join

Bushnell Tour V3 Laser Rangefinder – REVIEW

Post image for Bushnell Tour V3 Laser Rangefinder – REVIEW

(Written by Golfspy_Dave)

A Screen Door on a Submarine?

There is nothing better than a classic burn, “You are about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.”  Burn!  To help those of you out there who don’t get it, a screen door would not be a useful addition to a submarine.  You see, submarines go under water, and a screen door would let that water inside of the boat.  And water in a boat, as you well know, leads to sinking.  As a result, screen doors are not typically found on submarines.

There is a point to the non sequitur above.  The point is that adding new features to something does not always equal improvement, especially if what you are improving is already an excellent product.  Case in point, the critically acclaimed Bushnell Tour V2 laser rangefinder.  The Tour V2 is an outstanding rangefinder.  In fact, most of the people that I talk to consider it to be the go to rangefinder in the Bushnell line.  But the V2 is also yesterday in the market, and yesterday just doesn’t sell, especially when talking about technology.  New and improved grabs dollars, provided the "improvements" are actually improvements.

Enter the Bushnell Tour V3 laser rangefinder.  Right away by the numbering, we can see that the V3 is one better than the V2.  Kidding aside, what does the change in the model number actually represent?  Are there new features?  Yes there are, but do they really make the V3 better than the V2?

Looks + Feel

Cosmetic improvements are immediately apparent when we compare the V2 to the V3.  The most obvious of these is the change in color scheme.  Gone is the utilitarian gray and black.  The Bushnell Tour V3 sports a much flashier red/black/white scheme.  Personally, I view this as an improvement, though in the area of aesthetics, you are always welcome to your own I-prefer-the-boring-one opinion.  If nothing else, this new color pattern does match the colors of the other recent Bushnell lasers, the Pro 1M and the Tour Z6.  It’s a nice marketing tool to let consumers know which lasers are Bushnell lasers.

Ignore the colors for a moment and look a little closer at the case geometries.  The case of the Tour V3 has been redesigned to improve the ergonomics of the unit, allowing it to fit more precisely into your hand during use.  The Tour V2 didn’t feel awkward by any stretch, but the Tour V3 definitely feels better, more comfortable.

Looks + Feel Score: 20/20 Points

Performance

Here are the Bushnell Tour V3 Specs:

  • PinSeeker Technology with JOLT Technology to zero-in on the flag
  • Accuracy within 1-yard
  • 5 yards - 1,000 yards ranging performance. 300+ yards to a flag
  • 5x Magnification
  • Ergonomic design provides a stable grip
  • Posi-Thread™ Battery Door
  • 3-Volt Battery and Premium Carry Case included
  • Rainproof Construction
  • 2 Year Warranty

Ease of Use

Quick and accurate.  Press a button to turn it on, press it again to measure.  I realize that all lasers work the same way these days, and that seemingly all of them could be classified as easy to use.  Some company will break this paradigm eventually though.

On the Course

OK, let’s take a look at the Tour V3‘s performance.  Is it really one better than the Tour V2?  Here are some of the specific details:

High Points for the Bushnell Tour V3:

  • It’s fast:  On and lasing in moments
  • Improved Case: Bushnell has gone away from the magnetic closure found on pervious cases and moved to a zipper + bungee closure.  It’s not a huge change, but I definitely trust the bungee to keep the case closed more than I did the magnet.  Plus, who wants magnets next to electronics.
  • Ranges Non-Flags: Shoot whatever you need, the Bushnell Tour V3 will give you the number.
  • Range:  The Tour V3 can pick up targets from a long way away.  No need for intermediate targeting with this one.
  • PinSeeker Technology: The Tour V3 had no issue picking up targets, even when there were other targets behind the flag.  PinSeeker Technology still works like a champ, and this year there is a little extra in the mix...

