Aside from huge technological advances to the actual equipment we use to play the game – clubs and balls, that is – the advent of electronic measuring devices, or range finders as they are commonly referred to, may be the greatest single thing to happen to golf in recent decades.
Just this spring, two new laser range finders from Precision Pro make their debut. And, based on price, value and performance, both are sure to attract the attention of any golfer in the market for such a device, from the casual weekend duffer to the most serious tournament player.
If you’re a MetroGolf regular, you know that the only type range finder we have ever endorsed is first, one that uses laser technology; and second, is not target-specific. That’s because only a non-target specific laser range finder allows the user to accurately “shoot” the distance to any point of interest, be it a bunker lip, a hazard boundary or, most important, the flag marking your ultimate target, the hole.
Target-specific lasers can provide the distance only to proprietary reflective devices, severely limiting their usefulness on courses where such reflectors are in place and making them completely worthless on courses without reflectors.
Similarly, GPS-based range finders are fine, if you just want to know where the green is. But GPS systems are incapable of providing an accurate distance to the pin, because global positioning satellites don’t have a clue where the hole is cut from one day to the next.
So that settles it. The only range finders worth using – not to mention worth your hard-earned dollars – are the kind we have always given credence to, laser range finders that are not target-specific. Granted, such range finders can be pricey. Many “name brand” models in the category are priced in the $300 range, and several run as much as $500 or more.
But Precision Pro has just introduced two new laser range finders with all the features, convenience and performance of the competition at prices that make the NX7 and NX7 Pro two of the best values on the market, even at full retail. But a special introductory rebate program currently being offered by the manufacturer makes these units downright bargains.
The NX7, which retails for $199.95, is a compact, hand-held device that delivers all the features any golfer needs to play their best. And through June 30, 2017, U.S. customers can receive a $30 mail-in rebate direct from Precision Pro, as the company’s way of introducing the NX7 to the marketplace.
In testing the NX7 head-to-head against other similar range finders, we found the unit easy to use, accurate and durable. No, we didn’t throw it against a tree, but we did subject it to the casual toss to the turf that we hardly advocate for any range finder, but we acknowledge is the habit of many golfers, once they have gotten their yardage.
The black LED readout clearly stands out and is easy to read in bright sun or overcast conditions. And unlike some units that provide distance to the tenth of a yard only on shorter yardages, the NX7 provides one decimal place on all of its yardage measurements. (Not really sure that many of us are good enough that 3.6 inches would make a difference on our club selection, but Precision Pro has the information for you, if you need it.)
Switching from yards to meters is as simple as the push of a button. Just don't forget which standard you're using, as one of our colleagues once did in a tournament – and couldn't figure out why he kept coming up a club short.
Weighing just 5.3 ounces, including the CR2 three-volt battery, the NX7 sports an ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold and aim. Further, the outer shell of the NX7 features honeycomb relief that provides a sure grip, even in rainy, wet conditions, which the NX7 is designed to handle.
The NX7 Pro, priced at $249.95, looks and performs exactly like the NX7, but with two noteworthy enhancements. Adaptive Slope Technology allows the player to switch between two modes, one of which adjusts yardage to account for changes in elevation (not legal for tournament play) and a tournament-legal non-slope mode. Also, the NX7 Pro features Pulse Vibration Technology that, combined with Precision Pro’s Target Acquisition Technology, delivers a short vibration to let the user know when they have locked onto their target.
Like the NX7, the Pro model offers a mail-in rebate to buyers who purchase their unit by June 30, but this time it’s $50 coming back, bringing the effective price below to the $200 mark. That’s a lot of technology for the money.
But Precision Pro further sweetens the deal, dollar-wise, by offering every NX7 or NX7 Pro owner free replacement batteries for life. Simply complete the very brief “Free Battery Request” form available on the company’s website, and your new battery is shipped within 1-2 days. Granted, one CR2 three-volt battery, which provides approximately 10,000 uses, should last even the most avid golfer an entire season, but at $6 to $10-plus each, depending on where you buy them, the free batteries are worth considering when comparing Precision Pro’s range finders to the competition.
Both the NX7 and the NX7 Pro come with a zippered, hard-shell carrying case that can be threaded onto your belt, but more likely will find itself attached to your golf bag via the handy aluminum carabiner. An equally handy bungee fastener eliminates the need to zip and unzip the case between shots.
If you can’t find Precision Pro range finders at your local pro shop or off-course retailer, go to www.precisionprogolf.com. There, you’ll find an easy-to-use dealer locator, as well as an online retail option. Either way, you’ll soon be playing better golf for less money than you might have expected.