Monday, April 24, 2017

Product Review: Leupold GX-5i3 Rangefinder

With the PGA Tour considering the use of rangefinders - and testing on three tours this summer - we took a look at the GX-5i3 from Leupold.

First thought ... This is not your father’s rangefinder. The GX-5i3 is like having a caddie at your disposal. While it won’t carry your clubs or provide a read on the green, it will give you an accurate distance to 1/10 of a yard and even help you select the correct club. How does it do that?

Club Selector
This is where it helps to know (relatively) how far you hit a few clubs in your bag. Because I’m closer to a hack than a professional, the range varies significantly due to contact. I can, however, say that my 8-iron travels approximately 150 yards. I enter that into the GX-5i3 and do the same for my 6-iron and 4-iron. The rangefinder now has a baseline from which to recommend proper clubs.

True Golf Range
Leupold takes this another HUGE step. True Golf Range (TGR) compensates for uphill shots that play longer than the actual distance and downhill shots that play shorter. Brilliant! Combine line-of-sight distance with incline or decline and your club selection could change. For example: You are 150 yards from the pin, but the green is 6 degrees above your ball. Taking that into consideration, you should play the shot as if it were 164 yards. Play to the line-of-sight distance and you’ll come up short.

This is where I run the risk of sounding like a cheesy infomercial. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. This rangefinder also takes temperature and altitude into consideration when recommending a club. As you know, the ball travels further in warm weather and at higher altitudes. All this combines to make the GX-5i3 the smartest, most intuitive rangefinder on the market.

As for pace of play ... Using a rangefinder is going to speed up the average round. You no longer have to find an in-ground marker and pace off the distance. Just point and shoot for the correct yardage. The same could hold true for the pros, but I really see benefit when a shot is way off line. Good luck walking off a distance anywhere near correct when you’ve hit a banana ball through the trees and into the next fairway.

Also, golf courses provide distance to the center of the green, but not many have yardage books that tell the daily-fee player how far out a fairway bunker or water hazard is. Again, point and shoot the GX-5i3 and you’ve got the number down to 1/10 yard.

The Leupold GX-5i3 is next-level technology - far superior to any other rangefinder we’ve tried. Learn more about this, and other products, at www.leupold.com.

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