Shot Scope is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies for distance and GPS equipment, and if you read my review on the Shot Scope V3 you probably picked up on my opinion that they’re making great golf accessories at phenomenal prices.
The Pro L1 rangefinder I tested for this review is another great product, and it’s a perfect complement to one of their GPS watches to put all the tools you’ll need to tackle the course at your immediate disposal.
I opted for the black and blue color scheme as that seems to match most everything I wear. Packaged neatly, the unit included a case, lanyard, battery and instructions. The rangefinder is a plastic shell with rubber grips on the top and bottom, and the overall build feels nice and solid. I wouldn’t have any concern about it breaking from the occasional drop. It has a nice, light weight while the size is a little on the larger end, but it holds comfortably in the hand. The unit included a battery, which is quick and easy to install.
Putting it to the test
Here is what I found when putting the Pro L1 to the test on the course:
The eyepiece and optics were clear, but the focus ring was a little tight to adjust – in truth, I appreciate that the ring isn’t easy to move. Once I get the optics set, I’m always frustrated with the ring accidentally adjusting.
The output information is displayed using a black or red font, which is toggled by a button on the side. I really like having the ability to flip between the two colors as on some days and weather conditions it’s easier to read one font versus the other. Make sure to watch for this as an option when selecting a rangefinder unit.
There are 3 modes that can be selected on this unit:
- A scan mode for picking up targets as you move the unit
- A pin lock mode with or without a slope measurement
- A speed mode (if you want to use it for hunting, I guess)
There is a physical switch on the side of the Pro L1 to turn slope on and off. It glows red when the slope is turned off, so your playing partners will know and not have any questions.
This is such a nice feature for the quick visual check, and it’s another to keep in mind when deciding on which rangefinder is right to add to your bag. Slope on rangefinders is currently not allowed if you are playing in USGA or other governing body sanctioned events.
I compared the measurements of the Shot Scope Pro L1 against 2 other rangefinders and found that the distance, both slope and non-slope adjusted, appeared to be within 1-3 yards.
The unit had no trouble locating pins when holding down the power button and the vibration and visual queue in the optics are nice. The Pro L1 is one of the fastest units I’ve tested when locking onto pins, taking on average about 1-2 seconds.
The scan mode on this unit is a great feature. This allowed me to hold down the power button and move the unit across the field of play with distance being updated in real time on the unit. I was able to accurately see different obstacles and make club decisions quickly.
The slope feature will calculate the true distance to the pin based on elevation change. Think about the last time you played an uphill par 3 – you probably pulled a club based on the yardage listed on the tee box sign. Well, this is not the true distance to the flag, as you can see in this sample image:
Having slope available on your rangefinder can make a huge difference in your round.
The L1 is currently on sale for $199, which I think is a very fair price point for this unit. The features are on point with many of its competitors, and the extras including the slope switch and color change for the optics make it really stand out.
I did miss the built-in magnetic mount that many other units now feature, but I can always attach a strap with a magnet before using it with a cart (like this great option from BlueTees). As impressive as anything is the speed the Pro L1 locks on to targets – I think this is a solid model for any level of golfer.
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