Best Bushnell Golf Rangefinder – Is Newer Better?

We recently tested the new Bushnell Tour V6 Shift it is one of the most accurate and certainly the quickest Bushnell golf rangefinders to hit the market. However, it brought up the question of whether or not it makes sense to upgrade from a V5 to a V6 or even from a V4 to a V6.

In this article, we break down all of the key features of each Bushnell rangefinder so you can make the best decision. Sometimes, a small initial difference in price is worth it to get the technology you need.

  • Bushnell V6 vs. V5: choose the V6 if you aren’t worried about the costs. Otherwise, the technology in the V5 is very similar, it is just slightly slower.
  • Bushnell V5 vs. V4: the V5 has better visuals, the BITE Magnetic technology, and the Visual JOLT; big improvements between the two models make the V4 to V5 upgrade worth it.
  • Bushnell rangefinder vs GPS: The GPS units are accurate, made with quality materials, and durable; they also tie in well with the Bushnell app; the only downside is you don’t get yardage to the pin.

Bushnell Tour V6 & V6 Shift

Bushnell v6 rangefinder

The latest Bushnell laser rangefinders to hit the market are the Bushnell Tour V6 and V6 Shift. The Shift is the more expensive slope model ($100 extra for slope technology!).

Features

  • 6x magnification
  • Slope technology
  • On/Off Slope Switch (Shift) 
  • Tournament Legal
  • PinSeeker with Visual JOLT
  • Integrated BITE Magnetic Technology
  • Weather-Resistant (IPX6)
  • Bushnell Golf App
  • Premium Carrying Case
  • PlayBetter Microfiber Towel & Two CR2 Batteries

Accuracy (%)

The Bushnell Tour V6 Shift claims to be accurate to within a yard and in our testing it was only the 2nd rangefinder to score 100% on our accuracy testing with targets ranging from 50 to 200 yards. We didn’t have the non-shift version for testing, but these are essentially the same product when it comes to the accuracy and display.

Speed

The Bushnell Tour V6 and V6 Shift are fast. This was one of the key upgrades for the V6 models from the previous V5 models.

Modes

The V6 Shift has the option to turn the slope on and off. If you are playing tournament golf, this will be the one you want. There are also multiple target acquisition modes. The standard V6 is still incredibly capable of locking into the target; just don’t expect any slope-adjusted yardage.

Visuals and Optics

One of the best things about the new Bushnell Tour V6 and V6 Shift is the Pin Seeker with Jolt Technology. When you lock onto the target, a red ring shows up around the scope to let you know you have your number.

If you have a shaky hand, trouble seeing, or worry about your ability to use a rangefinder (vs. a GPS), it’s a great addition.

Usability

The Bushnell Tour V6 Shift is a little heavier slightly larger than previous models. The extra weight in the unit gives it more stability. Interestingly, with the Tour V5, they were advertising that it was more lightweight, and they’ve gone back to durability and strength with this one.

Build Quality

Bushnell golf rangefinders are well built. They have a durable outer casing equipped with the BITE Magnetic mount. If you want to keep this one on the side of the cart as you play, you can easily do so.

If you invest in one of these Tour V6 Shift’s, you will have it for a while.

Value

The V6 is cheaper than the V6 Shift by $100. We find the extra $100 to be well worth it to have the slope technology. Overall, Bushnell golf rangefinders aren’t cheap, but they are one of the most accurate laser rangefinder models on the market. This is one of those you get what you pay for situations.

Golf Insider Verdict

We can’t tell you there have been any groundbreaking differences or improvements from the Tour V5 to the Tour V6 Bushnell rangefinders. However, we have to bring up an important point.

Did the Tour V5 really need that much improvement? Both feature in our roundup of the best golf rangefinders.

If you have an older Bushnell (V4 or prior), go ahead and upgrade to this new V6. However, if you are using the V5, you may not find it worth it to invest in the V6 just yet. Maybe wait for the V7? I’m sure there will be one at some point!

Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder

Bushnell V5 Tour rangefinder

The Bushnell Tour V5 rangefinder was first released in 2020, so it has a few years of testing and data collection under its belt. What do we know after three years on the market? This golf rangefinder is really good!

Features

  • 6x magnification
  • Slope technology
  • On/Off Slope Switch (Shift) 
  • Tournament Legal
  • PinSeeker with Visual JOLT
  • Integrated BITE Magnetic Technology
  • Not Waterproof 
  • Bushnell Golf App
  • Premium Carrying Case

Accuracy (%)

The Bushnell Tour V5 claims to be accurate to within one yard. We had a slightly different testing setup back in 2020 so we don’t have a precise error score, however, this rangefinder was easily one of the most accurate on the market and will still outperform 95% of rangefinders released today.

Speed

Overall speed from the V5 is fast; when the slope feature is on, the readings come a little slower, but not enough to make it a problem.

Modes

The Tour V5 Shift has a slope switch, making it a legal rangefinder for tournament play (even though it has slope functionality). As far as the modes are concerned, the Tour V6 and V5 are nearly identical.

Visuals and Optics

Every rangefinder that Bushnell releases has improved visual and optics from the previous model. Pin Seeker with Visual Jolt technology is present in the tour V5. When you lock into the scope, you get a red ring around the display, letting you know you hit your target.

Usability

The Tour V5 was slightly smaller than previous models (and smaller than the V6). If you like to carry your rangefinder on you or want something that fits easily in your hand, this could be a better choice.

Build Quality

The overall quality of the Tour V5 and Tour V5 Shift is great. I will tell you that these are not waterproof units so you will want to put them away when the rain comes out. The Tour V6 has more impressive weather resistance.

Value

A year ago, the value category may have looked very much like it does right now with the Tour V6 and V6 Shift. You get what you pay for with Bushnell. That said, now is the time to grab the Tour V5. As soon as the V6 came out, pricing went down on the V5, making it a really good value.

Golf Insider Verdict

The performance between the Tour V6 and Tour V5 golf rangefinders is very similar when it comes to accurate distances, usability, and features. If you can’t quite afford the V6 Shift but want slope mode, we’d suggest you grab a Busnell V5 shift instead of the basic V6.

Bushnell Tour V4 rangefinder

Bushnell V4 rangefinder in black and white case

The Bushnell Tour V4 rangefinder was released in 2016. At this point, you probably won’t find a new one of these, although there are some used options on the market. At the time it came out, the Bushnell Tour V4 was the most accurate of the Bushnell rangefinders. With 7 years between now and then, there have certainly been some improvements in technology.

Features

  • 5x magnification
  • Slope technology
  • On/Off Slope Switch (Slope) 
  • Tournament Legal
  • PinSeeker with JOLT
  • Water Resistant 
  • Premium Carrying Case

Accuracy (%)

Today, the accuracy is a little less than you will find with the V6. Measurements should still be within about one yard of the target, but you can expect to get some erroneous readings from time to time.

In addition, if a pin is surrounded by trees or bushes, you will find you do hit the background a few more times than with the latest V6 model.

Speed

The Bushnell V4 is slower than the newer models but not incredibly slow.

Modes

One big change here is that you don’t get the Visual Jolt feature. You can feel it when you are locked on, but you won’t “see” (the red ring) when you find your target.

Visuals and Optics

Overall, visuals and optics have improved in the Tour V5 and Tour V6 models of the Bushnell rangefinders, but if you’ve never owned a rangefinder you’d pick up a Bushnell V4 and be more than happy with what you see.

Usability

One major feature missing from the Bushnell Tour V4 is the BITE Magnetic technology. The unit is small and easy to carry around, but you won’t be able to stick it to the cart.

Build Quality

There are plenty of Tour V4 golf rangefinders still in play and still working well. This should say everything you need to know about overall build quality. The rangefinder holds up just fine over time.

Value

Most Bushnell V4 ranagefinders have been sold. Purchasing used can be a tough call because you don’t know how the products were treated through the years. Be smart about how much you pay and who you are buying from. Overall, the value from anything Bushnell Golf puts out is usually quite good.

Golf Insider Verdict

It’s probably worth your money to invest in a Tour V5 or Tour V6 rather than a Tour V4 at this point. In addition, if you have a Tour V4 and it’s nearing the end of its usable life, you may want to move to the V6. Chances are you have had your Tour V4 for at least 5 years, and at this point, it’s helped you quite a bit on the course.

Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker (Wingman View)

Bushnell Wingman view

The Bushnell GPS devices offer GPS yardages to the front, middle, and back of the greens. In addition, you may find yardages to hazards to help you navigate the course. We have tested the Bushnell Wingman 2 extensively and find it to be accurate, but it’s certainly a different product than the rangefinder.

Features

  • Speaker to play music that also provides GPS distance
  • Premium sound quality
  • Easy-to-read LCD screen (View)
  • Preloaded with 36,000 courses
  • Up to 6 audible and viewable hazard distances per hole
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery
  • 10 hours battery life
  • Comes with a remote
  • Built-in microphone

Accuracy

Most GPS technology is relatively accurate at this point. One thing to keep in mind here is that you won’t get yardage to the pin, so you do have to do a little estimating.

Speed

The GPS devices from Bushnell are not as fast as the best Bushnell rangefinders. Expect a slightly longer delay, especially if you play fast golf.

Usability

This model comes with the BITE magnet, and you really don’t have to do much as you play. It’s very easy to use, and it’s nice to be able to look over at the cart and see the proper yardage displayed. One of the great things about GPS yardage is that you can make some good club decisions based on the size of the green. (Knowing how much room you have in front and back).

Build Quality

The Bushnell Wingman and the Wingman View are very stable. I wouldn’t intentionally drop mine, but I know if I did, the speaker would live through it.

Value

You do get access to the Garmin GPS app when you purchase the GPS speaker, and that really helps with value. The app and the speaker are connected, so you can put your score in on the app after each hole and gain some valuable insight into your game. The only problem here is, of course, you won’t know exactly how far it is to the pin.

Golf Insider Verdict

The Bushnell Wingman speakers are really a fun gadget to have. I wouldn’t necessarily buy this if I walked the course all the time. However, for golf cart owners, you will be quite impressed with how much the unit has to offer and how easy it is to use as you play.

Bushnell V6 vs V5

The Bushnell V6 is slightly faster and has better weather-resistance technology than the V5. The overall usability and functionality of the unit are almost identical. If you have the money and plan on sticking with the rangefinder for the next 7 years, go with the Tour V6 (this has slope function). If you need to save some money opt for the Tour V5 (with slope) over the basic Bushnell V6.

Bushnell V5 vs V4

The Bushnell V5 has much better optics, and it comes with the BITE Magnetic Mount and the Visual Jolt technology. Look at it this way: the difference between the V4 and the V5 was much more significant than the difference between the V5 and the V6. If you are still playing with the V4, it may be time to make the upgrade to the Tour V5.

Bushnell rangefinder vs GPS

The Bushnell rangefinders are really an entirely different tool. If you play a variety of golf courses, we like the GPS tools because they can adjust to the course and help you learn along the way and font and back measurements are really helpful if you don’t know the golf course.

For golfers who want easy yardages, play in a cart and less hassle opt for the GPS option. For golfers who want to dial in their wedge play and make more birdies go for the rangefinder.

Happy golfing.

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Will is a PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. He spent 10 years lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in Biomechanics and Motor Control before becoming the Head of Golf for the University of Exeter. He currently runs Golf Insider UK, Sport Science Insider around wider consulting and academic roles in sport performance and motor control.

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