Stage Two: Precision Pro NX7 Pro Rangefinder â€“
Official MGS Forum Review by SCC4380
My perspective in this review is that of a golfer who has never had or used a laser rangefinder. I have used a Garmin Approach S1 GPS watch for yardages the last few years. I have really liked it, but have wondered how much value would be added if I also had a laser rangefinder. On full shots I almost always try to hit the middle third of the green. If the flag is in the front I try to hit to the front of the middle third, if the flag is in the back I try to hit to the back of the middle third. One of my minor pet peeves is when the flag color doesn't match the pin position. My major pet peeve is slow play, whether it is in my group or somewhere ahead of me.
The other reviewers will bring their own perspective. MDGolfHacker uses both a handheld GPS unit (SkyCaddie SG5) and a laser rangefinder (Bushnell PinSeeker 1500), while Schnergun uses a handheld GPS unit (Garmin G5).
Product setup and Initial Use
After unboxing and taking some photos, I read the instruction manual. It was clear and concise. It gave me all of the information that I needed and nothing more. I would say that they got it just right. Along with the instructions are a small microfiber (a nice touch), a wrist strap (I haven't used it), and the case with a snap link. The only thing that seemed cheap was the snap link, which I immediately replaced with a carabineer that I had around the house. I am glad that I replaced the snap link because I would hate to lose the unit and it didn't seem sturdy.
The instruction manual indicates that there are videos on the Precision Pro website to â€œhelp you take full advantage of the product.â€ When I checked the website it indicated that they are still working on the videos and don't have them done yet. I don't think that this is an issue as I am not sure what the videos would add.
The instructions also say to â€œscan over the target 1-2 times while the flag is flashingâ€ to help the unit eliminate background objects and obtain the target. As someone who hadn't used a laser rangefinder before, I noted this and was prepared to carefully scan over the target a couple of times when I used it. Little did I know that it would take a good day on my part and a fairly close flag to not scan over the target a half a dozen times while trying to keep it still enough to do its job. LOL. I guess I am not as steady handed as some people.
Product Setup and Initial Use Score: 18/20 points
(-2 points for the snap link)
(No harm, no foul on the missing videos)
Performance on the Course
For testing the unit, I started at the driving range where I checked the distance to each of the flags. While I don't trust range balls to go the distance of the balls I regularly play, it was nice for the first time to actually know the distances to the flags. The basic operation of the Precision Pro NX7 is that you push down the button and release it and the crosshairs appear. Push down the button again and hold it while scanning your target until the unit gives you the distance to the target. It was really pretty simple to operate.
Next, I took it out on the course. The first few rounds I used it for every approach shot. About once a round it gave me a distance to the flag that I wouldn't have guessed based on the flag color. The course I play most often is basically flat, so even though I have the NX7 Pro with Adaptive Slope Technology, it made no difference in the yardages. I think that the unit is very accurate. I tested it against one of my friend's Bushnell laser rangefinders. They gave essentially same yardages.
To see how the slope function works, I went to a local course with some big elevation changes. The biggest of them is the first hole. From the blue tees to the fairway where most people need to lay up it is a 170 foot drop. I wondered what the actual yardage versus the â€œplays likeâ€ yardage would be. I picked a landing spot on the fairway that was 275 yards away. Based on the Adaptive Slope Technology, hitting to that spot plays like it is 215 yards. I actually think that it plays a little bit longer than that, but I am not going to fault the NX7 Pro because the hole is pretty extreme and the unit probably isn't designed for that large an elevation change. Also, you wouldn't go wrong playing the hole like it is 215 yards, even though I think that it plays more like 235. It is also possible that 215 yards is accurate and I wouldn't know because I always go to the first tee box cold and hit after a few practice swings. The rest of the holes have more moderate elevation changes and I agreed completely with the â€œplays likeâ€ yardage that the NX7 Pro gave me.
I liked using the NX7 Pro, but did learn one thing about myself. I have a pre-shot routine that is geared around my GPS watch, not a laser rangefinder. I try to play when the courses aren't busy and love it when there isn't anyone in front of me to slow me down. My routine is to look at my watch the second that I arrive at the ball, pick a club and a target, get in position to hit the ball, take one more glance at the watch, and hit. I would have to be in some crazy parallel universe to ever be put on the clock. Adding a couple of extra seconds to get out the laser rangefinder, get the yardage, put it away, and then go through my regular routine was an adjustment. I am more used to it now, but it is still kind of hard for me when the course is wide open in front of me. When I am behind a slow group, I like using as it is a nice way to fill time and gives me additional information for my shot.
Here is my response to the features and benefits as listed on the Precision Pro website.
Adaptive Slope Technology allows you to toggle between elevation measuring Slope and tournament legal Non-Slope modes. Provides (play as) distances in Slope mode.I really like this feature. A simple push of a button changes the mode to make it tournament legal or to add the Adaptive Slope Technology. I like having the â€œplay asâ€ yardages.
Pulse Vibration Technology gives a quick Pulse when locked on to the target so you know what you've hit.I liked this as well. It is a nice touch.
Accuracy +/- 1 Yard- gives you the confidence to choose the correct club each time.When compared to my friend's Bushnell laser rangefinder, it gave essentially identical yardages. I can say this for certain, the NX7 Pro provides a level of accuracy that exceeds my ability to hit the ball specific distances.
