Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf gear through its paces. Today we look at the Bushnell Tour v3 rangefinder.
Tester — Shane Bacon — Handicap: +1.0
Target Golf Audience — All handicaps
The constant battle between all golfer is if it's better to carry around a rangefinder or a GPS device. We've seen benefits for both, with Bushnell even coming out with a hybrid of sorts, but for me it is and will always be a rangefinder when I'm serious about how I'm playing.
Bushnell's Tour v3 is exactly the type of device I'm looking for and it didn't disappoint.
Your initial thoughts when taking it out of the box is the sleek look of the white paint that contrasts with the red and black highlights. A rangefinder doesn't have to be good looking to work but it helps that the v3 is a cool looking device before you even take it out on the golf course.
I get impressed by the little things within a high-tech device like the v3, so things like the simplicity of the battery door (some of those things can be a real pain to get open) is helpful and makes you happy that the issue was addressed.
Once you do take it to the course, the first thing you'll notice is the Jolt Technology that Bushnell has added.
What is Jolt Technology? Remember the last time you were on a golf course that didn't have those pixelated devices in the flagsticks to help you hit your exact yardage easier with your rangefinder? Yeah, that can prove tough for someone with shaky hands or bad eyes. The Jolt Technology basically alerts you with a simple vibration within the device when you finally lock in on what you're trying to hit (a tree, a bunker or the pin).
It sounds simple at first, but you'll be shocked at how helpful it is when the v3 starts vibrating just as you catch the flag and your exact yardage. The guessing is taken out of the rangefinder game and you now have a caddie of sorts confirming when you hit what you're trying to hit.
The device, like all Bushnells, is incredibly accurate, hitting every distance to within a single yard of the actual number, meaning unless you're Tiger Woods ("one yard!") you should be pretty happy with the number results from the v3.
I'm also just a fan of the smaller rangefinders. I know that the bigger ones, like the Bushnell Pro 1M, are what a lot of the pros use, but I'm a guy that likes having a rangefinder I can use with one hand and can fit in my cup holder of the golf cart, and the v3 does both of those.
The Bushnell v3 has been hanging from my golf bag since the first day I got it, and if there is ever the perfect endorsement, it's if the person is actually using your product.
I love the feel of it, I love how long the battery lasts, and I even love the holder that it comes with, fixed with a strap that makes it very easy to just pull in and out with having to unzip the holder each time.
www.bushnellgolf.com, $299/$399 (with slope)