For many years golf rangefinders were expensive pieces of kit requiring serious investment. However, in recent years we’ve seen a rise in lower-priced rangefinders, such as Shot Scope’s Pro L1 rangefinder. Advancing technology should make rangefinders better and cheaper. However, there is always a concern that ‘you get what you pay for’.
Here we test and review the Shot Scope Pro L1 – is it the one for you?
- Accuracy – Very good
- Features – Excellent
- Usability – Excellent
- Value – Excellent
There are rangefinders at a similar price point and with similar features as the Shot Scope Pro L1 but few with such good usability.
The first question when buying any rangefinder is – will it be accurate? The Shot Scope Pro L1 entices us with accuracy measurements displayed down to 0.1 of a yard or meter. This suggests a high level of precision for a rangefinder at a lower price point than most.
For testing, we took the Shot Scope Pro L1, a premium rangefinder and a comparably priced competitor. We tested a pitch shot, wedge shot and mid/long iron distance three times each in a randomised order to measure accuracy (validity) and precision (reliability).
We didn’t have an external criterion measure, so an estimated distance was calculated based on the mean of the 9 readings.
The first point to note is the exceptional level of precision the Shot Scope Pro L1 offers. This is represented by the very small S.D. in the table below. The Pro L1 outperformed both competitor rangefinders in giving consistent yardages time and time again. However, we should note, all rangefinders performed exceptionally well.
In terms of accuracy, the Pro L1 again performed incredibly well for the pitch and wedge shot compared to the estimated distance. It did under-measure sightly at all distances compared to our estimated distance and the two competitors, but nothing that should be a concern.
Shot Scope vs Estimated distance
- Pitch -0.13 yds
- Wedge -1.43 yds
- Mid-iron -2.87 yds
We’re talking 1-yard at 105 and a couple of yards at 170 in real-life outdoor testing. Based on this data I would still recommend the Pro L1 as an accurate and very precise rangefinder, most rangefinders we test differ by 1 to 1.5 yards.
|Shot Scope Pro L1||Premium Rangefinder||Comparably|
The Shot Scope Pro L1 has three modes that can be toggled between:
M1 – Continuous scan
Hold the button down and scan across the landscape, dynamic yardages are shown. Super useful when teeing off and figuring out distances to trees, bushes and bunkers.
M2 – Golf (target-lock) mode
Hover the crosshair over and around the flag. The Pro L1 vibrates and lets you know when it’s locked onto the flag and the target distance will appear. This mode also allows you to toggle between slope and non-slope modes.
M3 – Speed Mode
Speed mode does what it says on the tin – measures change in distance over time – a.k.a. the speed of objects. I was a little confused with the purpose, so I double-checked with Shot Scope.
“M3 is to gauge speed, our guys messed around with the firmware when building it and we left it in. Amusing to see how quick your buddy is running back to the tee.” – Gavin, CCO Shot Scope
I think there needs to be a competition for the most unique use of this feature!
Visuals & optics
The Shot Scope Pro L1 offers x6 zoom and with a few small tweaks to the eyepiece focus, you’ll gain crystal clear focus on your target and be able to fit the rangefinder to your preferred viewpoint.
A unique feature is the bright red laser graphics that are the default in the Pro L1. These are the brightest overlays out of any we’ve tested and work wonders in low-light conditions and grey, cloudy days.
A quick press of the side button allows you to toggle to a classic, sharp black interface that you’ll find on most rangefinders.
Slope mode visuals
All golfers who have used slope mode know its value. However, how manufacturers display all this data on a lens is a real challenge. Here I feel the L1 strikes a great balance. The large number is the direct distance, with the slope calculation and angle ±º sitting below.
With slope mode on you can still get a clear view of your target thanks to the thin, sharp visuals on the screen.
If a rangefinder ticks the boxes for accuracy and visuals, the next point to consider is its usability. Saving money is one thing, but a rangefinder will hopefully last you a long time, usability is an important factor over hundreds or thousands of rounds.
The toggle/zip carry case is perfect, with elasticated straps stopping the pouch from falling too wide open. This may seem like a small point, but I’ve tested a lot of rangefinders! The Pro L1 design allows you to flip the toggle pouch open/closed in between shots, no need to faff with zips and the elasticated straps mean you can drop the rangefinder back in after use with ease.
This may sound like a small point, but it is a common frustration with many rangefinders, and one that nags over time.
Target-lock and vibrate
The vibrate feature in the target-lock mode is speedy and helpful. In some lower-priced rangefinders, this feature can be sluggish and annoying. However, the target-lock and vibrate on the Pro L1 is really impressive. It takes 0.1/0.2s longer than the high-price point rangefinders to lock on from longer distances, but it performs better than any other rangefinder we’ve tested under £200.
The scan mode is one of the best out there. Quick, responsive and accurate. This is a very handy feature for quickly making decisions of what club to hit off the tee, or where your aim should be.
With the red visuals, we were keen to test the Pro L1 for a night range session. The display is super clear and outperforms rangefinders with just a black display in low light.
The rangefinder, case and clips are all superb. Compared to the top of the line products you will lose small detailing. For example, slightly softer rubber grippy bits on premium models, but nothing you’d worry about for the £100-200 saving you’ll make with the Pro L1.
I can’t fault the Pro L1 for value. This piece of kit offers all the features of a top of the line rangefinder at less than half the price. Normally with price, usability suffers, but this is one of the few rangefinders under £200 that I would happily use without a second thought.
Golf Insider verdict
The Shot Scope Pro L1 is a brilliant rangefinder for golfers wanting all the functionality at half the price of most premium rangefinders. It is one of the few lower-priced rangefinders that offers target-lock and vibrate mode with great performance.
Frequently asked questions
Can you change between yards and meters with the Pro L1?
Yes, just hold the ‘mode’ button down for 3 seconds.
Can the slope function be turned on/off on the Shot Scope Pro L1?
Yes, just flip the switch on the side of the Pro L1. You’ll see a red light toggle on/off
What else does the rangefinder come with?
The rangefinder comes complete with a carry case with bag clip and strap, a cleaning cloth, user manual and a battery.
|Shot Scope Pro L1|
|Distance (yards)||5 – 875|
|Size (mm)||L:104 x W:43 x H:75 mm|
|Additional||Carry case, strap, bag clip, cleaning cloth, battery|
For more reviews, check out our full article on the best golf rangefinders.
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