Bushnell Ion 2 Review
Bushnell ranks among golfing industry leaders in providing exceptionally good laser rangefinders and GPS tracking technology. The ability to accurately gauge distances and fully understand the layout before you makes it a lot easier to elevate your game and lower your playing scores.
GPS technology is a more recent addition to the golfing tool kit, and the Bushnell Neo iON 2 is an outstanding example. Released in in 2020 Neo iON 2 includes detailed maps of more than 36,000 regulation golf courses located in 30 nations. If you are on a regulation golf course, odds are the Bushnell Neo Ion has it loaded and ready to go.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: Basic Design and Construction
The Bushnell Neo Ion uses a durable polymer iON watch with a black plastic case and a rubber watch band to secure it in place on your wrist. The black band also is blue on the reverse side to give you more options for matching your favorite golf attire. With just a quick glance, you get ample hole data to make the best possible golf shot.
The watch measures 3.1 inches by 5.6 inches long when including the watch band. It hs less than a half-inch thick and weighs the same as most typical fitness watches. When you are away from the golf course, it shows the day, date and time. When on the golf course, you get the distance readings with the middle distances to various targets featured prominently in the middle and the near and far distances listed above and below the middle distance.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: Auto-Loading and Detailed Course Views
You do not need to search through the library of golf course maps to load the correct one. The Bushnell golf watch does that for you with the GPS function. When you turn it on, it will take a couple of minutes to determine your location and load the highly detailed high-definition map in full color.
- Continually updated maps of more than 36,000 courses in 30 nations.
- Bushnell Golf App included.
- Automatically loads golf course and hole.
- Pedometer tells the distance you walk during a round.
- Understandably small viewing screen due to watch-size limitations.
- Takes a couple of minutes for GPS unit to locate your position and load the respective golf course map.
- No automatic scoring.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: Highly Accurate Distance Range Arcs
Each hole you play will display various range arcs to the pertinent structures that could affect your golf shot. When you are at the tee on a par 4 or par 5 hole, you will see the distance to the fairway, bunkers, water hazards and the green. When playing a par 3 hole, you get the front, back and center distances to the green with the hole indicated on the GPS map.
The display gives you up to four distances to hazards and layup spots that could cause your golf shot to go awry. The layup locations in particular show you where the higher elevations are located and your ball might fall well short of your intended target. The flyovers and hazard distances help you to get a true picture of what lay ahead of you and how it might affect your golf shot.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: Front, Center and Back Hazard Distances
While a laser rangefinder can tell you the distance to a hazard, it cannot tell you the front, back and center distances. The Bushnell Neo Ion watch will give you the exact distances to the front, back and center of the hazard so that you can pick exactly the correct club and swing combination to stay clear of it.
The same goes for the layup locations on the hole. Any spots that are especially high and could cause your ball to land well short of your intended target are shown with the front, center and back distances so that you can tell the likely layup as well as where the ball carry likely will kick in and send your golf shot even further.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: 3D Flyovers
You get a true bird’s eye view of the hole you are about to play when using the 3D flyover feature. The flyover gives you a very clear picture of the various hole hazards, obstacles, fairway and green so that you know the best targets to choose to shoot the lowest golf score. When you run it, it flies over the hole from your location to the green with all course features displayed prominently.
The Bushnell Neo Ion also includes a fitness pedometer that will tell you how far you walked and how many steps you took. That can help you to know the fitness aspect of your golf outing as well as the scores.
Bushnell Ion 2 Review: Golf App Greatly Enhances Utility
Bushnell recently updated its Bushnell Golf App, which you can download free with the purchase of the Neo Ion 2. The golf app makes greater sense of the entire golf watch concept by enabling you to use the wearable tech while active on the course.
While you are awaiting your turn, your cellphone or a tablet device gives you more detailed information on a larger screen, so you get the best of both. You get the same detailed course views and hole flyovers included with the Bushnell Golf Watch but on a screen that is many times larger than the watch.
The Golf App turns your mobile device into an electronic scorecard and tracks the number of fairways and greens that you hit in regulation. You can review each putt that you took during a full round and review shot distance measurements. The Bushnell Golf App auto-updates course maps and other information via a Bluetooth connection.
Why You Should Buy One Bushnell Neo Ion 2
The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 golf watch is an affordable and wearable GPS unit that really comes into its own when mated with the free Bushnell Golf App on your smartphone.
A unique alternative to the Bushnell Neo Ion 2 golf watch is the Arccos Caddie. Some similar features, but with some unique additional options.
The watch can give you the pertinent situational data and hole information that you need to make better club and swing choices and lower your score. It does not overly complicate matters with a bunch of extra programs. You get accurate hole and distance information at a glance and can make better club and swing choices to lower your score.
The Bushnell golf watch is light, affordable and looks good on the golf course. It comes with an attached rubber wrist band that is reversible so that you can choose a black or a blue band while playing. It also comes in a gray watchcase and band that is lime green on the reverse side.
The price point rivals that of the best-value laser rangefinders and is a lot easier to carry and use on the golf course.