JOLT Technology

The Bushnell Tour V3’s JOLT Technology was something that really caught my eye when I first read about it.  The Tour V3 vibrates just a bit when you lock onto target.  Just a bit of bzzzzt.  To me, this was the potential screen door.  Is the JOLT Technology really necessary?  Could it actually detract from the usage of the unit?  While I don’t know if it is truly necessary, I do think that it enhances the use of the unit.  When you feel the short vibration, you know that you have the number.  I found myself warming more and more to the JOLT Technology, happily anticipating the buzz when I read distances.  It’s a cool extra that does separate the V3 from the V2.

Concerns with the Tour V3

The JOLT Technology is also the source my only bit of trepidation with the Tour V3.  It is totally possible to get a quick, accurate reading without the JOLT Technology triggering and buzzing your mitt.  My concern is that people could end up taking longer to read targets as they wait for the JOLT to fire.  On the whole, I think that lasers make for very quick range finding, leading to improved pace of play.  This could change though if one is taking more time by waiting for the JOLT.

Performance Score: 59/60

 

Value

The non-slope Bushnell Tour V3 comes in at just under $300, with the slope version adding about another hundred.  You can also add a bit of value and social consciousness to your purchase by going with the Patriot Pack.  Compared to the other lasers offered by Bushnell, and the other lasers in the market with similar features, this price point is excellent.  It’s not inexpensive, but it is definitely competitive.  Shave off another $25-$50 and the Tour V3 could likely be the dominant rangefinder in the 2013 market.

Value Score: 19/20 Points

 

Summary

The Bushnell Tour V3 laser rangefinder is the unit to beat in 2013.  The redesigned case is excellent, and the JOLT Technology adds a new layer to Bushnell’s already excellent PinSeeker technology.  I have a couple of other lasers that I will be testing over the next month or so and all I can say is that the Bushnell Tour V3 has set the bar for comparison very high.

Purchase a Bushnell Tour V3 Laser Rangefinder HERE

Overall Score: 98/100

 

Enter the Bushnell FaceBook Contest and Win a Tour V3

Head over to the Bushnell FaceBook page HERE to enter.  Ends May 15th, 2013.

Review Summary

A
98

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

rookieblue7 May 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

I love my V3. Got it for a song too, using the MGS specific discount code through GolfDiscount. Only complaint I have is it doesn’t always turn itself off between usage(pull it out of the case after lasing one shot at the next shot to lase and it’s still on).

Reply

Jim Giles December 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm

To comment on not turning itself off, sometimes true. But I use this unit for 1 round per week, have had it for 10 months and still am using the original batteries. So my synopsis is staying on doesn’t burn battery life as I am now approx. 30+ rounds into same batteries. While it appears to be on, I do have to click button to get range, so not sure if it is really “on” or you just see black markings inside lense. GREAT PRODUCT !!

Reply

Desmond May 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

5X magnification? What happened to 7X?

Reply

Markus May 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

But is it any better then the V2? I have the V2 and love it, I personally don’t see any reason to update..

Reply

Dave Wolfe May 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

If you already have the V2, then I think you are right that the upgrade is not really cost effective. If someone is looking to buy either the V2 or V3, I’d lean toward the V3.

Reply

Mark May 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I thought the JOLT technology was a gimmick but the tactile feedback it provides once you’ve locked onto a pin is great. If anyone is concerned about battery life, the JOLT technology can be turned off. My only complaint is that the white paint chips easily around edges so be careful! Also there is a tiny speck of dust in my monocle. I could get the unit replaced but the performance isn’t affected so I haven’t been bothered.

Reply

Mr.Clean May 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I have the Limited Edition white V2 which takes care of the bland color scheme.
As far as ergonomics go, I personally love the rounded contours of the V2, fits my hand like a glove.
And as for the jolt when locking on… sounds like something to drain the battery quicker.
I’m a big fan of the V3 styling but it sounds like a bit of “V3-ier” marketing if you ask me!

