Lamkin Grips

Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC Review

| July 24, 2009 | 25 Comments

The Hackers Paradise has reviewed a lot of GPS devices over the last year. Some good, some not so good, and one excellent. When it comes to our reviews, one handheld GPS has set a benchmark that very few have come even close to and that device is the UPRO from Callaway. We have yet to find a device that works quite as well and has as many features as that one did…UNTIL NOW. When we last reviewed a Bushnell GPS device we thought it was a decent little GPS for the money. Enter the Yardage Pro XGC…We did not know what to expect when Bushnell said they were sending it over. However by the end of this review, you will know exactly why this reviewer at THP believes that it is the best GPS unit on the market today.

From The Company
Take your game to the next level with – the compact Yardage Pro XGC. The 2.2″ High Resolution screen gives you your last shot, as well as distance to any point on the hole, at a glance and in vivid, sun-light readable color. You can download color maps, and the unique hole up tracking feature gives you a “down the fairway” perspective, for easier and better course management. It stores up to 100 courses, and it’s scorekeeping and statistic capabilities make the Yardage Pro XGC golf’s ultimate GPS, tool.

* 2.2″ High Resolution color screen, sunlight readable
* Download custom color course maps
* Distance to any point on the hole
* Stores up to 100 courses
* Scorekeeping & statistics capabilities
* Belt clip and storage pouch included
* Rechargeable Li-lon battery
* Battery life up to 16 hours
* Rainproof
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First Impressions
When the package arrived we did not know what to expect. It came with the “usual suspects” as far as a pouch, clip, and CD software. One click to turn it on and we immediately saw a bright, vivid screen with the time displayed on it. Click the directional pad to the left or right and all your features are right there (more on those later). It seemed to be complete one handed operation. One thing that most “heavily featured” GPS units seem to lack. But right off the bat, we noticed that this was not the same as my Skycaddie. It seems to have every feature somebody would ever want and need and if they truly work, then we may have a hit on our hands. The unit is smaller than some of others we have tried and certainly smaller than my Skycaddie that I used for comparisons during this review. It has a bright color screen as we mentioned and a rechargeable battery that is said to last 4 rounds.

Accuracy
Obviously all the bells and whistles in the world will not help you if the device is not accurate. To test the accuracy of this device, we compared it to 2 other GPS units as we drove around the course for an hour. We used our Skycaddie and the GPS built into the carts at our local club. All three devices registered within 1 yard of each other at the tee boxes, at where an approach shot would be, and the green measurements. What stood out to us here was just how accurate the readings on this device were compared to pulling out a Bushnell Tour V2 Rangefinder. Each time we compared the GPS to the rangefinder, the readings were dead on and it is something we were delighted to see. The accuracy to hazards and other “points of interest” were also right on the money. Overall it is something we often take for granted and expect, but knowing just how good the accuracy was on the Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC was exactly what we were hoping for.

Features
A picture can say a thousand words, so before I get into each feature and how well it works, here are some pictures of the different features that are included in this GPS device. Keep in mind that all of this is done with one-handed operation and just by clicking one button.

The Play Golf Screen. Takes you to your course list.

News. They have both latest golf news and opinion columns.

Reviews. Equipment reviews (none from THP) as well as travel, gadgets, and so much more.

We will get into each feature that was shown above in our playing golf section of the review coming up now.

Playing Golf
Playing golf with the Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC is an absolute joy. For starters, pull up to the course and turn the unit on and there is nothing else to do. It knows where you are and comes up with the correct course each time. Once on the course you have the standard screen showing you distances to the green. One click over and you get correct yardages to any points of interest on that hole. One click over again and you bring up the over head map of the hole in which you can move the cursor to any point on the course and get the distance. You want a distance to a tree in the middle of the water? Simply 2 clicks and move the cursor. It is that easy.

The overhead map zooms in to make sure you not only have the best view but also the right distance. It works that well. They seem to have every interest point for each hole we played, but you can certainly add more with no issues at all. (more on that later) Once you finish the hole, does it go right to the next hole? Nope, but that is because the device will also keep your score for you.

The scoreboard defaults to whatever the par may be on that hole. The unit will keep overall score as well as putts per round. Just a little perk that we really liked during our testing. We were able to use the device on 3 different courses for a total of 7 rounds and not once did the unit hiccup at all with any feature. While playing the first day with it, we got backed up on a par 3 and had about a 15 minute wait. I pulled out the Bushnell and found myself reading headlines from the golf world and a few course reviews. Are they needed? Of course not, but do they come in handy? On slow days they sure did. The battery life lived up to the hype and gave us 4 full rounds on one charge and still had enough juice to probably give us one more round. We gave the device to our “senior tester” who also marveled at the ease of use and how well it worked in the sun. He spoke about how the less technology savvy golfers want something easy that still has the features. This was IT as far as he was concerned.

