It’s the end of the year and time to look back at some awesome golf products and golf courses I’ve covered, and award the cream of the crop with the Hooked on Golf Blog Product of the Year. To qualify for this award the product has to have been reviewed here at Hooked on Golf Blog during the calendar 2017.
For the first Hooked on Golf Blog Product of the Year award of 2017 I’m starting with the golf accessory category. This award goes to the golf accessory I found to be the best, most important, and most go-to new accessory to my golf gamer bag of 2017. The envelope please…
Bushnell Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder
Hands down the most crucial and by far the most used accessory in my bag is my laser rangefinder. Boy is my gamer a good one, the Bushnell Golf Pro X2. The Bushnell Pro X2 uses “pinseeker” technology to nail the pin very quickly and give me solid yardages instantly.
Bushnell Golf Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder
This unit is fast, small, easy to use, accurate, well built, and dependable.
Features include rock solid yardages in yards or meters, vibration when locked onto the pin, bright red LED readout or standard black, slope (enable or disable easily for legal play), and a great carrying case.
Check out my Bushnell Pro X2 review for more details.
I get a LOT of golf accessories submitted here for review from golf GPS’s to lasers to training devices, apps, and countless other gadgets. The X2 stood out above the rest and deserves the great honor of winning a HOG Accessory Product of the Year.
On the 15th hole of the City Amateur tournament this weekend two players were using their lasers to get a yardage. It’s a long downhill par-3. “248,” the one player said to the other after 10-15 seconds of shooting. “Yup that’s what I got,” the other player replied. Seemed off to me but they both shot it. Player one then proceeded to knock his shot over the green. I got out my Bushnell Pro X2 laser and shot it at 228. The green slants toward the tee uphill, and the flag was on the front. I suspect each of those two guys was aiming at the flag, but their lasers were reading the back of the green and not the pin. My X2 locked onto the pin instantly. That’s a great example of my X2 story. It locks on so quickly and accurately.
Bushnell Golf Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder
Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder Features
- Pinseeker technology locks onto pin quickly
- Jolt – the unit vibrates when the pin is locked
- Slope-Switch Technology – turn slope on or off easily without changing physical hardware
- Rubber Armored Metal Housing
- IPX7 Fully Waterproof
- Accurate to a 1/2 yard
- Ranges 5-1,300 Yds; 450+ Yds to a Flag
- Dual Display Technology – red or standard black LED
- 6X Magnification
- 2nd Generation E.S.P.
- Fast Focus System
- Stable-Grip Technology
- Solid carrying case which mounts on a golf bag easily
- Two year warranty
On The Course
As I mentioned above, this laser is super-quick. I’ve used at least a dozen varying laser rangefinders and the X2 locks onto the pin faster than any of them. I prefer to use the red LED display, part of the DDT (dual display technology). The red is very easy to red and vibrant.
Being somewhat of a rules stickler, I’ve never used slope on any lasers in the past. During some non-tournament rounds on my very hilly home course I decided to try out the slope. For years I’ve calculated yardages by experience and feel. The slope in the Pro X2 shows the estimated yardage the shot would play if it was flat. For instance, the par-3 6th at my home course is 186 but quite a bit downhill. The slope rating in the X2 made it pretty clear why I’ve often hit my shots too far. I’ve calculated the downhill as 10 yards, so playing to 176 but according to the X2 it plays as 170, about another half club.
The slope switch on this unit is quite convenient. Unlike the previous slope model Bushnell, there’s no taking off a plate to change the slope. That was somewhat inconvenient and the plates could be easy to lose.
The size of this unit is great. It easily fits in the palm of my hand. The technology is getting better, allowing for smaller devices. In the old days the Pinseeker models were obnoxiously large.
The Jolt feature is one I’ve grown to depend on. When the unit is locked onto the pin, it gives a quick buzz or vibration.
I’ve played in several rain storms with the X2, a couple quite heavy. No issues at all so the waterproofing works well.
The Bushnell Pro X2 is an industry leader without a doubt. The features, technology, and performance are unmatched. That performance and quality comes with a sticker price of $499 which is well worth it in my opinion. There are definitely less expensive options out there, if you like hitting your 248 yard club for shots that are 228.
The battery to my (now former) laser rangefinder died last week on the first fairway. I was quite surprised how accurate I was during that round with guessing yardages. Thankfully I don’t have to go to the store and find one of those weird CR2 batteries or whatever they are. I’ll be replacing that dead battery and laser with a whole new laser I’ll be testing, the Bushnell Golf Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder.
