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.
I may not be able to swing a golf club until 2020 but I can sure point a golf laser rangefinder at a flagstick and press the button. I did a bit of that today while trying out the new Bushnell Pro XE laser rangefinder for the first time. Here’s a first look:
Man is the display super looking. The red text and layout is fantastic. I shot a few flags in the practice area today and the unit locks on quickly and gives great information, including slope if the switch is moved to show the red mark (see photo above, silver switch with red to right).
Pro XE Images
More images of the Bushnell Pro XE laser rangefinder.
I’m particular to German engineering, especially cars. But cars aren’t the only great products of German engineering. Add golf laser rangefinders to the list, from GPO. GPO is an abbreviation for German Precision Optics. GPO makes the new FLAGMASTER 1800 Golf Laser Rangefinder. Let’s take a look.
The FLAGMASTER 1800 features advanced optical technology which helps the unit quickly and accurately lock onto the target and deliver a solid, accurate yardage. The unit is six-power, which is massively powerful for golf applications. While it is completely overkill, the unit can measure targets as far away as 1800 yards! Think of it like that German car, say a Porsche. It will go 180 miles per hour, but realistically the driver may not need that extra 100 MPH.
The unit looks for pins equipped with reflective “flaglock” prism tape, and uses a specific flag-finding algorithm if the tape is present. If there’s no prism tape, the unit converts to a close-target distance function instead.
When the unit locks onto the flagstick, the unit makes a small vibration and a circle will appear around the flag icon in the viewfinder.
For practice rounds or times when the golfer wants to measure it, the 1800 offers slope reading. Slope reading will help the golfer adjust for elevation changes by producing a yardage number which accounts for the change. For instance, when shooting the par-3 17th at one of my home courses, the downhill shot is 155 yards. Due to the large drop, the hole plays more like it is 147 yards. To make things fair, a red LED light flashes when the 1800 is in slope mode. This allows judges and competitors to see whether the unit is in slope mode or not.
The unit is rated IPX4 rainproof.
As seen in the photo above, the 1800 comes with a nice case and also includes a CR2 battery.
On The Course
The 1800 is easy to use and very accurate. Locking onto the pin or other targets is quick. The unit does a good job of discerning the pin when there’s a background of other objects it might false positive on, like trees behind. The longest distance I shot was from the clubhouse of my home course to the pin on the par-5 first green, 685 yards. Boom. With driver technology getting more and more “long” every year, we need to shoot pins at 685 yards now. I kid, sort of.
The display is clear and easy to read, and the image clarity in the viewfinder is excellent.
GPO’s Flagmaster 1800 is a solid option in the golf laser rangefinder market. It is quick and easy to use and produces accurate yardages from ridiculously long distances!
I have not personally confirmed this, but I’ve been told that this unit has been seen for sale in Costco locations, at considerably less than the $390 retail price.
In for review from GPO (German Precision Optics) is their Flagmaster 1800 Golf Laser Rangefinder. This unit is possibly the smallest laser I’ve ever seen. It’s barely bigger than the palm of my hand. Love the size. It also boasts class 1 laser technology with a range of 1800 yards. With drivers getting longer and longer every product cycle, golfers need 1800 yards from their lasers!
We are currently in a permanent frost delay here in northern Utah. The courses are under a solid 6-8 inches of snow, With more falling now. When the frost delay is over And the snow melts, I’ll be putting this laser to the test. Stay tuned in late spring/summer. If the German engineering of this laser is as good as my car I expect great things.
In the box
Speaking of German engineering, how about this packaging?
In for review here at Hooked on Golf Blog is the latest and greatest golf laser rangefinder, the TecTecTec ULT-X. I’m excited to throw this unit in the bag and start testing.
The ULT-X boasts a 1000 yard range, with accuracy at that distance +/- one yard. Let’s face it, when I play 1000 yard holes I need an exact distance to the pin from the tee. With driver technology delivering more and more distance every year, I’m now hitting it 1000 yards. Seriously though, the unit is even more accurate in the 300 yard range, at +/- .3 yards.
In the box
Along with the long range and high accuracy, the ULT-X features flag-seeking, vibration (when the unit locks onto the pin), slope (not legal!), small size, and a crisp internal display.
The slope feature is enabled simply by pulling and sliding the face plate out about a third of an inch. A yellow stripe shows that the unit is in slope mode. In non-slope mode there is no yellow, just black.
Stay tuned for the HOG review of this $249 retail golf laser rangefinder.
TecTecTec VPRO500S Golf Laser Rangefinder Review