Mapping and Editing
Of course the Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC comes complete with the ability to map your own courses and edit already saved courses. On two of the courses we played we did not need to add anything or edit a thing. However the 3rd course added a new bunker just last week and we wanted to add that to the GPS. Simply make a few quick clicks on the device in the mapping section (shown above) and the new data was stored. It could NOT have been any easier. By far the easiest GPS we have used when it comes to mapping and editing courses.

Pricing. Membership, & Software
The Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC has a retail price of about $350. However we have seen them advertised online for as low as about $315. This is a GPS unit that works on a “membership” basis and for $35 you get 100 credits. Most 18 hole courses we looked up cost only 1 credit. However one little issue we had was that if a course had 27 holes for some reason the price wanted to default to 3 credits. We think this is more of a tech issue than anything else. With these kind of features, the $35 seems to be a much better bargain than what I am currently paying Skycaddie. The sync program that goes with the device works flawlessly and is about as easy to use as everything else we described. Simply type in the name of the course and it comes up. Download it and then sync it to the device.

Final Thoughts
We get the question asked to us almost on a weekly basis. What type of GPS or Rangefinder should I get? As a Skycaddie user for GPS and Leupold user for my rangefinder, I have never been really able to help them. The problem came down to the fact that I was never thrilled with either device. Reviewing equipment has shown me that I made mistakes when purchasing both of those devices as I have found that there are better ones at less money. For now I am kind of stuck, but I assure you when people ask me now, the answer is simple. BUSHNELL! With the Tour V2 Rangefinder and the Yardage Pro XGC, I am not sure that there are better devices out right now in either category for the money. You can read all about this product and any other Bushnell product at www.bushnellgolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Accessories, Equipment

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (25)

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  1. Golfer Gal says:

    I loved this review. I especially loved all the pictures showing the different uses. Great write-up!

  2. Dave S says:

    I have been reading and waiting for this review. My Skycaddie is about 3 years old and I am ready to upgrade. Love what I see and hear in this one. Thank you very much. I tried out the UPRO and found it too difficult to use. This seems like a good fit.

  3. Smallville says:

    My GPS is not even a year old yet so there’s just no way I can justify a switch. However, I will say I wish this had been out last year when I was doing my research and comparing them. Only thing I do not like is the rechargeable battery. I like being able to swap out the battery when it dies in the middle of a round. But that’s it. Maybe in a couple of years when I am ready to buy another, Bushnell will have a model that takes regular batteries, because this looks like a great device.

  4. john paul says:

    Very interesting information. i have a bushnell and really like it. but have been wanting more features. i may have to play around with this one a little bit.

  5. Thorpeto says:

    I want one!

  6. Mike N says:

    I read the UPRO review and really liked what I heard. My only complaint with it when i tried it out was that it was slightly complicated for us senior golfers who do not have the tech saviness of you youngsters.

    But this one may be what I am looking for.

  7. Tre J says:

    cool thoughts on this one. I use a bushnell v2 and love it. But I am thinking about heading over to the gps side. convenience more than anything.

  8. Osahar says:

    Great review, JB. With the features, ease-of-use, and a price possibly as low as $315 this one is definitely on the short list if/when I do get a GPS.

  9. Harry says:

    That is a really sharp looking unit. Glad to know that a company with staying power like Bushnell is getting into the GPS game. I love my V2 Laser Rangefinder and I may have to check out this GPS.

  10. texasaggie says:

    I think you just cost me $300.00

  11. G says:

    As much as I love my Skycaddie, I’m getting tired of the time to download another software. Make sure you read every review about all these yardage devices.

  12. Dave says:

    I like what I see… but I hate golf gps. My garmin can tell me where I am, the speed I am travelling, traffic spots, time of arrival all for 150 dollars. Golf = 300+?

    It’s such a mark up its annoying

  13. Cab says:

    Just bought this device. After doing alot of research and checking out some of my friends devices I decided on the XGC. I can’t imagine anything doing a better job after using it, no matter what the price.

  14. Cab says:

    Thought I would update my experience with igof and Bushnell. I have made one call to Bushell about a setup question that they answered promptly. I have contacted igolf via email a couple times about an incorrect scorecard and getting a course mapped. They were very prompt at correcting the scorecard and they are working on getting the course mapped. Overall it has been a good experience and made my decision to buy this an even better decision.

