Tight courses leave you little room for error. Landing the ball a few yards short or long is the difference between putting for birdie and trouble. Most distance markers give us the distance to the middle of the green. However, that doesn’t provide us with the distance from our ball to the pin.
Luckily, laser rangefinders have solved this problem, given you accurate yardage to within 1 yard.
Having found the Tour V3 useful, I have decided to take a closer look at some of its successors. My mission is to identify which laser rangefinder I will buy next. First, we are looking at the Bushnell Tour V4.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Laser Rangefinder
You must define what you want to get out of this technology. Some devices offer basic features. While others are advanced and provide you with detailed feedback. This is why it is no surprise that USGA prohibits some laser rangefinder modes during tournaments.
Laser rangefinders vary in price depending on their features, determine what is more important, your wallet or having the most advanced equipment.
Laser range finders are famed for their accuracy, usually to within 1 yard. If you are happy with an accurate estimation of your distance. Then you can save some cash by acquiring a standard device. These will give you an accurate reading but do not factor in slope, incline, decline, temperature, and wind.
What is your desired range on a laser rangefinder? The furthest distance that you will likely seek is to the pin on a par 5. Unless you are playing TPC Colorado, won’t exceed 600 yards. As a rule of thumb, devices with longer ranges tend to detect the flag from further out.
Most laser rangefinders that I have tried out have a distance range of about 1000 yards.
Smaller devices allow you to easily grip the laser rangefinder in the palm of your hand. However, for some golfers, this does not provide the stability they need to focus their rangefinder.
Chunkier rangefinders are easier to stabilize, from my experience. But the downside is that you need to lug it around along with your clubs, refreshments, tees, and balls.
The accuracy of laser pathfinders is pinpoint. However, standard edition laser pathfinders don’t offer slope or element readings. These give you a more accurate distance reading, as they factor in incline, decline, weather, and altitude of your environment.
Before you can get a distance reading, your device needs to be in focus. The speed and simplicity of focusing your device will determine the time it takes to receive your distance. New laser rangefinders give you a reading in less than a second.
Standard laser rangefinders offer accurate readings but lack detail such as slopes, weather, and altitude.
If you only want an idea of how far out you are, then the standard edition is a perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you are serious about lowering your handicap and, want to hit more greens in regulation, you need advanced measurements. Consider a laser rangefinder that is equipped with slope and elements technology. These technologies will read the distance from your ball to the target based on the slope, weather, and altitude.
Applying your learnings from the accurate distance readings will enhance your distance control. and the ability to judge the distance on any course layout without technology in the long run.
Bushnell Tour V4 Laser Rangefinder
- Accurate to within in 1 yard
- Jolt technology notifies you when the device has registered the yardage to the flag.
- Range of 1000 yards
- Distance measurement factors in slopes
- Easy to hold
- Older version of laser rangefinder
- Not waterproof
- Only measures to where it can see. This makes it unsuitable for courses packed with blind holes
The Bushnell Tour V4 is the successor to the Tour V3 and comes in two options. Standard and slope. The main difference between the Tour V4 standard and the Tour V3 is the size. Designed to be 30% smaller than its predecessor.
The slope edition gives you more detailed yardage, accounting for more factors than the older versions algorithm. The user ability on the slope edition is more convenient than the Tour X. The latter required you to remove the face, to switch from slope to standard mode during competition.
Laser rangefinders are as useful on the range as they are on the course. 97% of PGA Tour professionals use Bushnell laser rangefinders to help them with their distance control from driver through to their wedges. Understanding exactly how far you hit a club, and repeating the process every time, will improve your muscle memory and confidence.
Features & Benefits
Bushnell’s rangefinders have come a long way since their Yardage Pro 400 first hit the shelves in 1995. Back then the device was large and struggled to detect a flag from 200 yards out.
In 2005 the leaders in rangefinder technology introduced their pinseeker technology. This enabled their rangefinders to isolate the flag from up to 400 yards out. It blurs out objects around the pin it allows the device to zero in on the flag and give you a more accurate reading.
