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Bushnell Tour V3 range finder: Laser precision with a jolt

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
Bushnell Tour V3 range finder
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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.

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • http://golflaserrangefinderhq.com/

    Michael Johnson wrote on: Sep 21, 2015

    I had a Skycaddie GPS unit. I was always looking for a distance to some object on the (or adjacent to) the fairway. Could never get this with my GPS unit because it didn't show on the screen. Had to estimate the position and hope that I was right, especially if it was a carry over water or hazard. A friend that is a scratch golfer suggested a laser range finder. I had one in the past but found it not too helpful with getting an accurate reading to the flag as other objects behind the green would read as well. With the V3 pinseeker technology, locking onto the flag is not a problem.
    With this ability to read the flag and the ability to measure any object on the course, I now have much more confidence in playing a particular shot. Even more important, I can now decide to not try a shot beyond my capability.



    Kiel Christianson wrote on: Apr 24, 2014

    My natural aversion to range finders is waning, as I use this V3 JOLT more and more. A couple weekends ago, I found myself in the middle of the fairway of the 10th hole on my home course (Lake of the Woods, Mahomet, IL). I figured the yardage to the pin was about 125 yards, downhill, and playing about 120. So then I thought I'd shoot the flag with the V3 just to check. Sure enough, 126 yards -- BUZZ. Despite having estimated the yardage accurately, this extra reassurance allowed me to take a full, aggressive swing with my sand wedge. As it was in the air, I knew it was good. It hit low on the flagstick and came to rest about 2 feet from the hole, for an easy birdie. I have to credit the V3 with about 70% of that swing, because I knew, for certain, I could take a full swing.