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View Full Version : Leupold GX-3i & GX-4i Rangefinder Review



JB
04-30-2012, 08:10 AM
THP in depth look at the new rangefinders from Leupold.

http://www.thehackersparadise.com/?p=16428

leftymb
04-30-2012, 08:28 AM
JB just wondering your thoughts comparing the Bushnell hybrid rangefinder to the Leupold GX4i? Ease of use in your opinion between the two? Probably can't go wrong with either one but just wondering about your thoughts between the two.

sharkwrestler
04-30-2012, 08:29 AM
Great review JB.
I've seen the GX-3i on the course and the red numbers are so easy to see compared to my 1600 Bushnell. This is def advanced

#Cookie
04-30-2012, 08:31 AM
Great review Josh! I initially thought I had no need for a rangefinder until this past weekend when I played a course with gigantic greens where the typical front/middle/back numbers were not quite enough for my liking. I love the idea of having that snap on piece where it converts from a standard range finder to one with slope, club selector, etc - definitely a very handy training aid.

JB
04-30-2012, 08:32 AM
JB just wondering your thoughts comparing the Bushnell hybrid rangefinder to the Leupold GX4i? Ease of use in your opinion between the two? Probably can't go wrong with either one but just wondering about your thoughts between the two.

Good question. I prefer the look, feel and the red display of the Leupold and also think the slope key is the best thing out there in rangefinders today. However I love the hybrid device because eliminates that one concern of not having a clear view at what you are shooting.

I also find that Pinseeker on Bushnell is more effective at picking up pins vs Leupold's version.

Buckjob
04-30-2012, 08:32 AM
Nice review JB. Like the red numbers they look easier to read than some range finders I've used

leftymb
04-30-2012, 08:36 AM
Thanks JB, great review and thanks for your input. Think I may have to check into the hybrid and maybe break down and pick one up

sharkwrestler
04-30-2012, 08:38 AM
Good question. I prefer the look, feel and the red display of the Leupold and also think the slope key is the best thing out there in rangefinders today. However I love the hybrid device because eliminates that one concern of not having a clear view at what you are shooting.

I also find that Pinseeker on Bushnell is more effective at picking up pins vs Leupold's version.

Now if Bushnell could incorporate the red numbers it would be a Gem.
Out in the bright sun the 1600 I have trouble seeing the #'s with glare and such. The GX-3i was by far easier to view the #'s.

DawgDaddy
04-30-2012, 08:47 AM
Awesome review JB, I too really liked the bright red display of the new Leupold's and don't see how anyone would be disappointed with any of the top brand laser rangefinders.

Tadashi70
04-30-2012, 09:19 AM
I was lucky enough to use these during a round and I can attest to their accuracy and ease of use. Plus they have a good weight to them and fit nice in the palm of your hand. Key for me what the ease of use over the sunglasses.

Ole Gray
04-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Great display with the red numbers etc. I think this could be a really valuable tool, for guys having the skills to go pin hunting!

Oregon Golfer
04-30-2012, 10:01 AM
Leupold makes the scopes for our country's snipers. Good enough for me!

Tapped that...

Hawk
04-30-2012, 10:06 AM
I really like the idea of the yellow key to remove the slope option if neccesary. Really adds some value to the product. I'd like to try a rangefinder with slope one of these days. I play a pretty hilly course and it would come in really handy.

Snypa13
04-30-2012, 10:17 AM
Good review. I have a GX-1 and love it. was thinking about getting the GX-3i the red numbers look pretty awesome.

coolbreeze
04-30-2012, 10:36 AM
Great review JB, I'm not in the market for a new rangefinder at this time, but these sound like they should be an option for everyone looking for a new rangefinder.

JB
04-30-2012, 07:04 PM
THanks guys. Enjoyed reviewing these.

Rusty
04-30-2012, 07:23 PM
The question I still have not seen answered is whether the 4xi is USGA legal if you remove the key. The USGA rule says you cannot use a device that measures slope, even if that feature has been turned off. We can all guess at how the rule is supposed to be interpreted, but I wonder if the USGA has said anything definitive about the Leupold rangefinders?

Also, just saw an ad for the Bushnell Pro 1M which features "Vivid Display Technology (TM)", i.e., a red display.

JB
04-30-2012, 07:25 PM
Yes, the new Bushnell (just got one) features the new display.
As to whether or not its legal, I believe it absolutely is. The reason being as that the device is not turning off slope, but simply not capable of it once the key is not hooked up.

Rusty
04-30-2012, 07:32 PM
As to whether or not its legal, I believe it absolutely is. The reason being as that the device is not turning off slope, but simply not capable of it once the key is not hooked up.