The Tour V4 is kitted with pinseeker technology and is even faster and more accurate than it was in 2005.
The Tour V3 was the first of Bushnell’s rangefinders to feature their innovative jolt technology. The popularity of the technology has earned it a place in the Tour V4 laser rangefinder.
Jolt technology sends two short vibrations through the device once it has locked onto the flag and measured the distance. This speeds up the time it takes for you to identify the distance to the flag.
The slender ergonomic design has been a feature of many Bushnell rangefinders in the past. As was the case with previous models, the device is compact and is fitted with a rubber grip. This allows you to hold the device in the palm of your hand to aim and scan.
The Tour V4 is even more compact and designed to fit in your hand even easier. It was designed to be 30% smaller than its predecessor the Tour V3.
The Tour V4 standard only has one mode, as it does not offer slope measurements. The slope edition enables you to easily switch between standard and slope. Simply flick the Bushnell logo button on the device. This is more user-friendly than the Tour X, where you had to change the face to switch from slope to standard.
The algorithm of the slope feature factors in more data points than the standard edition to determine distance. If you play on courses that have an undulating layout, then the slope feature is definitely worthwhile.
To help you remain compliant with USGA rule 14-3, Bushnell has made it easy to disable slope mode. Rule 14-3 states that you may use a measuring device to receive distance to the pin, but you cannot use the effective playing distance feature.
The intense magnification on the Tour V4 enables the device to zoom into the target up to five times. This increases the speed at which your device can detect the target and give you a reading. I found that I was receiving readings within less than a second.
The range on this edition is between 5 to 1000 yards. This enables jolt technology to be activated when the laser locks onto the pin, from up to 400 yards out. The only downside with the range is that it can only measure to targets that it sees. This is unlike the GPS which has the hole data loaded into it and gives you readings to the front, middle, and back of the green, whether you can see it or not.
Bushnell Tour V4 Laser Range Finder Alternatives
1. ProVisio S
The ProVisio is a value for money laser rangefinder, and while it is lower in price than some of the more known brands, it performs up to their standards.
This laser rangefinder has 6x magnification to achieve, faster, clearer focus on your target. Its range is lower than that of the V4, only able to detect measurements up to 650 yards.
The ProVisio S comes with a slope feature like the Tour V4, which is easily turned off by a button on the device.
This is a laser rangefinder best suited to the avid golfer, who is looking for detailed measurements but does not have the budget to acquire the more renowned brands on the market.
2. Bushnell ProX2 Laser Rangefinder
The majority of Bushnell laser rangefinders I have come across have been rainproof, but not waterproof. The Pro X2 is fully waterproof. Like the Tour V4, this rangefinder comes with slope mode but allows you to easily disable it by flicking a button on the side of the device.
This is heavier equipment than any of the Tour V ranges. Which I like because I feel it gives the device more stability than the compact design. The maximum range is 1300 yards, and the laser can lock onto the flag from up to 450 yards out.
The beauty of the Pro X2 is that it provides you with more detailed information over a longer distance, which is perfect for planning your hole from the tee. It is also waterproof, for golfers living in regions where torrential downpours happen in an instant.
3. Bushnell Tour V3
The predecessor to the Tour V4 comes with many of the features found in the newer Bushnell models. The Tour V3 was the first laser rangefinder from Bushnell’s to include their legendary jolt technology.
The Tour V3 is similar to the V4 standard edition, as it does not offer slop readings, for increased distance accuracy. Still, the V3 measures distance accurate to within 1 yard of the pin.
This is a suitable option for golfers looking for a more affordable laser rangefinder option, even if the technology is a few years old.
The slope feature of the Tour V4 Slope edition has enhanced Bushnell’s ability to deliver pinpoint measurements. The added features mean it comes at a higher price than the older version, but if you are looking to improve your distance control I would recommend considering it.
If I was going to acquire this laser rangefinder, I would opt for the slope edition. Otherwise, I would stick to my V3 with has most of the same features.
If you are looking for a laser rangefinder that factors in slope, take a look at Bushnell Tour V4 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.