on June 25, 2009
Just tested this rangefinder for the first time on the course yesterday, and already it has helped me to shave a few strokes off my game.
I played a local course and took the rangefinder and my golflogix gps. The Golflogix told me I was 120 yards out, the Bushnell said 103. I hit my pitching wedge (normally goes 100) and landed a few yards from the pin.
So long as your approach shot distances are fairly consistent, you'll benefit from not having to guess if the flag is front back or middle.
This particular unit is a little bulkier than some other rangefinders, but I find it very easy to hold onto. Also, the excellent pouch fits easily onto my golf bag, so taking it in and out to use is easy. I was able to easily grab pins under 200 yards instantly. Pins further out take a bit longer. Yesterday I was able to get a pin 353 yards out. An interesting experiment, but well beyond my golfing range.
I decided on this unit over a Leupold for 3 reasons.
1. The Bushnell comes with a 2 year vs 1 year warranty. These things aren't cheap so that is important.
2. The Bushnell is really waterproof, not simply "weather resistant". I could dunk this baby into a lake (should it happen to be be attached to my golf bag when I toss it in the lake).
3. Battery: I hate proprietary or hard to find batteries. The Bushnell uses a standard 9V, easy to find and replace.
on March 18, 2010
I am anal when it comes to making comparisons. Especially if I am buying through mail-order. I will research items for a long time.
When it came to picking a range finder I had it narrowed down to the Leupold GX 1 and the Bushnell 1600. The first comparisons I did were at my house.
The Leupold was small and lightweight,about half the size of the Bushnell. The first thing I noticed was the Leupold had a slight yellowish tint when looking through it. If I didn't have the Bushnell to compare it to (very bright and clear),I probably wouldn't have noticed it. Leupold said it was the coating on the optics. Whatever it is, I didn't care for the tint. I then started taking measurements outside my window. My neighbors house is brick and the Leupold would NOT read the brick at all. I then "shot" their front door and got a 50 yard reading. I then shot their awning which overhangs their door and it wouldn't give me a reading. After the 4th attempt it finally said 52 yards. That's impossible since the awning is in front of the door.
The Bushnell: has much larger, clearer and brighter optics. The eyepiece is larger also. I did the same test and the Bushnell gave me a reading off the bricks. Off the front door it told me 48 yards (2 yards different than Leupold) but more importantly, it read the front of the awning (46 yards). I then shot my neighbors shutters and it gave me a reading; I then shot their bricks right next to the shutters and it gave me a reading of 1 yard more. That was impressive. I really wanted to like the Leupold because of its size/weight but the Bushnell was winning.
I then took it to the golf range. The Leupold continued to give me slightly different readings than the Bushnell but what really bothered me was the Leupold would (sometimes)not give me a reading to different parts of the ground. Many times I wouldn't get a reading shooting the ground at 50 yards. The flag, yes, no problem; but the ground no. The Bushnell gave me a reading EVERY time,no matter what distance to the ground I aimed.
Also the pinseeker on the Leupold was questionable. It's not a mode like the Bushnell. The Leupold is supposed to not give you a reading until you hit the flag, at least that's what their video on their web site says, but I would definately get background readings no matter what. In fact, their manual does not even mention anything about pinseeker. Nothing. Nor does the box have anything on it either. I called Leupold about this and they said that their pinseeker "mode" is really ONLY for flags with prisms on them. None of the courses I play have prisms so this does not interest me at all.
The Bushnell, in pinseeker mode, shows a flag on their display and when it "hits" the flag,on the green, a circle goes around the display flag verifying that you captured the flag.
The other thing that botherd me about the Leupold was the readout is on the top of the display. When reading a flag and you have dark trees behind the green, the read out is hard to see. The video on their web site shows this also. They are scannning targets and the read out completely disappears when it its the treeline.
The Bushnell displays it's #'s at the bottom and they are more easy to read since the background will always be the grass. The display #'s also are blacker than the Leupold. The Bushnell, so far, is definately better.
One last test - At my house it was raining and I tried shooting through my window SCREEN. The screen has water droplets all over it and the Leupold would not read through the screen at all... but the Bushnell did, every time. That was the deciding factor. I know that some will say that you are not shooting bricks, windows, awning on the golf course. But to me, if the Bushnell could do all these things and the Leupold couldn't, then that shows me that the Bushnell has better optics. Also the Leupold had trouble reading the ground at short yardages where the Bushnell had no trouble at all.
