Shot Scope made their name with GPS and shot-tracking. As you can see from our Shot Scope V3 review, they provide top-performing products in that space. However, this year, Shot Scope has branched out with the release of their PRO L1 laser rangefinder. This might seem like an odd choice given the crowded market in this space. There are established players like Garmin and Bushnell on the top end and many Amazon sellers on the low. So does Shot Scope have a unique position to offer with their rangefinder?
As many of you know, the low-end market for rangefinders has exploded. It's tempting to purchase one for as little as $80. But many golfers find themselves frustrated with products that are slow, take multiple attempts to lock on to the pin, and break. So while you don't have to spend upwards of $400 for a rangefinder anymore, you have to be careful spending too little on an unknown brand.
The Shot Scope PRO L1 bridges the gap nicely. At $199.99 (for a limited time, you can get it for $159.99 here), you'll get everything you want from a trusted company. In this review, I'll explore its key features and how it fits in with the marketplace.
Shot Scope PRO L1 Rangefinder at a Glance
At $199.99 MSRP, the Pro L1 is squarely in the middle-tier of laser rangefinders. For that, Shot Scope promises an "affordable, quick-firing laser packed with features making it quick and easy to get your distance." You'll also have your choice between a blue or grey model.
The features include 6x lens magnification, an 875-yard range, adaptive slope technology, vibration target lock, and red/black dual optics. Of those, the slope reading and dual optics are of particular note as many lower-end rangefinders don't have them.
With adaptive slope technology, the PRO L1 will tell you the playing distance of a shot given the elevation change between you and the target. This is a handy tool for casual golfers. While you can't use slope readings in tournament play, it can easily be turned off to stay compliant.
Another useful feature of the Shot Scope PRO L1 is the red & black dual optics. Having two display color options makes the rangefinder useful in a variety of conditions. Switching the display to red in low light conditions, for example, will help you easily see the reading.
The Shot Scope Pro L1 lightweight at just 160 grams and can be clipped to a golf bag with the included hard case. The rangefinder uses a replaceable battery and promises over 150 rounds of normal use before the battery has to be changed.
I have never been a rangefinder person. As a young golfer, I always prided myself on my ability to eyeball and step off distances on the golf course. I probably wasn't that good at it in retrospect, but at the time, I thought I didn't need any help with distances. I started using golf GPS apps as soon as they became widely available and have continued to do so ever since. These days, I have my GPS app on my smartwatch. It's hard to beat the convenience of distances right on my wrist.
Besides the convenience, the cost has always been a factor in my decision not to use a rangefinder. I couldn't justify spending $400+ to get an accurate device when I knew I'd only use it a handful of times per round. This made the Shot Scope Pro L1 interesting to me for a few key reasons:
- It's from an established brand
- It has the key features to make it useful
- The price is low enough even considering infrequent use
After using the Shot Scope Pro L1 for several rounds, I can confidently say the device met these points and more.
As expected, I didn't find myself reaching for it every shot. When I did, however, I found it to be fast and accurate. Even as a novice rangefinder user, I never had an issue locking on to a target. Both the distance number and slope adjustments seemed true as well. These facts alone made it a worthy addition to my bag.
Beyond that, though, I'm also starting to see some additional use cases for the rangefinder. Most importantly, I'm starting to use it as a practice tool. While GPS is accurate on my course, it can't give me distances in the practice area. This is especially useful for working on 50-100 yard shots. The ability to laser the target gives me more confidence that I'm hitting the shot I want to practice.
The PRO L1 Versus the Competition
For golfers who want a reliable rangefinder with slope capabilities, the Shot Scope PRO L1 is almost a no-brainer.
As I mentioned earlier, golfers are tempted to go on Amazon and purchase tons of rangefinders that cost less than $100. With that low cost comes inferior manufacturing practices.
Practical Golf has tested many of these "extreme budget" options, and the user experience is frustrating. Two important distinctions are that these models are much slower and often will not lock onto the pin. Often, they give you yardages to other objects in view (trees in the background, for example). The last thing you want to do is spend another 30+ seconds before your shot fighting against your distance-measuring device.
On the other end of the spectrum, big brand names like Bushnell still command upwards of $400 for their products. While it might have been worth it 5-10 years ago to pay that much for a rangefinder - at this point, you are paying more for the brand name and not necessarily performance.
Another "budget-friendly" company that Practical Golf loves is Precision Pro. They have built a great brand name over recent years by offering rangefinders that won't break the bank but are reliable and work well. Currently, the Shot Scope PRO L1 matches up nicely against the Precision Pro NX7.
Both retail for $199.99. I don't think you can go wrong with either model. But as we mentioned earlier, we can offer Practical Golf readers a deal on the Shot Scope PRO L1 for $159.99 (while supplies last).
I believe the Shot Scope Pro L1 is the ideal rangefinder for a golfer like me. Additionally, the price point makes it an accessible tool to golfers on a budget who still want a strong brand behind their product.
My experience with the Pro L1 has also helped me come around to the concept of rangefinders in general. Even if I don't always need it to help me out on the course, it can help me practice. The goal of any golf device is to help you play better. For that, a rangefinder like the Shot Scope PRO L1 can be a very worthy investment. You can purchase the PRO L1 here with our special offer.