Bushnell have really upped their game this time around by combining laser rangefinder technology and GPS functionality into the one device. Here’s my full Bushnell Hybrid Review.
Technology in golf is getting better and better each year. The introduction of laser rangefinders and golf GPS watches has been revolutionary to helping golfers lower their scores and improve their game.
Each year brands like Bushnell and Garmin are becoming more innovative. Adding the next new and improved technology to their products.
Nowadays it’s more like a necessity to own a rangefinder device. Nearly every golfer you play with these days has some sort of rangefinder device. Be it a Laser Rangefinder, GPS Watch, handheld golf GPS or even Golf GPS Apps for their Smartphones.
First of all, what does Bushnell say about their new Hybrid rangefinder?
“Introducing the world’s first Laser Rangefinder and GPS combo unit with a fully integrated display featuring both laser and GPS yardages.Bushnell Golf
Bushnell Hybrid Review
I have always been a little tied to what suits me better, a laser rangefinder or golf GPS watch? I actually have a post on that you can find HERE. The post goes through the pros and cons of each one and how to pick the right one for you.
I love how the laser rangefinders are deadly accurate to 1 yard which is great for tight pins. But the GPS watches offer so much more benefits that are hard to go unnoticed. Such as course sky view, shot scoring, hazard info, data analytics and so on.
Combing both laser and GPS technology with the Bushnell Hybrid (SP) seems to be a step in the right direction. Are Bushnell up to the challenge? Continue reading my Bushnell Hybrid Review to find out.
Well, would you believe this is Bushnell’s second attempt at a combined laser and GPS watch. The first attempt 6 years ago didn’t really hit home. The technology was still a little new. The technology didn’t have the popularity it has now.
Bushnell Hybrid Key Features
- Integrated Laser & GPS Technology
- 400 Yard Laser Range to 1 yard Accuracy
- X5 Zoom/Magnification
- Pin Seeker & JOLT (Vibration)
- 36K + Courses
- External GPS Yardage (Front, Middle, Back)
- Yardage For 4 Hazards Per Hole
- Dual Battery Source (CR2 for Laser and USB for GPS)
- Popular Bushnell Design
- 2 Year Warranty
Bushnell Hybrid Review
While doing my Bushnell Hybrid Review, the design is much like I’d expect from Bushnell. It follows the revolutionary ergonomic design of the Bushnell Tour V4 (Review Here). However as there’s a lot more technology packed into this Bushnell rangefinder.
It has a stylish trademark Bushnell design. There’s nicely placed built in grips around the cupping area for your hands to allow you to have a solid hold on the device. This is especially useful if it’s wet. Rangefinders are expensive; you don’t want to drop them.
From one side, the Bushnell Hybrid looks like a standard new addition to Bushnell’s rangefinder family. But, on the other side is something completely different.
To navigate the GPS features, you have 4 large buttons. When you turn up at your club, you can use the buttons to pick the course in your area.
Out on the course, you will find the GPS screen displays yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. This is standard enough for GPS tech, but what I love here is how the laser and GPS tech come together.
When you look through the scope, the Hybrid will use its pin seeking technology and Jolt (Vibrate) when it locks onto the flag. But as you look through the scope, the Hybrid shows you the pin yardage but also the yardage to the front and back of the green.
One of the biggest problems I usually have with rangefinders is locking onto pins. Is the yardage correct? Am I locked onto the pin or the tree behind it? So you sometimes need to check it twice.
This is not the case with the Bushnell Hybrid. Since we can already see the yardage to the front/back through the scope, we know that the yardage in middle must be correct. I love this.
However, the GPS accuracy didn’t seem to be bang on all the time. This is common with some GPS devices. There was a few times where I found the GPS accuracy to be off. But the biggest advantage of owning of a laser rangefinder is the deadly accurate +/- yardage.
Again this highlights the benefit of owning the Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder (SP Link). You are getting the best of both worlds.
One major problem with some GPS devices is the difficulty of getting the hazard information on a hole.
You will find with some older models you need to press buttons back and forth to find the right yardage to the fairway bunker.
This is annoying, slows down play and will likely piss off your playing partners. It doesn’t help either if you completely mess up the shot after all that effort.
It’s very easy on the Bushnell Hybrid (SP). It knows what hole you are on, and you can see that on the top of the screen. Simply press the Red Select button and you will get information for up to 4 hazards.
If you own a golf GPS watch, you will know that you will get about 1-2 full rounds out of it at best. Have you ever turned up at your club on a Sunday morning and completely forgot to charge your GPS watch the night before? I have.
Well the battery life in a laser rangefinder is usually much much better. Again, this is the combo of the two pieces of tech working together. The Hybrid has a dual battery source. One for the laser and one for the GPS. So if you forget to charge it, don’t worry, there’s plenty juice in the laser’s battery. However, if you want to use the GPS feature you will need to charge it before you play.
Bushnell Hybrid Review Final Thoughts
I love the idea of having both the laser and GPS features packed into one device. However, I would have like the GPS to be a little better. More so for the hazard info. In saying that, the combo of the two is a new gadget, and only Bushnell have taken on the challenge, so maybe a better model might come out in a couple years.
At the same time you need to remember for where the GPS lacks, you have a deadly accurate laser rangefinder with pin seeker technology. So this thing is pretty accurate anyway.
It is pretty cool looking through the scope and being able to see the yardage to the Pin after being locked on plus the yardage to the front and back. Looking through the scope getting accurate 1 yardages plus the front/back yardage is great, especially on those tight pins.
For example a tight pin to front of the green guarded by a bunker on the front. The info the Hybrid gives you here is worth a lot and can save you a lot of strokes. The info is clearly shown in easy to read font.
The Dual Battery is brilliant. I honestly don’t know how many times I turned up at my course and forgot the charge my watch the night before. I might get a few holes out of it and poof, battery is gone. This is ok if you just playing around with your mates; but if you are playing well and need the yardage it’s a disaster.
So the Bushnell Hybrid is a life saver here. The Dual battery allows you to use the laser functions regardless of the GPS battery. So you still have a 1 yard accurate device in your pocket.
Bushnell Hybrid Rating
Although the GPS lacked a little, I am going to give this 5/5 stars. Overall it performs brilliantly. There’s a lot of value in combing both the laser/GPS technology that save you strokes in your game.
Bushnell are renowned for their Laser Rangefinders; and are constantly improving each and ever rangefinder they bring out.
Bushnell are not afraid to try something different and push the boundaries a bit. For those reasons and the overall performance, this gets 5 stars from The Golfing Lad.
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