Bushnell Excel Black Golf GPS Watch Review
The Bushnell Excel Black golf GPS watch is the newest addition to Bushnell’s line. The Bushnell Excel Black replaced the Bushnell’s NEO-ion golf GPS watch. Like other Bushnell golf watches, the Bushnell Excel Black is far cheaper than the Garmin products. The price alone makes it one of the best golf GPS watches on the market. If you’re looking for a golf watch with new technology that is far cheaper than the Garmin watches, this is the best golf watch for you.
Although the premium Garmin products allow you to drag the pin to the exact location on the green for precise yardages, the Bushnell Excel Black does not. However, if you’re looking for a simpler golf watch at a fraction of the price, this is still a great option. The Bushnell Excel Black gives golfers the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green. It also gives you yardage to hazards and layups distances and boasts a few other great features. The best feature about this golf watch is its improved battery life. You can get up to three full golf rounds out of the watch without requiring a recharge. Let’s get into the details:
Hazard Yardage –
The Bushnell Excel Black, just like the Bushnell NEO-iON, gives you the yardage to up to four layup positions or hazards on every hole. This is pretty standard for any golf watch that considers itself “premium.” The accuracy of this watch is right up there with any other golf gps watch. This shouldn’t be surprising as this technology is no longer brand new. The great thing about the best golf watches these days is that almost all of the kinks have been worked out.
Golf Course Coverage –
The Bushnell Excel Black comes pre-loaded with over 35,000 golf courses just like the Bushnell NEO-ion. There is no need to connect to a computer to preload them. As long as your watch is charged, it will auto-locate the golf course with the GPS function. The Bushnell Excel Black also has automatic course recognition and a hole advance feature to avoid the need for manual updates every hole.
Watch Face –
The Bushnell Excel Black features a pretty decent sized watch face. It has a 25mm x 25mm screen, which a good size for user interaction. The watch face isn’t too large like some other golf GPS watches. A golf watch face that’s too large can interfere with your golf swing, which entirely defeats the purpose of wearing the device. Those of you really worried about a golf watch interfering with your golf swing, the watch weighs 1.6 ounces and has dimensions of 13.75mm x 45mm x 54mm. Although this golf watch has many great features, it is sometimes difficult to view the screen in changing sunlight conditions. Bushnell seems to have dropped the ball in this area little bit, but the price is still right for what you get out of the watch.
Battery Life –
The Bushnell Excel Black lasts for over 14 hours on a single charge. This is one of the best battery life’s that Bushnell has produced. Unfortunately, when you actually play a round of golf with this golf watch, the battery life can be a bit unpredictable. Sometimes you can squeeze three full golf rounds out of it and sometimes you can’t. It really depends on what other features you’re also using while (bluetooth notifications, etc.).
Full Aerial views –
One of the big improvements of the Bushnell Excel Black is the full color air shots of each hole on the golf course. This feature allows you to see hazards on the course, hole shapes, and gives you distances. This a feature common to the premium Garmin golf watch products, but Bushnell is now introducing it. The only draw back (kind of a big one) is that the golf watch itself doesn’t display golf courses on the watch’s color touch screen. You have to access the color golf courses via your mobile telephone that is paired with your golf watch.
Swing Tempo and Swing Speed –
One of the big improvements of the Bushnell Excel Black is the inclusion of a swing tempo and swing speed feature. Previous Bushnell products left this feature out. This gives you the ability to practice with this golf watch in addition to playing with it. Any time your golf technology can help you get better on the practice range and the golf course – it’s a good thing.
While some golf GPS watches can only really be worn with athletic clothing, the Garmin Excel Black can easily be worn to the office. It’s a sleek watch and the aesthetics are a big improvement on the Bushnell NEO-iON. It’s not clunky, it’s not flashy, and can be worn easily with a business suit.
- Tons of pre-loaded courses
- No membership or subscription requirement
- Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
- Easy to read and use
- Yardage to up to four different hazards
- Extra Long Battery life
- Shot distance calculator
- No color touch screen showing golf courses
- Can be hard to read in changing light conditions
- GPS is rumored to suddenly “lose” track of golfers mid round on occassion
Is this the best golf watch for you?
The Bushnell Excel Black offers golfers who don’t want to spend $300 a great option for a golf watch. While this watch doesn’t have all of the features of the Garmin color touch screen products, you get what you pay for. This golf watch can be purchased for under $200 and features great battery life, a ton of preloaded golf courses, and other great features. Pound for pound this is one of the best golf watches for the money.
For more of our golf watch reviews please check out our best golf watch page.