Bushnell Pro X3 Golf Rangefinder Review

Joel Tadman tests out the new premium model from the market-leading brand

Bushnell Pro X3 Golf Rangefinder Review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

A golf rangefinder aimed at the avid, competitive golfer seeking best-in-class accuracy that plays a lot on elevated courses. Breaks new ground with its Bluetooth app connectivity but the premium price will be a stumbling block for some.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Incredibly accurate

  • +

    More secure Slope switch

  • +

    Partnering app enhances ease of use

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Heavy, substantial feel

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Bushnell Pro X3 Golf Rangefinder Review

The Pro X3 is the new premium, feature-packed rangefinder model from the category-leading brand, promising best-in-class accuracy thanks to its upgraded Slope with Elements compensated distances that are now able to take into account elevation.

First impressions of the Pro X3 out of the box is that this is a substantial unit. Weighing in at 340g, it feels heavy compared to the best golf rangefinders and is 28g heavier than the Pro XE rangefinder, Bushnell’s previous premium laser. This will certainly make it more stable in the wind but some would prefer a lighter feel for sure. If the extra weight comes from the rubber armoured metal housing that makes it fully waterproof or the chrome detailing that bolsters the premium look, you could argue it’s worth expending the extra energy when using it.

Bushnell Pro X3 rangefinder slope switch

(Image credit: Future)

Rather than using a button on the side, the Slope is switched on and off using a new Locking Slope-Switch where you have to pull down a small lever to be able to slide the switch on and off. The idea is to reduce the risk of accidentally turning on Slope mode during tournament play but from experience, the Slope buttons on recent Bushnell rangefinders have been quite stiff and almost impossible to turn on accidentally. So while it’s possibly a slightly redundant feature and a little fiddly to execute, it certainly provides peace of mind during a competition that the unit won’t suddenly become non conforming.

Another button that is quite stiff and doesn’t feel much like a button is the Dual Display button, which changes the graphics from black to red to make them more visible in duller conditions. A firm push does the trick, although there’s no obvious click or movement in the button itself to confirm activation. The flag is almost immediately picked out from a busy background from up to 600 yards away - a flashing red ring in the display and vibrating burst providing the confirmation.

Bushnell Pro X3 Golf Rangefinder testing

(Image credit: Future)

On to the accuracy and by factoring in distance, slope, temperature and barometric pressure (elevation) you could certainly make a case for this being the most accurate rangefinders on the market. You first need to do a quick Google search to find out the elevation at your home course, which was surprisingly easy. Mine was 82 feet and you then scroll through the settings visible on the screen using the two buttons on the top of the device. It rounds the options to the nearest 50 feet, so I opted for 100 feet. The practical impact this had on the approach shot distances was fairly minor at such a low altitude - around 1 yards from 150 yards) but from longer distances or if your course is significantly elevated it will be a bigger shift.

Bushnell Pro X3 rangefinder apps

(Image credit: Future)

Entering the elevation change on the Pro X3 was fiddly and the constant squinting made my eyes ache after a while exploring the various features, which is why the ability to change the settings via the Bushnell Golf app is a welcome relief. You can pair the device to the app (make sure you download the new version) via Bluetooth where you’re then able to alter the settings far more easily, as well as save stats, games and course information and update the firmware. The app, which is free when you purchase a Bushnell product, also provides full color GPS hole maps with a moveable pointer and flyovers, helping you out on blind shots or if you’re unsure as to what lies ahead.

Other features that elevate the user experience include the magnetic mount, which provides a more convenient home when used in a buggy, and practical and robust carry case with bungee cord and carabiner attachment.

Bushnell Pro X3 rangefinder case

(Image credit: Future)

The elephant in the room is the £525 price tag, which will automatically cause many golfers to opt instead for Bushnell’s less expensive models like the Tour V5 Shift. There is no doubt that the Bushnell Pro X3 has become the best Bushnell golf rangefinder in the line, and for tour pros and caddies that require that level of accuracy, it’s an understandable investment. But for the average golfer or even the competitive club player, it’s a tough sell in a crowded market.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x