Reply

Dave Wolfe May 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I’ll have to explore battery life to see if it drains faster. Overall, the lasers seem like they go on for quite a while with the same battery.

Reply

Cory C May 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Agree with the comment on battery life. Can’t imagine that the Jolt vibrating is going to help the battery life one bit and those CR2 batteries all these rangefinders use are expensive. Like that it keeps yardages at 1 yard increments. No idea why companies feel like I need to see a .5 or .1 increment. Just adds noise to the process.

Reply

Yohanan May 9, 2013 at 2:08 am

I love my V2 and used it on i think 16 of 18 holes. The 2 i didn’t were cart path only and i just was laying up to the yardage markers sticking up in the middle of the fairway.

I will also agree that the cost of batteries and battery life is an issue. When i saw the V3 commercial for the first time I had the same concern about JOLT doing a number on the battery. Its got to? Like vibrate on a phone.

Mine dosen’t shut off either. Or doesn’t go to sleep quickly enough. Drains batteries like each round. So i ordered a $50 recharagable battery kit on amazon. 4 Batteries and Car/Wall charger are the only way to go.

Take the battery out when you finish the round. It seems to help.

White? How does it look after a round or two.

I am sticking with my V2. Love the shape and i zip the carrying case up each time.

Magnet and that clip on the old case are a marketing stunt to sell replacements. I see some sort of strap going around alot of the tour players bags holding the old case in a easy access position on wednesday. Need to look into that.

I dont even turn my gps on anymore unless the cart has it.

Get either model and the rechargable battery kit and dont look back.

Cheers

Reply

Joezilla May 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm

So…………do you feel that this is a better rangefinder than the Leupold GX-3i? I currently have the first Leupold, the GX-1. I have used it for the past three seasons or so. It is starting to get a bit flaky and act contankerous at times on the course, so I am looking to replace it. I am not married to Leupold so going to Bushnell will be fine.

I will be interested in yours and any others comments.

Joe

Reply

Dave S May 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

Well the GX-4i is the newest version so it’s probably better to compare apples to apples. For my money it’s hard to not go with the company the US military uses for it’s weapon’s optics (Leupold).

Reply

Joezilla May 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Yes, the GX-4i is the latest version, but it is the slope model. Apples to apples would be the GX-3i compared to the Bushnell V3. Right?

Joe

Reply

Dave S May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

Actually, in terms of price point, the 3i is more in line with the V3… not sure why the 4i is over $600

Reply

Jim Giles December 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

See other comment I posted, I am 30+ rounds into My v3 on ORIGINAL BATTERY and I use on all holes. So I am not seeing any significant battery drain in laser staying on or Jolt technology… LOVE THIS THING !

Reply

Dave S May 10, 2013 at 9:34 am

So Bushnell prominantly displays on every one of its products that its the “Number 1 Laser Rangefiner on Tour”.

But Leupold’s website say it’s “Number 1 with PGA Tour Caddies”

What’s the deal here? Are they each just molding the stats to suit them best? Which one REALLY is trusted more by PGA Tour players?

Reply

Joezilla May 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I’d be more inclined to go with the PGA caddie recommendation. The pros probably don’t shoot their own distances even in practice rounds.

Joe

Reply

Jonny May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I’ve never had any lazers, but I’m considering buying one this year. Can anyone comment on whether the Slope thingy is worth +$100 extra? Is it the feature that takes into account the altitude difference when calculating the distance to the flag? I think I read somewhere that it’s illegal in competitions or smth.

Reply

Glen May 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm

For everyone concerned about battery life, check this place out. http://www.batteryjunction.com/
They are cheap!

Reply

Lorenzo Loco May 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

Do you know what the largest MAH in this battery we can use for the Tour V3?
Do you know if this is ok to use? “RCR123A 3V (3.2V) 900mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery”

Reply

LT June 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for the excellent review.

