Compared to the previous model the GolfBuddy LR4 Laser has undergone a bit of a makeover to enhance what was already a very good laser as our GolfBuddy LR3 Laser review showed.
The LR4 keeps the same functionality, but the body of the device is a little chunkier than before and the finger placements a little larger so you can get a better grip on the device.
I did not find this an issue in the past and the new version is certainly as good in that respect, although the wider body does make it a little bigger if you are carrying it in your clothing pocket.
You have probably also spotted that the LR4 colour has changed too and I think it looks very good. Additional grey rubber material has been added to the top and bottom to protect the device in case you drop it. This is more than before, but I still think a full rubber body armour would be perfect for protecting your device in case you drop it on a hard surface.
GolfBuddy say they have improved the eye piece too, but to be honest the previous one was more than up to the task and I did not notice anything dramatically different. It can be rotated to adjust the focus for those with dodgy eyesight, but even viewing them through the lens of your golf shades is easy enough too.
In the LR3 review I highlighted how the battery compartment needed a screwdriver or coin to open it and thankfully GolfBuddy has upgraded the LR4 with a flip out handle so you can unscrew it with your fingers. This is much easier to use and provides the right combination of accessibility and security.
Using the GolfBuddy is as simple as before. Just point the device at the target and click the button on top to activate the cross hairs on the screen and read the yardage or metre-age if you are in that mode.
The 'M' mode button is under the eye piece and enables you to switch between yards and metres and also between Normal, Scan and Flag modes.
Scan mode enables you with one press of the button to scan across what is in front of you for 10 seconds so you can get multiple readings, which is useful if you are trying to get distances to several bunkers for instance.
Flag mode will also scan for 10 seconds and show the distance to the closest object, such as the flag and ignore the background so you know you are lasering the right thing.
One of the stand out benefits of the LR3 was that it was the best laser I have used for picking up flags over 200 yards away and I am pleased to report that this is still the case in the LR4. Even if your hand is shaking with the wind, or just nerves, then the LR4 really excels here and is a key reason why I would choose it.
The LR4 comes with a cleaning cloth and wrist cord in the box, plus a handy protective case if you like to hang your laser from your bag.
The LR4 carry case has moved the attachment higher up on the reverse and this now features a reasonably robust carabina clip instead of a plastic clip.
This makes it easier to take the clip off if you want to, such as if you are slipping a bag strap through the longer webbing on the rear of the case instead of clipping it on.
The case is pretty robust, although the double flap at the top gets a little bit frustrating when you are taking it in and out, although I accept it probably stops the laser coming out in transit if you are not zipping the case up every time you use it.
There is also a magnet in the top flap of the LR4 case which is a lot stronger than the LR3 case and snaps shut confidently to ensure the flap stays closed if you are not using the zip.
All in all though, I think the LR4 retains GolfBuddy's leading position in the laser market. The LR4 is compact, easy to use, looks great, excellent over longer distances and cheaper than its main rivals, so there is no need for you to search any further for your distances.