Our resident golfer Andy Mossack reviews the new Shot Scope Pro L1 laser range finder and finds you don’t need to pay big bucks for high performance.
The laser rangefinder marketplace has become a tad crowded as technology has improved accuracy and watch and GPS popularity begins to wane. I dispensed with my watch GPS some years ago, somewhat disheartened with the need to pay to download courses or retain my yearly membership.
The beauty of having a device I could use anywhere in the world accurate to the flag instead of a front centre or back portion of the green was a far more practical solution.
The drawback then was the price. The main players were highly respected sporting and outdoor optic manufacturers such as Bushnell or Nikon whose lens magnifications were top of the range and consequently beyond the reach of the masses.
But they opened a pathway for newer brands eager to compete with cheaper alternatives that may have had fewer bells and whistles but still did the job most of us yearned for; the confidence to hit a shot knowing the right distance to the pin.
It was only a matter of time before watch GPS brands turned their attention to lasers and Shot Scope is the latest in line to have a good go at it.
On first glance, the sub £200 price looks highly competitive as it comes with a full bag of tricks. Pin-lock vibration so you know you’re targeting the flag and not the tree behind, a choice of red and black optical displays, the distance results in yards or metres and, the jewel in the crown, adaptive slope technology (AST).
AST supposedly provides a more accurate shot choice by including the slope into the distance calculation. There are two downsides to using this technology; you can’t use it in official club competitions, and would you trust it to be accurate?
The first issue is resolved because you can turn it off during a competition, so that’s OK. The second is a little trickier, after all, we all know we need to take more club for an uphill shot and less for a downhill. But in many cases our eyes deceive us and we either under club or overcompensate. The Pro L1 gets round this by showing both – the suggested distance and the degree of slope, as well as the straight-at-it distance for peace of mind.
The adjustable lens offers 6X magnification up to a range of 875 yards with an accuracy to 0.1 yards. It’s comforting to know I can see the flag from over 800 yards away but even I wouldn’t dream of going that far offline. It’s lightweight too at just 160g and it fits snugly in the palm of my hand with built-in grips above and below. The Pro L1 comes in two front colours – blue and grey, it’s water-resistant and includes a snazzy carry case and a lanyard if you prefer to hang it from your bag.
So how did the Shot Scope Pro L1 prove itself in practice? My first glance admiration bore practical fruit. It may not have the premium feel quality of a Bushnell but who cares if the results are just as good. All we really want is a device that delivers dependable accurate distance and there’s no doubting it does this very well indeed. With the added benefit of out-of-the-box features normally only available in other premium models, this really is an excellent buy.
Tell me more about the Shot Scope Pro L1 Laser Range Finder
Shot Scope Pro L1 Range Finder £199.99
Comes with a 28-day money-back guarantee and 12-month warranty. Manufacturers state battery is good for 5,800 measures, which is the equivalent of 160 rounds of golf.