The one thing that bothered me was if the Leupold was defective and that was the reason for the yellowish tint. I went to a sporting goods store and although they didn't have the GX 1, I tried their 750 model... same thing. A slight yellowish tint.
The Bushnell is a much better unit, in my opinion. Brighter/clearer optics, the field of view is larger, 7x mag compared to 6x on the Leupold, better pinseeker technology and better accuracy at reading mounds and small bumps. What impressed me was the door/awning test. The Bushnell gave me the accurate readings whereas the Leupold couldn't read the awning at all.
The only slight negative of the Bushnell, is the size/weight. If all range finders were the Bushnells size, nobody would complain at all. The Bushnell is technically NOT large or heavy, it's just larger/heavier than the Leupold or the V2 for that matter.
The other positive the Leupold had was it was steadier than the Bushnell. The Bushnell shakes a little bit more but it still is no problem getting the flag at 200 yards.
In summary - I am very happy with the Bushnell. I can't tell you how impressed I was when I was able to get a reading,of a tree,through my rain soaked window screen. I have sinced used the Bushnell for two rounds and get very accurate readings. How do I know their accurate? Because I also use a Sonocaddie V300 GPS. Originally, I was going to buy the laser and sell the GPS. The GPS gives a view of the entire hole with readings to all hazards. For the green, it gives readings for the front, middle and back of greens. Many times, I thought the pin was in the front of the green when it was in the back (aging eyes). With the GPS it will tell me, i.e. the back of the green is 170 yards and the laser will tell me the pin is 165 yards. That tells me the pin is in the back and I only have 15' of green behind the pin. That, to me, is invaluable information, especially since I am trying to get into single digit handicaps. Is this over kill? Probably. But it definatley gives me more confidence knowing all that information.
If I didn't have a GPS now, I would at least get an app for a smart phone and buy the laser. Best of both worlds.
on July 14, 2009
I checked out this rangefinder, Bushnell Pro 1600 Tournament Edition Laser Rangefinder with Pinseeker, against the GPS devices, as well as some of the older Nikon laser devices. This one has wonderful ease of use and accuracy. It gives readings which are very repeatable. It seems to be durable.
I found several things that another user of prospective purchaser might consider helpful:
1. The silicone/rubber surface resists all kind of inks, so that it is impossible to inscribe your name on the outside of the device. I even tried to write my name with a small soldering iron, but the cover even resisted this. Eventually I decided to include a label with my name on it in the battery compartment.
2. The pinseeker feature is excellent for picking up the flag. Using the other setting is helpful in picking layup distances.
3. The battery will become exhausted when you need the device most. Keep a fresh 9 v battery in your bag.
4. The door to the battery compartment will fall open if it is not securely and positively closed.
5. My pro tells me that this rangefinder IS now legal for use on most courses and in most amateur tournaments. This is a local exception to Rule 14-3 made by most local and tournament committees. Note that the model of rangefinder (Bushnell Pro 1600 Slope Edition Laser Rangefinder with Pinseeker and others) which computes slope IS NEVER legal, even if that function is not used, and local committees are not empowered to make an exception. It is the golfer's responsibility to check with the local officials regarding the exception, and to point out prior to the round that this model does not indicate slope (gradient).
I am delighted with this purchase.
on July 14, 2009
I purchased this range finder last week and have played with it around the house and on one short round of golf. In order to keep the narrative short, I have listed some of the pros and cons below. Just a quick comment to say that, based on what I have read, you should know that if you play tournaments, the use of your device may not be allowed.
Be sure to look at the review by Lordhamster for additional valuable commnets.
It's Bulky You most likely will not try to keep this unit on you while playing. While you can clip a GPS unit on your belt without noticing it, not so with this thing.
Possibility of (Lens Damage A nice case comes with it but the only lens cover included was for the eyepiece. The laser lens and view lens had no cover included most likely because these lenses are recessed into the case and would be cumbersome to remove every time you want to use it. Because they were tucked back in from the surface of the case, it might have been thought that damage to these lenses was unlikely. Being an avid photographer, however, I find any naked lenses to be unprotected.
