As more and more companies start producing handheld laser rangefinders, some companies are standing head and shoulders above the others. Two of those are Bushnell and Precision Pro and for different reasons.
The Bushnell Tour V5 is one of the most popular golf rangefinder with Tour Pros. And Precision Pro brings more to the table than just accurate distances to within one yard, powerful magnets, advanced pin lock-on systems, and super clear optics, but value for money as well.
Let’s take these two out on the course and see how they stack up against each other head-to-head. From price to accurate readings and additional value- adds, we’ll look at these devices in-depth to see which is best for you.
Are The Tour V5 And NX9 Legal For Tournaments
Yes, golf golf laser rangefinders are legal for competitive play as neither of these has the adaptive slope adjusted distance feature. That is a bonus knowing that you can use your rangefinder with your golf game in competition without being in danger of disqualification.
Under the amended USGA rules of 2016, players can use Distance Measuring Devices in competitive play provided the supply yardage data only. So if you opt for the NX9 Slope or the V5 Shift – which both have the slope adjustment feature- you have to have those turned off during play.
The slope function on a rangefinder helps give an accurate distance reading when there is an elevation change. Making the slope function a wonderful feature when playing a course with lots of elevation changes. But since the slope compensation is illegal in tournaments, it is nice to have options without it.
So one point each for the NX9 and Tour V5 in this department.
A golf rangefinder is an investment, and with any investment, you get what you pay for. Simply choosing the cheapest rangefinder from the Pro-Shop will result in tears as you merely don’t get the quality of functionality and design when spending a little more.
If you don’t have a rangefinder yet, save a bit and wait until you have the money as a solid buy will mean you have an excellent product for most of your golfing life- and both Bushnell and Precision Pro are a great option.
The Bushnell Tour Pro V5 retails for slightly higher than the NX9. So for an slight difference, you really have the best of both worlds available.
Is The Extra Money Worth It
For some, that slight increase is much of a muchness for high-quality golf gear, and in this case, the same applies. Bushnell is a global powerhouse brand that has made a reputation for producing superior quality optics from binoculars to rifle scopes and rangefinders.
You can be 100% certain that the optical quality of the lenses and images through the Tour Pro V5 is going to be crystal clear, and with 78 years of experience behind them, there is great peace of mind in this brand.
On the other hand, Precision Pro is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in this market with many of the same features and strives to produce and deliver superb quality, robust products with some additional extras like their Patriot Pack, which we will discuss later.
We’ll answer this question by the end of this discussion.
Bushnell Tour V5 Vs Precision Pro NX9 – Battery Life
The Precision Pro and Tour Pro V5 have lithium batteries, so the unit is not rechargeable like a GPS watch. However, these batteries last for about a year or so, depending on usage.
Add to this the fact that they are not expensive and freely available from drugstores and supermarkets, you should never have an issue with batteries, and it’s always wise to have a few new ones on standby in your golf bag if your battery life starts to fail before or during a round.
Precision Pro Battery-Free Lifetime Supply
Remember that slight increase in cost question, well here is a significant value add from Precision Pro. As long as you own the rangefinder, they will GIVE you a free lifetime battery replacement!
All you have to do to get this is log on to their website and give them your basic information such as the model number, product registration ID, your name, email and shipping address, and VOILA! Free batteries for life!
This is true, not only of the NX9 but also of the Precision Pro NX7 as well.
Precision Pro is the clear winner on this round, but choosing a rangefinder is a little more complicated than free batteries, although it is a very clever innovation.
Tour Pro V5 Vs Precision Pro NX9 – Mounting Systems
You don’t want a big bulky device where the controls are difficult to access and use, but that is not a concern with either of these units. The evolution of rangefinders has led to more compact and powerful devices that are easy to use and get data from.
One of the biggest complaints about early rangefinders was that you either had to carry it or keep it in a zipped compartment in your bag or on the cart to avoid losing it. Also, having the rangefinder bounce around in the golf cart is not ideal as this can damage the optics due to the impact.
Golfers don’t want to have devices in their pockets while walking or playing, but both the Tour Pro V5 and NX9 solve that problem using magnets.
The Bushnell system is called BITE, and it is a superbly designed and robust bite magnetic cart mount that will stick solidly to anything metal and has that ‘oomf’ required to lift it off steel surfaces.
This was a winning feature for many, and compared to the NX9, the magnet on the V5 was felt to be more solid. Having said that, the NX9 did not come loose during testing either, so that either option will work.
Both the Tour Pro V5 and the NX9 have well-made and solid protective cases that are waterproof and robust to survive some accidental impacts, and it’s always advisable to keep your rangefinder in its case when not in use.
Precision Pro has decided to make their cases colorful in a lime-green and grey design, and it certainly complements the device colors too, so if you want something that has some ‘bling,’ then the Precision Pro would be a go.
In this segment, the Bushnell Tour Pro V5 wins as the overall consensus is that the BITE magnetic mount is just that much more robust and powerful than the NX9.
