Technology has changed the way we play golf. Clubs, balls, and even shoes have evolved into making this game easier for the average golfer. Another technological advance when it comes to golf are the handheld devices that measure the course for us. Their are two sides of this group, one is GPS and the other is the Laser Rangefinder. Both have pros and cons and are debated endlessly, so we will not focus on that so much in this review. One thing we have figured out though, when it comes to brands that have you covered in this market, it is hard to argue that Bushnell is the King! As a company, they carry both Rangefinders and GPS units and it cannot be disputed with the success that they have had. There are some “pretenders”, but when it comes to the best Rangefinders on the market, the tour players all trust Bushnell. Early in the year we got the opportunity to review the Bushnell Tour V2 Laser Rangefinder and came away quite impressed.
One of the most important things in your golf game is knowing your distances. That can mean two things.
1. Knowing the distances you hit each club. It amazes us how off people are on this each time we play.
2. Knowing the distances of each shot you are about to make. Approach shots to the green are probably the most commonly thought of, but also finding distances to hazards off the tee.
When we reviewed the Bushnell Tour V2 W/Slope Rangefinder we had very few issues, but one issue that popped up was that of people that had a tough time keeping their hands steady enough to use it. Knowing the distances is the key to the game and if you are struggling with picking up those distances, the Rangefinder will obviously not work for you. Leave it to the fine folks at Bushnell for making another device that may fix that problem that a few had. When we first learned about the PinPro at the PGA Merchandise Show, we were eager to give it a test drive.
Looks and Feel
When we first got the PinPro in our offices I must say that in the looks department it did very little for me. Slightly pistol shaped with a “bracelet” looking loop at the bottom. However once I picked it up I realized that it just works. It fits in your hand better than most handheld devices and once you realize that the “loop” has a meaning, you appreciate the styling even more. The circle opening at the bottom is actually used to keep the device attached to your bag. The clip works EXTREMELY well and keeps the device safe on the golf bag, yet at the same time very easy to get on and off. The single button operation could not be easier to use and makes the “feel” of the device even better. The button is located in the perfect position to make use easy and possibly even one-handed. The LCD screen reads clearly and the box even comes with the battery.
From the company
While holding the product in your hand at arm-length, turn the unit ON by quickly pressing and releasing the trigger with your index finger. All liquid crystal segments and icons will initially be displayed. The trigger is located underneath the objective lenses and when depressed again for ranging generates an audio beep. Next, look through the red dot sighting system and locate the red dot. The object you intend to acquire distance to can easily be targeted by placing the red dot upon the object.
The PinPro features two targeting modes, PinFire Mode and Non-PinFire Mode. When a target is acquired in PinFire Mode the audio alarm sounds two beeps and distance is displayed on the external LCD. When a target is acquired in Non-PinFire Mode the audio alarm sounds three beeps and the distance is displayed on the external LCD. Once the unit is ON, PinFire Mode is initiated by a quick press and release of the trigger. PinFire Mode should be used when the REFLECTIVE prism is attached to the top of the flag stick. While in this mode, the laser pulses will continue firing for approximately 5 seconds and then stop.
If the trigger is pressed and held the unit will go into Non-PinFire Mode and will hit most anything without a reflective prism to 450 yards. This mode can be activated by pressing the trigger button after 2-3 seconds of PinFire mode. You may either hold the button from the initial press, or press and hold the trigger anytime after the ~2-3 seconds of PinFire Mode (i.e. quick press-release, wait ~2-3s, press and hold). Non-PinFire Mode is maintained as long as the trigger is pressed, a valid reading is obtained, or the timeout expires.
Using the device is definitely as easy as it sounds. We have heard a few reviewers say that they had trouble operating the device and we just had no such issues. We tried the PinPro at two courses, one with the prisms on top of the flags and one without. Not once did we really have any issues locking in on a target. With the prisms this thing is an absolute breeze. It picks up the yardage fast and is super easy to lock onto the target. If your course does not use the prisms on the flags, it can take a second or two to lock into the stick, but we still only had one tester have issues with it, and from inside of 200 yards, nobody had really any issues at all. Using the PinPro to pick up trees or other obstacles was EXTREMELY easy. It comes down to basically pointing and shooting. It really was one-handed operation for this and not one single person had any issues with it. The unit can measure in both yards or meters as well.
There were not a whole lot of drawbacks with the unit, but we had one small one. One of the major positives of this unit compared to the Tour V2 is that you do not have to hold it up to your eye to get measurements. This is very true and we had no issues using it. However on our last day of testing we did notice that during heavy winds, it was a little harder to use if you were playing a course without the Prisms. But other than that, the Bushnell PinPro works as described.
The Bushnell PinPro is exactly what we thought it would be. A strong device that is extremely easy to use and can make life easier for just about any golfer. When working with and testing devices like this we look for:
1. Ease of use – It sure is easy. One button does everything.
2. Design – Fits great in your hand, one handed operation, and clip built in.
3. Performance & Accuracy – Works well and as described. Although heavy winds can cause slight issues.
4. Price – At $249 it is lower than most devices that do the same thing.
If you normally play at a course that features the Prisms on top of the flagsticks, this is an extremely strong contender for measurement devices and should definitely be checked out. If your regular course does not, we still recommend the Bushnell Tour V2 that we reviewed. Only due to the fact that it is slightly easier to use on a windy day. Either way you are getting a great product that will work for years to come. For more information on any of the Bushnell measurement devices, check out their website at www.bushnellgolf.com.
Till Next Time