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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: Uther Supply golf towels

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Product: Uther Supply golf towels

Pitch: Via Uther: “Uther cart towels use the highest quality material and construction which have been tested to perform season after season…Uther’s unique blend of moisturize wicking, soft microfiber is 3x more absorbent than cotton and 5x more durable…Waffle pattern to easily remove even the most stubborn dirt in club grooves and golf ball dimples…Uther is the creator of the fashionable golf towel. Features unique sublimated prints and designs that make a fun accessory for both men and women golf bags.”

Our take on Uther Supply golf towels

Most golfers have a “logo” towel hanging on their bag today. Typically you’ll see the name of a course the golfer has visited, or an OEM name. Uther Supply towels, however, are different. Uther (pronounced “other”) Supply Founder Dan Erdman described his inspiration for this unique line of golf towels in an interview with GolfWRX a few years back:

“When you work in the back shop and storage facility, you handle a lot of golf bags. I just noticed rows and rows of bags that all look the same and I thought it made a lot of sense to inject some personality into it. You know, people go crazy for how all the pros personalize their wedges and their bags. They buy towels and bag tags from courses like TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach to personalize their stuff, but in the end it all kind of blends together… I thought we could really add something to the marketplace.”

They have certainly succeeded in creating a new type of towel in the marketplace. We used them over several rounds of golf, in various conditions to put them to the test.

Meant to be shown off, Uther golf towel designs are creative and clever, with some of the most popular being the “Happy Gilmore inspired” Cart Towel and “90s coffee cup” Tour Towel. There of course, are many others to choose from.

Of course, let’s not forget that the primary function of a towel is to clean your golf equipment. That might seem easy but we at WRX have ordered some custom towels from other manufacturers in the past and were disappointed in the performance. Uther’s towels, however, succeed in both form and function. They’re stylish, but they also are an excellent functional towel. You’re like to be impressed at how light they are as well. These aren’t bath towels, but rather high-quality microfiber blends that Uther says are 3x more absorbent than cotton.

As far as cons, if we’re nitpicking, you may need to find a larger carabiner clip for some golf bags if you want to hang your towel in a more prominent place. These are made to show off, after all.

Prices range from $28-$35 USD and are available for purchase at uthersupply.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy in the US and Golf Town in Canada.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

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Product: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

Pitch: From Adidas: “Designed for protection from the elements, these golf shoes have enhanced cushioning to return energy on every swing. The shoes feature a spikeless outsole that flexes with your foot and has strategically placed lugs for outstanding grip and balance. An innovative closure system is built for micro-adjustments so you get the exact fit you need.”

Our take on Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

Golf shoes are curious creatures existing in a strange place? No? Finally free of the gravitational pull of traditionalism, shoe styles are finally at a place where form follows function. And while you may pine for the days of saddle shoes aesthetically, your feet (and likely your golf swing) surely do not.

While the shoes are also available in gray/white and black/white colorways, we tested the bolder dark marine variant.

Now, “good” footwear, as we are constantly wont to admit, is highly subjective. As of yet, you can’t test two pairs of kicks on a TrackMan and determine which is superior (rumored featured of TrackMan 5). So leaving aside aesthetics and how you like your shoes to fit, we provide the most valuable information, that is, regarding stability, cushioning, and traction. However, in this case, it’s also worth noting the closure system does allow for a more precise fit (and one that stays in place) than lace-up shoes do.

With respect to comfort, first of all, anything Boost is going to be comfortable, and these shoes are no exception. And whether you refer to the “Forgefiber in the upper features heat-pressed, TPU-coated fibers…stitched in” to the upper (as Adidas does), or merely the sensation that the Forgefiber Boas provide a solid foundation during the swing, the truth is the same: sound, stable here.

A look at the Puremotion outsole showcases some serious spikeless technology that also offers performance on par with the very best in spikeless footwear.

A final word: These shoes are no porous sieve, either, as you might be concerned they could be on first glance. Adidas’ Climastorm technology in the exterior yields a respectable level of water-repellency.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool

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Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Pitch:  From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool

Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.

The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.

A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.

Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.

The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.

Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.

The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.

As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.

 

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