Bushnell Tour Pro V5 Vs Precision Pro NX9 – Optical Quality
Now we get to the actual nuts and bolts of these devices. The Bushnell Tour V5 optics are significantly better than those found on the earlier V4 and deliver more than double the optical brightness and clarity than its predecessor.
Superior optical quality has been Bushnell’s calling card for the last almost 80 years, and many hunters, sportspeople, ornithologists, and wildlife enthusiasts will attest to their incredible resolution under magnification and normal range.
The NX9 also provides crystal clear optics with enhanced LCD, and both units offer 6x magnification for distant objects and targets.
There is a simple but accurate truth that states buy your products from people who specialize in those products, which also falls true for this discussion. While the Precision Pro has excellent optics, the incredible clarity of the Bushnell feels like going from 1080 resolution to 4K on your rangefinder.
As a company specializing in advancing optical technology and has been one of the industry leaders in this field for more than 50 years, the optics on the Bushnell Tour V5 are just that much better than that of the NX9. That extra $80 is well worth that first look through the lens and that amazement at the view you see there.
Bushnell Tour Pro V5 Vs Precision Pro Nx9 – Pin Lock
One of the best benefits of a rangefinder is their ability to ‘lock’ onto the flag and give you exact yardage to target. Most brands offer this but call it by different names, but the essence of the feature is the same.
The laser beam emitted from the rangefinders needs to be reflected so the very clever electronics inside can accurately measure the time the beam takes to reflect and calculate the distance to the target.
To do this, it needs reflective surface-like material or even the flagstick itself. Still, even so, you could never be 100% certain that you had locked the flagstick until the very clever people that make rangefinders came up with the vibrating signal to confirm it.
In the Bushnell Tour V5, this is called JOLT, and in the Precision Pro NX9 Pulse Vibration and it’s the rangefinder confirming to you that it has indeed locked the flag as a target. With the V5, additional visual confirmation of ‘lock-on’ is seen on the the display, with a red ring appearing around the target.
The detail may vary, but each (and most) of these devices have this feature, and it gives you total peace of mind and confidence that the distance to the flag you see on display is indeed the distance to the flag.
Pin Acquisition Technology
The NX9 feature allows for target acquisition if you have shaky hands, making pointing and holding a steady position with a range finder tricky at best.
This may happen when you are cold, have adrenaline pumping, and have shaky hands. Whatever the reason, it’s immaterial as this technology stabilizes the image and the target lock for you.
Are These Golf Rangefinders Waterproof
No, neither the Bushnell Tour Pro V5 nor the NX9 are waterproof, water-resistant, yes, but they would not stand being submerged like the GPS watches – but then again, they are not designed for that kind of use.
Both Bushnell and Precision Pro have equipped their units with good solid battery and unit seals to protect the device from water exposure like rain and a rugged, waterproof casing, but if it is raining, then perhaps staying dry until the rain passes would be better.
As a rule with rangefinders, they should always be kept under cover should Mother Nature elect to bless your round with rain and use it briefly to limit exposure.
The great news is that both of these devices have high-speed target acquisition, so you won’t need to spend five minutes getting your yardages or getting soaking wet!
Golf Rangefinder – Extras
Many of the current rangefinders bring a little more to the party than just the unit itself, so let’s see what these two offers over and above their devices.
As far as warranties go, each has a standard two-year warranty, but that is where the similarity ends as Precision Pro and Bushnell each have some excellent individual extras.
The Bushnell App
With each Bushnell Tour purchase, you get to download and utilize it through your smartphone, and once you do, the experience is fantastic! Your phone turns your LCD into a full-color visual representation of the hole or course you are on.
3D flyovers, yardage lines, hazard markers all in stunning big-screen color on your phone. Now this means that you need to have your phone with you, but with the unit mounted to the cart, you can use the phone for all your yardage.
The Precision Pro NX9 Patriot Package
This is something that Precision Pro offers the clients as a value add, and it’s making some impressions too.
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
You get a full three months to test the rangefinder, and if there is anything you don’t like, you can return for a refund, no questions asked; this is a sign of extreme confidence from Precision Pro because they know you are going to love it!
Guaranteed Trade-In Allowance
Now, there aren’t many rangefinder manufacturers that offer this option on trade-ins, but Precision Pro will give you 30% trade-in off any new Precision Pro rangefinder that you buy!
Free Battery Replacement For Life
This is the icing on the cake, and I know I have mentioned it before, but you get a free battery replacement from Precision Pro as long as you own the device. Simply fill in some details on their website, and it’s shipped to you at no cost!
The Bushnell Tour Pro V5 and the Precision Pro Nx9 are excellent rangefinders comparable and equal in every way. Still, the subtle differences will determine which is better for you and your game.
While the price difference is negligible and the features are similar, you need to test these at your pro-shop and see how they feel in your hand and how easy they are to use for you – then you can commit and enjoy their amazing features on the course.