet @ 1000 yards
- Objective Diameter 20 mm
- Optical Coatings Multi-Coated
- Warranty 2-year limited warranty
- Weight 6 ounces
In addition to the technology that Bushell provided in the Tour V3 rangefinder the following technology was incorporated into the Tour V4 rangefinder. When turning the device on it will default to the last settings that were active before turning it off.
- Fast Focus System enables golfers to adjust the optic focus for enhanced clarity and accuracy.
- Active Laser provides crosshairs around the aiming circle to indicate when the transmission of the laser beam is in progress. Once locked onto a target you can release the button and the crosshairs will disappear indicating that the transmission of the laser beam stopped.
- Bushnell golf app provides useful information such as the layout of the hole you are playing through a 3D flyover and the distances to several targets or obstructions. Updating the app is straightforward and it can be downloaded whenever you have access to the internet. This download will provide updates to any course that is loaded on the app.
- UNIT OF MEASURE options was added enabling you to display measurements in yards or meters to accommodate the unit of measure in place on the course that you are playing. The selected unit of measure will be illuminated on the LCD screen.
- MODE can be selected when you are using a V4 model with a slope indication. You can either switch it on or off. Slope calculations are not legal in competitions.
The Tour V4 uses the same 5X magnification and multi-coated optics as the Tour V3 model.
The optical system comprises a liquid crystal display (LCD) installed within and when it is initiated a reticle will be presented assisting you to choose the target, Unit of Measure, and mode indicators.
The manufacturing process of the LCD creates small black spots in the optical system, and it cannot be removed from the display thus affecting the clarity, but not the accuracy, of the display.
You can adjust the Eyepiece on the Tour V4 by +/- 3 Diopter allowing you to focus the LCD relative to the image. To get both the reticle and object in focus all you have to do is rotate the eyepiece until they are in focus
Variations between the Tour V4 and the V3 optics.
In addition to the optics on the V3 the following is available on the v4.
- Objective Lens Diameter 21mm
- Exit Pupil 8mm
- Extra Long Eye Relief 21mm
- Range 5-1000 yards
- Ranging Accuracy +/- 1 yard
- Field of View 368 feet @1000 yards
The accuracy of the reading is still within 1 yard and the maximum range for target acquisition is still dependent on the reflectiveness of the surfaces that you are targeting. Brighter surfaces can be targeted from up to 1000 yards as the object becomes less bright the target acquisition distance will decrease. Lighting conditions will also play a major role in the target acquisition distance. The maximum distance will only be achieved on a bright sunny day to bright and reflective targets.
Bushnell Tour V5
- Enhanced clarity in the display making target acquisition easy
- Greater target acquisition distance of up to 1300 yards
- Visual JOLT indicator for visual and sensory feedback
- BRITE magnet technology
- Although magnification increased to 6X it still falls short of some competitors
- Dimensions Length: 4.5 Inches long X 1.5 inches wide X 3.0 inches high
- Display LCD with illuminated Jolt indicator ring
- Extra Long Eye Relief 16 mm
- Exit Pupil 5 mm
- Field of view 330 feet @ 1000 yards
- Magnification 6X
- Objective Diameter 24 mm
- Range: 5-1300 Yards
- Weight 0 ounces
Several new technologies came with the release of the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder.
Bite Magnetic Car Mount
There is a powerful magnet installed on the right-hand side of the housing of the Tour V5 for easy locking it onto the frame of the cart. The optimum temperature for locking it onto a cart is below 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
IMPORTANT NOTICE – The Neodymium magnet could affect the functioning of pacemakers and implanted heart defibrillators thus should be kept away from people that could be affected.
Pinseeker with Visual JOLT
When locking onto a target with the V3 and V4 rangefinders feedback was provided via short vibrations. The release of the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder took the technology to a new level by adding a visual indicator in the form of a flashing red ring around the outer edge of the display when the target is acquired.
Many advances have been made on the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder to enhance the clarity, magnification, and color. The range has increased without any loss in accuracy which remains at +/- 1 yard.
- Magnification 6X
- Exit Pupil 4mm
- Extra Long Eye Relief 16mm
- Range 5-1,300 yards
- Field of View 330ft@1000 yards
The following display indicators have been added to the V5 model
- Aiming circle (surrounding crosshairs indicate laser transmission)
- Battery level indicator
- Line of sight distance
- Visual JOLT indicator ring
The battery Indicator indicates the following power levels:
- Full charge and approximately 1/3 or 2/3 battery life remaining
- When the battery indicator blinks it is time to replace the battery for continuous operation.
An improved function on the Tour V5 is the adjustable fast focus eyepiece that has an increase to +/- 3.5 Diopter adjustment.
Advances in technology have enabled Bushnell to increase the maximum range of the Tour V5 to 1300 yards in perfect conditions while the accuracy remains within 1 yard of the target. Acquiring the distance to the flag increased form 400 yards in the Tour V4 up to 400 yards in the Tour V5.
Magnification increased from 5X to 6X in the Tour V5 aiding in the accuracy of target acquisition. The enhanced clarity makes it easier to identify the target and thus enhancing accuracy.
Bushnell has been manufacturing rangefinders for years and keeps improving on the technology and it remains a favorite with golfers across the world.
We discussed the Tour v3, our V4, and Tour V5 rangefinders in this piece. The discussion relates to the standard models and not the slope reading models. Slope models enable you to acquire distances to the target considering the slope. This is not allowed in competitions.
PinSeeker technology has been part of the Bushnell technology and was enhanced by the inclusion of the JOLT technology in the Tour V3. You can aim, the charge of the laser, and feel the jolt when locked onto the target.
This improved the accuracy as you can now feel when you are locked onto the target and did not have to rely on the circle around the target when it is acquired. It may slow down your round slightly as it takes a little time to send the vibrations back to your hand. The increased accuracy is worth the extra time.
Ergonomically the Tour V3 remained with the original Tour design and fits comfortably into your hand and it is easy to operate.
Moving on to the Tour V4 brought a few enhancements such as the Fast Focus System, Active laser, Golf app, Unit of Measure, and Mode. The clarity of the LCD improved, and the accuracy remained steadfast.
The release of the Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder put the brand onto a new level. The technology enhances the JOLT technology to provide visual feedback as well as sensory feedback when a target is acquired. The distance of target acquisition increased from a maximum of 1000 yards to 1300 yards. BITE technology now enables you to lock the rangefinder to the frame of the cart making it easy to find when required. The increase of magnification from 5X to 6X together with the increase in clarity of the LCD aids in the identification of targets.
The price of the range of Bushnell Tour rangefinders has increased with every new release related to the technology improvements but it remains extremely competitive within the category that it competes in. The value that it provides makes it worth the money that you pay for it.
In our opinion the technology enhancements have kept the Bushnell Tour rangefinders at the top of the competition, and it will remain a favorite with all golfers including professional golfers for a long time to come.
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.