Surprise, surprise, Bushnell are claiming that they have taken accuracy and consistency to the next level with their Tour V6 lasers this year.
In all honesty their previous models have been so good for a while now, I'm interested to see where the improvements lie. Can a Bushnell really get that much better?
Laser rangefinders aren't for everyone for a number of reasons: they are expensive, some golfers prefer a watch, they don't provide front middle and back yardages, and most of all I think a lot of golfers just prefer the ease of looking at a GPS device or watch over finding a flag or target with a laser.
We have recently reviewed both types of offerings in Bushnell's comprehensive line-up, the standard Bushnell Tour V6 Rangefinder and the improved ION Elite GPS Watch in which their industry leading position was there for all to see.
Who Is It Aimed At?
With it's huge price-tag, the Tour V6 shift is aimed at the avid golfer who isn't afraid to invest heavily in their game.
There's a number of other lasers available on the market such as the Shot Scope Pro L2 and Blue Tees Series 3 Max which are less than £200, so this is a product for people who want guaranteed performance, used by the best players in the world too.
If you buy a Bushnell, let's be fair you have to play a lot of golf to justify it.
On the face of it, it seems more like evolution rather than revolution when it comes to the Tour V6 lasers when you compare them to the previous Tour V4 and Tour V5 models, with a focus on small improvements rather than wholesale changes - the carry case is the exact same as for the Tour V5, for example.
The key change has been an improvement to the PinSeeker with Visual Jolt technology, which helps users to lock on to the flag as well as providing a clear indication that they have found their target.
The full list of features includes:
- Improved PinSeeker with Visual Jolt
- Integrated Bite magnetic cart mount
- 500-1,300 yard range
- 6x magnification
- LCD display
- Improved weather resistant design
- Bright, clear optics (however it's now black not red as we've seen in the past)
- Premium carry case and washable micro-fibre cloth
- 1x CR2 battery included
Bushnell Tour V6 Shift Rangefinder Review
The Tour V6 Shift looks typically Bushnell - it's modern and looks premium, everything from the box and packaging it comes in, to the overall design. Although the Shift model looks good with the re-introduction of white (first seen in the Tour X Jolt model in 2016) and flashes of orange, I actually prefer the look of the standard Tour V6 model - the darker grey and black looks that little more premium in my opinion.
On the whole however nothing much has changed with the aesthetics on here. The main design is still relatively similar to previous generations with of Bushnell with the buttons and functionality exactly where you'd expect the, making it especially easy to use.
The only slight change is that the yards/metres button has moved from the side of the unit to within the settings cog which now sits on top of the laser, in front of the power button.
Functionality-wise the Bushnell is a great size and weight in-hand making it comfortable to grip. In recent years we've seen many smaller, budget lasers come into the market like the GolfBuddy GB Laser Lite which have earned plaudits for being small enough to carry in your pocket, however I much prefer to have a larger, heavier rangefinder that attaches to my bag.
The bottom of the unit itself feels like it is slightly slanted which helps it to slot into your hand for more efficient usage alongside a bottom grip.
As Dan mentioned in his review, 240g feels relatively heavy but for me this is a good thing as it adds to the premium feel, and also helps to keep the laser more steady when finding the target.
The performance of the Tour V6 was outstanding, and true to form with Bushnell lasers, it's the department in which it excelled the most. Picking out the pin (or even any target for that matter, i.e. a bunker or tree) the Bushnell is lightning fast. The beauty here is that it feels so reliable, subconsciously this gives you added confidence over the shot that you've selected the precise yardage and there are therefore less lingering thoughts of doubt in your mind.
The Visual Jolt technology also acts as a physical and visual "green light" (ironically the jolt lights up as a red ring around the yardage) before hitting a shot in your pre-routine and given the accuracy of the yardage I really think this helps.
The Shift model is £70 more expensive than the standard Tour V6 and for this you get slope readings. Slope, which in the rules of golf can only be used in casual golf, is flicked simply on and off by the sliding button on the left hand side of the laser.
It works quickly and accurately and not only helps to give an even more precise yardage but can help to improve your course management with regard to elevation changes on course. I find that it can especially help if you use slope regularly in practice at your home course; it helps me with awareness of how elevation changes can affect the true playing yardage of a shot, when then playing in competition without the help of slope.
It's hardly the most impressive technological advancement in golf but the bite magnetic grip is a simple but brilliant idea. It's maybe more aimed at the US market who play cart golf regularly but I reviewed the Tour V6 playing with a buggy abroad and there was certainly no worries of it falling off.
Bushnell Tour V6 Shift Rangefinder Verdict
Like the Hoover, it's clear to see why most golfers refer to all rangefinders as "Bushnells". It's also clear to see why 99% of PGA Tour pros trust Bushnell yardages. If price really was no object, I doubt anyone would look past the Tour V6 Shift - it's really that good.
In the past I have used various rangefinders, including the Shot Scope Pro L2 and Blue Tees Series 3 Max which have both done a decent job, but really you can't beat the Tour V6 in terms of accuracy, speed and build quality.
All of this being said - if you've bought a Bushnell in the last 3 or 4 years however, I'm not sure it's worth upgrading just yet as it's more of the same impressive quality that we've come to expect. I'll leave it to you to decide whether that is a criticism or compliment.
Would I Use It?
Yes - this laser will be attached firmly to my golf bag for the foreseeable.
Bushnell Tour V6 Shift Rangefinder Pros and Cons
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