Bushnell claims its rangefinders are far and away the most popular among PGA players, and who are we to doubt it. If it’s true that 97 percent of those pro tour players are using Bushnell devices, it is unlikely they are using the Tour V4 Jolt, the least powerful of Bushnell’s rangefinders.
That does not mean everyday golfers cannot find value in the Tour V4 Jolt. It has plenty of what you need to find distances on the course. And because it is the least powerful, it is the cheapest of Bushnell’s rangefinders, coming in at about $300 (although Amazon sleuths may find a better price).
A Patriot Pack includes the Tour V4 Jolt, a protective skin, a battery, and a carrying case. A portion of the sale of any Patriot Pack goes to the Folds of Honor Foundation, a group dedicated to providing scholarships to the children of fallen or disabled American servicemen.
The Jolt part of the name comes from the technology that sends short vibrating pulses to you to let you know when the device has locked onto its target. This is part of Bushnell’s Pinseeker technology that is used on all its laser rangefinders.
Pinseeker actually displays a pin inside a circle on the viewfinder, allowing you to distinguish between the pin and other objects in view, mainly trees in the background. When you see the pin circled, you know you are getting a reading to the pin and not trees.
Fast Focus is another feature that works in tandem with Pinseeker to get accurate readings. Fast Focus allows you to manually focus the viewfinder to hone in on your target.
This all works together to make the Tour V4 Jolt accurate to plus or minus 1 yard.
So how does it use lasers to determine the target? Here is a quote from the device’s manual to explain better:
“The TOUR V4 WITH PINSEEKER emits invisible, eye-safe, infrared energy pulses. The TOUR V4’s Advanced Digital microprocessor and ASIC chip (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) results in instantaneous and accurate readings every time. Sophisticated digital technology instantaneously calculates distances by measuring the time it takes for each pulse to travel from the rangefinder, to the target, and back.”
The range to a flag for the Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt is up to 400 yards, although some objects can be detected up to 1,000 yards away. How to explain the discrepancy? The reflectivity of any object helps determine the range. That reflectivity is affected by color, size, shape, and finish of any object, such as a flag pin.
Flat surfaces reflect better than steep ones. Similarly, the range is greater on overcast days that sunny ones.
So what’s missing with the Tour V4 Jolt as compared to the more expensive and more powerful Bushnell Pro XE? The main thing is that the Tour V4 Jolt does not have slope readings.
Many rangefinders adjust distances for the slope, either uphill or downhill. This is a handy feature to have as it removes another element of club selection from the player. Without it, you are left to guess how much yardage to add or take away depending on the slope between you are your target.
Of course, rangefinders do not make other adjustments that you have to do yourself, including temperature, elevation, humidity, and wind. All of these can have an effect on your effective distance, which can vary wildly from the actual distance.
While the slope function is nice to have, it is not a terrible loss. Besides, that feature is against the rules for tournament play.
Another feature lacking in the Tour V4 is that it is not waterproof, merely water-resistant. Still, that should suffice under most conditions. You just need to ensure the rangefinder is never submersed in water.
This is a fairly small device that fits easily into the palm of your hand. It has been ergonomically designed to be easier to hold and use. The dimensions are 4.1 by 3.1 by 1.6 inches, and it weighs 5.6 ounces.
The Tour V4 has a long eye relief of 17 millimeters. You have a field of view of 420 feet from its maximum distance of 1,000 yards.
Enabled with what Bushnell calls Stabi-Grip technology. This is a rubber portion of the device that provides great grip and maximum stability.
Every purchase of a Bushnell rangefinder comes with free access to the Bushnell golf app.
The app allows you to see the hole layout with distances added, 3D flyovers (also with distances marked), and wireless course updates.
The app, which is available to Apple and Android phones, features more than 36,000 courses from 30 countries.
Customer service is the top complaint online about Bushnell rangefinders. At least some of that could be golfers not being in compliance with the requirements of its two-year limited warranty.
Should you need to return the device, make sure you include the following:
- A check for $10 to cover shipping costs
- Name, address, and daytime phone number
- An explanation of the problem
- Copy of a dated receipt or other proof of purchase
There are two major areas of concern here. First is the complaints about customer service, including having to pay to ship the device back to Bushnell for warranty coverage. Bushnell also maintains the choice as to whether to refund or replace the device. The purchaser has no option. Simply put, Bushnell could do better here to manage complaints.
The second is the lack of slope adjustment. No question, the more information a rangefinder provides to you, the less guesswork you have to do on course.
For most golfers, the lack of slope will not be a deal-breaker. And most golfers will never need to invoke the warranty.
As to its performance, Bushnell’s Tour V4 Jolt is every bit as good as its competitors in the same class and better than many. It is plenty powerful and has enough bells and whistles for the majority of golfers.