I have gone round and round with one of my golfing buddies about this (he owns a 4x). It doesn't help that we're both attorneys. I think Leupold did a great job of addressing the intent of the rule, since not only is the device incapable of providing slope without the key, but also the bright yellow key should be readily visible by others if one were inclined to cheat during a round. Still, you have to think that an industrious cheater would find a way to work around needing the key. I'm really just wondering if the USGA has ever officially approved the device.

Also, for the record, I know my friend wouldn't use the slope feature when he isn't supposed to, so I don't care if he keeps the key on when we play. I just like to give him a hard time and argue that it is not USGA legal even without the key.

JB
04-30-2012, 07:34 PM
The rule states that a device with slope cannot be used. If you remove the key, the device does not have slope anymore.

bhilln
04-30-2012, 07:34 PM
Nice review, have been toying with the idea of a rangefinder. Any issue with seeing the numbers in bright sun/light? Will these happen to be available at Demo Day to try out as well?

JB
04-30-2012, 07:38 PM
Nice review, have been toying with the idea of a rangefinder. Any issue with seeing the numbers in bright sun/light? Will these happen to be available at Demo Day to try out as well?

We will have them out there I am sure. I had no issues.

#Cookie
04-30-2012, 07:43 PM
From what I can find, they are not allowed. Problem becomes what the device is "capable" of, regardless if it is actually being used. Leupold's brochure right now says "Under Appeal" regarding the USGA legality of the GX-4 series.



Do laser range finders conform? top (http://www.usga.org/equipment/faq/Club-and-Ball-Testing-FAQs/#top)Yes, provided that the local Committee (i.e., committee in charge of a particular competition, golf course, Rules of Golf Committee, etc.) has established a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure distance only. Use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player's play (e.g., wind, gradient, temperature, etc.) is not permitted, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.

http://www.usga.org/equipment/faq/Club-and-Ball-Testing-FAQs/#5

JB
04-30-2012, 07:50 PM
From what I can find, they are not allowed. Problem becomes what the device is "capable" of, regardless if it is actually being used. Leupold's brochure right now says "Under Appeal" regarding the USGA legality of the GX-4 series.



Do laser range finders conform? top (http://www.usga.org/equipment/faq/Club-and-Ball-Testing-FAQs/#top)Yes, provided that the local Committee (i.e., committee in charge of a particular competition, golf course, Rules of Golf Committee, etc.) has established a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure distance only. Use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player's play (e.g., wind, gradient, temperature, etc.) is not permitted, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.

http://www.usga.org/equipment/faq/Club-and-Ball-Testing-FAQs/#5

It makes no sense. The device is NOT capable of slope with no key. I would bet a dozen donuts or so that their appeal is heard and this device is fully legal soon.

#Cookie
04-30-2012, 07:55 PM
It makes no sense. The device is NOT capable of slope with no key. I would bet a dozen donuts or so that their appeal is heard and this device is fully legal soon.

I agree and hope so, makes complete sense to be able to use it without the very obvious yellow key.

FWIW, here is where I saw Leupold saying the GX-4 was "Under Appeal", it is also a very good brochure with tons of detail about it's capabilities: http://golf.leupold.com/library/GX_brochure.pdf

JB
04-30-2012, 07:57 PM
I understand the idea of "if it is just turned off" because lets face it, some might not turn it off. However the device is not even a slope device without the key attached.

#Cookie
04-30-2012, 07:59 PM
I am getting the itch to purchase one and definitely want the slope option, but at the same time definitely want to use in tournament play. Will have to keep an eye on this appeal.

Rusty
04-30-2012, 09:11 PM
JB, I'm kind of sorry I brought it up, but my buddy and I have debated this from every angle, and I think you could interpret the rule either way. I was really just wondering if the USGA had made a definitive ruling, because until they do it is just an academic debate.

Chunkylover77
04-30-2012, 09:14 PM
Dying to get one of these. Thanks for the review!

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

Bags
04-30-2012, 10:13 PM
The rule is a perfect example of "the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law" IMHO... With that said, I absolutely love my GX-4! Like JB said, there is no possibility of anything other than a basic rangefinder when the yellow key isn't attached, essentially making it a GX-3.

Smallville
04-30-2012, 10:29 PM
Iíve never considered this brand as I am still using my Bushnell from the late í90s. I have been looking for an excuse to buy a new one, and when I do, I will not count these out because they are not a Bushnell. Sounds like a quality product.

Rusty
05-01-2012, 11:06 AM
The rule is a perfect example of "the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law" IMHO... With that said, I absolutely love my GX-4! Like JB said, there is no possibility of anything other than a basic rangefinder when the yellow key isn't attached, essentially making it a GX-3.

