Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder is Next Step in GPS Systems

Occasionally I'll get something in the mail from a golf company to review. No matter if it's a ballmarker or a driver or a shirt, I'll attempt to be fair when rolling out my thoughts on said product.

So, when I tell you that I absolutely am head over heels in love with the new Bushnell Hybrid know that I'm not just saying that because the package it came in was stuffed with $100 bills. Nope, I'm saying it because this is the next step in rangefinders. An exact pin yardage mixed with what the front and back of the green will be. It's like having a pin sheet on every golf course you will ever play again, and that is incredible.

I wasn't as excited as I thought I'd be when I got the device. I've used Bushnell and SkyCaddie before, and think they're both great products. I like to know the exact yardage to the pin, so I usually would go with a device I could laser to the flag, but the way SkyCaddie has transitioned lately has made their products must-owns as well.

The Hybrid is the next step. The first thing you might notice is the bulky side with the GPS part. It is different if you've used a lot of Bushnell before, but you get used to it (I found myself shooting at pins with the Hybrid sideways for the first couple of holes because of the added weight to the left side, but I eventually got past that).

The first thing I loved is that you don't have to connect it to the Internet. I arrived at the course I was playing, typed in "Dobson Ranch" after going through a question about what state I was playing, and the course came up. Boom, we're ready to go.

The green yardage might not be that beautiful, but it doesn't have to be. The GPS point is to give you the information you need, and nothing more. What is it to the front? What is it to the middle? What is it to the back? Now, let's fire at the pin.

Too many times I find myself forgetting to check the entire yardage, or see the entire picture. I will fire at a pin, see it is 156, and then yank out my 9-iron, but if the pin is in the front, and there is water guarding it, and I now know that it is 173 to the back, I might as well hit a smooth 8, and if it goes 10 yards past the pin, I'm still putting for birdie with a par under my belt. That's what the hybrid gives you.

I really enjoyed knowing both. I found myself a couple of times just looking at what the middle yardage was without even firing the laser at the pin, because I knew where I needed to hit it. It's the best of both worlds.

Does it have any flaws? Not anything that jumps out. You have to manually change between holes, which might seem like a big deal to some that are used to it just automatically doing that, but I'm sure it will be a bug that goes away with the next edition. Basically, what Bushnell did was combine two devices, like if a cell phone company came out with a iBlackberry, and made it to where you get the best of both worlds in just one piece of electronics.


Anonymous said...

Sounds cool!!

Bob Diercksmeier said...

Now maybe my father-in-law and I can stop arguing which is better, GPS or laser. Nice review Shane, I'll definitely check this out!