Reader Test: Bushnell's Excel GPS Watch

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'My old watch has already been binned': Four TG Readers put Bushnell’s new £199 app-enabled Excel GPS watches to the test 

There's serious competition in the golf GPS watch category, as free apps have popped up all over the place. But they all need you to have a phone on the golf course. Bushnell say their new Excel GPS watches and app offer more and out-performs any free service. We asked four TG readers to put them to the test and see if they agree.

The Testers

Tony Hanson: 17 Handicap (top left)
Peter McVay: Scratch Handicap (top right)
John Evans: 16 Handicap (bottom left)
Mick Rollason: 26 Handicap (bottom right)

Q: How does the Excel compare to other GPS devices you've used before? What did you think to the size, design and styling?

TH: I've only ever used GPS on my smart phone before, the Excel was less cumbersome and I liked how yardages were so accessible on the wrist.
PM: I've not used GPS before as I usually use a range finder. I liked the slim, lightweight design of the Excel it was really comfortable to wear, and didn't affect my golf at all.
JE: I usually use a phone app for yardages, but always wear a normal watch on the golf course. The GPS watch killed two birds with one stone, it's a real bonus.
MR: My old GPS watch rubbed my wrist, the softer strap and lightweight, quality feel of the Excel was far better.

Q: How about the yardages were they accurate? Did you have any niggles?

TH: It took me a while to get used to all the buttons and features, but basic yardages were spot on. My only niggle would be it takes a while to initially find a GPS signal. Using Bluetooth to connect to the app also cut the battery life in half.
PM: There's a yard of difference between my Bushnell range finder and the Excel watch; it's not a problem and probably comes down to tolerances. I got the Bushnell app on my Samsung S8 phone, but couldn't connect it to the watch, which was a bit disappointing.
JE: On my home course yardages were very accurate, I didn't have any niggles, the watch was simple to use.
MR: The yardages were sound. I liked how via the app every course you'll ever need is available for hole flyovers, too, which really help with shot planning. It's a no-niggles thumbs up from me.

Q: Bushnell say their app offers plenty of features to help on and of the golf course; how useful was it in reality?

TH: I tried the app on a course I was unfamiliar with, and the information it gave was absolutely invaluable. The hole flyovers are a lovely touch and highlight where you should be going. It's something a range finder can't do.
PM: I'm struggling to comment as I couldn't get my phone and watch to connect, but the other guys seemed to have fun using theirs.
JE: Following the instructions to set the app us was easy, the info and data it gives will help with my golf. It's far better than the other apps I've used before.
MR: There's tons of stuff you can do on the app. I particularly like the book tee times and keep score features, the hole graphics and flyovers are good, too. It's really useful.

Q: Is £199 a fair price, would you recommend it to other golfers?

TH: The Excel does what it says on the tin. £199 is hefty, but it's the first thing I now put on when heading out for a round, it's that useful. Yes, I'd recommend it.
PM: I'd recommend the watch to other golfers; knowing the correct yardages is vital if you're to hit accurate shots and lower your score. Once you can access the app there's tons of further features, too.
JE: The price isn't excessive, the Excel is a godsend for me, it's taking the guesswork out of which club I need for my next shot. I'd recommend it to all golfers.
MR: The Excel is one piece of kit I won't be parting with, I highly recommend it. My old watch has already been binned.