COST: $799.

TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Straight from the first hole of my testing, the Bushnell Pro XE was extremely impressive.

The size and shape of the unit fit in one hand perfectly and the laser felt solidly built but comfortable to hold with the rubber housing.

Viewing through the eyepiece was extremely clear and using the laser was very easy, with the unit switched on through the touch of a button and the ‘Slope’ capabilities easily turned on and off with a switch on the side.

HOW IT PERFORMED: Having used a laser rangefinder for more than 10 years, I am continually amazed at the additional technologies added to each new model and the simplicity of use for things I could once only dream of.

In the case of the Pro XE, Bushnell has added what the company calls ‘Elements’ to the ‘Slope’ feature, which takes into account uphills and downhills when delivering a final distance. Elements adds temperature and altitude into the Slope equation and while originally concerned that these extra factors might prove confusing, the delivery of the numbers through the eyepiece is extremely easy to understand ... Even for the non-tech savvy golfer.

Some people will roll their eyes at the impact these factors could have on distances, but do so at your own peril, the technology proving itself in my first round using the Pro XE.

Playing early on a winter’s morning always means the ball won’t travel as far as the middle of the day during the height of Summer, but to have the calculations done for you is incredible. Playing a par-3 during my first round with the unit, the difference to the scorecard distance and the final Bushnell number was significant. Trusting technology, I hit the appropriate club for the Slope with Elements factored distance. Pin high was the result.

As the round went on and the day heated up, the difference in distance continued to lower. Back I went to the same par-3 tee after the round to test the difference, and sure enough the hole was nearly playing a club shorter four-and-a-bit hours later.

Of course, Slope measurements aren’t allowed in competition, but a simple flick of the switch on the side of Pro XE disables the function and is very clear to any suspicious playing partners.

Bushnell’s standard pin-seeking technology has also received an upgrade in the new model. ‘PinSeeker with Visual JOLT’ locks onto flags almost instantly, even with slightly shaky hands, and to remove any doubt that you have found the target, a red ring now flashes in the eyepiece while the unit vibrates.

Of the additions compared to previous models, the ‘BITE’ magnet on the side of
the Pro XE originally seemed a little excessive for mine. But my first round in a cart with
the Pro XE certainly proved me wrong, the convenience of being able to place the rangefinder on the metal frame makes it so helpful to grab and shoot your distance, particularly when sharing one rangefinder between two players.

Rangefinders have come a long way from my now “vintage” unit that requires two hands and simply offers up one distance. And although I have held out with my old faithful for as long as I could, once I got my hands on the Pro XE, its impressive features and simplicity of use have me convinced it’s time for an upgrade.


COMPANY SAYS: Used by over 99 percent of PGA Tour players, Bushnell continues to evolve advanced technologies. The Pro XE introduces ‘Slope with Elements’, a technology that takes Bushnell’s Tour-trusted compensated distances to the next level. Temperature and altitude have now been added to Bushnell’s patented ‘Slope’ technology to give golfers the most precise compensated distances ever.

The improved Slope takes into account the most updated ball flight measures giving a much sharper angle of descent over the previous algorithm. Bushnell provides the only compensated ‘Play As’ distance that takes actual ball flight into account, whereas other rangefinders use simple geometry, which is easy to calculate, but not nearly as accurate.

JOLT has been taken to the next level with the all new PinSeeker with Visual JOLT technology. A red ring flashes as JOLT vibrates to give the golfer even greater feedback and confidence to know you have locked onto the flag.

Also new to the Pro XE is the introduction of BITE technology. The BITE magnetic mount allows the laser rangefinder to be secured to the cart bar without the need for an aftermarket accessory.

The Pro XE also sets the gold standard in ranging performance with the ability to range flags at 500+ yards. 7X magnification enables you to have a better view of what you are ranging, and the newly enhanced ultra-bright backlight display provides crisp, clear data output in the LCD.

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