Almost everyone who owns a GPS has at one point in time yearned to have a specific distance to the flag, or an obstacle, in effect holding that responsible for a poor shot or score that could have been so much better. It’s ok, because for every one of you there’s someone who owns a laser rangefinder that wishes they knew there was a trap at the back of the green, or how far the front edge was because the greens were hard as rocks.
Well, Garmin has the solution. The GPS Yin to the RangeFinder Yang. It’s a match made in heaven, in one unit. Weird.
WHAT WE LIKE
+ The entire concept of combining GPS/RF
+ The mountain of additional features
+ Ability to use it just as rangefinder
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
× The ‘TV’ look of the viewfinder
× Need to give it time to find the GPS signal
× Setting driver distance hurts (for Philbert)
When you stand on a tee and spot up the hole, you are met with a hole map including hazards, distances to the green (front/middle/back), and also your driver preset distance line, letting you know where it is likely to end up were you to flush one, or when (sorry).
To achieve this, the viewfinder needs to be more screen than camera lense. It’s one of the things you’ll need to get used to asap, but once you adjust to it you’ll be glad you did.
The Z82 comes preloaded with over 41,000 golf courses, so you’d be unlucky if yours wasn’t one of them. Great news is you can always choose the ‘Distance only’ mode which allows you to use the Z82 like any ole rangefinder.
This is where the Z82 separates itself from the competition.
With the the help of the Garmin Golf app, the Z82 can show wind speed and direction in real time, for those who believe they have the control to be able to take advantage of it.
It can show elevation changes and adjust distance accordingly. Whilst not legal in competition, this is a great learning tool to help understand what happens with uphill and downhill shots.
It provides distances to the front and back of every hazard. You can even scroll through the hazards in case you’re planning on clearing the first one, yet trying to pull up before the next.
It even has a PinPointer to show the way if you can’t see the green. Now that’s something no RangeFinder can do (but really, really tall people can assist).
Not all are legal for competition play so know your local rules!
As mentioned, the Z82 viewfinder takes a little adjusting as there’s a lot going on, but in order to make that happen it needed to look a certain way. But persevere because the payoff is worth it. Once you have set your driver distance, seeing where this will leave you is a massive help and will allow you to discover how much of a caddie this unit is.
The other thing we love is that when you spot up a target, a line is displayed that shows you everything else at that distance. We won’t hit every shot the distance or direction we want but this gives you total clarity of safe and/or danger zones.
The Garmin Z82 is literally the best of both worlds. It appeases both GPS and RangeFinder afficianados whilst exceeding both their expectations with its outstanding functionality. Gotta love technology.