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WRX Spotlight: Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

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Product: Garmin Approach Z80

Pitch: From Garmin: “See the game differently with the Approach Z80 laser range finder with GPS. Laser ranges are accurate to within 10,” so you can take dead aim at the flag. See a full-color CourseView and Green View overlay in 2-D, showing distances to the front and back of the green, plus hazards on more than 41,000 courses worldwide.”

Our take on the Garmin Approach Z80 Laser Rangefinder

In terms of laser rangefinders, the Garmin Approach Z80 does all the little things well and then packs on a bundle of additional features, which makes the product unique.

For starters, one of the coolest features of the Garmin Approach Z80 is the 2D hole layout that appears on the left-hand side of the screen. The image serves as a virtual map of the hole, and offers you a great view of what’s in store next should you either pull or push your shot, making it one of the best rangefinders on the market for use on your tee shots. The rangefinder also allows you to enter your average driving distance, which will automatically suggest where your tee shot should land.

For approach shots, this rangefinder gives you the distance to the front, back and flag which shows up at the bottom of the screen. The Z80 can also provide distances to hazards and bunkers which is very useful for tight pin locations. When locking onto the flag, the rangefinder provides a yellow arc which once more presents you with a view of where you could end up if you hit your number but miss your target.

The rangefinder goes into standby mode after it hasn’t been used for five seconds, a feature which is extremely good for battery life. Once fully charged the ApproachZ80 will easily last you from 3-4 rounds. However, the standby mode does cause it to take slightly more time to load up when using, but we’re only talking 10-20 seconds.

The PinPointer feature which the Approach Z80 features is also very beneficial in that an arrow on the screen will direct you to the hole, whether you’re facing a blind shot, or are out of position. It’s worth noting that the PinPointer feature is also advantageous in that it gives you the yardage to the hole and not just a guide, despite you being unable to see the flag.

All in all, the Garmin Approach Z80 is a top rangefinder with an innovative 2D map of the hole which gives you a tremendous amount of power in that you can not just visualize the hole quickly but also possess a powerful tool for shots off the tee. The small size of the rangefinder is also a major plus, as is its light weight of just 8oz. At $600, it wouldn’t be considered an economical purchase, but in terms of the innovative technologies and benefits, it could still be considered value.

 

 

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Keith

    Mar 5, 2019 at 7:05 am

    This is a terrible review. It is obvious that it was written without ever using the item.

  2. FNH

    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    If I was Garmin I would be furious over how bad this review makes my product look.

  3. CJ

    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Is a range finder really going to change someones game that much for that price? Cmon

  4. Tiger Noods

    Mar 4, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Wait, it takes 10-20 seconds to use, each time??

    • Tiger Noods

      Mar 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      ” Laser ranges are accurate to within 10,”

      What exactly does that mean? Accurate within 10 yards? So are most people generally…

      • Bob

        Mar 4, 2019 at 9:35 pm

        The “ is for inches. ‘ is for feet. Maybe might apologize for being an ass

    • Dale Paul

      Mar 5, 2019 at 12:32 am

      So don’t use it in stand by mode genius.

  5. Mower

    Mar 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    hah… you know, just the price of a new driver.
    muaaaaahahahaaarrrrrr!

    • JP

      Mar 4, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      You haven’t seen anything yet. Wait for pxg to enter tha gps/rangefinder business.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag putter covers

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Product: Swag putter covers

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 putter covers

When it comes to loud, inventive, standout putter covers, Swag never disappoints. Their new series of covers are certainly out there, and the contrast of their range, attention to detail, and excellent all-around quality make these putter covers a must have — if you can get your hands on them.

To start with, Swag’s Lincoln cover is a a real standout. The cover features a bright green background with President Lincoln looking the part in dark shades in the company’s own version of the $5 bill. The detail of the blade putter cover is excellent, with the bright green being the eye catcher and the unmistakable figure of Abraham Lincoln as the centerpiece.

The company also seem very proud of their creation, letting folks clearly know in their description of the cover that it is “not legal tender.” (Just in case you found yourself confused)

The company’s pink Flamingo cover is also a personal favorite, featuring bright colors and cool summer breeze feel. The great detail on the bird with its dark shades, vibrant colors and background of the palm trees make it an ideal cover as we head into the summer months. But it isn’t just the designs. The quality of the fabric and stitching lends for a durable and plush feeling cover too.

It’s worth noting that Swag enthusiast and team member Kevin Streelman is rocking one of the latest Swag putter covers. The American is currently gaming a Swag 2019 Handsome Too Tour with a double fly milled face, and the 40-year-old rocks the Chicago style deep-dish pizza cover to accompany the flat-stick.

Swag is without a doubt a no BS company, and in their putter covers, they have certainly delivered in their aim to be bold and experimental. Perhaps the only disappointment is that all their limited edition putter covers are already sold out, which is an ode to how clever and engaging their designs are. The covers range in price from around $75-$125, and as the company continues to push the boundaries, here’s hoping for more releases in the near future.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

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Product: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

Pitch: From Golf Pride: “Tour-proven shapes that are engineered with innovative SNSR material that delivers unsurpassed Tour-level feel and feedback. The…grips are made of a soft-tuned rubber formulation that gives these grips extraordinary feel, and encourages lighter grip pressure that golfers seek in creating a smooth stroke. The most-preferred sculpted pistol shape on the worldwide Tours is now available in our proprietary SNSR rubber blend, with two oversized shapes for maximum feel and feedback.”

