The Final Contender In The Rangefinder Round Up: The Bushnell Tour Z6
(Written by Golfspy_Dave) Welcome to “Part 3” of the Golfspy Dave “Laser Rangefinder Round-Up”. Our first contestant, the 2012 Bushnell Pro 1M, led off the competition with a strong score of 98/100. Our second entrant is the Callaway RAZR Rangefinder dropped a 100/100 bomb on its competitors. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like stepping up to the tee right after my playing partner has piped the drive of his life. Perhaps the Bushnell Tour Z6 is a product that thrives on competition. The ball is on the tee for you Mr. Tour Z6, swing away!
Cosmetics and Feel
The Bushnell Tour Z6 continues the attractive color scheme on its Pro 1M relative. The body is a mix of white and black, with red accents in key positions. The majority of the Tour Z6’s body is a comfortable rubber material. Bushnell describes the body as “rubber armored metal housing”. The rubbery composition facilitates a nice interface with your dry or sweaty golf hand. No slip sliding away for this little unit. It feels very sturdy in construction.
I think that the word “little” in the previous sentence speaks to the feature that truly sets the Bushnell Tour Z6 apart from the other laser rangefinders. This is a small unit. Perhaps “compact” is a better marketing term, but I thought that it did actually feel a bit small in my average sized paw. For sake of scale, I wear a cadet M/L glove. The Tour Z6’s overall dimensions were just a bit off for my hand. To be clear, the feel was not uncomfortable in any way, but both of the other lasers in this series just have better ergonomic feel when compared to the Tour Z6. I would rate the feel on the other two lasers as “great” while this one earns a “good”.
Cosmetics & Feel Score: 18/20 Points
Here are the Bushnell Tour Z6 Specs:
- Tour Certified
- PinSeeker Technology to zero in on the flag
- Up to 1/2 yard accuracy
- 5 yards-1,300 yards ranging performance (450+ yards to a flag)
- Vivid Display Technology (VDT) for all lighting conditions
- E.S.P. (Extreme. Speed. Precision.)
- 6x Magnification (objects appear 6x closer)
- Premium lens coatings for superb optical quality
- Adjustable diopter setting
- Rubber armored metal housing
- Posi-Thread™ Battery Door
- Waterproof (IPX7) and RainGuard HD lens coating
- 3-Volt Battery and Premium Carry Case are also included
- 2 Year Warranty
Ease of Use
All three of the lasers, including the Bushnell Tour Z6, are very easy to operate. The one button operation of the Tour Z6 works exactly like the other lasers. I like how the mode button on the Tour Z6 is “hidden” on the side of the unit. Look closely at the Bushnell logo if you are having trouble finding the button.
On the Course
The Bushnell Tour Z6 is a quick firing unit. It turns on, lasers target, and reports distance at, well..., the speed of light. With the testing of these three units this summer, I really think that the laser rangefinder technology in general has improved beyond the “wait for data” stage. I noticed this a bit last year when comparing the 2011 lasers to the previous versions. The 2011’s were just faster. With the 2012 lasers, we have reached the point where there is no real need to increase speed. The Tour Z6 gives the golfer all the speed that he or she can handle.
One of the interesting things about the Tour Z6 is that Bushnell was able to design into it the same Vivid Display Technology (VDT) and Extreme. Speed. Precision. (E.S.P.) components present in the much larger Pro 1M unit. The Pro 1M does give you one more “x” in magnification (7x vs. 6x), but for me, that difference in magnification was not really significant. I found the 6x magnification present in the Tour Z6 sufficient to paint any target on the golf course. The Pinseeker technology definitely works as advertised, and the orange-ish VTD display graphics and reticule are easy to see under all light conditions that I ran across on the course. The guts in the Tour Z6 are solid.
My only criticism of the Tour Z6 on the course again comes back to the size of the unit. Ergonomics aside, I did find myself wishing that the firing button was just a touch larger. Not a lot larger, maybe a ¼”. My finger just didn’t track the button quite as easily with this unit as it did the others. Maybe the contours of the button housing could be adjusted slightly to promote better finger interaction. It’s really a minor issue, but when we are looking at rangefinder units that are scoring so close to perfect, even the minor issues need mention. Another interesting thing about the Tour Z6 is that I actually found myself using it two-handed most of the time. I thought that the small size of the unit would really foster one-handed operation, but it was more comfortable and accurate with two.
Performance Score: 58/60
The Bushnell Tour Z6 laser rangefinder lists for $399, but you can find it for a bit less at here. For a laser rangefinder with the features and performance of the Bushnell Tour Z6, I think that this price is competitive, but not quite ideal. This price puts the Tour Z6 above the Callaway RAZR, but below the Bushnell Pro 1M. For me and my hand size, I would spend a bit more to go with the larger Bushnell Pro 1M unit, or a little less and go with the Callaway RAZR.
Value Score: 18/20
One of the things that I have learned from reviewing these three rangefinders this summer is that it is a great time to be in the market for a laser. All three of the units tested are excellent units. I feel like I am comparing BMW’s, Mercedes Benz’s, and Jaguar’s. All are excellent, but the slight differences will lead people to buy one of the different brands. For me, I rank the three lasers true to the review scores:
1st Place: Callaway RAZR
2nd Place: Bushnell Pro 1M
3rd Place: Bushnell Tour Z6
Perhaps you agree, perhaps you don’t. I would love to drive a Z4, while you prefer a nice SL. Both cars are awesome, but the subtle differences make us like one more than the other. These lasers are all excellent. Go drive them and let me know what you think.