(TAG) Target Acquisition Technology- scans your field of view and locks in on the target to ensure you get the yardage to the target, not what's behind the target.I had a mixed experience with this. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Sometimes I got a yardage for the flag, sometimes I got a yardage for the cattails, trees, fences, swing sets, etc. behind the flag. How it compares to other laser rangefinders is something that I can't address that the other reviewers might be able to.
400 Yard Measuring Range- ensures you'll never be out of range of the target.Almost all of my uses were for flags under 225 yards, so I can't comment on this in a practical way. If I take up deer hunting during the zombie apocalypse this will be my go to yardage finder.
1/10 Yard Measurements- an added layer of accuracy to give you the confidence that your distance is correct.This is a level of precision that I don't really need, but it is nice to know that the NX7 is really precise. If it were up to me, I would rather have numbers a little bigger and rounded to the nearest yard instead of having yardages to a 1/10 of a yard.
High Speed SD Laser- picks up distance readings in under 1 second.In my experience, it may pick them up that quickly, but it doesn't give you the yardages that quickly. This was the only area where my friend's Bushnell outperformed the NX7 Pro. This was the biggest challenge for me when using the unit. For some reason I expect it to give me the yardage instantly like my Garmin watch. On a slow day it is no problem, but if I am in a rhythm and moving fast it seemed slow. The NX7 ranked 7th for speed in MyGolfSpy's recent test of rangefinders (https://mygolfspy.com/the-best-laser-rangefinders-in-2017/)
Water Resistant Design- ensures the NX7 can be used in wet and rainy conditions without issue.This isn't a big selling point in the second driest state, but it does give me peace of mind if a rogue sprinkler goes off when I am on the course.
Shock Proof Design- helps to survive the drops, tosses, any other impact on the golf course.This is a big plus for peace of mind.
6X Magnification- brings the target 6 times closer to you for improved viewing and target acquisition.I didn't think that there would be much difference between 5X and 6X magnification. I was wrong. I really loved this feature. Compared to my friend's Bushnell with 5X magnification, this made finding the flag and holding the unit on the flag easier. This is my personal opinion, but I wouldn't buy a 5X magnification rangefinder after comparing the two.
Multi Distance Mode- easily switch between yards and meters depending on your unit of measure.I didn't try this feature out, but if I give it to anyone who lives outside of the US this will be a handy feature.
Tournament Legal you should always check with the rules committee, but the NX7 Rangefinder is legal for tournaments that allow distance measuring devices.This is a nice feature.
2 Year Warranty- if anything happens to the NX7 Rangefinder during the normal course of use we will quickly replace or repair the product for you.I haven't had any problems with my NX7, but I really like that Precision Pro stands behind its products.
Free Battery Replacements- provides free battery replacement for the life of your product.This is a nice touch. While the battery for the NX7 isn't expensive, this is a really nice touch and something that isn't offered by other manufactures.
Performance on the Course Score: 45/50
(-5 for being slower than I would have liked)
I really liked the looks and feel of the NX7 Pro. I think that the back and green with white lettering looks great. I also like the texture and hexagonal pattern.
The NX7 Pro was a comfortable size for my hands. I am sure that I would want a rangefinder that is much smaller than the NX7 Pro for my hand size.
I do wish that the yardages were a little larger when they display and that they were a little closer to the crosshairs. When you are wearing glasses or sunglasses you can't see the full display. Of course, I could take off my glasses or sunglasses when I use the rangefinder, but that takes time and mine don't sit neatly on my hat like some people's do.
The case was sturdy and looked good. The elastic band held the rangefinder securely in the case, which allowed me to skip zipping the case open and closed between uses.
Looks Score: 9/10
(-1 for the yardage display)
Likelihood of Purchase
If was going to purchase a laser rangefinder, I would buy the NX7 Pro. The value proposition of Precision Pro is quality rangefinders at a reasonable price. I think that they deliver on this in spades. It isn't as fast as I would like, but I don't use it enough to justify spending any more than the $249.95 list price. My friend agrees with me and wishes that he had spent less than he did on his Bushnell.
Likelihood of Purchase Score 20/20
Overall lessons learned :
I like having a laser rangefinder. I pull it to check yardages a few times a round, but I don't use it on every hole like I did at the beginning. Generally, I am not trying to hit to the pin with anything longer than a pitch shot, so the exact yardage to the flag isn't super important to me, but it does help me verify the pin position when things don't look right. It is also really helpful when I can't see where the flag is at all. In those cases the 6X magnification has been great.
One limitation of a rangefinder is that it won't work in every situation. At the course I play most often, there are large mounds in front of one green. When you can only see the top of the flag it is hard to get a yardage to the flag instead of the mounds. I have also found it to be of limited use for things like layup yardages when there is a short aiming stake in the fairway or a fairway bunker that you are trying to avoid.
I have been very happy with the Precision Pro NX7 Pro laser rangefinder. If I was going to buy a laser rangefinder, this would be it given how I use it and the price point of the NX7 Pro.
Thanks to MyGolfSpy for selecting me to be one of the testers for the NX7 Pro laser rangefinder.
Overall Score 92/100