Our take on the Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

Golf Pride has a new addition to the SNSR line that it has been making for a few years. In March, you will be able to get your hands on (bad pun) the new Tour SNSR Contour Pro. This new model has a refined pistol shape that has been preferred by players on professional tours and comes in two sizes. The new pistol shape is a little smaller in the upper hand, will less protrusion in the pads of the fingers. The Contour Pro is flat on the front of the paddle for proper thumb placement, but it also has a curve near the end that helps lock the putter in the palm of your hand. This new Contour Pro model feels like it has more taper in the lower half as well, like some traditional grips.

Right out of the box, the Tour SNSR Contour Pro has a very soft rubber feel, almost squishy before you install it. Once installed the soft-tuned rubber has a great tackiness to it without being sticky. It isn’t hot out yet, but I have confidence that even in the hottest and most humid environments this grip will perform well.

Two sizes, 104cc  and 140cc, both feel good in the hands, with neither having ridges or shapes that hit you anywhere that would feel strange. The contour on the front, upper half of the grip really does help lock the grip into your palm without having to add any additional pressure. The lower half of the grip is slightly softer and overall the SNSR material reminds me that I don’t need a death grip on the putter.

I like the reduced pistol shape in the pads of my fingers on the upper hand as well. I don’t feel like I have to “try” to grip the putter, it just rests naturally in my hand. The flat top of the grip is also comfortable and a solid platform to place your thumbs. The only real thing I would change would be to add a smaller size, similar to a standard grip. I mean that is all personal preference, but I like the feel of a slightly smaller grip.

On the putting green the soft SNSR material really performed better than I thought. I figured the grip would remove too much vibration and kill the responsiveness, but I was wrong. The grip provides solid and precise feedback, even with the larger 140cc version. One of the two sizes should be a fit for any putting preference or hand size. I wear a medium glove and a standard putter grip so the 104cc felt the best for me. I liked having more taper in my lower hand since I struggle with having a strong right hand grip and the taper allowed me to grip the club more neutrally.

Overall, the Tour SNSR Contour Pro is a really good option for someone who wants a larger grip but doesn’t want to lose feel or taper. The soft, tacky rubber should provide great traction throughout any weather you are willing to play through!

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

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Product: Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

Pitch: From Nikon: “This state-of-the art golfing laser rangefinder packs the stability of the Coolshot 80’s vibration reduction into an even more streamlined body. The red Oled internal display’s automatic brightness adjustment makes viewing easy in any light, while Hyper Read measurement response time is a speedy 0.3 seconds (approximately) over a range of 7.5-1,090 m. Locked On technology quickly defines overlapping subjects so you’ll be sure of an accurate reading to the flagstick, plus ID Technology gives a guide distance for uphill and downhill courses.”

Our take on the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

Nikon has packed the Coolshot Pro Stabilized full of innovative features with a hugely beneficial streamlined profile. But we’ll get around to that a little later, as at the core of this laser rangefinder is its Stabilized Technology.

Whether it’s the conditions, or an inability to keep your hand perfectly steady when shooting your target, the issue of vibration is usually the main problem when it comes to rangefinders. However, with Nikon’s Stabilized Technology, that vibration is reduced by approximately 80 percent. The steadiness of the rangefinder may need to be seen to be believed, but with the Coolshot Pro Stabilized, any issues golfers have with taking a steady shot of their target can expect them to vanish with this rangefinder. More accurate results and likely speedier rounds (yay), what’s not to love?

This lessening of the vibration works in conjunction with Locked On technology, and it’s a powerful combination that creates a premium rangefinder. The Locked On technology in the Coolshot Pro Stabilized allows golfers to home in on their target, without the fear of the rangefinder locking onto the wrong target in the background. A small green circle frames your desired target, making sure that it is giving you the correct distance for your shot, and it’s not only extremely accurate but quick too. The Hyper Read Tech allows users to find the distance they want according to the company in “0.3 seconds – regardless of distance.” A claim that is difficult to dispute.

Another great feature of the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is its ID Technology. This technology takes care of all the incline, slope etc. The rangefinder from Nikon accurately reads the yardage taking into account the downhill or uphill nature of the pin, while the product also lets other competitors know when the ID Technology is off. If you’re competing in an event, a green flashing light indicates that the ID Technology is turned off, making it clear that actual distance is what you’re measuring, and that you’re abiding by all the rules.

Now let’s get down to the size, which makes all of the features we’ve talked about even more impressive. As you can see from our in-hand photos, the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is tiny and weighs just 180g. The advantages of having a small rangefinder are obvious as it can be carried or kept in even the smallest pocket of your bag easily, and the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is also both waterproof and nitrogen-purged to make it fog-proof. The range finder also features six different brightness levels and comes with a sweet 5-year warranty.

At around $450 the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is high-end and not cheap. But with the impressive features and high performance, it’s a product which combined with Nikon’s 5-year warranty justifies that price-tag. If you’re looking for a top-shelf rangefinder, then the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is very unlikely to disappoint.

 

 

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