Every golf enthusiast knows that equipment is vital when it comes to upping your golf game. But the piece of tech that’s going to really give you an edge is a rangefinder…
A rangefinder gives you the exact yardage to the flag – and this means that you can select your next club with confidence, knowing exactly how far you need to hit the golf ball.
But the Bushnell Hybrid is no ordinary rangefinder. Bushnell has combined two completely different technologies to make a rangefinder that’s truly unique and one of a kind.
But it sure does cost a pretty penny, so before you go right ahead and blow all your wages on it, it makes sense to read articles like this one that thoroughly reviews the gadget for you, to determine whether or not it actually is worth all that money.
Overview Of Bushnell
The Bushnell brand is best known for its optics products, such as binoculars, telescopes, and rifle scopes. And it is this edge that made them so successful when, in recent years, they started bringing out golf rangefinders. Bushnell even goes as far as describing themselves as the Number One rangefinder in professional golf.
The Bushnell Hybrid, which brings together the best of both worlds of laser rangefinders and GPS ones, was the very first of its kind and first became available to buy as recently as 2018.
Of course, the utmost benefit of combining these two technologies is that it has the power to provide both laser and GPS yardages.
The result is that you get a laser yardage to the center, combined with GPS yardages to the front and back. And this is just so much more informative than what you can gather from sight alone.
But, we’re going to level with you. Combining these two technologies does not actually make the rangefinder any more accurate than most other laser rangefinders on the market, and the accuracy comes in at plus or minus one yard. Which is still pretty good in all fairness.
The Hybrid offers a good magnification of 5x and has a range of 400 yards, so you will be able to see the flag really close up through the eyepiece, and it has a decent field of view, so you will be able to spot surrounding hazards, too. And it boasts an extra long eye relief to boot.
The yardage is all clearly labeled through the eyepieces, but the lettering is rather thin. But that won’t present a problem because there’s an exterior GPS readout on the left-hand side of the device where the yardage is displayed in large bold lettering.
As with all good rangefinders, the Hybrid will seek out the flag once the device is raised. But where the Hybrid differs from most other rangefinders is that it will vibrate in your hand to let you know that it’s found the pin.
Number Of Courses
As a general rule, GPS rangefinders will feature preloaded golf courses, and they will be automatically activated when you take the rangefinder onto one of the included courses.
The Bushnell Hybrid has well over 36,000 already preloaded and waiting to use. Moreover, these courses are spread throughout a whopping 30 different countries.
This means you can use your rangefinder on the most popular golf courses across the world. And, if your local golf course is not on there, I’d be very surprised.
Some rangefinders feature what is known as slope. Basically, rangefinders with this feature can measure the change in elevation between you and the target. This can be quite valuable because it gives you an idea of what kind of loft you need your next club to have.
However, the bad news is that the use of the slope feature in rangefinders is illegal for tournament use. And we believe that this is why this feature is sadly missing in the Bushnell Hybrid rangefinder. But we are happy to confirm that the Bushnell hybrid rangefinder is 100% tournament legal.
The strange thing about the Hybrid rangefinder is that it features not one but two batteries… There’s a CR2 battery for the laser rangefinder technology and a separate lithium-ion battery for the GPS functionality.
The GPS battery is 100% rechargeable, and a USB charger comes included in the box. And for those of you lucky enough not to have already discovered such batteries aren’t perfect, it is possible to damage the battery if it’s often left to charge up once it’s already fully charged.
The CR2 battery is more crucial because it is this that gives the ultimate yardage to the pin. Sadly this battery is not rechargeable, but it is replaceable, however, which means your device should easily be able to live past the manufacturer’s warranty.
Bushnell Golf App
Any purchase of the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder entitles you to free access to the Bushnell Golf App, and this certainly is a good thing…
You can hook up the Hybrid to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and this will give you a far more complete view of the area around you than you can see through the rangefinder itself.
You get 3D flyovers with distances, including front, back, and center and hazard distances, hole-by-hole layouts with spaces, and wireless course updates which you can download completely free of charge.
The Bushnell Hybrid rangefinder comes backed by a lengthy 2-year manufacturer warranty, and if you report any issues within this time frame, Bushnell will repair or replace your product.
Value For Money
Now, you can pick up a basic rangefinder for a measly $60, so next to that the cost of a Bushnell Hybrid rangefinder sounds pretty steep indeed…
But you’ve got to take into account the technologies you’re paying for. Integrating laser and GPS technology is no easy task, and what Bushnell has achieved here is pretty unique. Not to mention feature packed.
Besides, there are other rangefinders out there that cost even more than the Bushnell Hybrid – even within Bushnell’s own range, in fact.
What Others Are Saying About The Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder
We were surprised to see that on their website, Bushnell publishes both positive and negative reviews for their device. I mean, it’s not like they have to. But what is clear is that they do respond to negative reviews and reach out to customers with solutions.
After more than 100 reviews posted on their site, the average customer rating comes in at a very respectable 4 stars out of 5.
The ratings on Amazon are even more impressive. When this article was written, there were well over 500 individual customer ratings for the Hybrid, yet the average customer rating still came out at a whopping 4 and a half stars out of 5.
Customers seem to be very impressed with the accuracy of the device and with just how easy it is to use. The main issues people seem to have with it all come down to the battery life.
Summary Of Pros And Cons
So, we’ve identified several pros, which are as follows:
- Gives laser yardage to the pin, and GPS yardage to the front and back.
- It’s accurate to +/- 1 yard.
- It’s easy to use, and the display is easy to read.
- It vibrates when it finds the pin.
- 36,000 preloaded courses.
- Free access to the Bushnell Golf App.
- The GPS battery is rechargeable.
- Lengthy 2-year manufacturer warranty.
- Excellent customer ratings and reviews.
There are basically two main cons with this gadget… The first one is that it doesn’t offer a slope, as we discussed in an earlier section. And this could prove a little tricky to work with for golfers who are used to having this functionality in their rangefinder.
But, if you’ve never had that luxury before, you may feel that you’re not really missing anything. We thought it was worth mentioning because this could be a dealbreaker for some golfers.
The second drawback to this device is that it is water-resistant, rather than 100% waterproof. And it is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you don’t ever use it in the rain, even if it’s light rain. With equipment this expensive, you should not risk it getting damaged so easily.
Since the advent of the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder, you no longer have to choose between buying a laser rangefinder or a GPS one. The hybrid brings you the best of both worlds…
You get loads of preloaded golf courses, but with laser accuracy on the yardage to the pin, which is way more accurate than GPS tends to be.
Sure, the price tag is a little steep, and it doesn’t offer slope functionality, but if you are going to invest in a high-end rangefinder, you could do a lot worse than going for this one. It does the job, and it does the job well, and most who’ve bought it have deemed it worth the money.