Possibility of Theft Because the all the pockets on my golf bag were full, I had the case strapped to by bag on a pull-cart during one of the few times I walked the course. This arrangement worked great on the course but I felt compelled to take it with me when I went in to the clubhouse before teeing off on the back nine. The case has Bushnell boldly written in on it and it attracts attention. I just thought it might not be there when I came out. If you're playing out of a powered golf cart, you just leave it out of site in one of the cart pockets and it's really not an issue.
Stability/Accuracy Trying to range distances over 200 yards was challenge for me without stabilizing the unit on my cart or some other object. If you're out on a breezy day, the flag is moving and you're moving. The center circle on this unit is small and keeping the flag centered, can be challenging. I ranged one distance at about 493 yards from the tee to a par 5 green (flag). That seemed like a correct yardage based on the yardage listed for this hole, but when I ranged the trees that were 30-40 yards farther, the unit read one yard shorter at 492 yards. The pinseeker indicator indicated that I was reading the pin on the initial reading, but this unit was unable to distinguish any distance between these two targets. I only did this once so I will be conducting further tests.
Distance to the Flag versus Distance to the Center of the Green From distances outside 120 yards, I do not hit the ball accurately enough to worry about the distance to the flag. I would rather know the distance to the center of the green that a GPS unit would show.
Target Obscured If you cannot see the target, you cannot get the range. For those of us that spend more time than we like to admit in the woods or on adjacent fairways, this can be an issue in you're considering a rangefinder rather than a GPS.
Accuracy I hit no further than 225 yards off the fairway so distances beyond this range are rarely needed. Inside this distance, I was easily able to range the flag, even on breezy days, and the distance seemed right on.
Practice Range This a big one for me. I enjoy hitting practice balls on real-grass practice ranges but never really know how far the yardage markers are as the tees are moved regularly. With this unit, I can know the range to all targets on the range.
No Subscription Necessary Most of the GPS units require some form of subscription to be able to use your unit and, even then, your course might not be "marked."
Utility I like the advantage of being able to range any area of the course. Knowing the distance to sand traps, trees, lakes along with any variety of other hazards is very helpful.
I am sure that I will think of more that I could have written but those might be for another review once I've had a chance get more experience with this unit. As a rangefinder, I am very impressed with this product, but I still think a GPS unit might find its way into my bag unless my game improves a lot in the near future.
And as a last note on Amazon.com, I have had nothing but good luck with this vendor. I have purchased, in addition to this unit, a Samsung 52 inch LCD TV and a "Monster" Power Center all without incident and with excellent service. Thank you Amazon.
on July 4, 2011
The Bushnell Rangefinder does a good job of measuring distance to the pin when it works. I just played a round of golf and the battery door opened on the device 5 times. I am careful with the rangefinder, but the battery door pops open during every round that I use it and that is aggravating.
It would be nice to say that Bushnell doesn't know about this issue, but they do. As I sat in the clubhouse after the round complaining about the flawed battery door, three fellow golfers in the golf league came up to me and mentioned the same problem. One of them had contacted Bushnell directly and Bushnell acknowledged the problem and did nothing.
So...I promised the golfer that I would put up a review of the Rangefinder so that prospective buyers could know the aggravation they are about to experience.
One golfer has scotch tape all over the battery door to keep it from popping open. "Easy" he says. I don't think that you should have to spend $400 on a Rangefinder only to be disappointed with your purchase every 4th hole when you can't get a reading.
You will have to push the battery back in to seat it and then carefully close the door and slide it shut. There.....now that is taken care of for at least three holes.
Forget this Rangefinder....Bushnell can and should do better.
Run a search for Bushnell and battery door and you will find that many people have had the same complaint. Do yourself a favor, buy something else.
on March 6, 2011
This is a fantastic range finder. It has all the features you need. It quickly picks up flags, bunkers, trees, etc. I have very shaky hands and I can get this to pick up my targets without trouble. I am a 3 handicap and I would pick this over a GPS any day. You can get enough info from the laser to plan the correct shot. Example: you shoot the bunker on the front of the green and it says 97 and you shoot the pin and it says 105. You've got all you need right there. The advantage over the GPS is that 105 happens to be your stock sandwedge! You're mouth is watering as you pull the sandwedge, knowing all you have to do is hit it solid and you're going to clear the bunker and have a short birdie putt. With a GPS, you get front, back, and guess at the pin. You just can't get as accurate with the GPS. But that's all just my opinion.
