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If you’re looking for that special Father’s Day gift for the golfing dad on your list, look no further. Technology is where it’s at.
They not only help pinpoint distances, but help to speed up play, too.
And, if they bought one even just a few years ago, they most likely need an upgrade.
Enter Jason Seeman, National Sales Manager for Bushnell Golf, who spent some time with us recently to talk about some of the amazing products available from the #1 Laser Rangefinder on the PGA Tour and in golf.
Tom Brassell: GolfBetter continues as we discuss the number 1 gift item for Father’s Day. That’d be a distance finder- range finder from our friends at Bushnell Golf, and who better to join us than the national sales manager, Mr. Jason Seeman. Jason, thanks so much for joining us, man. It’s great to have you with us.
Tom Brassell: It probably is the Father’s Day product of choice. I don’t know how you could come up with anything better, do you?
Jason Seeman: You know, it’s a great gift. It’s obviously a one size fits all, which is always nice when you’re giving a gift. Having the number 1 laser on the PGA tour and the number 1 laser in golf, it doesn’t hurt to give that gift, for sure.
Tom Brassell: Yeah. You guys have a great history, not only in golf, but in other areas. Talk just briefly on Bushnell and the breadth of scope- not only in laser range finding, but in optics, as well.
Jason Seeman: With Bushnell, you know, a strong hunting brand with binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, hunting lasers as well. Obviously for us, the Bushnell golf laser and GPS business has really been strong over the last probably 15 years or so. It’s been great.
Tom Brassell: The product has evolved a lot. What I’d like to talk with you a little bit about is some of the buzzwords that we hear in the industry with regards to the laser range finders. First one being slope, the legalities of it, and where it’s coming, how it’s been. That’s a huge issue, isn’t it?
Jason Seeman: No, it is. It’s something that, you know, I think that a lot of golfers probably don’t know is, when they watch PGA Tour golf on the weekends and they see, you know, the players using their yardage books, not only do they have their yardage in there, they also have the slope or the adjusted yardage. They know if it’s a 157 yard shot, and it’s going uphill, they’ll also have that adjusted slope yardage in there, so it might say 164. Over 99 percent of the players and caddies choose Bushnell, so they’re actually … Slope is something that’s really been important, I think, for the guys on tour. Now, the USGA in 2016 said you can buy a laser with slope, as long as you can disable it or turn it off, so it reads only distance. You can use that in the tournament. For practice rounds or playing a course you’ve never played, you can use it in slope, and then if you play member guest or a state amateur event, or something like that, you can turn that off, and then just use it for distance only.
Tom Brassell: It’s kind of similar to their ruling on the long putter, right? You can use it, just don’t anchor it. If you’re going to use the range finder in our events, just disable the slope, right?
Jason Seeman: Absolutely. That’s something where slope has kind of had a bad name, since, you know, lasers were allowed back starting in 2006. Every time, you know, I’m on a tour, the guys out there just swear by slope, and it’s something now that I think the everyday golfer can absolutely benefit from, knowing there’s a lot of times where your eye will see it looks like it’s flat, but it may be pointed a degree or so uphill. That can be 5 to 7 yards and that’s probably why you keep coming up short on that par 4.
Tom Brassell: Jason, you mentioned it when we first started about, you know, number 1 range finder on tour. People are thinking, “On tour, what are you talking about,” because they see the yardage books. Monday through Wednesday, they’re shooting the heck out of these courses and getting exact yardage an slope from all over points, right?
Jason Seeman: Absolutely. What sets Bushnell apart is, and why the guys out on the tour, I guess all tours, whether its LPGA, PGA, Champions, and Web.com, they choose Bushnell because of its reliability and its accuracy. Like you said, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, if you’re ever out in a practice round, you’ll be amazed. Players and caddies are shooting lasers from everywhere, you know, getting the distance, getting the slope, adjusted distance, and really making sure that they’re prepared for the tournament when it starts on Thursday.
Tom Brassell: Another piece of technology you guys came up with is Jolt Technology, which is really, really cool. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Jason Seeman: Yeah, so Jolt we introduced 3 years ago. Basically what it does is when you’re shooting a flag, sometimes you’ll have some background, you know, clutter behind the flag, and often times it’s hard to know if you’ve hit that flag. We have pin seeker technology, but then we put Jolt on top of that, so you know that when you shoot that flag, there’s something behind it, it’s going to give you a little vibration to confirm that you’ve actually locked onto that flag. It’s been a great technology source. Golfers and players really love it.
Tom Brassell: It’s just a little buzzing in your hand to let you know that you’ve locked in on the pin and not a tree behind the green, right?
Jason Seeman: Exactly. It just gives you that confirmation that yep, you’ve locked onto that flag. You didn’t hit the trees behind it. It’s giving you that exact yardage to the flag. It’s a great, great technology. Something that we use, obviously every day with our phones and whatnot to give us a little vibration or confirmation, and so we’ve put that in the lasers and that’s been a great technology for us.