The problem the USGA has is setting precedent. First, I have no doubt that some gearhead is going to figure out how to defeat the key system - not necessarily because he wants to cheat, but because he enjoys screwing around with electronic devices. Second, if the USGA agrees to allow the 4 and 4xi to be used without the key, then they will be bombarded with products seeking approval based on the claim that cheater features can be totally disabled. Its a tough problem, but I give Leupold a lot of credit for coming up with a sensible approach.

JB
05-01-2012, 11:09 AM
The problem the USGA has is setting precedent. First, I have no doubt that some gearhead is going to figure out how to defeat the key system - not necessarily because he wants to cheat, but because he enjoys screwing around with electronic devices. Second, if the USGA agrees to allow the 4 and 4xi to be used without the key, then they will be bombarded with products seeking approval based on the claim that cheater features can be totally disabled. Its a tough problem, but I give Leupold a lot of credit for coming up with a sensible approach.

Its an interesting debate, but not sure I totally agree. Because being totally disabled and not being able to are different things. Without the key, the device is nothing more than a 3i. It is technically no different than someone having both a 3i and 4i and being told that they cant use the 3i because they own the other.

the_paulo
05-01-2012, 11:13 AM
Read this yesterday, but forgot to leave feedback! Nice review. I'm intrigued by range finders because, I've never actually used one! It's a foreign concept to me but one I think could be very useful on unfamiliar courses. I like the look of these Leupold models too, they look sturdy and hard wearing.

Perkins Rooster
05-01-2012, 11:42 AM
Very classy looking, but for the price I like my Bushnell v2.

Perkins Rooster
05-01-2012, 11:43 AM
Read this yesterday, but forgot to leave feedback! Nice review. I'm intrigued by range finders because, I've never actually used one! It's a foreign concept to me but one I think could be very useful on unfamiliar courses. I like the look of these Leupold models too, they look sturdy and hard wearing.You really should consider one. This is the first year with mine and I wouldn't want to golf without it now.

the_paulo
05-01-2012, 12:02 PM
You really should consider one. This is the first year with mine and I wouldn't want to golf without it now.

I don't know if I could justify the price tbh. I play about 90% of my golf on my home course, and I rarely struggle to obtain a yardage. It would effectively just be a gadget for the sake of it. The only place it would be really handy for me would be the practice area.

Gipper
05-22-2012, 11:27 PM
Great review and I really appreciate all the comments. I've noted that Bushnell is coming out with the Z6 with the red display and small size that looks a lot like the GX-3i. Amazon says it will be released in June but I've already seen some sold (demonstrators?) on EBay. I would bet that when the Z6 comes out, we'll see the price of the GX-3i reduced further - you can already find it for as low as $335 or so. Anyway, the reviews / comments have already convinced me, so today I pulled the trigger on the GX-3i as I didn't want to wait to find out whether the GX-4 would be deemed tournament legal. Can't wait to try it out.

RxGus
06-19-2012, 02:50 PM
I just purchased a GX-4i from Blind9 and had my first two rounds with it this past week.
First off- I love the weight and the quality of the device. It is very sturdy and I have no concerns about it getting beat up. The slope reading is wonderful and I think that over the long term it will make me a better player.

I have just one complaint... I would LOVE to turn off the club selection feature. I want the distance and the corrected distance... but I don't want a machine telling me what to hit. In the same round, the device recommended a 129 yard PW uphill and a 137 yard 7i downhill. I updated the distances for 8/6/4 iron when I got the device but it is still more than a club off several times a round. A few times I let it get into my head and clubbed up, completely overshooting the green.

In order to turn off the club selection, I need to turn off the slope. Why can't it just show me my two distances and leave it at that. As it is, you have to pay really close attention to the "straight line" distance because it disappears so fast!

JB
06-19-2012, 02:52 PM
Gus,
I had someone else tell me that and I guess to me I never really noticed it. I know its there, but all I look at are the two distances.

RxGus
06-19-2012, 02:54 PM
Gus,
I had someone else tell me that and I guess to me I never really noticed it. I know its there, but all I look at are the two distances.

How do you get it to "stay" on the second distance?
Mine flips to the club choice after about a second. I always find myself gunning the flag again to try and catch it.

After last round, I don't pay any attention to the club it mentions. It just took 2 bad experiences to tell me I can't believe anything it suggests.

JB
06-19-2012, 02:55 PM
How do you get it to "stay" on the second distance?
Mine flips to the club choice after about a second. I always find myself gunning the flag again to try and catch it.

Hmmm. I dont think mine has ever done that. Have you tried changing settings?

RxGus
06-19-2012, 02:57 PM
I messed with them a bit. I'll go back and look to see if there is anything else in the owners manual.

The top number (slope adjusted) is easy to read, it's the bottom number (the straight line distance) that is replaced by the club recommendation.
Or is your unit different?

JB
06-19-2012, 02:59 PM
I messed with them a bit. I'll go back and look to see if there is anything else in the owners manual.

