When Bushnell released its Tour V4 Slope golf rangefinder in 2016, it was met by essentially universal praise, and there were a number of reasons for the accolades.
Headlining the list, however, was the V4’s lightweight, ergonomic design.
In creating the Tour V4, Bushnell sought out extensive feedback from its consumers, and request No. 1 was to create a device that would eliminate the hand-shaking that many golfers experience when retrieving yardages with a rangefinder.
Through the use of an incredibly compact, lightweight design and what it calls Stable-Grip Technology, Bushnell was able to create a rangefinder that was easier to operate, thereby addressing the biggest concern that the golfers it reached out to had expressed.
Additionally, the Tour V4 Slope also proved to be incredibly fast and accurate in measuring yardages, it offered tremendous range, and Bushnell once again incorporated its highly popular Jolt Technology into the design to give players obvious feedback that they had locked in on the correct target.
Add it all up, and the V4 was viewed as one of the elite rangefinders in golf, and it was widely used on the PGA Tour, where more than 95 percent of the players and caddies have Bushnell products in the bag for tournament preparation.
All that said, however, the Tour V4 Slope wasn’t perfect, something that Bushnell engineers understood from the outset.
More specifically, turning the device’s slope feature on and off was somewhat complicated and time-consuming, as players had to use the mode function to make the change by cycling through multiple settings, including a switch between yards and meters.
And that process is important when it comes to a slope rangefinder, because according to USGA rule it’s illegal to use slope functionality for tournament play. It is, however, allowed within the rules to use a slope rangefinder if the slope function has been turned off.
To address the convenience issue, Bushnell created Slope-Switch Technology, which provides a switch on the side of the device that allows players to easily turn slope function on or off as necessary. Golfers can simply move the switch to its top position to activate the slope function or slide the switch to the bottom position to disable it.
Bushnell then incorporated its new Slope-Switch Technology into the Tour V4 design to create the brand new Tour V4 Shift, which, not surprisingly, has been even more widely lauded than its predecessor.
“(The V4 Shift) has the slope switch. If I need to play in a tournament, I can switch it out of slope mode,” said Bushnell Golf Product Specialist John Novosel. “It’s ergonomic as well, so it feels great in your hand. Also, it’s got Jolt Technology, those vibrating bursts to let you know you’ve locked onto the target.”
The V4 Shift also remains incredibly fast in retrieving yardages, it’s accurate to within a yard, has a range up to 1,000 yards, and can capture distances to a flag up to 400 yards. It also has 5X magnification to provide incredibly clear displays.
And as was the case with the original V4, the Tour V4 Shift is incredibly light, as it weighs just 5.6 ounces.
“It’s super light,” Novosel said. “If you’re a guy that has a lightweight bag and walks the course a lot, the V4 is so lightweight, great for carrying in your bag.”
However, where Bushnell believes that the Tour V4 Shift has the most value, as is the case with many of its other products, is when it comes to the company’s patented slope technology, which came about through a partnership that began in 2005 with former PGA Tour caddy Don Thom.
Since that time, Bushnell has continued to modify and advance its mathematical algorithm for slope technology to get to the point it is today as the clear industry leader in that regard.
“What we really want the average golfer to understand is the guys on Tour are using this,” Novosel said. “You should be, too, to train your eye on how slope works.”
More specifically, when using the slope function with the Tour V4 Shift, the device will provide an actual yardage to the target as well as an adjusted yardage, the latter of which is based on the uphill or downhill incline of the shot you’re about to play.
And it is always the adjusted yardage that is the more important of the two because that’s how long the shot will play.
“For example, if you have a 150-yard shot and it’s two degrees uphill, that might play 158,” explained Novosel. “That’s a full club. If you shoot that, and learn that, and see that, it’s going to help you play better golf.”