A golf rangefinder with a voice!
I’ve never owned a golf rangefinder before. For the past few years I’ve been using the Garmin G30 GPS, and prior to that golf shop pro on my iPhone and I watch. So when golf buddy offered me the opportunity to try the latest rangefinder, I couldn’t wait to give it a thorough test. Not only that I want to try all of the features available on the very latest unit, but also see how it compared to other distance measuring devices that are used before. Are use the GolfBuddy rangefinder for several rounds in various conditions, so in this review I’m going to let you know how I got on and what I think of the unit.
Before I go into some of the unique features that the golf buddy aim L10 V has to offer (mainly the voice functionality) I thought I would cover of some of the basics first. The rangefinder feels of good quality, and has rubber textured parts on the side and top to make it easier to grip. The buttons work with a satisfying click, and the unit fits nicely into the palm of your hand. This is partly due to the size and weight, but is also been helped by the ergonomic design of the unit. There is a notch cut out in the bottom which allows your hand to comfortably grip the viewfinder. This is important as it allows you to maintain a steady focus when using the rangefinder.
The L10V is waterproof, so you can use it in less favourable conditions out on the course. In the packet also comes with a handy hardcase and clip so you can attach it to your bag and safely transported around the course. However I found the unit to actually be small enough to keep in my pocket for the majority of the round.
As with most defined as the aim L 10 V isn’t rechargeable, but instead coming with a long life lithium battery. While initially may be put off at the lack of recharging capabilities, the battery will last you a very long time given that you only really use that unit for around five seconds at a time. Handily, the rangefinder includes a battery status indicator on the viewfinder, so you can always say when your battery is running low and need to consider changing out. When the time comes to change the battery it’s really easy to do and you don’t need to use any tools to access the battery compartment.
When using the golf buddy rangefinder you actually have three separate options. Firstly you have the standard mode, which allows you to find the distance of any object just by aiming the view finder. Secondly you have a pin mode. This allows you to specifically target the distance to the flag. When you aim toSecondly you have a pin mode. This allows you to specifically target the distance to the flag. When you aim at a flag with the rangefinder, the unit will look onto the flag and display the distance to you. Hopefully the unit will also vibrate in your hand once it’s locked on. Lastly you also have a scan mode. This allows you to continuously point the rangefinder at different targets and have the distance update in real time on the viewfinder. Personally I prefer to use either the pin mode or just the standard setting.
The golf buddy rangefinder also comes with a slope option. This is easily turned on and off via the switch at the front of the unit. When turned on slow mode means that you not only see the distance to the flag in a straight line, but also the distance to the flag with the changing elevation taken into account. For example a pin that is 150 yards away but also playing 10 yards downhill will show on the viewfinder is actually playing 140 yards (in the viewfinder you will also see the straight line distance as well as the level of elevation to the flag). Slope can be a really handy feature so it’s great to see included in the golf by the rangefinder, however just be aware that you probably won’t be able to use this feature if you’re playing in any form of competition as it’s usually banned.
The real party trick of the GolfBuddy aim L10 V rangefinder is that it has a voice of its own. By that I mean that not only can you see the yardage to the flag down the viewfinder, but the unit also has the ability to read back the yardage to you, via a small speaker on the side of the unit. Well technically impressive, and certainly unique, personally I didn’t use the mode very often. After initially testing it and seeing how it worked, I ended up turning it off., which is easily done. If you have the ability to see the numbers displayed in the viewfinder then I’m not entirely sure why you would need them read back to you. I think the voice mode has been included to help people confirm in their own mind the yardage they’ve just seen in the view finder. If you think this feature could be useful for you then that’s great but personally I don’t need it.
At around £280 in the UK, the GolfBuddy aim L10 V is priced as a mid range viewfinder with a full list of specs. It can do pretty much what the leading rangefinders can do well costing a bit less. It feels like it’s well made, is very accurate and easy enough to use for a rangefinder. For me personally I think I’ll be sticking with a GPS unit for now. While I appreciate that a rangefinder can give me a for far more accurate reading to her flags distance, I personally like to have the ability to see a full course later on a GPS unit, as well as having some of the other functionality available. I completely appreciate that this is my personal preference and so if you are in the market for a new range finder, then the GoflBuddy aim L10 V is definitely worth a look, although I would perhaps check out the version which doesn’t include the voice functionality as unless you’re specifically looking for it, I never found a need to use it while out on the course.