Pro's for the 1600: like I said, it's super easy to use. The 7x magnification is better than 5x or 6x. I have very shaky hands and can still range things easily. The readout is easy to read. Scan mode works well. It's very quick on the pick-up. More people have bought this and more pro's use this than any other unit...there must be a reason.
Con's for the 1600: the battery compartment door is JUNK!! If yours arrives like mine did, and doesn't "click" into place, send it back. Don't buy this unit unless you are 100% sure you can return it for an exchange with no out of pocket expenses. If you want to use it in a week, order it two weeks ago (just in case it arrives like mine and needs to be exchanged for a non-defective unit).
If your unit comes and the battery compartment door "clicks" into place, you're fine though, because with a good battery door, this unit is as good as it gets.
UPDATE: I have now played about 20 rounds with this range finder. What I said about the battery cover is probably still true, but that being said, I have not had any problems with the battery compartment on my replacement range finder. The unit's performance is SO MUCH better than I thought it would be. I have not had a single problem ranging any flags from inside 300 yards and have even ranged some flags at up to 400. For normal approach shots inside 200, the whole process takes about 3-5 seconds. It is a fantastic tool.
UPDATE 2: Due to an injury, my golf season is over. I used this all year, had ZERO problems, played about 35 rounds and ended up with the lowest handicap of my career, 2.4. I love playing with this device. It is useful, simple, and confidence inspiring. I wouldn't change a thing.
on September 12, 2009
I decided on getting a laser rangefinder (LR) because it's more useful and less of a hassle to me than a GPS unit. The following are a list of reasons for my decision:
1) I can use a LR on the practice range and get exact distances to the flags. This is especially useful for grass practice ranges.
2) I can get a distance on the group ahead to determine if their out of range.
3) I can use it at any course. I don't have to search and download before playing.
4) I can get a distance reading directly to the flag and not just the front, middle, and back of the green.
A GPS unit has it's definate advantages and one of them is when you play a course that has a lot of blind shots. You can still use the LR but it takes a little bit more work than a GPS. Fortunately, I play courses that pretty much have line of site.
I chose this product over other manufacturer and models for the following reasons:
1) I used a Bushnell before and was confident I was getting a great product
2) It has Pinseeker technology which eliminates background distances.
3) It's sturdier on my hands than smaller rangefinders.
4) It uses a long lasting 9v battery. Smaller rangefinders use a 3v battery.
on February 10, 2010
I have played with a number of other players who have range finders. At first I thought, ah they are not really necessary, but I kept finding myself asking, can you give me the yardage? This year I thought, I'm going for it! I read many reviews on the internet from users that owned Bushnell and others. I think Bushnell's reputation for quality and the many great reviews sold me. The only drawback that seemed to pop up was the size, and the fact you could not put it in your pocket. Well I thought, none of the other guys I had played with put it in their pocket either. I was prepared to put it in the bag, so I went ahead and purchased the Pro 1600 because I play in tournaments and did not want to jeopordize my status or be disqualified. This rangefinder is perfect, well built, has a solid feel, and the attention to detail are excellent. When I let other guys try it, they are impressed. If you are in the market for a good quality rangefinder - this will not disappoint. I paid just under 300 dollars delivered, and feel I got my moneys worth. I hope this helps - I am a satisfied customer, and Amazon provided the best value and shipping was very quick - thanks again Amazon.
on October 14, 2009
I used a SkyCaddie for about 3 years and was paying annual fees for downloads for my state. I started traveling out of state and wanted something I could use without added fees. This device was perfect for my needs. It allows me to shoot distance to any object. It is easy to use. It uses a 9-volt battery that should last for a year and does not need recharging. You need to be able to see the object you are targeting but I seldom play courses with blind shots where I need distances. The slope feature gives you adjusted distances to help your confidence in club selection. This is a great device!
on November 1, 2009
The Bushnell Pro 1600 is easy to use and extremely accurate. I am 82, and because of my age I thought I would have a difficult time focusing on a target as small as a hanging flag attached to a pole. But because of the 7-times magnification it is possible to capture the target on the first try. I admit that I was skeptical at first and delayed ordering the rangefinder for more than two years, but the magnification figure is what sold me on this particular unit. I haven't been disappointed. The ability to focus on different points along the fairway is a real bonus in estimating distances to hazards. I never liked the idea of a rangefinder with preprogramming of maps detailing different holes. I play too many courses that are not mapped, and most likely never will be.