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I own a Bushnell Hybrid Golf Laser Rangefinder + GPS. 
It's a great rangefinder. It includes both a rangefinder and a GPS.

What I like really like about it is that when you look through the view finder you get distance to the flag (or what ever else your pointing at) and (if the battery is charged) it also gives you the GPS distances to the front and back of the green. 

What I don't like about it is that it uses (2) different batteries. While the rangefinder is powered by a replaceable battery, which is fine. You have to plug in and charge the internal lithium ion batter to power the GPS. I always forget to pull it out of the golf bag and charge the GPS. So, 9 times out of 10 I'm only using the rangefinder without the GPS. So, I almost never get that front and back of the green feature. 

Anyhow, I was playing with a guy who was using a "PeakPulse" brand rangefinder. I tested it compared to my Bushnell and honestly they were pretty much giving us exactly the same numbers. His "PeakPulse" also had slope. Which my Bushnell does not. I think I paid $399 for my Bushnell back maybe 3-4 years ago. This guy paid 80 bucks for his. 

So, I went on Amazon and there are a lot of Rangefinders for around 80-90 bucks, some even cheaper. Bushnell's as a rule are still going $300 to $600 dollars. Most golfers I know who have rangefinders, have Bushnell rangefinders. ... A few Callaways here and there. 

I'm curious, how many of you are using a low-cost rangefinder and how many of you are using a Bushnell? And if you are using a Bushnell and it needed replacing would you consider a low-cost rangefinder? 

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  • iacas changed the title to Lower Cost Rangefinders
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The lowest cost I'd go is something like a Precision Pro. The cheap ones crap out easily. Bad weather. Optics issues. Etc.

A decent to great rangefinder could last you a decade.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

A decent to great rangefinder could last you a decade.

Sort of like the argument for a Clic-Gear push cart. 

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53 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Sort of like the argument for a Clic-Gear push cart. 

Agreed. I have a bushnell tour x I bought over ten years ago off eBay, and it still works. I haven’t had my clicgear 3.5+ as long, but it’s great as well. 

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Sort of like the argument for a Clic-Gear push cart. 

But there are arguments against the Clicgear other than the price

I can't think of any to argue against the expensive range finders except for price

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I’ve had a Leupold GX-1 for quite a while. They replant when I had an issue even after the warranty ran out.

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

The lowest cost I'd go is something like a Precision Pro. The cheap ones crap out easily. Bad weather. Optics issues. Etc.

A decent to great rangefinder could last you a decade.

I'm using a Bushnell I got in 2008.

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7 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I’ve had a Leupold GX-1 for quite a while. They replant when I had an issue even after the warranty ran out.

Yep.  Mine is going on something like 10 years now...

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7 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I’ve had a Leupold GX-1 for quite a while. They replant when I had an issue even after the warranty ran out.

That's good to know.  I have a rangefinder I bought in either summer '13 or summer '14 (I lost my previous, a Callaway GPS that wouldn't update anymore, during a non-final-round of my club championship.  I think it was summer 2013.  I can probably find the post on TST about it if I look enough).  Only change out has been one battery a few years ago.  It does last a long time.

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(edited)

I had a Leupold GX-1 for about 8 years. It was really good and the battery lasts years. Literally.

I replaced it with a Bushnell which is much faster and the "jolt" function is really great.

Haven't replaced a battery yet and it's used twice a week (18 months).

I managed to sell the Leupold for a decent price and I thought the upgrade was worth it.

I think that these are the sorts of things where you think it's OK to save a hundred or so dollars and buy a no-name one on ebay and then a week later wish you'd bought a good one.

IT's not something you need to replace  - I am sure you'll get well in excess of 10 or 15 years out of one.

 

Edited by Shorty
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(edited)

GX-1 for 10+ years. Graphics finally faded a bit so bought a Tec Tec Tec based on reviews and pricing a year ago. Perfectly adequate. No gps, no jolt, no slope. But scan mode, pin lock, adjustable focus eye-piece, graphics... all excellent.

I haven't dropped it yet like I did the Leupold a few times so haven't tested rough 'handling' yet but seems like the sturdy heavy body casing should absorb reasonable impacts well.

Edited by GolfLug
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20 hours ago, colin007 said:

But there are arguments against the Clicgear other than the price

Possibly. But I don't think anyone could argue that the Clicgear doesn't last a long time. In this case I was just trying to make a comparison that the Bushnell range finders do tend to last a long time. 

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40 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

I haven't dropped it yet like I did the Leupold a few times so haven't tested rough 'handling' yet but seems like the sturdy heavy body casing should absorb reasonable impacts well.

That's actually something I didn't think about. I "toss" my Bushnell on the ground all the time. 
Here's the scenario. It's cart path only, or my playing partner drops me off at my ball and drives over to his. (Yes, we play ready golf.) I have 3 clubs in one hand, my rangefinder in the other. I shoot the pin, possibly one or two other points. Then I pick a club, drop the other two clubs and then I drop my rangefinder next to them. (I drop it from knee height, because I'm trying to follow the rules.)

Thinking about it now. I'm going to make an effort to stop doing that. Mine's only 3 years old and do want it to last a long time. I'm committing right now to pick and place my rangefinder from this point forward. 

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I had a Leupold for about 12 years, it finally died on me earlier this year.  I was leaning towards a new Leupold, but wasn't really a fan of their current line so I ended up getting a Bushnell.

 

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I splurged and got a Bushnell V5 shift with slope, buzzes when it locks on, so on last year and love it. Consequently I do not use my gps watch much at all, not even as much as I thought I would. Getting the exact distance to the flag is great, giving you more confidence when selecting a club. Its got the bite magnet on it, but I always keep an eye on it!

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I have a cheap rangefinder, Simmons 801600. I can pick flags inside 100 yards easily. Flags inside 200 yards only if there is a strong side wind. I'm not a flag hunter so I usually aim at bunker edges or hazards to see how much I need to cover. 

I'm also wearing a Garmin S-40 for tee shots (distance to hazards and crossbunkers) and back/middle/front of the green. Is a few yards off but I can work with that on tee shots and also on approach shots when the rangefinder don't give me the info I need (eg. when i'm in other fairway or I can't see the green/flag). 

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  • 1 month later...

I recently bought one of those cheap, no name rangefinders from amazon for less than $80. It has a slope mode and a tournament mode and seems to work ok. I got a chance to compare it on the course last Monday with a fellow using a higher priced Bushnell rangefinder. I found that the Bushnell had a larger center circle which made it a bit easier to lock on and get the distance from the flag. My cheapie rangefinder, with my shaky hands, is more difficult to tag the flag with and I have to hold it pretty steady to avoid ranging the trees in the background instead of the flag. It does have the "jolt" feature but I found it a bit easier to hold the flag in the center of the Bushnell than I do with mine. Also, I find that the button on mine is a bit stiff and I have to be careful to press down gently to shoot or I aggravate the optic jiggle. My rangefinder has a built-in rechargeable battery and came with a decent case and the image is bright and clear (so far). No magnet, though.

Still, for $80, and my limited "need" for a rangefinder it's just fine and I could buy 3 of them before approaching the price of a "good" rangefinder. But if, unlike me, you use one a lot or you're a bit younger than I am I would recommend spending the extra bucks for a better one.

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