Bushnell Yardage Pro Review

When you think of Bushnell and golf, you immediately think of their high quality range finders that are in so many golfers’ bags. But this year the company has decided to take it one step further and create a line of GPS units for the players that prefer the simplicity of just looking down at a screen and getting a distance rather than having to use the optics of the range finder. The first to debut in the Bushnell line is the new distance made simple GPS handheld properly called the Yardage Pro.

The unit debuted at the PGA Show in Orlando and The Hackers Paradise got a first look at it there. Here are some of the features we learned about at the show.

• LCD screen with backlight
• Easy to Use Interface, Distance at a Glance
• Distance to Center, Front, & Back
• Store up to 10 courses
• Bag/Belt clip
• Auto Shut off/ Sleep Mode After 30 Minutes
• Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
• Battery Life up to 15 hours
• USB PC interface for downloads

While meeting with Bushnell at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show, we learned that the company had partnered with iGolf to offer downloadable course files from the world’s largest GPS golf course database. Because of that partnership, Bushnell is able to jump right into the GPS competition without waiting to grow a library of their own. We really liked the thought of that, because we thoroughly enjoyed the iGolf GPS units we had tried in the past.

The company has decided to go with a subscription based service for course downloads and the unit comes with one trial course download from iGolf before an annual membership of $34.95 is required for 100 GPS course downloads. Unlike other subscription services though, course downloads are stored on the hard drive of your PC and do not expire if the membership is not renewed.

Bushnell was kind enough to send one over on loan to THP to review and we were delighted to give it a test drive. We will base this review on four things.

1. Accuracy – What good is a GPS device that is not accurate.
2. Ease of Use
3. Durability
4. Features

Once armed with the device we headed out to play a few rounds of golf with it. We used it two golf courses both with built in GPS on the carts to compare accuracy. We also had a Skycaddie with us to use in comparison as well. For 5 rounds of golf we used these devices and in terms of accuracy, the Bushnell Yardage Pro was spot on. Never more than 1 yard difference between any of the devices. Ease of use was a complete breeze. You really only ever use a single button interface to move to the next hole. Each time you move, the correct yardages were displayed for front, center, and back of the green. Durability is where the Yardage Pro really shined. With a rubberized exterior and a completely weather resistant unit, this GPS unit is ready for the outside elements. Something a few others units that we have tested seem to lack.

The first three parts of the review were top notch, but the last one did not meet our expectations. That is the feature department. Now keep in mind that this is an “Entry Level” device, but the Bushnell Yardage Pro lacks one feature that we would like to see in GPS units at this price range. The lack of any distances other than distances to the green was the big one. Other entry level GPS units had up to four points of interest such as hazards or bunkers to assist you with playing a hole properly. The Yardage Pro lacks that feature and it is something that we feel is needed at this price range.

Overall, we think the Bushnell Yardage Pro is a step in the right direction for a company entering the GPS marketplace. They put out a high quality and extremely accurate GPS unit that will be perfect for golfers that play the same course all the time and really just need green distances. However if you play multiple or new courses frequently, you might want to wait for some of the other Bushnell GPS reviews before making your decision. You can read all about the Yardage Pro at their website Bushnell Golf Yardage Pro. This unit carries a MSRP of $199.99 and is available now.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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  • Nice review JB. It’s good to see a GPS device at this price level. Other than the one missing feature you mentioned it seems to be a great purchase prospect.

  • You are right Osahar. it is a great little device, but there are a few others that are out there that are even a little cheaper with these features. However they do not have the library of courses that this one has.

  • Great honest review.

  • Yeah, the course library available is a HUGE bonus for this one. I’ve never considered a rangefinder or GPS for golf, but it’s really tempting.

  • I bought this unit not too long ago and love it. I play the same course for the most part and no where I am going around the course. But this gives me my yardages to the green, because at my course the yardages are so far off.

  • The wife bought me the Sky Caddie SG5 gift pack for Christmas, (she’s a keeper). I wanted the Sky Caddie only because it had all the bells and whistles. I have a couple of friends who have the other GPS range finders with the built in courses, but I noticed that they lack allot of the course information, (front, back and center yardage, yardage to and to clear bunkers and hazards). Also they do not have the green layouts. I got the two year subscription package, but after talking to Sky Caddie a couple of weeks ago, for $20.00, they have a download that allows your unit to hold 20 courses instead of 10, and also gives you an improved green view that shows the angulations, (great more fees?). I guess what it boils down to is you get what you pay for, and how much do you want to spend? I think these are the coolest gadgets to come to golf in years. The best thing to do is play with a couple of different products and decide what best suites your game. Prices have also come way down on these items and they are now very affordable. I’m hoping now that the competition is offering built in courses that Sky Caddie will keep their annual subscription fees down. I’d hate to feel like I’m being held over the coals every time I have to renew. I guess I’ll find out in two years.

  • I too have the SG5, but do not consider it to have all the features of some of the other units out there that Bushnell is coming out with and that the UPRO has. Plus charging an extra $20 to do what just about every other GPS does already was highway robbery.

  • I’ve got a Bushnell laser rangefinder, which is first class. I’ve thought about GPS, but the price point has always been the problem. Good to see a unit with Bushnell’s quality available at this price. Agree however that it really needs multiple distances before it would qualify as a great deal.

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