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Review: Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinders

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Pros: Compact and lightweight. Lightning-fast readings. Easy to use. With the Tour V4 Slope, slope mode can be turned off to comply with tournament rules.

Cons: Not waterproof.

Who it’s for: All golfers can use the Tour V4 ($299.99). The pricier Tour V4 Slope ($399.99) offers slope functionality, which appeals to golfers who play different courses on a regular basis, or want the most accurate readings possible for casual and practice rounds.

The Review

Last year, I made the case that Bushnell’s Tour X Jolt rangefinder was the company’s best rangefinder, and one of the best rangefinders on the market. That has changed, thanks at least in part to the USGA, which amended its stance on slope-measuring rangefinders. Golfers can now use a slope-measuring rangefinder, so long as the slope functionality is turned off, in tournaments where distance-measuring devices are allowed.

Bushnell’s new Tour V4 rangefinders are available in two models: the Tour V4 ($299.99) and the Tour V4 Slope ($399.99), which takes advantage of the new rule.

The Tour V4 Slope (and all Bushnell’s slope-measuring rangefinders) uses a built-in inclinometer, as well as an algorithm that factors in distance, elevation and trajectory to calculate a distance a shot will play. So on top of producing an actual distance to the flag, say 150 yards, the Tour V4 Slope will also provide a “plays-like” distance. If that 150-yard shot is uphill, it might play more like 160 yards. If it’s downhill, it might play more like 140 yards. For golfers who know their distances well, the Tour V4 Slope will help them better understand their course in causal and practice rounds. And come tournament time, they can still use the Tour V4 Slope, if local rules allow, by toggling the slope functionality off before they get to the first tee.

The USGA rule change eliminates the need of tournament golfers to have two rangefinders, a problem Bushnell had already solved with the Tour X Jolt ($499.99). The Tour X Jolt used a system of interchangeable face plates, which make it a slope-and-distance measuring device when its red face plate was installed, and a distance-only measuring device when its black faceplate was installed. The execution was impressive, but more than once when I (too firmly) dropped the Tour X in the back bin of my golf cart was I jarred when the face plate came flying off. The rangefinder was always fine, but a part of me wondered how many drops it had left in it before something bad happened.

There are a few advantages to the Tour X, however, but for most golfers in the market for a new slope rangefinder, the Tour V4 makes much more sense. For example, with the Tour X, golfers can toggle between a brighter red display and a deeper black display. It also has a 6X magnification, making objects appear 6-times larger through its viewing window, whereas the Tour V4 Slope only has a 5X magnification. The Tour X also claims an accuracy of +/- 0.5 yard, while the Tour V4 has an accuracy of +/- 1 yard. Personally, I liked the ability to toggle the color of the Tour X’s display from black to red, but I didn’t notice the magnification or accuracy differences when compared to the Tour V4 Slope. What I did notice in a big way, however, was that the Tour V4 had no removable parts, and was significantly smaller and lighter. More importantly, the Tour V4 Slope sells for $100 less than the Tour X. Both also use Bushnell’s “Jolt” technology, which alerts a golfer when the rangefinder has locked onto a flagstick by vibrating.

The lone drawback? The Tour V4 slope is water-resistant, whereas Bushnell’s other premium rangefinders (Tour X, Pro X7, Pro X7 Jolt, Tour Z6 Jolt) are rainproof or waterproof.

If you’re a golfer who wants the most accurate distances possible, the Tour V4 Slope is currently Bushnell’s most attractive option, thanks to its ability to turn its slope functionality on and off through its menu. If you don’t care about slope, the Tour V4 and its $100 savings makes more sense. But once slope is off the table, you may want to consider Bushnell’s even more affordable models (Tour V3, Medalist).

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Joe Carrow

    Jul 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Do you still think that Tour V4 is still worth a test? I am a Pro X7 user and happy to say it’s the best rangefinder i ever used.

  2. Kevin

    Dec 16, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Had these about a year now, for me they’ve worked perfectly, no issues with locking on, even in dull light, can be tricky into a setting sun but that goes for all rangefinders in my experience. Best I’ve used by far

    • Kevin

      Dec 16, 2016 at 7:49 am

      apologies, should have made it clear I was referring to the Tour X, not the V4

  3. ButchT

    Jul 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Does this model lock onto the nearest object in the line of sight or does it go back and forth with the trees in the background? Thanks. ButchT.

  4. Avery

    May 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Both I and a friend both got this range finder as soon as it came out. We both had the same experence and only discussed after we had both returned the unit. Battery Door is horrible. The Jolt feature works about 1 out of 4 times. It was hit or miss above 150 yards and could not lock onto any pin over 180 yards.

    I have had the same Bushnell 1500 slope since it came out and worked flawlessly. Unfortunately I sold it before testing this new model. Very sad Bushnell put these out without some further QC.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.

Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.

Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII

First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.

In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.

Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.

Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.

Review

The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.

The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.

Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Putting Perfecter

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Putting can be one of the most frustrating parts of the game, it mystifies scratch golfers as much as high handicaps and can make anybody tremble over a three-footers. It’s one of the biggest factors in scoring, especially for the club-level player, but it’s often one of the last things people actually work on. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fun to pound drivers on the range, am I right?

But if you are seriously looking for a simple tool to help get you into the proper address position, the Putting Perfecter is a great one to start with.

The beauty of the device is in its simplicity. Fitting under your arms and across your midsection, it “locks” the player into the proper position to create a pendulum putting stroke. After giving it a shot and hitting putts for just a few minutes, then going back to putting without it made me feel like I was much more connected.

Don’t think it’s just for putting though.

Funny story, when I first took it out to work on my putting, I used it for about 30 minutes and then moved onto my chipping. After a few trips around the putting green I tried chipping with the Putting Perfecter in the same position and “WOW” same connected feeling was produced—it was perfect for working on low-flying “runners.” I was excited to tell my friend about it, until I went home and realized they actually advertise it to help with that too. Guess I’m not as clever as I thought…

No matter how you use it, the Putting Perfecter is a simple and effective training tool that can be carried in a bag to be used before or after a round, takes NO time to set up (a big plus), and is light—so you don’t feel like its dragging you down if you actually keep it in your bag. Since it’s a putting tool, you can even use it indoors very easily. If you are someone that struggles with consistent address position on putts or disconnecting when chipping, I believe the Putting Perfecter is a great tool to try.

For more information check out the Putting Perfecter website.

 

 

 

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