I already owned a Bushnell 1500 Slope and 1600 Tournament Pro prior to purchasing the Callaway Nikon Razr. I briefly owned a Leupold but quickly returned it after I found out I could get the Bushnell 1600 from my club at a lower price. I also didn’t like the fact that the Leupold display was positioned at the lower right making it tougher to see against grass and trees and that it didn’t wouldn’t work through glass/plexiglass. I recently sold my Callaway Nikon Razr to a friend of mine due to the fact that it doesn’t have a discrete reading mode comparable to Bushnell’s Pinseeker Mode and that it’s hung up on me several times, something none of the Bushnells I’ve owned have ever done. Given Bushnell’s Pinseeker Mode and Jolt feature I’m able to quickly and confidently get pin readings with single or dual handed operation. The case is top notch and very handy when riding on a cart; however, for waking I’ve found that Bushnell’s 360R retraction accessory is a must-have and opt to stow the case. While the Bushnell 1600 is an excellent unit, it ultimately proved to be too big and heavy for walking the course and the Bushnell Tour V3 has proven to an excellent compact replacement. I also looked at the Z6 but the additional features didn’t justify the additional $80 in price. The Bushnell Tour V3 has become my best new mandatory golf accessory!

Reply

TJ Wurtz June 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Does anyone know ho to turn on the Jolt technology on the tour V3 mine for some reason is off? Thanks!

Reply

lorenzo loco June 9, 2013 at 1:19 am

On the initial press of the button just hold it and let it scroll through the different modes, jolt with yards, just yards, jolt with meters, just meters…I think lol good luck.

Reply

Chris June 15, 2013 at 2:11 am

Great review! I have the v3 and love it. For anyone thinking of buying one or just wants a honest opinion check out http://www.golfreviewguy.com/bushnell-tour-v3-review.html. This site gives a link for the best price. Hope this helps anyone!

Reply

Kim July 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm

The V3 has changed to meters and does not convert to yards when the top button is pressed for any length of time, Any clues as to why it won’t switch back? Maybe the battery is dying? Thanks, Kim

Reply

jim donovan August 7, 2013 at 1:48 am

how do u change to meters?

Reply

Mike August 12, 2013 at 3:12 am

Great review.

I also read the reviews from last year covering among others the Z6. Which leads to my question.

How does the V3 compare to the Z6?

+ I like the really small units, how is the size of these two when you compare them.
+ 5x vs 6x magnification, is this a relevant difference that makes the Z6 better?
+ Vivid Display Technology vs Jolt – which brings the most “value”.

Since Z6 is last year I have found a place that charges almost the same for the two units. When price is removed from the equation, which is the better buy.

Any input greatly appreciated.

/Mike

Reply

Jon August 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Bought the Tour V3 no slope 3 months ago… It is my first laser range finder and I love it. Original battery lasted roughly 10 rounds with jolt on and paint is holding up great (I keep it in the bungee closed case or next to me on cart seat depending on whether I’m walking or riding). Jolt works great and is handy when you have a pin with objects In the backdrop. One small annoyance is the battery style which is a CR2 lithium (might be why it lasts as many rounds as it does). They are hard to find at your local golf course or gas station so you’ll want to keep a spare!

Reply

golffan August 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I recently purchased a new V3 and loved it immediately!! after about 4 rounds the JOLT stopped working and I couldn’t get the unit to scroll thru the option of jolt, yrd, meters…. could the battery be low already and if so why isn’t the low battery alert coming on like it says in the instructions??? Also you upsale the “JOLT” feature to confirm you’ve hit the pin…. this is a TOTAL misrepresentation as it jolts on anything vertical it locks on…. I can shoot 20 YARDS away form the pin and it JOLTS as well as DISPLAYS the icon with the flag in the circle, letting you know its shot a pin and not a tree!!!???? do I have a faulty unit?

