Last time on the RGC Promotional Series, I talked to you about golf balls. Specifically, the Vice Pro Plus x RGC edition. Now, I was impressed with the Vice balls. They flew a little further than most, and spun to my liking, exactly the two things I look for in a ball. And in case you were wondering, yes, they’re completely sold out. Was my article the reason for that? Absolutely not. They sold out because of the dedicated community Vice and RGC have created both separately, and together. Now, am I taking personal credit for their being sold out? Of course!
But, as Bill Belichick might say in my situation, we’re onto rangefinders…Specifically, the Precision Pro NX9 x RGC Limited Edition rangefinder.
Like Vice, Precision Pro has created a community and branding all their own. Just like Vice isn’t Titleist, Precision Pro isn’t Bushnell. They don’t try to be. Precision Pro has created a product that is meant for all golfers, not the very few who can afford it. And, as you’ll read later in this article, the Precision Pro literally stands toe to toe with what reviewers and sites deem to be the “best.”
Before I took the RGC NX9 out for a spin, I talked to Precision Pro founder, Clay Hood. Clay, a former club pro, found like a lot of us over the years that rangefinders are just so damn expensive that you ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?” He started the company in 2014, with the explicit goal of helping more golfers improve their game, while providing a quality product that people could afford.
“Golf has this stuffy rap,” Hood told me. And it does. Golf is deemed to be an exclusive game. Most rangefinders add to that exclusivity. Imagine being a beginner, and stepping up to a Par 3 as your partner with a Country Club polo pulls out a $500 rangefinder that looks like it was made by the military. It doesn’t exactly scream, “All Are Welcome.” Quite the opposite.
And you might ask, why get a rangefinder? As Hood says, “they make the game faster, they make the game more fun. If you’re out there playing with no idea, it’s going to be very difficult to make good choices, and very hard to learn how far your clubs go.”
And as he says, “the NX9 is the best rangefinder we’ve ever made.” After testing it out, I can attest to that myself.
Now, you’ve probably seen this rangefinder. And I don’t mean the design posted on Instagram, which is beautiful and subtle at the same time. It’s a light gray body with scarlet accents that really tie it together, with the RGC logo on the side. The carrying case itself is a beauty, and will look good clipped onto your bag, giving you both style and convenience. And when I say you’ve seen this rangefinder, I don’t mean the one that will show up to your door in a few days after you read this article and decide, you know what, I need one of those. When I say you’ve probably seen the specific Precision Pro RGC edition I reviewed for this article, I really mean it.
You will spy with your little eye the exact rangefinder I used for this review. The Precision Pro x RGC Number 00001 AKA, Erik’s rangefinder. Because here’s the deal, folks: when I was asked to write this article a few weeks ago, these things had not even been made for mass production yet. But, I needed to have the product in my hands to write an honest review. So, after asking my editor (shout out, Emerson!), he asked Erik, and what do you know, two days later I’m out on the course shooting numbers.
Now, at this point, I have a confession: I’ve never had a rangefinder of my own. Yes, I am That Guy. You know, the guy asking sheepishly on the Par 3, “whadda ya got here” or simply standing too close as you shoot the flag, hoping you’ll just say the number out loud. I’ve always been willing to play yardages with a hope and a prayer because, I thought, well, rangefinders are just too expensive. I didn’t want to drop over $400 bucks on one. So, this was an extremely exciting opportunity for me and an introduction to being a Big Boy Golfer.
After cutting open the tape off the FedEx box with a tee from my bedside table, I threw back the brown packaging paper, opened the case, and started shooting numbers. That bunny in the yard? 37 yards away. The tree across the street? 95 on the number. After doing that for a while, the neighbors started looking at me funny, so I headed to the course.
I ended up playing a twilight nine with my buddy Eoin (pronounced “Owen”), an Irishman who used to caddy on the Web Dot Com Tour and European Tour. Being a real-life Big Boy Golfer himself, he has a rangefinder. And not just any rangefinder. The Bushnell Pro XE, coming in at a cool $550. Golf.com has referred to it as the Ferrari 812 Superfast of rangefinders. Now, I don’t know a thing about cars but anything with Superfast must be super good…and super expensive. After seeing it in action, the Bushnell Pro XE is both. And while the Precision Pro NX9 is only one of those things, it is not super expensive.
As a first-time rangefinder user, I’ll say that knowing the exact yardage to the pin, or how much you need to clear the fairway bunker, does wonders for your confidence. It just takes the guesswork out of the process. And like Precision Pro founder Clay Hood said, it does make the game faster. No more looking for yardage markers.
Coming in at $269.99, this rangefinder is perfect for any golfer who wants the quality of a top of the line product without breaking the bank. Each time we measured up, Eoin and I got the exact same numbers on our respective rangefinders. Both have slope, too, which was also the exact same, every single time. But again, only one costs nearly $300 less, and only one has the RGC logo on it.
By the way, you can find the rangefinder here.
And after using it a few times, I will say, I believe this will make you a better golfer. It won’t take away your slice, or your hook. It won’t give you the stinger off the tee that you’ve been working at the range for but can’t seem to master. And it won’t stop you from being a Mean, Green Three Putt Machine. But if you can buy confidence for less than the cost of a new driver, I’d say it’s a worthwhile investment. And best of all, you don’t have to be That Guy ever again.
Random Golf Club and Vice Golf break the mold of traditional golf partnerships
Tim Barnicle is a native of Lincoln, Massachusetts. He has worked in podcasts, television, music, and politics. In other words, entertainment. He has a B.A. from Georgetown University and a M.A. from Columbia University. He’s currently pursuing a PhD at Harvard University studying American culture. Tim has one Ace—a one bounce pitching wedge on the 8th hole at Rustic Canyon in Moorpark, CA.