Until recently, golf players who wanted to invest in a rangefinder had two options: laser or GPS. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks and the decision ultimately belongs to the player and his requirements. However, the idea that one must choose only one technology and completely refuse the benefits of the other one soon became extreme.
Golf players are looking for more flexibility and they do longer want to make a sacrifice when purchasing a rangefinder. Why not have the perfect device, the one that does it all and caters for all needs? Bushnell seems to have heard their prayers, because their new Hybrid GPS/Laser Rangefinder offers both technologies.
What is a hybrid golf rangefinders ?
A hybrid rangefinder is a device that uses both the GPS and laser technology. Usually more expensive than standard gadgets, it aims to offer the complete range of features that a golfer might need. There aren’t that many such devices available on the market, but, so far, the Bushnell Hybrid is considered to be top of the line.
Benefits of hybrid rangefinders
The main reason why people are interested in hybrids is that they offer the best of both worlds: you get the convenience of the GPS technology and the rangefinder comes with integrated golf course maps, but you still get the accuracy of laser. You no longer need to hold the device with a steady hand and you can use it even under bad weather conditions, because it already knows the course by heart.
People who have used them say that hybrids are lighter than GPS devices and, overall, they are quite simple to use. Battery life can be a bit problematic, but if you turn off the laser and use only the GPS you can count on it for a long time. If you rely more on laser, then you’ll need to recharge or replace the batteries after a couple of rounds.
How well can a hybrid perform?
Hybrids will always be controversial, because they are either a hit or a miss. In theory, they are the perfect balance between casual and tournament requirements, which means that they appeal to more customers and are therefore more useful. Bushnell seems to have found the recipe for success, because their rangefinder works well and met with overall great reviews from clients.
However, this is not valid for all brands. In general, developing a hybrid takes a lot of innovation and does involve some risks on behalf of the company. The manufacturer might not always get it right from the first try, so, to a certain extent, investing in a hybrid without reading some reviews in advance could lead to a disappointing user experience. But, in the end, hybrids are courageous and innovative gestures that push the limits of technology further and create devices that redefine user experience.