Keep it simple, silly (KISS) is the more polite version of a popular notion that a simple design generally is the best when it comes to planning or building something, like a golf GPS device. More famously recognized as the “KISS” principle, the Bushnell Phantom golf GPS unit epitomizes the concept. “Distance Made Simple” is the tagline on the Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS tracker’s packaging, and simplicity definitely rules its existence.
While it is possible to spend hundreds of dollars and likely even more on really cool high-tech items that tell you the distance to various golfing targets, there really is no reason to do so. Very affordable and highly portable devices, like the Bushnell Phantom golf GPS unit, can give you fast and very accurate data for a fraction of the cost and often in a fraction of the time.
Instead of taking multiple reading to know what lay ahead, the Bushnell Phantom golf GPS device gives you the ability to obtain fast and accurate distance information at a quick glance. The tournament-legal GPS tool contains digital maps of more than 36,000 regulation golf courses located around the world. It fits in the palm of virtually any adult golfer’s hand, and virtually any Bushnell Phantom GPS review affirms its accuracy rivals the best laser rangefinders.
Bushnell Phantom GPS Review: What it Does
The Phantom shows you the middle distance to the green appears in large black numbers that are very easy to read in direct sunlight and occupy the largest part of the screen. The front distance to the green is listed directly below and on the left. The back distance is listed next to that on the right. With one simple glance, you can determine the best location to send the ball and set up an easy putt on the green.
- More than 36,000 courses in 30 countries.
- Automatic golf course and hole recognition.
- Includes free Bushnell Golf App.
- Built-in magnet lets you place it on a cart or bag carrier.
- Legal for R&A and USGA tournaments.
- No automatic scorecard.
- No flyover or overhead view without Bushnell Golf App.
- Relatively short 10-hour battery charge.
The basic GPS unit has a very simple gray LCD screen that shows the hole in the upper left and its par score in the upper right. A total of six buttons let you control all that it does. A power button on top launches the GPS tracker, which will use your exact location to load the respective golf course and hole when you are preparing to tee off.
An auto-updating feature continually tracks and updates your exact position on the golf course while walking or after getting out of the cart. That gives you continually updated distance readings as you advance through each hole on the golf course.
Bushnell Phantom GPS Review: Distances to Up to Four Hazards
Whether you are about to tee off or are lining up an approach shot, you can use the hazards view to get the distances to up to four hazards on each hole. That will tell you where the danger zones lay and where you can safely aim your ball.
Bushnell Phantom GPS Review: Shot Distance Calculator
The GPS unit follows your path from the tee or other location where you made your golf shot to where the ball landed and records the exact distance. It will provide the straight-line distance from where you hit the ball to where it landed and give you the exact distance with accuracy to within a yard.
The shot-tracker function is an especially helpful way to see which clubs are giving you problems and the game situations in which those problems arise. you can use that info to create a much better practice session the next time you go to the driving range. After a couple of practice sessions, you stand a better chance of improving your overall golf game and reducing your handicap or possibly reach scratch status when it comes to keeping score.
Bushnell Phantom GPS Review: General Build and Dimensions
A durable outer polymer case is resists water and measures about 2 inches by 2 inches and about a half-inch thick. It weights about 2 ounces when affixed to an included but removable metal clip. The clip gives you more options for mounting the Bushnell Phantom GPS device to your belt, golf belt or other preferred spot.
The Bushnell Phantom comes with an internal rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that holds about 10 hours of juice. That should get you through two full rounds of golf but is a significantly shorter charge than other golf GPS devices. If you think you might play 36 holes, you should ensure the Phantom takes a full charge before heading out to the golf course. An included USB cable handles charging duties.
Bushnell Phantom Review: Golf App Included
While the Phantom golf GPS device provides simple and accurate distance data, the included free Bushnell Golf App really opens up the fun. You can load the golf app onto your cellphone or a tablet device and use your choice of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular signal to share live golfing scores and stats with others online.
While the Phantom does not keep your score, the Bushnell Golf App does. It also lets you review your putts and shot distances to better analyze your game. The data helps you to identify weak areas and which club and swing combinations need more practice at the driving range. The combination of the simple-to-use Bushnell Phantom golf GPS device and the free Bushnell Golf App give you a great all-around tool for improving your game and lowering your average score.
Bushnell Phantom Review: Why Should you Buy a Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS Unit?
You already know from the Bushnell Phantom GPS review that the device is accurate, light and very conveniently sized. You can get pertinent data at a quick glance that makes approach shots more accurate and help you to lower your average score at your favorite golf courses.
The included Bushnell Golf App converts your cellphone into a truly outstanding tool that gives you everything that the Phantom GPS device does not, including a full color overhead hole view with range arcs showing the relevant distances to the hazards, fairway, dogleg and green. Those who enjoy more in-depth golf devices will find the app’s many additional functions to be especially compelling.
If after reading the prior praise for the Bushnell Phantom has not convinced you, a quick check of the average price for a new one should do the trick. Its price rivals the best-priced laser rangefinders and beats most golf GPS devices. An included 1-year warranty takes the risk out of buying one, and the free Bushnell Golf App makes it a very smart and risk-free purchase.