Provisio S vs. Bushnell Tour V4 Shift
Bushnell rangefinders are the crème de la crème in the market, but not every pocket can afford one. So how does our very own ProVisio S (priced at £149.99) compare?
What's in the box?
You'd expect to find the range finder unit in the box, but what else do you get that adds some value to your purchase?
Both the ProVisio and Bushnell boxes contain the same accessories. A carry pouch to attach to your golf bag for quick access, a battery so you can start using right away, and a cleaning cloth for the lens and eyepiece. Nothing to separate them.
How do they feel in hand?
The ProVisio S is compact enough to easily fit in one hand, which makes it extremely easy to use. The rubber on the outer shell makes it very tactile and easy to hold steady while in use.
The Bushnell V4 Shift is even smaller, very ergonomic, sits beautifully in hand and is super easy to hold steady. You can tell this is a third or fourth generation product.
Both devices are waterproof, dustproof and have LCDs.
How easy are they to use?
The ProVisio has two buttons on top. One for measuring and one for 'Mode'. This button switches the unit between yards and metres. The slope function is turned on and off via a switch under the ocular. The device also features six-time magnification when looking through the eyepiece, making it super easy to spot and lock on to the flag. To focus on the target twist the ocular, something you'll only need to do once each time you play at most.
The Bushnell only had one button for both functions. Pressing it delivers the measurement while keeping it pressed down toggles through the options of yards, metres, and Pinseeker. Let go of the button when the settings you want are displaying. The slope button is very stealthy; built into the logo on the side. The Bushnell only features five-times magnification (more than enough) and a little slider under the viewfinder for focusing.
What's the range?
Before we start let's remember that in golf (especially the amateur game) we only need yardages up to 300 yards maybe even 200 for some of us!
The ProVisio S claims a maximum range of 650 yards while the Bushnell will hit a pin at 400 yards, a tree at 700 yards and will keep finding a target up to 1000 yards. It's military technology in a golf environment!
The more important question though is how fast and how accurate are the two devices? Both claim to be accurate to 1 yard.
How accurate are they?
Test 1: Par 3
The Bushnell quickly delivered a reading of 151 yards with the PinSeeker Jolt technology indicating that the pin is the target. PinSeeker Jolt technology works by way of vibration when the shortest distance of the current scan is displayed. Ensuring you've not caught a bush behind the flag.
The ProVisio S was a fraction of a second slower but still easily locked on to the pin and delivered a reading of 151 yards.
Test 2: Downhill approach to par 4
Please note the slope function on both of these devices is not conforming for competition play. It can easily be switched off on both units before your game.
Once again the Bushnell quickly locked on to the target and displayed a reading of 171 yards with a 4-degree slope; resulting in playing yardage of 161 yards (also displayed on the screen).
The ProVisio S again was a fraction of a second longer in finding the target, but like on the par 3, delivered the same reading; 171 yards, 4-degrees of slope and playing yardage of 161 (again, displayed on the screen).
Test 3: Target off a tee
Lasers are not only for finding the yardage to a pin; you might want to use them to avoid a hazard off the tee. In our third test, we wanted to know how far a tree was off the tee to make sure we did not reach it and block off a shot to the green.
The Bushnell bounced around in the branches for a second, jolted and indicated a measurement of 220 yards.
The ProVisio S did the same and showed 219 yards, maybe hitting a branch slightly nearer the tee. Once again, nothing to split them, on this or any of our tests.
Which one should you buy?
With the Bushnell you get what you'd expect to from a market leader. Precision, speed, and accuracy in a compact package fit for Tour Professionals.
But, the ProVisio S matches the Bushnell stride for stride in the categories where it counts - precision and accuracy.
There are no doubting Bushnell's incredible credentials, but performance-wise there's nothing between them, and if it comes down to value and some cash left in your pocket, the ProVisio S is a truly excellent alternative.
If you are spending your hard-earned cash on a dozen premium golf balls, you want some assurances that you are getting your monies worth - as you'd get a lot more balls if you went down the budget option.
It is easy to watch the PGA Tour and think how easy it would be if you could use (and afford!) the equipment used by the best player in the world. But have you thought about trying to build a bag worthy of use by Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy