Shot Scope's GPS Watches with Performance Tracking technology have been extremely popular and successful in the past few years, so much so that the new V3 Watch which my colleague Dan tested earlier this year has been sold out for quite some time.
The growing brand has now decided to venture into the laser rangefinder market too, with the release of the new Pro L1 laser. With Bushnell clearly leading the way in this market in both the professional and amateur game, I was keen to see whether this laser which comes in at competitive £199.99 could compete with the best in the business.
Shot Scope themselves say that the inspiration behind the Pro L1 was "to create a high performance laser product that delivered on ultimate performance while carrying an affordable price tag".
Let's see whether it delivers...
What's It All About?
The Shot Scope Pro L1 is packed full of features. Firstly, it's equipped with Target-Lock Vibration which sends a small vibration when you find the target to give golfers confidence that they have captured the correct yardage with instant feedback on their measurement. This will be particularly useful if you have shaky hands or you're a long way away from the target - it does the work for you!
The Precision Clear Lens can be switched between either red or black optics by simply flicking a switch to suit your own preference so that you can read the numbers more clearly. These distances can be viewed in yards or metres, depending on where in the world you play your golf.
Adaptive Slope technology displays the angle of the slope adjustment and a recalculation of the yardage to 3.6 inches. This feature can be switched on and off in order to conform with tournament rules.
6X magnification gives a total range of up to 875 yards (if you ever stray that far off line!) and magnifying the target 6 times means that you should be able to see and capture distances for all approach shots. For example a flag that is 150 yards away will appear as if it is 25 yards away in the viewfinder.
The laser is water resistant and comes in two different colours with a carry case, as well as a lanyard, carry clip, cleaning cloth, replaceable battery and 12 month warranty. Happy days.
I took the Pro L1 out to Stockport Golf Club for a thorough on-course test, putting it up against both my existing Bushnell Tour V5 Shift and the Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch.
I wanted to see whether Shot Scope's first laser could keep up with one of the biggest names on the market in speed, accuracy and usability, whilst also evaluating whether a laser or a GPS device is best for your game.
Shot Scope Pro L1 Laser Review
Looks and Feel
The Pro L1 is housed in a simple, sleek black body which is very lightweight. This makes it really easy to carry, and at 160 grams it is much lighter than my 226 gram Bushnell Tour V5 Shift.
The only issue with this is that the laser feels a little less substantial and so this could possible make some golfers feel as if the build quality is as a little cheap. This may not be an issue for golfers who much prefer the lighter feel, for example if you keep your laser in your pocket whilst playing, but it is worth bearing in mind regardless.
I preferred the red optics of the Pro L1 rather than the black, as it seemed to make my eyes more alert to finding the target. Red means danger so this definitely stands out a little better and so should help if you're playing in particularly light or dark conditions.
Compared to the Bushnell, the lens was not quite as clear whilst I also felt that the Bushnell was a little more comfortable to handle too, although it is priced at £100 more than the Shot Scope so you'd probably expect it to feel a little more premium.
The Pro L1 features a slightly more subtle vibration when it finds the target, although I did find it a little easier to find the flag rather than the trees behind with the Bushnell.
But the real question for me was whether there was any difference in the actual measurements provided by the two different rangefinders? Well, the results were very similar on most occasions, even if you include the slope readings, with differences of a yard at most. Considering we've all come to know and trust Bushnell yardages, this is then a pretty accurate reflection of the accuracy of the Shot Scope laser.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't measure whether the laser could live up to the claim of reaching targets of 875 yards but it did manage to find the pin from 400 yards, and I can't think of many occasions when you'd need to measure any further than that.
If you look at the Bushnell website or at any yardage book on the professional tours, you'll see that they all have 1 yard digressions, so it's fair to say that you can be confident of the readings with the Shot Scope.
Who is it aimed at?
The Shot Scope Pro L1 is ideal for anyone with a steady hand who's looking for exact yardages to the flag rather than just distances to the front, middle and back of the green.
The Pro L1's price means that it will bring quality, reliable lasers to a wider range of golfers and could be a great way for improving golfers to encourage more specific shot-making by getting accurate yardages as their ability hopefully improves.
Shot Scope Pro L1 Laser Verdict
The Pro L1 is an excellent entry into the rangefinder world from Shot Scope. It's performance is extremely accurate and for that price tag, you really can't go wrong here.
The slope readings really helped me during my testing at Stockport Golf Club, as they really help you get your head around how much gradient there is on certain hole. For example, the approach to the 3rd hole always seems to confuse me as it is played steeply uphill. I zapped the flag and it told me that it was 111 yards, but playing 120 yards, and for the first time ever I actually managed to the get the ball pin high!
The main thing that you want from a laser is a yardage that you can trust. Players who use them tend to know how exactly how far they hit these clubs so it's important that the readings you get are accurate.
I came in to this review thinking that I'd be reluctant to use a Shot Scope as 99% of professionals use Bushnell and it has more of a dominance in the game for its category than event Titleist Pro V1s. However, using the Shot Scope Pro L1 made be seriously wonder whether we are just paying for the name when it comes to laser rangefinders?
- Produced same yardages as the Bushnell
- Comes with free cover, battery-powered and water-resistant
- Ideal for better players looking for specific yardages
- Excellent price point
- Felt like it always wanted to show you a slope, even when I doubted that there was one
- Unlike a GPS device, no overview of a golf course or penalty areas
- No way to link to an app
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