Over the last few years we have seen a number of different brands, from Volvik to Callaway to Shot Scope, all attempting to break into the laser rangefinder market and knock Bushnell off their perch.
If you're big on your golf equipment you'll know that this is easier said than done, because there are a number of big players in this field who tend to dominate usage both with the professionals and amateurs.
One of the brands seeking to buck this trend is Zoom, from the same owners as Big Max (known for their trolleys and bags) who are back with their second golf laser - the Focus Tour.
What's It All About?
The Focus Tour is Zoom's premium model which features a simple, intuitive setup in a compact, classic design which looks to replicate the look and feel of an old-school camera.
The laser's flag scan mode allows you to get a better idea of all of the obstacles that lie ahead of you, by scanning through the field of view to pick up the flag whilst providing measurements to other targets along the way without you needing to click the button every time.
When you lock onto the flag you should receive a reassuring vibration, letting you know that you have successfully acquired your target.
As with all good lasers these days, the slope switch technology accounts for any changes in elevation between you and the flag, and can be turned on and off depending on whether you are playing in a competition.
Zoom says that the display is particularly bright, with vivid contrasts. This combines with a 7.5° field of view to ensure that you always have a great view of the target ahead.
The hybrid metal finish features an ergonomic design which has been built to fit into the hand much more easily to make carrying and using the laser as enjoyable as possible.
Zoom are promising 'Instant Target' technology with the clear display and latest chip technology providing yardages in less than half a second, meaning that you can build the laser into your pre-shot routine without adding any more time.
The laser is said to be accurate up to distance of 800m, thanks to a 6x magnification on the clear display which should have you covered on even the longest of holes out on the course, regardless of how far offline you hit it!
Zoom Focus Tour Rangefinder Review
Looks and Feel
In my opinion, the Focus Tour provides a much more premium look than the Focus X that I reviewed last summer, which felt a little more of an 'entry-level' laser for golfers who are new to the game or on a tighter budget. In comparison, I thought the Focus Tour laser looked great.
The laser weighs in at 210g and this gives it a nice solid feel in your hands, and it couples well with Zoom's ergonomic handle which means that you can use this one-handed if you'd like to. One thing that I don't like about some newer lasers to the market is how lightweight they are, this wasn't the case here.
As you'd expect you also get the usual premium carry case and clip which means that you can attach the laser to your golf bag, trolley or even your belt if you want to make the process as fast as possible.
In addition there's a handy battery life indicator displayed on the screen too, which should let you know when you're close to running out of juice. There's nothing worse than taking out your rangefinder on the first approach shot of the day, only to find that it has died and you're going to have to guess the yardages to the pin for the rest of the round... not fun!
The laser was very simple to use, with the slope switch button on one side and just two main buttons on top - one to turn the device on and find the target, and the other to change mode and switch between yards and metres.
The laser's display gives you a clear sight target in the centre of the screen, whilst icons on the side indicate which mode you are currently in.
With the slope mode on, I like the fact that the true yardage and slope-adjusted yardage are displayed in the optics along with the elevation percentage this shows.
I think that this is a great idea for improving your knowledge on how severe certain slopes will be and is also useful during competitions when you'll have slope mode turned off as you can start to learn some of the key elevation changes at your home course.
The slope mode was in full effect during my testing at JCB Golf and Country Club on the 17th tee, the signature hole which plays severely downhill. Club selection is vital here and the laser worked well as I managed to successfully hit the green. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to help me avoid 3-putting though...
I found the scan mode to be a little temperamental at times, as it seemed to work really well on some holes and then struggled to pick targets up on others, on the whole I didn't find it to work that well.
In the end though, I didn't find this to be too much of an issue as the device is easy enough to use quickly and accurately so I didn't often find that I was actually requiring the scan mode in favour of just the standard way of measuring. In all honesty i found it to be a bit of a pointless feature.
The only true complaint I could really have with the laser was that the optics could've been clearer - I found that the size of the numbers and symbols was just a little small and the black text was quite hard to pick up at times depending on lighting, particularly if there were obstacles in the background when trying to get your yardages.
I like to think that my eyesight is pretty good but for those who wear glasses or may struggle with reading small text, this could end up being a real issue some at times. You could give a rangefinder all the best features in the world, but if the optics aren't spot on, it's going to struggle to outperform the big boys.
Zoom Focus Tour Rangefinder Verdict
Overall I found Zoom's Focus Tour to be a good, solid rangefinder which looks really smart and is simple and fast to use. It is the brand's flagship model and I'd definitely agree that it is a improvement from their initial Focus X model in terms of overall quality, but maybe not in value for money.
Bushnell are regarded as the benchmark when it comes to lasers, and the Tour V5 Shift is around £100 more than the Focus Tour, so you will have to decide how much you are willing to spend to get the most quality for your game.
In my opinion, due to the optics and view through the rangefinder itself, I found the performance of this to not be on the same level as a Bushnell in terms of speed and accuracy. Having said that, if you're on a budget and are looking for a laser which looks and feels premium and has all the features a golfer could wish for, then the Zoom Focus Tour could be a very viable option and worth adding to your short-list.
- Premium looks and feel
- Very easy to use
- Decent value for a flagship model
- Better quality than the Focus X rangefinder
- Optics could've been clearer
- May still struggle to compete with the bigger brands
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Bushnell Tour V5 Shift Laser Rangefinder Review
Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch Review