Rangefinders

Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt

£349

Distance Devices

Key Features: 'Pinseeker Jolt' technology zeros in on the flag. 6x magnification. Vivid display technology for all lighting conditions. 5-1,300 yard range. Accurate to 0.5 yard. Rainproof. Two year warranty.

First use: Everyone who picked up the Z6 commented on the design, build quality,
feel and performance. Universally we liked the shape, we liked the rubber soft cover and the metal body is in a different class to every other rangefinder we tested. The extra bit of weight really helps stabilise the unit to help you lock onto your target... confirmed by that confidence-boosting jolt. The display also shows yardages in high visual red which is a real benefit in certain lights. As one tester put it... this is the forged iron of laser rangefinders.

Verdict: You've guessed it; we loved the Z6. It really is a premium piece of distance measuring kit. Yes it's expensive, but no rangefinder is cheap so if you're a serious golfer or you simply have to have the best you won't go wrong with this one.


Bushnell Tour V3


£269


Distance Devices

Key Features: 'Pinseeker Jolt' technology lets you home in on the flag. Accurate to within 1 yard. 5-1,000 yards range. 5x magnification. Rainproof. 2 year warranty.  

First use: Bushnell's Tour V3 was TG's favourite rangefinder last year and we can certainly say it's still as good. Lining up a laser on its target takes a bit of getting used to if you've not done it before so we like the reassuring jolt given by the V3 when it locks onto the pin. The V3's plastic body means it's very lightweight which doesn't help when trying to keep the device steady. The displayed numbers are also in black which two testers highlighted as being less easy to read than the red display on the Z6.


Verdict: Bushnell are market leaders in rangefinders; at the Open over 96% of caddies admitted to using a Bushnell rangefinder. With this sort of pedigree we can't possibly knock the V3, but we feel if you're paying this much it's probably worth spending a little more and getting the Z6 Jolt.



Nikon Coolshot 40i

£299.99

Distance Devices

Key Features: Measure from 8-650 yards. Height and slope adjusted distances. Target priority switch helps you pick out the pin against wooded backgrounds. 6x magnification. Rainproof. 'Hyper-Read' allows quick stable measuring.  

First use: The Nikon is a neat little unit and fits perfectly into the hand. However it is extremely lightweight, which we found made it more difficult to aim accurately. The 40i measures slope but gives the yardage plus the amount of slope so you need to mentally calculate how much the slope affects your yardage before selecting a club. We particularly like the battery life display which means you should never run out of juice on the course.

Verdict: The lower end of the price scale in our test but for a lot of golfers it's just what they need. Doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the other GPS systems but if you want solid performance we think the Aire II is special for the price.

 

Nikon Coolshot 40


£269.99


Distance Devices

Key Features: Measure from 8-650 yards. Target priority switch system allows you to highlight a flagstick on the green against a wood background. 6 x magnification. Rainproof. "Hyper-Read" quick and stable measurement regardless of distance.  

First use: We found the Nikon worked best by using two hands to grip the unit as it was easier to steady and align the laser correctly at the target. There's no jolt facility to say you're locked on to your target which can take some getting used to if you've not used a laser before. The Coolshot is really compact, comes with a pouch to protect your investment and it's more than capable of measuring distances accurately.


Verdict: In this test the Nikon comes up against some very stiff competition. Yes it is nicely designed, does the job and it is well made, but would we recommend you go and spend your cash on it? Hmm, we would argue there are possibly better options if your looking at spending this sort of money on a DMD.



Golf Buddy LR4

£219.95

Distance Devices

Key Features: Accuracy +/- 1m, Water and Dust Resistant, up to 5,000 scans per battery charge, 3 operation modes: 'Scan' provides a continuous 10-second display of all objects located; 'Flag' homes in on the pin and factors out background noise; 'Normal' provides a single distance to any chosen target.  

First use: At £220 the Golf Buddy was the cheapest rangefinder in our test yet it performed admirably against more expensive models. We love the simplicity; it literally just gives yardages. It has got a little bit more weight to it than some which really helps to keep the device steady. Like the Callaway we also like the soft cover; it will certainly help in the cold.

Verdict: A great, straightfoward rangefinder. We'd certainly recommend the LR4 especially if you're on a budget. Other than the Bushnells it's also the only rangefinder that has a clip on the outside of its pouch so you can clip it to your bag rather than having to rummage for it.


Callaway 300

£279

Distance Devices

Key Features: Accuracy +/- 1 yard. 6x magnification. Water and fog proof. Locks onto pin from up to 300 yards. Easy read LCD screen. Requires a CR2 3V Lithium battery (included).

First use: We really like the compact size of the Callaway unit, which lets you wrap your hand around the device. We also like the soft cover which seems to give extra stability and helps keep everything steady when aligning. The display is really unfussy and simple and the numbers are quite large which could be a benefit if your eyes are not quite what they used to be.


Verdict: If ultimate simplicity is what you're after, it doesn't come any easier than the Callaway 300 – and we love it for that. The pricing is a little below the market leader but above the least expensive. Only you can decide whether you're content with this excellent work-ready rangefinder... or if instinct tells you to pay a bit more for the all- singing-all-dancing models from the leading brands in the field.



Bushnell Tour X

£419

Distance Devices

Key Features: Exchange technology – slope technology when you want it, tournament legal when you need it. 'Pinseeker Jolt' technology zeros in on the flag. 6x magnification. 5-1,300 yard range. Accurate to 0.5 yard. Rainproof. Two-year warranty.

First use: The most expensive rangefinder in our test is also the only one that allows you to change between a non-conforming front for practice rounds and a legal one for competitions. The build quality is very high and we like how easy it is to focus the viewfinder over other models. The display is high visibility red so really easy to read; ergonomic shaping and rubber grips add to the feel of quality.

Verdict: After testing a number of different rangefinders we have to admit the comforting Jolt emitted by the Bushnell's is really beneficial. This is a top spec unit widely used on Tour, but only you can decide whether the slope function is one you're willing to pay for. If not the Z6 is more than capable of taking the Tour X's place in your bag.



Distance Devices

Distance Devices