When deciding what type of distance measuring device to add to your golf bag, the first big decision is typically between a laser rangefinder and a golf GPS unit . These two options are both capable of providing valuable distance information, but they go about it in different ways. If you have been trying to make this decision and you can’t seem to decide, Bushnell has developed an exciting third choice: a hybrid model that brings together a rangefinder and a GPS unit in the same device. Here’s a comprehensive Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder review from Team PlayBetter.
The Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder + GPS
That’s right. The Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder is both a rangefinder and a golf GPS. For those who simply can’t pick one side or the other in this distance measuring debate, the solution is simple. This product can offer you the best of both worlds.
- First ever integrated GPS/Laser Display
- Dual Battery Source (CR2 for Laser and USB for GPS)
- Includes Charging Cable, Carry Case, CR2 Battery
- Range to a Flag: 400 Yards
- 5× Magnification
- PinSeeker with JOLT Technology
- Accurate to 1 Yard
- Fast Focus System
- Preloaded with 36,000+ Courses in 30 Countries
- Exterior GPS Readout Includes Front/Center/Back
- Up to 4 Hazard Distances Per Hole
- Bluetooth for Auto Course Updates
- Auto Course Recognition & Auto Hole Advance
Rangefinders Vs GPS Units
Before we get too far into this review, we shouldn’t assume you already know the difference between golf rangefinders and GPS units. Let’s quickly explain how each of them works:
- A Laser Rangefinder uses a laser within the device to bounce off of objects in the distance. The time it takes the laser to travel to an object and then return will allow the device to calculate the total distance. This method is simple, effective, and very accurate.
- A Golf GPS Unit uses satellites to coordinate your position on the golf course. Then, your position is compared to the known position of features on the course—which have been mapped ahead of time—to determine the distance. This is a completely different method from a rangefinder, obviously, but it works nicely as well.
As both of these distance measuring technologies have worked their way into the game of golf, most players have taken up one side or the other:
- Why A Rangefinder? Some golfers love the versatility that the laser method offers, providing a quick and accurate reading to anything on the course suitable to bounce a laser off of. For example, most golfers would agree that the best thing about a laser rangefinder is the ability to determine a precise distance to the hole. You can simply bounce the laser off the flag or pin, and you’ll know how far you are away from the cup. That is something GPS cannot do, since the satellite coordinates have no way of knowing where the hole has been located on that given day.
- Why A GPS? On the other hand, the predetermined landmarks that are included with a GPS unit are something that cannot easily be replicated with a laser. Specifically, we are talking about the distances to the front, middle, and back of each green. Those spots are marked in every GPS system, so you can access those helpful numbers at any time while on the course. With a laser rangefinder, you’ll struggle to precisely measure the distance to the front of the putting surface, or the middle or back.
In reality, both have their strengths and weaknesses, which is why combining the technologies is such a good idea.
Combine Strengths Without Breaking Budget
The best thing about the Bushnell Hybrid Laser Rangefinder + GPS is that you can avoid the typical drawbacks that are seen with one kind of unit or the other. That’s because it combines both features into a single device. Notably, this enhanced functionality comes with a price tag that is comparable to other top rangefinders and GPS units on the market today.
Golfers who pick the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder as their tool of choice won’t have to sacrifice on either side of the rangefinder / GPS equation. They’ll have the precision that comes with the laser, and the wealth of information that comes with the GPS. Accurate numbers are essential on the course, and you will have plenty of them at your disposal if you purchase this smart device.
Notable Features and Capabilities
With the list below, we would like to highlight some of the notable aspects of the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder.
- Rangefinder can measure the flag up to 400 yards away
- Laser draws power from CR2 battery, while GPS is charged via USB
- Laser offers 5x magnification, JOLT Technology and accuracy within one yard
- GPS has more than 36,000 courses preloaded
- Readout from GPS on the exterior of the unit for quick viewing
- Auto course recognition and auto hole advance
- Bluetooth used for automatic course updates
Yet another compliment that can be paid to this product is the fact that neither half of the unit is sacrificed to bring it together into a single package. In other words, this is still a high-quality laser rangefinder and a high-quality GPS unit. It would not be nearly as successful of a product if each of the two halves were a lesser version than what you get with other options. That’s not the case, which is why Bushnell should be proud of what they have created.
Is It Right for You?
At the end of the day, is the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder + GPS the right choice for your game? To be honest, it’s hard to find much negative to say about this product. For some players, the only drawback will be the price, which is higher than some of the other options on the market that only offer laser rangefinder or GPS capabilities. That said, as we mentioned earlier, the price is very competitive when comparing to other top devices in either category.
Considering the fact that this device brings the two technologies together so successfully, we think that the serious golfer will be thrilled with what the Bushnell Hybrid can do.
We hope our Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder review has been helpful. If you’ve decided that it’s the tool for your bag, PlayBetter can help.
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