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|The Bushnell Tour V3 features a "jolt" when you lock onto your target. (Courtesy of Bushnell)|
In past reviews of GPS devices, I've made no secret of my own ambivalence when it comes to range finders. These mixed feelings have to do, mostly, with pace of play. I've spent too many minutes standing around on the golf course waiting for the guy with the honors to dig out his range finder, turn it on, find the flag, shoot the yardage, and then put the laser away before finally pulling a club. All the while, there I stand on the tee with my 7-iron, chomping at the bit.
On the other hand, it's much preferable to play with someone who shoots a quick yardage instead of wandering around the fairway looking for a sprinkler head, especially on an unfamiliar golf course.
In either case, ease and speed of use are key: if the range finder is quick and easy to use, there is hope.
Such is the case with the Bushnell Tour V3 range finder ($299), which was new for 2013. The one-button operation provides an instant laser reading to any object in either yards or meters, and also discriminates between your target and background objects.
This latter feat is carried out in two ways: First, there's an icon of a flag in the lower left corner of the viewfinder, which gets a circle around it when you're locked in. Also, if you operate it in "jolt" mode, the unit vibrates briefly when you're locked onto your target.
For about $100 more, a Slope version is also available, which not only tells you the yardage, but also factors in slope to tell you how much the elevation change affects the actual distance.
All this high-tech wizardry aside, an old-fashioned guy like me also appreciates the hard-shell case that clips onto the outside of your golf bag or push cart, so it's easy to get to it, get it out, and get it stowed again.
Still, if your detail-obsessed playing partner takes too long to figure out the yardage, I say put your peg in the ground and play ready golf.
For more information, visit www.bushnellgolf.com/laser/tourv3.cfm.
January 20, 2014
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
The Big Max Z 360 is probably the most functional, most flexible golf pushcart I've tried. It's not the lightest, and there are times when the swiveling front tire might cause a bit of irritation in uneven places. But these quibbles notwithstanding, this is a cart I would highly recommend to anyone looking to return to the pedestrian roots of golf.
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