Golf takes a while to change, so it's no surprise that it took so long for the sport's governing bodies to view laser rangefinders as a good thing for the game.
For the recreational player and the tournament golfer alike, laser rangefinders keep play moving by speeding up the decision-making process for a player. Instead of pacing off yardages and performing sometimes slow mental math, players can use rangefinders to quickly get actionable information.
Laser rangefinder technology is now at the point where devices can factor in slope into its readings. That's great for the weekend warrior, but illegal for a tournament player. The USGA has deemed such devices illegal to use in competition of any kind because of the added information it gives a user. So, the folks at Bushnell came up with a product to assuage the governing body's concerns.
The new Tour X, available in April, brings together all of Bushnell's current technologies, but in a product that can easily and demonstrably switch between standard and slope-reading modes. An attachment carrying the slope-reading technology can be attached or removed from the front of the device, connecting via a mini-USB port. If the red attachment is on, the rangefinder can read slope. If the attachment is black, it can't. The USGA hasn't yet officially deemed the Tour X as conforming, but that ruling is expected soon.
The product otherwise offers some additional refinements, including the next generation of zoom and and ESP technology. The Pinseeker display allows a golfer to plainly see when they've hit the flag, with the device rated to be accurate to a distance of 450 yards,measuring to half-yard increments inside of 125 yards. The Jolt technology provides a small vibration to the user to let them know when they hit the flagstick. In addition, a user can toggle between a red or black display.
At $499, the Bushnell Golf Tour X is an investment. However, for the avid player who will benefit most from the flexibility of the device, it's one well worth making.