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