The top number (slope adjusted) is easy to read, it's the bottom number (the straight line distance) that is replaced by the club recommendation.
Or is your unit different?

That is the way mine is, but I dont have it switch constantly with club selection. I dont have it with me since it is on the Tour Van, but will check to make sure I am not crazy as soon as we are next on there.

RxGus
06-19-2012, 03:00 PM
Thanks!
I appreciate that!

dleavitt39
07-06-2012, 02:01 AM
Thanks for this review. Just went out and bought myy GX-4i today, and got a steal on it since it was the "demo" model at the golf store, got it for 399.

DL

mact3333
07-06-2012, 12:42 PM
So am I the only one who got a "bad batch" of GX-4i??????

I got mine recently and it didnt work well at all...only when the flagstick had the prism did it work...mine couldnt lock onto flags even 135 yards and no its not user error.

I called Leupold and they said a "batch" of GX 3 and 4 i's left the factory with bad software and dont work well...most were re-flashed while at their factory in Beaverton but some left without the re-flash...mine was one of them.

I was going to sell mine cause it didnt work nearly as well as my old Bushnell 1500 SE.

Since I live close to thew factory I dropped mine off for the re-flash.

So if anyone has a GX-3/4i that doesnt work well, you probably need to send it in to the factory to get the software re-flash.

RxGus
07-06-2012, 01:37 PM
So am I the only one who got a "bad batch" of GX-4i??????

I got mine recently and it didnt work well at all...only when the flagstick had the prism did it work...mine couldnt lock onto flags even 135 yards and no its not user error.

I called Leupold and they said a "batch" of GX 3 and 4 i's left the factory with bad software and dont work well...most were re-flashed while at their factory in Beaverton but some left without the re-flash...mine was one of them.

I was going to sell mine cause it didnt work nearly as well as my old Bushnell 1500 SE.

Since I live close to thew factory I dropped mine off for the re-flash.

So if anyone has a GX-3/4i that doesnt work well, you probably need to send it in to the factory to get the software re-flash.

That's great to know. I was somewhat disappointed with the ability to lock on a flag stick- even with the prisims it doesn't give me the audibe beep/lock that it is supposed to. Perhaps I'll give leupold a call.

When did you pick yours up mact3333?

uncledave
09-27-2012, 08:42 PM
I'm new to this forum, so may be missing discussion on the subject, but just in case - I actually have an email from the USGA ("Equipment Standards") dated May 14, 2012, saying that they have evaluated the GX-4i, and it is not legal for tournament play - even when the yellow faceplate is removed.

mightyquinn
11-11-2012, 10:44 PM
I got my Leupold GX-3i earlier this week and have played 3 rounds with it so far and I am quite impressed with it so far!!! First off it is very small so it fits the the cup holders of the cart very easily but it fits in your hand very nice. Setting it up is pretty straight forward since there are only a few options to choose from. I have not had any issues at all finding distances to pins,trees, bunkers or anything at all. It seems to pick the pins up fairly easy even if your not spot on them and the red numbers and reticle make it easy to see, it is just a joy to use. I would highly recommend it!!!!

fireman1296
12-06-2012, 03:24 AM
JB, since you did the review I will ask you. I have been looking at getting a new rangefinder one that has the slope to it. I borrowed my friends rangefinder that is used for hunting and it can adjust for the angles. I called bushnell and they told me that theoretically the hunting and golfing rangefinders are pretty close to the same. When looking through his rangefinder at a steep downhill 14* the rangefinder was marking a distance of 132 and with teh angle or slope on I was getting a distance of 130. I bow hunt and 2 yards off can make a difference but in golf unless the pin is right next to the fringe and next to a pond dont understand all the hype on slope not being allowed in tourneys. Are these numbers close to what you were seeing with the golf rangefinders or was the info I received being golf and hunting rangefinders are not the same. Any info would be reatly appreciated. Thanks Eric

wadesworld
12-06-2012, 03:29 AM
Just FYI, I emailed Leupold about the status of their appeal on the GX-4i with the USGA and received this response:


Wade

the case is still under appeal and to be honest i dont see it being allowed anytime in the next year or two. They are holding pretty firm on their choice of not allowing it for legal play

Thank you
---- Original Message ----


Your golf rangefinder brochure show the Luepold GX-4i USGA-legal
status as "Under Appeal." Is that still the case, or has the USGA
issued a ruling?

essentiale
12-25-2012, 11:59 AM
that's pretty disappointing, maybe Leupold executives need to lobby harder and buy the guys at USGA some drinks.

Nonetheless, as an amateur golfer and after scouring the net for all the reviews, i've decided that the GX-4i is worth the penny and an upgrade over the Bushy Tour V2 which i had originally planned to get.