Following in the intimidating and almost perfect footsteps of the extremely popular Tour V2, exactly how much more does the V3 offer? Let’s take a look.
– PinSeeker Technology with JOLT vibration
– SCAN mode
– Ergonomic design for a stable grip
– Posi-Thread battery door
– 3-Volt Battery and Premium Carry Case
– Rainproof construction
– Accurate to 1,000 yards, 300 yards for flag
– 24mm, 5x Magnification
– 2 Year Warranty
– Legal for tournament play
Bushnell Tour V3: First Look
Looks are very subjective of course, but I like what Bushnell has done with this model. The Bushnell Tour V3 is a compact, attractive looking rangefinder. The white with red and black accents color scheme works well and it will fit right in on the golf course. It’s a more sleek and modern appearance than that of the V2.
It sits very comfortably in the hand and the textured plastic ensures a safe, steady grip. It is also slightly smaller than the V2. Subtle ergonomic curves and indents have been added for a more natural fit. Whether it feels better in the hand than the V2 is down to personal opinion.
Also included is a case, with a zipper and a clip for attaching it to your golf bag or belt.
Before you can get going you need to insert the battery. A simple lift and counter-clockwise rotation will remove the battery cap, after which you insert the required CR-2 3-volt lithium battery. Then simply replace the battery cap. So far, so simple.
The adjustable eyepiece uses a simple rotation mechanism to bring the display elements into focus. This is quick and easy to do.
Fixing a range is as simple as aiming the rangefinder, then pressing and holding the Power/Fire button on top of the unit until the reading is displayed. Your last measurement will remain on the display for 30 seconds, or until you range a new target. Easy as you like.
This unit offers great range, from 5 – 1,000 yards. For golf of course you’d be more interested in pinning the flag, which is accurate up to 300 yards. The JOLT technology does a great job of helping you zero in on the flag, with the unit vibrating when it detects a fix on the flag.
Bushnell already has their very effective Pinseeker technology built into most of their golf rangefinders, including this one, and the real value JOLT adds is debatable.
With Pinseeker, a little pin icon is displayed when you’re locked on the pin. With JOLT, you now get a short vibration as well. If nothing else, the little vibration removes all doubt and will be quite useful to beginners in particular. See JOLT in action on this video:
A concern with the JOLT technology is the impact it will have on battery life. Hard to measure, but you can bet your bottom dollar those vibrations will draw some extra power.
So, the big new feature of the V3 is just…nice, not spectacular. The first time it happens is quite a buzz though (snicker). You can use the unit without it if it’s not to your liking, but ultimately most people should find it helpful.
As for general performance, it’s fast and accurate. Switch on, shoot, get your reading, it all happens in seconds.
Battery life will vary depending on the way you use the unit and how frequently you play. A fairly accurate ballpark figure will be about 10-12 rounds of golf. If you play once a week, expect around 3 months on a battery.
Nothing, really. This is a fast, accurate unit. The Pinseeker tech is great, the JOLT a nice little extra. Some owners have expressed concern about battery life not being as good as it was on the old V2 model, and they may have a point.
Bushnell Tour V3 Slope Edition
The Tour V3 is also available in a Slope Edition (view it on Amazon). This accurately compensates the distance it returns for any incline you may be facing, either up or downhill. This is a great help, but be aware that it is not legal to use this for tournament play.
Constantly evaluating the difference between your estimated distances and the real distances the rangefinder returns across various slopes can help you increase the accuracy of your naked eye guesses over time though.
Value for Money
At just under $300, this is good value. It still ends up about $50 shy of the excellent Leupold GX-3i and Bushnell’s own Tour Z6, so Bushnell has positioned the Tour V3 very strongly.
The Slope Edition runs about $50 – $100 extra, depending on where you shop. You can now get the Tour V2 for around $250 (get current price from Amazon), and at that price the older model is still a great buy.
Here are some comments from forum discussions by owners of the Bushnell Tour V3 Laser Rangefinder:
- “I bought a Bushnell Tour V3 this weekend and used it for the first time today. WOW. Easy to use and get exact yardage to anything very quickly. Plus it will vibrate if it is locked in on the flag stick. It never took me more than 2 button pushes to lock onto the flag even at over 300 yards. And I have shakey hands. Now just hoping the battery life is OK” – Panteradon, Golfwrx.com forums
- “I purchased the V3 a few weeks ago. I have played on four different courses about 16 rounds. The V3 has performed flawlessly. “ – Shortgame85, Golfwrx.com forums
- “Just picked up a V3 one week ago and have played 45 holes since then. I’ve used and benefitted from the V3 every round. Easy to aim– though I generally have to steady it with my off hand– and very accurate. I’ve never been pin high so much in my life.” Matt Love Lamp, Golfwrx.com forums
Golfsmith: 5 out of 5
Customer satisfaction ratio: 94%
Bushnell Tour V3 Review Summary
While Bushnell haven’t made huge strides with the Tour V3, they didn’t really have to. Like the V2 it is an excellent rangefinder that works exactly as it should. The Pinseeker technology is still brilliant, and the JOLT removes all doubt that you’ve nailed the flag. If you already own a Tour V2 and are happy with it, I doubt that you can justify getting one of these as a replacement though.
The Patriot Pack
If you want a Tour V3, consider buying the Patriot Pack (Amazon.com has it). You’ll be supporting the Folds of Honor Foundation (provides scholarships to children of servicemen who were either killed or disabled in the line of duty). There’s only a few dollars difference in the price, but you also get a Folds of Honor bag tag and 10 branded tees to show that you care.