Reply

Jon August 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

When my battery died I never noticed a low battery alert… Screen just went blank and unit was unresponsive so I replaced battery and it came back to life! Don’t know if I just missed it (often have sunglasses on when using the unit) or if it didn’t function properly. Just looked at the manual and it appears the low batt indicator is in the same position as the yardage and shows up as “lo8″ which I could have easily missed as I usually press once to turn unit on then quickly press again to shoot distance. As for the jolt you could pick up a tree or other object in the back or foreground. For example, if you have a tree in front of the flag blocking it even slightly it will likely read the tree. Whereas on the other hand if the unobstructed flag is in front of the tree or other object you will lock on the flag unless you are a horrible aim!. One of the hardest yardages for me to shoot is the flag barely sticking over a hill… If I’m not steady it’ll give me the hillside. Maybe it’s not supposed to but mine locks and jolts on almost anything I aim it at.

Reply

Mark August 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Fantastic in depth review of the V3. I have used the V2 for a long time, and loved it. I was skeptical of the Jolt feature but as mentioned in the review I found it very useful and gave me confidence that I’d found the target. Our Cheshire Golf Discount website has sold a lot of these units with great feedback. I’d give it 100/100!!

Reply

Chris October 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

For another great review on the V3 check out http://www.golfreviewguy.com/bushnell-tour-v3-review.html

Reply

Michael December 22, 2013 at 12:14 am

The Tour V3 is awesome! I love the jolt addition as the confirmation of locking on to the target this unit is fast and you can measure very far way. . .

Reply

Nick.. December 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

My battery died after about 16 rounds and it still indicated 2.94 Volts on a multimeter, the new battery 3.1 volts. The old battery will still work well in a camera. The v3 must have a very tight working voltage range, maybe 2.95 volts is the cut-off point. Stock up on line as my new one cost $16 from a newsagent.. Wont get caught short again.

Reply

Tom January 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

2 year Warranty is a SCAM ~I purshased the Bushnell Tour V2 Laser Rangefinder. After approx. 15 months I was experiencing a lot of problems with the Rangefinder. I brought it back to Martins PGA store in Myrtle Beach where the manager told me he would ship it back to Bushnell for repair. I waited approx. 6 weeks to hear back from Bushnell. Their warranty is not your purchase date but the date that is stamped on the rangefinder. So if your Rangefinder sits in the store for a year or longer than minus that time from the 2 year warranty. This is the best part they wanted $220. to fix the Rangefinder that I owned for 15 months. Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!
Tom, Myrtle Beach

Reply

Dustin R March 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I have a brand new v3 jolt played with it twice, and now the bushnell button on the side is stuck and cannot be depressed. So now it is stuck on meters and I can’t change it to yards, because I can’t press then button in. Does anybody know how to fix this? thanks

Reply

Dr. t April 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

Take out the battery and then reinsert it and press and hold the power button and it will change. There is no button on the side, even though it looks like one.

Reply

Kim April 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

I have the same problem and that doesn’t work.

Reply

kyle June 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

My tour v3 jolt does not jolt anymore and it’s only one year old. Any suggestions on how to correct this problem?

Reply

Steve Barry June 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Same way as you change from yards to meters I believe, on the initial press, just hold it down and look through the eye hole, it’ll shuffle through the options (yards + jolt, yards only, meters + jolt, meters only) and let it go when you get to the one you want.

I let a buddy of mine use it last week and he somehow got it to yards only and I couldn’t figure out how to get it back. The manual you can get online doesn’t cover this, but I think the one that comes with the unit does.

Reply

Dan Byrne June 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I accidently turned jolt of on my v3 I’m wondering how to turn it back on?

Reply

Oscar Barbosa Jr October 20, 2014 at 8:01 am

If you want changed from meters to yards just take out the battery and then reinsert. The first time that press and hold the power button it will change.

Reply

Charlie November 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Did you really feel the need to explain the screen door thing. Who’s your target audience?

Reply

Leave a Comment