Tom Brassell: One of the Father’s Day gifts of choice, certainly the Bushnell Range Finder from Worldwide Golf Shops, Edwin Watts Golf, and the other brands. Let’s say somebody’s shopping for Father’s Day. They know their golfer on their list may not have a distance finder, what would you recommend going, as far as within Bushnell to take a quick, hard look? Certainly you can’t go wrong with a V4.
Jason Seeman: No, and the V4 is a new laser. It’s replacing our 2RV3 this year. There’s the V4 and then the V4 Slope. Both of them are great units. The nice thing with the V4 Slope is you do get slope, and then you are able to turn that off through the fire button, or through the remote button, excuse me. That way, you can use it in slope, kind of we always say, “Slope when you want it and turn it legal when you need it.” They’re new products for us, you know, just launched in April, and they’ve been extremely well-received. They’re great units. The difference kind of with the V4 versus the V3, is the V4 is about 30 percent smaller, so it’s really nice and compact. It’s going to feel really light in your hands. It’s faster in terms of you’ll notice when you shoot it, it’s just instantaneously you’ll get a yardage. Then you’ve got a kind of a new stable grip technology, so it’s a little easier to hold steady trying to hit both flags at a little greater distance. It’s a great product, and like you said, they’re available at all the Worldwide Golf Shops.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, they’re a great Father’s Day product. Also, you have GPS range finders, big in that, too, with regards to watches and GPS devices, as well, right?
Jason Seeman: Yeah, so we have 2 … You know, with Bushnell Golf, obviously known for our lasers and we have a great GPS line. Our tagline is, “Distance made simple,” meaning there’s golfers out there that just maybe want a front, center, back distance. They want it to be very simple, very easy. You don’t have to, you know, plug into a computer, download anything, or pay any fees, or anything like that.
We’ve got the new Neo Ion Watches, which is a great, great new product for us. It’s got the most comfortable band. We have the longest battery life in the industry, which is great. You can get it upwards of about 4 rounds out of one charge. There’s a lot of times you forget to charge it, but it’s nice now, this has the longest battery life. Ultra comfortable band provides front, center, back. Also up to 4 hazards per hole, which is really nice. Sometimes when you’re playing, you want to know what layup distance, or what distance to a water hazard, or a bunker. We’ve got the Neo Ions out.
For someone that’s, you know, juniors, seniors, someone that’s maybe just getting into golf, we also have the Neo Ghost, which is a great product, which is front, center, back. Very simple. It’s not a watch. Some people don’t like to wear watches. You can clip it on your bag. You can slide it up, sometimes I use it on my golf cart on the little plexi screen up there. Another great product from us, with Bushnell Golf.
Tom Brassell: You can’t go wrong either way with the watches, the GPS device, or the laser range finder. Again, like you said, the watches and GPS finder are giving you a quick front, center, and back, and the laser range finder giving you exact yardage. The one thing that I grab from both of these, and you can touch on this just as we close, Jason. From the video on your site, is the research you’ve done with both of these with regards to pace of play on the course, it really speeds things up.
Jason Seeman: No, it absolutely does. It’s something, you know, that initially, I think, a lot of people thought with lasers or GPS that it would actually slow down play, but we actually have studies that we’ve done that have proven that playing with a GPS or a laser it’ll absolutely speed up play because you’re not having to look for sprinkler heads or yardage plates in the fairway. If you have a question, you know, “What is it to the lip of the bunker,” you can just shoot it real quick with the laser, or shoot the flag, and you’re ready to go. The NCAs are going on right now on the golf channel, and every player out there is shooting a laser and it really helps. It might not help them in terms of taking a look at the shot and all the time they spend over that, but in terms of just getting the yardage, it definitely helped sped up play. A lot of the NCA coaches have commented about that, that initially they thought it would, in a sense, slow down play, but they’ve actually seen it speed up play. It’s been a nice addition to golf as playing faster and playing a little quicker.
Jason Seeman: Yeah, absolutely. It’s BushnellGolf.com, and you’ll find anything you need on there you need to find in terms of products. We’ve got some great web videos on there that will actually walk you kind of through what the product does, how to use it, and how to get the most out of it. BushnellGolf.com is a great resource. Of course, like you said, any of your Worldwide Golf websites is great, too.
Tom Brassell: Jason Seeman, thanks so much for joining us. As we get closer to Father’s Day, again, everybody get to the stores. Get online and take a look at the Bushnell units. I appreciate your time, Jason. Let’s do it again in the future.
Jason Seeman: Yes, thanks very much for having me, and have a great Memorial Day Weekend.
Tom Brassell: So many great products, not only laser range finders, but GPS range finders available from Bushnell. Take a look at them. Again, it’s the product of choice for Father’s Day for that golfer on your list. They can always use one, either a laser range finder, a GPS range finder, and if they have one, they probably need an upgrade. Just take a look at WorldwideGolfShops.com, EdwinWattsGolf.com, or any of our retail locations. Thanks so much to Jason Seeman from Bushnell, again, for joining us, and to you, our listeners. We’ll do it again next time when we have another episode of GolfBetter at WorldwideGolfShops.com. So long, everyone!