Bushnell has been at the top of electronic golf distance measuring since electronic golf distance measuring was a thing. Every year I’m thankful to get to test their latest and greatest, and every year I’m amazed they found a way of improving their offerings from the previous year. This year wasn’t just an improvement, it was a leap. Let’s take a look at the new Pro XE laser.
The viewfinder features 7X magnification to make picking a target easy. The laser range of the unit is from five to 1,300 yards. Yeah. I usually laser targets that are around 5-6 yards. Can’t be guessing those distances. Hehe. The laser is accurate to within one yard, which is terrific. Many lasers claim accuracy from 3-5 yards. That 3-5 yards could make the difference between hitting a green and landing in the drink short of it.
When the unit has locked in on a pin it vibrates or gives a “jolt.” This confirms to the golfer that the unit has locked in on the flag, and not the beverage cart.
The unit is compact in size and weighs in at a mere 11 ounces, despite having a rubber-armored metal housing.
The display is an “enhanced ultra-bright backlit” type, which produces stunning clarity and crispness in the yardages and graphics. It’s quite awesome.
To keep the electronics safe, and to allow use even in Scottish conditions (rain), the unit is waterproof.
The unit displays slope when the convenient slope switch is turned to the on position. Slope is where the unit gives a yardage number which compensates for elevation changes. For instance on my home course’s final par-3, it plays about 156 yards because of the downhill, but the true distance is about 165.
Not only does the unit calculate yardage for slope, but for the elements. The Pro XE uses yardage, slope, temperature and barometric pressure to calculate what yardage the shot is “playing like.” Unbelievable technology!
There’s a strong magnet on the side of the Pro XE for sticking it to the metal support beam of a golf cart, or the frame of a push cart (trolley for you in the UK). But don’t forget you stuck it on the cart. I left a magnetic GPS on a golf cart and dropped it off at the cart barn. I came back within five minutes but it was already gone, probably straight into the cart boy’s bag.
I can’t stress enough how amazing the optics and graphics display in this unit. It’s like the difference between VHS video and digital 4K. They should put an “HD” label on the thing. It’s so crisp and clean.
Of course, and as expected, the yardages are solid and super fast. I trust the XE’s numbers completely. It locks onto pins extremely fast. I even shot the pins on the practice green from the driving range. You know, those funny little pins that are about 18 inches high? No problem!
I wish I could have tested the amazing Pro XE laser rangefinder by Bushnell while playing actual golf, but the shoulder surgeon (and my shoulder) tell me there’s no golf for me until sometime in 2020. But I gave the unit an honest battery of tests, including the “trees behind the pin” to see how she performed. I’ve tested many, many lasers to date and none outperform the Pro XE.
That performance comes at a price. Retail on this baby is $549.00. Sure there are lasers out there these days that are considerably cheaper, but in this case you get what you pay for.
First Look: Callaway Apparel Weather Series