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Bushnell Medalist Laser Rangefinder

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Bushnell Medalist Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell Medalist can range up to 300 yards to a flag, much farther for some other objects.

Photo courtesy Bushnell Outdoor Products; used with permission
June 1, 2007 - Bushnell Outdoor Products experienced record sales growth in 2006, powered by its high-end PinSeeker 1500 laser rangefinders. In 2007, Bushnell seeks to expand its reach farther by making its PinSeeker technology affordable for more golfers. The Bushnell Medalist laser rangefinder enters the market at a significantly lower price point than the PinSeeker 1500, but still offers PinSeeker technology. And it turns out to be one of the easiest-to-use electronic gadgets you'll find.
The Bushnell Medalist is compact (1.7 x 4.5 x 3.8 inches) and lightweight (9 ounces), is easy to handle with its no-slip rubber covering, and comes with a carrying case that clips onto the golf bag for easy transport.

Bushnell promises the Medalist is ready to use out-of-the-box. I hate reading instructions; if I can't turn a gadget on and start using it, figuring it out as I go, I'm not likely to keep using it very long. So I was eager to pull the Medalist out of its box.

When I opened the battery case I discovered the battery was provided. It really is ready right out of the box. Power on, ranging commenced. That was simple, indeed.

Which isn't to say that you shouldn't read the instructions - you'll learn good stuff about unit specifications and a couple different operating modes, for example - but the Bushnell Medalist is so simple to use that you certainly can get by quite well just by turning it on and going.

The Medalist performed very well on the golf course. It ranges up to 300 yards for flagsticks, around 500-700 yards for trees, up to 1,000 yards for some very reflective surfaces. (Actual maximums will vary depending on surface reflectivity, weather conditions and some other factors.)

We had no trouble picking up flags, or even centerpoles marking 150 yards in the fairways. However, you may need to use the PinSeeker mode to pick up flags when ranging to a faraway flag that has strong targets in the background.

For example, you're aiming at the flag but there's a large tree directly behind the green and directly behind the flagstick. How can you be sure you're getting the yardage to the flag and not to the tree? In PinSeeker mode, the Bushnell Medalist will give you the yardages to both objects in its view; the first yardage indicated is the one closest.

The Medalist can be set to display distances in either yards or meters.

The Medalist carries an MSRP of $299 at the time of this writing. I've seen higher-end Bushnell rangefinders in the PinSeeker lineup advertised at $100 to $200 higher than that. The more expensive Bushnell rangefinders range to farther distances and offer higher magnifications.

But the Bushnell Medalist laser rangefinder's specs are plenty good for just about any real-course conditions you'll encounter. It's comfortable to use and very simple to operate, speeds up play (no more searching for yardage markers in the fairway) and provides accurate distances to help golfers hone in on targets. What's not to like?

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