Leica Pinmaster rangefinder
The ultimate weapon for golf war veterans?
Review Golfers are a funny lot, many of them play with superstitions or simply have faith that their perseverance will eventually win out. Yet I know that the perfect swing is not all technical and mechanical, but it’s also about feeling perfectly balanced and believing that the club in my hands is just an extension of my mind's eye. When these things come together in a simple relaxed swing, it’s a Zen moment that produces perfection.
Tee, anyone? Leica's Pinmaster
Naturally, I don’t share this insight with professionals or anyone with a decent handicap. For most golfers, consistency is the name of the game and, for those competing, I can see that any edge is an edge. So it's easy to imagine that professional sportsmen and their caddies are going to love Leica’s Pinmaster. It delivers an edge by precisely measuring the distance you are from the pin (or hole to the non-golfers out there), so you can decide the best club to drive with, and using the Pinmaster is not against the rules either according Leica's press release which states: "Use of the Leica Pinmaster on the golf course is allowed under R&A rule 14.3."
With features akin to gun sights, the Pinmaster has a 7x magnification and a dioptre adjustment to compensate for visual impairments, although the eyepiece is big enough to allow use with spectacles on. The device fits neatly in the palm of the hand with a button on top to activate its laser rangefinder. This targets just one per cent of the viewing area. Align the red square in the centre of the viewfinder and once locked onto a flag (or anything with some contrast) a three-digit LED display below the target area will tell you just how far away it is.
The Pinmaster operates with 'first target logic', so if there is confusion about another contrasty thing near the tiny flag, it will show the reading of the nearest object. In use, you’ll find that anything within 15m of each other will be a challenge at a great distance, but for all the time I used it, I never doubted a reading. At the other end of the scale, the minimum targeting distance is 10m/11 yards.
One thing that it could be very useful for at the beginning of your golf quest, is determining how far you can hit with each of the clubs in your bag. A driving range or local common will help you determine how far say, your seven iron can take you at certain power or height of swing.
Now it may seem obvious, but in this country distances on links are measured in yards, which no doubt explains why there is a 'Y' on the end of the name on the box. A metric version is also available, so if you do decide to go shopping for a Pinmaster, be sure it measures in your preferred units.
A terrible way of spoling a country walk...
As Mark Twain reputedly said of golf. However, that's not the point here. I was drawn to this...
"Now it may seem obvious, but in this country distances on links are measured in yards, which no doubt explains why there is a 'Y' on the end of the name on the box. A metric version is also available, so if you do decide to go shopping for a Pinmaster, be sure it measures in your preferred units."
So in all seriousness, some manufacturer has come up with a near £500 laser range finder that doesn't allow you to choose your preferred units at the press of a button? I have a £15 set of electronic scales that allows me to freely choose, not to mention a £6 electronic thermometer with the same capability.
That's quite apart from the idea of spending that much money on such a gadget, but then, as PG Wodehouse knew, some golfers are beyond any rational help and can only be indulged.
2000 uses per battery.....
That would barely get me to the 9th hole.
Multiplying by 0.9144 would be too expensive
"A metric version is also available, so if you do decide to go shopping for a Pinmaster, be sure it measures in your preferred units."
So, let me get this straight, here we have a £500 gadget that's unable to convert yards to metres?
Can I pay for it in shillings?
Stick to the computers, guys
Just one question, Reg - why are you reviewing this thing as if it's some incredibly exotic, brand new idea, a one-off, sui generis, unique unto itself?
Spend thirty seconds on any golfing equipment web site and it becomes painfully obvious that there are dozens of these things on the market. Hell, Golf Town has a whole *category* for them:
Laser ones, GPS ones, and boring old optical ones, running the gamut from the most expensive (er, this one) to a princely $25.
So for the review to be remotely useful at *all*, it would have to compare this thing to all the other rangefinders out there, and explain why we might be motivated to shell out such a gigantic sum of dosh for it.
Personally I forked over the princely sum of $15 for the pro version of FreeCaddie, and find that does the job fine. Sure, it's GPS based and the map data comes from Google Earth so it's not going to be accurate to the width of a sub-atomic particle, but it's generally within 10 yards or so, and I wish I could say the same about my 7-iron...
That's an, interesting, product. Do you think the guy really thought he'd be able to retire on that idea?