Bushnell Golf Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder
Bushnell Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder Features
- Pinseeker technology. If you haven’t used a Pinseeker unit, they’re awesome. The laser easily locks onto the flagstick, even with shaky hands
- “Jolt” technology vibrates the unit when the the laser locks onto the pin to confirm the right yardage
- Accurate to 1/2 yard (more accurate than a GPS)
- Can give ranges to the flag up to 450 yards for you big hitters
- Slope technology with a switch to turn it off and be USGA legal for tournaments
- Dual display: bright red or black
- 6x magnification
- SMALL! Much smaller than older lasers!
Father’s Day Golf Gift Alert!
My review is pending my testing. I’m compelled to point out that Father’s Day is coming up and the arrival of the new Pro X2 is perfect timing. Based on my previous reviews of Bushnell Golf’s products I’d be willing to place a bet that dad will think you’re the most awesome person ever if you pick him up a Pro X2. I’m confident I’ll be backing up those statements in my full review around the 1st of June.
Bushnell TourX Golf Laser Rangefinder Review
Bushnell Neo iON Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch Review
Bushnell NEO Ghost Pocket Golf GPS Review
Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Golf Laser Rangefinder Review
Bushnell Tour V2 Golf Rangefinder
Father’s Day golf gift alert… I’ve just spent a few minutes setting up my new Bushnell Excel GPS Rangefinder Watch, loading the accompanying mobile app, and setting it up on my Google Pixel phone (Android). See photo below.
This GPS Watch does more than a typical golf GPS. Here’s a short list:
- GPS yardages
- 35,000 courses
- Book tee times
- Record scores during and/or after play
- Pedometer/Fitness tracker
- View smartphone notifications (incoming calls, texts) from the watch
Mobile App (integrates with GPS watch)
- Full color aerial views of hole layouts with distance
- 3D flyovers with distances
- Book tee times
- Swing analysis stats
I’ll be starting my testing tomorrow in Wednesday league and posting a review before Father’s Day, hint hint.
Golf GPS rangefinder watch technology is improving. No longer does the golfer have to wear a ridiculously large device to have GPS yardages and other great features on his or her wrist. Case in point is the new Bushnell neo iON GPS rangefinder watch. Let’s take a look.
Bushnell Neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch
In the photo above I’m either playing a really short par-5 and I’m on the tee, or I just duffed my drive and did the walk of shame 50 yards forward from the tee. Take your pick. But the display does give a good example of the core information I need when approaching a green, the front yardage, middle yardage, and back yardage. Here’s a list of all the basic features of the Bushnell neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch:
- One button operation
- Auto course recognition
- Auto hole advance
- Calculates shot distances
- Up to four hazard or layup distances per hole
- Extended battery life
- Over 35,000 preloaded courses
On The Course
One of the most irritating things about many golf GPS devices, watch or others, is the amount of time it takes them to recognize what course they are on. In fact, some of the GPS units I use never find the course. This unit finds the course very quickly and does not lose it.
During the round the yardages are solid and quick. I’ve confirmed them with markers on the ground and via laser. Rock solid. Sometimes it’s better to think about the front or back yardages of the green. Say you have a green with a false front which repels shots. Knowing the right number to avoid that spot is a great advantage. The same goes with pins that are long. If the green has a bad drop behind it or deep rough, long is dead. Knowing these yardages arms the player with great information for a better approach strategy.
The pedometer is a very cool feature. My phone has one, but it isn’t as accurate, and it drains the battery badly. Knowing how many miles I’ve walked is also great. A 7,000 yard course may calculate out to four miles, but the walk can be double that or more. After all, the golfer doesn’t hit straight shots. Left. Right. Left. Right. You get the drill.
Another great bit of information the unit provides is shot distances. One may “think” their 9-iron goes 140 yards when in reality it goes 132. Knowing exact yardages, and accepting what they really are, will save strokes. If only I could teach myself to accept them… That’s another discussion.
The battery life of the iON is great. I’ve squeezed two full rounds out of a unit before charging. I think I could have gotten more out of it but wanted to be sure I had a full 18 for my next round.
I have the same critique for this unit which I have for 99% of the golf GPS watches I’ve reviewed, the proprietary charging cable. Why is it so hard for companies to put a standard micro USB plug on these units? That way one could charge it with a standard cable should he/she forget to bring the proprietary one.
The other issue I have with GPS watches is the fact that they are watches. I’m not a watch wearer and I find them especially uncomfortable in the golf swing. So I usually attach them to my golf bag. It would be nice if the unit could be stand alone, without the band.
Though it retails for $199.00, I’ve found this golf GPS watch on sale at Amazon for only $149.00. Considering all the features and performance this is a great deal.
Father’s Day is coming up later this week. Dad would love one.