Bushnell Excel GPS Watch

Our review of the Excel watch from Bushnell.

Golf Monthly Verdict

We think this model will suit tech savvy golfers looking for a reliable gadget for their play and practice.

Reasons to buy
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    From yardages to weather and phone notifications, this watch blows the competition away in the functionality stakes, while it's also comfortable to wear and offers clear distances at a glance.

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Reasons to avoid
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    We’d recommend some serious time with the manual and a few practice rounds to get to grips with all the functions, some of which proved better than others.

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Read our review to see what we thought of the Bushnell Excel GPS watch, which offers green and hazard yardages among a host of other helpful features

Bushnell Excel GPS Watch Review

Key Technology

The Bushnell Excel GPS watch provides a lot more than just distances and hazard information. It can last over three rounds between charges and includes additional features like a colour display, pedometer and odometer.

You can also record shot distances, your pace of play and distance travelled from when the GPS first found the course. It can pair with your phone too to receive notifications and has an integrated Swing Pro function that captures swing speed and tempo data so you can make improvements when practicing.

Let us start with the looks. We're sure you'll agree that the Bushnell Excel (below right) is undoubtedly more stylish than the old Bushnell Neo iON GPS watch (below left). Its black background screen both creates an understated look and helps the numbers to stand out. It was also pleasant to wear thanks to its light weight and its practical size on your wrist.

Related: Best Golf GPS Watches

Bushnell Excel

The older Bushnell Neo iON and the new Bushnell Excel GPS watches

The watch is controlled by two buttons on the left and three on the right that were responsive to use, while it took less than a minute to lock on to satellites and be ready to go.

In play, the main screen displays the middle of the green yardage in a larger font, with the front and back distances and the hole's number and par also displayed in smaller fonts. This made it very simple to use and the auto-advance function between holes worked seamlessly.

Using the middle button on the right you can tap into yardages to hazards. Be warned though, it only shows four hazards at a time, which on the whole is plenty, but may leave you struggling when tackling heavily bunkered golf courses.

There are also a raft of other features that help add value. You can record shots distances and time your round, while it also displays phone notifications, a common feature for modern GPS devices. There is also a weather option if you need to know the day's temperature or pressure, though this did seem redundant given you are outside while playing.

One feature that jumps out is the Swing Pro function that measures the speed and tempo of your swing when you tell it what club you're using. While this is a great function in theory, its accuracy didn't quite deliver.

While we're on the few negatives, it's worth us recommending that you spend some serious time with this watch's user manual to get to grips with the functions, which even for a gadget lover, are possibly too many.

That all said, for less than £199 it does a great job on the course and looks every bit the modern sports watch. Unfortunately for us, it has less practical golf features than the GolfBuddy WTX (also £199) and is pricer than the Garmin Approach S20 (£179.99) and SkyCaddie Linx (£169.95) to be considered the best-in-class.

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