Martin Hopley
By

Bushnell has led from the front in laser rangefinders over the years and the Tour X Jolt is one of their premium models.

It offers many of the features that have been successful in other Bushnell lasers, but the big change is the addition of interchangeable faceplates to enable and disable the elevation measurement function in a way that has been approved by golf's ruling bodies.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

Use the Tour X Jolt with the black faceplate and it measures only distance and that makes it competition legal.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

Switch this with the red faceplate and the USB connector on the inside activates Bushnell's Slope Technology.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

This then shows the actual yardage and below this the degree of elevation that alternates with the adjusted yardage to show how far it is playing in reality. If you play a course regularly then you can note down these measurements or memorise them so that you will know how this will affect your club selection.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

This can be 1 yard or more for every 1° of elevation change and I found that shots which looked almost flat were in fact a few degrees up and therefore allowing half a club extra gave the right result.

Just so you don't get mixed up, the red faceplate has a 'Does Not Conform' message on the bottom of it and you can't cheat it by plugging in any old mini USB connector. Apparently.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

The Tour X Jolt is a generous sized device and fits very easily into an adult male hand. The contoured rubber grip top and bottom offers some protection against bangs and gives the laser a robust feel.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

It feels very well made with a solid case and all the buttons, dials and faceplates giving re-assuring clunks and clicks when used.

As with most lasers, the Bushnell Tour X Jolt is very easy to use. Point it at your target and use the the red button on top to activate it and then push and hold it again with the crosshairs on the flag.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

When it has locked onto the flag, the Jolt technology gives a little vibration so you know you have hit the target with the laser at least. This is very clever at just doing this on flags and not harder objects like trees and is another bit of reassurance.

The display is clear and with 6x magnification it is easy to find the target you want to measure. Bushnell say it can measure a flag up to 450 yards away and I found large objects were easily measured at that range and more, but flags were more difficult, not least because you need a steady hand.

I managed to get a Jolt on a flag at 354 yards, so those downwind, downhill par-4s on a firm links course in summer are now in range! This is very impressive as many lasers struggle to pick up flags at over 250 yards and this is where you get what you pay for.

The Bushnell E.S.P.2 (Extreme. Speed. Precision) technology within the Tour X Jolt not only picks up long range objects but does it with speed. This is a very quick laser and the 2nd generation of E.S.P is 5 times faster than before and accurate enough to show yardages to 1 decimal place with a claimed accuracy of +/- 1 yard.

The other feature I like on the display is the ability to change from black to red text to account for different light conditions. This is controlled using the Vivid Display sliding switch below the viewfinder on the back of the device and the brightness of the red can also be varied across 4 settings.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

The red setting is the best one for most lights and made reading the good sized numbers quick and easy.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

The B logo on the left hand side of the Tour X Jolt also acts as the Mode button for you to vary the Vivid Display setting and switch between yards and metres.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

Below the Vivid Display switch is the battery compartment for the supplied CR2 battery. It has a little flip up handle to enable you to unscrew the compartment lid to change the battery, which is easy to use and also ensures the battery is securely fastened in.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

You may not think this is a big deal, but I have had at least one laser where the battery cover has opened by accident and the battery has fallen out during a round and got lost.

Also to help your vision is an adjustable focus wheel above the viewfinder so that you can adjust it to suit your eyesight or lack of it. It is a little susceptible to getting moved in general use as you take it in and out of the case, but it's location above the eye piece makes it easy to re-adjust.

The Tour X Jolt comes in the box with a carry case, soft cleaning cloth, instruction booklet and the second faceplate complete with its own protective bag.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

The carry case is one of these rigid material cases that will provide good protection for your Tour X Jolt. It has a karabiner and a fabric loop on the back for attaching it to your bag. You can either zip it up or use the elasticated loop over the top to enable you to access the laser more quickly.

Bushnell Tour X Jolt Laser

Protecting your device is important for a number of reasons, not least to protect it in transit so that it works. But mainly it is to protect your investment, because this is not a cheap device at the thick end of £400/$500.

I did say you would get what you pay for earlier and with the Tour X Jolt, not only do you have two devices in one with a legal device that can also measure slope, but also the speed and long distance accuracy that sets this apart from lasers that are around half this price. What you are paying for is better quality components and build.

For serious golfers who want the option of measuring elevation, then the Tour X Jolt has everything I think you would need from a laser, short of a front/middle/back GPS screen, in a quality package that feels solid and well made.

But even a GPS screen would detract from the simplicity of owning a laser with no recharging, no course updating and point and shoot accuracy to where the flag is, rather than where the green is.

Is it a lot of money for a laser?

Yes.

Is it worth it?

Yes.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Bushnell Tour X Jolt Golf GPS Rangefinder - Product Details

Launch UKMay 2015
Launch RRP£419
Device TypeLaser
ElevationYes
Shot MeasurementNo
ScoringNo
Power OptionsBattery
DimensionsWidth: 38mm, Height: 76mm, Depth: 102mm
Device Weight226 grams
Manufacturer's WebsiteBushnell Website

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