Bushnell Hybrid Laser & GPS Device

The debate has been going on for the last few years about which device is better for which golfers. Should you get a GPS or should you carry a laser rangefinder. In the end, both devices have their strong and weak points and because of that I have been carrying both for over 2 years now. While it is not the most cost effective measure to get proper distances, in the end, I felt as though it gave me the most accurate yardages on the course from any scenario. That is until now of course.

From the Company
The Hybrid’s GPS function allows users to access more than 16,000 North American golf courses which have been pre-loaded onto the device, making it ready to use right out of the box without ever having to pay any membership fees. The Hybrid’s GPS provides simple, at-a-glance distances to front, center and back of the green. The Hybrid also offers four custom points on a hole that can be extremely helpful to reference on blind tee shots/approaches on a golf course. The GPS distances are also convenient on days when it is “cart paths only” when golfers are deciding what clubs to bring with them. Another great feature is the shot distance mode that makes it easy for the golfer to gauge how far a drive or an approach was hit.

With the Hybrid, you can now acquire exact distances to the flag, lip of a bunker, tree, or any other object on the course. Knowing the exact lasered distance to the flag, as well as the GPS provided distance to the front, center and back of the green, enables the golfer to strategize and hit every approach shot with confidence. Having the ability to use both laser and GPS technologies, the golfer now has the best of both worlds in one unit. The Hybrid is legal for tournament play under USGA decision 14-3/0.5 that permits a committee to establish a local rule that allows a player to use a distance-measuring device to obtain distance information.

Using the Device
Using the device on the course was as easy as any device we have used in the past. Obviously with the laser side of things, it is point and shoot. Bushnell’s Pinseeker mode makes picking up the flagsticks incredibly easy and if you had a chance to try out a Bushnell Tour V2 and liked what you saw in terms of use, then you will love this device as well. Going in, I was concerned about the GPS side of things for this device. Would the device still be small enough or would form factor suffer greatly? Would syncing the device or battery life be a problem that I never feared with my laser and now would have to with this device? Would it give me information that is usable on the course outside of just green measurements?

After spending over a month using the hybrid distance measuring device, I can say that all of my worries are gone. Here are some highlights from the GPS side of things that are definite must need to know.

1. All of the courses are already built in. Get to the course, it tells you where you are and you start playing. No need for subscription fees or remembering to add the course into the library before you arrive (however course updates to come from syncing the device & computer).

2. More than just green distances are found in the unit. Key points of interest such as lay up spots, distances to bunkers, etc can all be found with just the click of one button.

3. Battery life is far better than expected. I am averaging 3 rounds on a single charge and while I would like to remember to bring it in after each round and charge it, many times I forget and this makes up for it.

Overall
After a month with the new Bushnell Hybrid Laser & GPS, I cannot imagine using anything else. It gives me the best of both worlds in one small easy to use package. By keeping the form factor small and easy to hold onto, Bushnell has created a wonderful hybrid device that would benefit so many golfers out there. The price tag on this one is $499 and many immediately balk when they see that, but keep in mind that if you compare having both a GPS and Rangefinder together the cost becomes “clear” and the ability to just have one device is simply something I never thought I would see. You can read more about this new gadget at the company’s website at www.bushnellgolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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