  15. The Traveler says:

    Thanks for this detailed review. I’m one of the early adopter of golf gps and have had SkyCaddie for many years. I was considering to buy their SG3.5 since the beginning of the year, but they kept me stringing me along with “Coming Soon” tactics. The last straw was last week when their own sales told me “I don’t know, I’m only in sales” to my question “When will you have the unit on sale?”.

    So I started my quest to find my next GPS and found this great site. I first considered the uPro because of their “fly-by” and other features, but it seemed to have a consistent dilemma on battery-life. I then read this Bushnell unit and was about to order when I saw Garmin’s Approach G5 unit. Yes, the retail is $150 more than Bushnell, but I’ve had several Garmin unit for my cars and they are the best and knows GPS technology. The fact that it can store 9400+ courses and free updates was a biggest selling point. On top of that, NO ANNUAL membership fee! I was getting tired of having to renew my membership just to keep using the same course map to use my SkyCaddie. Even though this site didn’t have the review on Garmin unit yet, I was comfortable to plunk down my money on the most expensive golf GPS because of their reputation and my past purchases from them.

    Finally, I would not have purchased my Garmin had I not found this site to help me make an informed purchase. Reading the uPro and Bushnell hands-on reviews gave me high comfort feel that these satellite-mapped courses are measurement trustworthy. Thanks to the reviewers and all those posted their comments.

    I intend to give my experience with the unit when you have the review of Garmin unit.

  16. MT says:

    I just found this unit on Amazon for $280 and I think that Bushnell is still offering a $50 rebate through the end of August.

  17. John R says:

    I just bought this unit after trying out (and returning) the Skycaddie SG5, Garmin A5, Golf Buddy Tour, Upro and SonoCaddie 300V.

    The Bushnell XGC is all-around better. Satellite lock is more stable because of the 20 channel Sirf Star III chip and distances are much more stable without the floating around.

    The really cool feature of the XGC is the hole overhead automatically goes thru 3 levels of zoom as you get closer to the hole.

    It seems to me that Bushnell took all the good things of other products and rolled them up to produce the XGC.

    I’m really happy with mine and only paid $249 out the door thru Ebay.

    John

  18. John R says:

    As an add-on……..

    Igolf support was very good to me.

    They allowed me to transfer my Neo membership to the XGC at no additional charge. The whole process only took a simple phone call and about 5 minutes. They also didnot deduct credits from my account to download the upgraded maps to the XGC that I had originally downloaded for my Neo.

  19. Janet S says:

    ‘thanks for info. Looking at UPro but play mostly in Canada and they did not have the great majority of our area’s courses. Golf Buddy looked great but again, they had nothing in Canada. I know IGolf (alreayd have an old one) has mapped all courses I want.

  20. Pierre S says:

    I followed your advise and bought the XGC a while back, 6 months ago to be precise. So I played quite a few rounds with it and I like it a lot, extremely useful. There are a few things that could be improve from my point of view:
    1- If the device is on for a whole round +/- 4 Hrs, you might not have enough battery power for a second round.
    2- You loose your data after each round, there’s no way to save it and tranfer it to another piece of software, like the iGolf Handicap tracker, That would be so simple for them to do so.
    3- The yardage counter way to calculate is awkward, it’s the path that you take to get to the ball, as opposed to a straith line between where you start the counter and the end point. :) 90 deg rule will make cart golfer seem to drive way longer :)

    But generally I like it a lot, no mandatory annual fee, a lot of golf courses are mapped and available. I’ve downloaded almost 45 between NC and St George UT so far and the mapping is accurate. I also play in temperature between 33 and 105 without any issues ( battery drain a little faster in cold weather ).

  21. les (from Australia) says:

    I am looking to purchase a Gps system, Has anyone tried or have the latest Bushnell XGC, Callaway Upro or the Sonocaddie V300?? I am interested to get your feedback.

  22. ripper says:

    Great review, thanks a lot!!

  23. Cookie says:

    Nice writeup here on this device!! Considering ordering the XGC+ and this review has eliminated any doubts that I have.

  24. Mike Dill says:

    My XGC+ broke twice in less than a year and 1/2. First repair took several weeks. Service very slow. Second time 1/2 of screen went blank and their answer was to sell me a new one for $190… (which you can pay at some retail outlets with rebate included) after I spent $300 18 months earlier. I would not buy it again. Graphice definitely not up to the standard of new range finders my friends have.

  25. Norm says:

    the yardage pro XGC+ is a nice unit with the exception that I the course maps must be downloaded to get distances to bunkers, water, etc. This is done through Igolf.com. The problem I have had is that it only works on a PC. I have an Imac with the latest version of the OS and downloading just does not work. It does work on my friend’s PC, however. Bushnell support simply says, “sorry.”

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