Bushnell Neo iON Watch: A Review of the Game’s Top Yardage Watch

By Tom Hill
August 28, 2016


In an effort to help cut through the clutter on GPS-based watches for golf, PGA teaching professional Todd Kolb, Head PGA Professional of USGolfTV.com, has a review of the new Bushnell Neo iON watch.  Kolb’s full review is available on YouTube.

“When we start looking at watches and GPS devices, of course, the first thing you want to look for is accuracy,” Kolb says in the 2:45 video.  “If you know anything about Bushnell – and I’ve known them for years – you know that they’re among the leaders in the industry.”

Bushnell has been manufacturing optical equipment for over 65 years and makes telescopes, binoculars, riflescopes, laser rangefinders, speed guns and weather-resistant digital cameras, among other items.

“If you go to a PGA event or an LPGA event,” Kolb explains, “and you look at what the caddies are using to calculate distances, it’s [often] a Bushnell.”

The Neo iON watch is waterproof, weighs less than 2 ounces and has a 16-hour battery life once it’s fully charged (which takes about 2 hours according to the manufacturer).

“First of all, when I got it, I took it out of the box and charged it with the USB plug in the wall, easy to charge,” Kolb says.  “It has a great feature for the GPS so I just loaded that up; it starts calculating where I’m at, gives me the date, gives me the time.”

And that’s not all of the non-golf features according to Kolb. “It has a stopwatch and an alarm. You can track how many steps you take so it’s got all of the features that you’d expect from a standard watch. And also the style, it looks good, fits well on my wrist. I can wear it on the golf course. It’s not bothering my golf swing, and it’s also pretty stylish so I can wear it out at night.”  

“If you go to a PGA event or an LPGA event,” Kolb explains, “and you look at what the caddies are using to calculate distances, it’s [often] a Bushnell.”  

But we’re golfers, so we want to know what we get when we wear it on the course.  “First of all,” Kolb says, “you’re going to get 35,000 golf courses that are pre-loaded into it. The best part is you don’t have to pay for those, you don’t have to join or pay for membership, they are pre-loaded and ready to go.  Also, it has auto hole advancement, so as you’re playing a round of golf, it just advances as you do to the next hole.”  It also automatically recognizes the course you are playing.

The Bushnell Neo iON watch has a square display face that shows the hole being played, par, the distance to the center of the green and the distances to the front and back of the green.

“It also has a really cool feature that tells you what the distance is to hazards and things like that,” Kolb says. “And it has a new feature called a distance calculator that kind of gives you an idea of how far you are hitting each of your golf shots.”

So, Kolb says if you’re looking for a GPS watch that’s easy to use and extremely accurate, the Bushnell Neo iON is worth considering:

“As a golfer you want accuracy, and to know your distance away from the hole.  Bushnell is definitely the leader in this and this is a watch I’m going to highly recommend.”

The Bushnell Neo iON retails for around $150.      

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