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Garmin Approach Z82 - Is It Just Me?


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After reading every review and forum post and watching every YouTube video on rangefinders, I swallowed hard and paid the significant price for what I thought would be the best rangefinder for me: the Garmin Approach Z82.  While I'm very impressed by the build and features, I have to say I'm having trouble getting it to do the very simplest task: rangefinding (flags, bunkers, targets, etc.)!  I can ultimately get it to "lock" but I feel like I have to really work at it vs. my past experience with Bushnell, Nikon and Leupold.  

 

Am I the only one?  Is this user error?  Might I have a dud?

 

Thanks in advance for any/all feedback.

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I have a Z80 and think it is pretty decent.  Not sure what the difference is in the newer model.  One thing I miss is using the magnification on the nikons, etc to look with towards the green when still a fairly distance out (meaning look where the shot ended up)  Otherwise I'm satisfied with it.   

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On 10/8/2021 at 9:10 AM, Brimster said:

After reading every review and forum post and watching every YouTube video on rangefinders, I swallowed hard and paid the significant price for what I thought would be the best rangefinder for me: the Garmin Approach Z82.  While I'm very impressed by the build and features, I have to say I'm having trouble getting it to do the very simplest task: rangefinding (flags, bunkers, targets, etc.)!  I can ultimately get it to "lock" but I feel like I have to really work at it vs. my past experience with Bushnell, Nikon and Leupold.  

 

Am I the only one?  Is this user error?  Might I have a dud?

 

Thanks in advance for any/all feedback.

You're not the only one that has trouble with Z82.  I have Z82, it's more complicated than pushing a button, because it offers much more functionality, data and images compared to, say, the simple Bushnell which I have and no longer use.  I like what I see in the viewfinder of Z82.  Most of Garmin's products are that way, even the Fenix 5x and 6x require a learning curve.  I've watched people attempt to use Z82, and get frustrated cause they keep hitting the wrong button or button sequence. 

 

When a user wants more data and images and functionality, they have to be prepared to be patient cause there's a learning curve. 

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Your complaint is my complaint. I just bought one and love all the features and except actually ranging a flag, tree, etc. I'm very used to a Bushnell and have found the Z82 much more difficult to lock on a target. The viewfinder feels very 'jumpy' and difficult to steady compared to other devices. I'm going to try it again tonight at my home course which also has the reflectors on the flags so it should be easier but if it doesn't work well I'll be returning it and buying a traditional rangefinder and may consider a GPS device. 

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On 10/9/2021 at 10:11 AM, Miker20890 said:

ive noticed i have a hard time hitting objects other than the pin. but for bunkers i generally just look at the hazard/layup option.

Yeah, I leverage the GPS data for almost all data points other than distance to flag. It’s definitely a gps first and rangefinder second, and the rangefinder portion certainly leaves a bit to be desired but is more than enough for what I need. 

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Guys, Z82 has two "2" functions that find the pin; Pinpoint for nearly blind shots at the pin, and lock on vibration.  Mine isn't jumpy but jittery hands may disguise it's functions somewhat.  My buddy's hands shake which complicates usage for him.  But to target a tree or object for yardage, aim and push the button closest to you.  Make sure its fully changed too.  Works fine for me. 

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After playing round 2 with the Z82 last night, I have decided to keep it. I still find it harder to pick up flags than with a traditional Bushnell range finder but love the GPS yardages and ability to see the hazards all in one unit. I have had a GPS app for my phone and I never use it. Too cumbersome to have to use multiple devices when I'm playing. I like that I can see everything on the hole and on the green with one look. The Z82 is not perfect but I do like it enough to keep it. 

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