Devil Ball Proving Ground: Bushnell Pro1M Slope Rangefinder

Jonathan Wall

Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today, we take a take Bushnell's Pro1M Rangefinder for a spin around the course.

Testers -- Jonathan Wall -- Handicap: 2.4

Target Golf Audience -- All Players

There's nothing wrong with kickin' it old school and walking off your yardage on the course, but with so many distance device options on the market, searching aimlessly for a sprinkler head just isn't practical anymore. Not only will one of these gadgets help you get the exact number to the pin, saving you the guesswork, it should also help speed up play. And let's be honest, the last thing most golfers want is a 5-plus hour round.

It doesn't matter if you like the simplicity of a GPS watch or enjoy getting the yardage to every spot on the course with a rangefinder, there's a device out there for everyone. One of those options is the Bushnell Pro 1M, a rangerfinder that has all the bells and whistles.

Here's our review on one of the most talked-about distance devices on the market.

Initial thoughts

I'm a big fan of the Pro 1M's black and white color scheme. While a good-looking rangefinder isn't a must when I'm looking for a new device, there's nothing wrong with having one that's a head-turner. The addition of a red "trigger" button -- a couple of my friends said this was one of the best adds to the Pro 1M compared to the Pro 1600 model -- was also a nice touch.

Another nice touch would have to be the new position of the battery door. I'm not sure who I have to thank for the change, but Posi-Thread™ battery door is incredibly easy to use. Trying to change out the battery used to be one of my biggest gripes with Bushnell devices, so it's great to see they're listening to consumers and making improvements.

The waterproof construction and RainGuard HD lens coating should also give you the confidence to pull the Pro 1M from the bag even on a rainy day. Plus, even if you happen to drop and/or break it -- which seems downright impossible given the device's sturdy construction -- there's a two-year warranty that should put your mind at ease.

On-course thoughts

There's a lot to like about the Pro 1M, but the top item on the list that separates it from the pack is the Vivd Display Technology (VDT), which adjusts for all lighting conditions on the course. To give it a test, I went out one evening right before dark to see if it really worked, and the VDT hit the mark every time.

Even better? It was picking up objects from over 300 yards out. This might seem a little excessive, but Bushnell built the Pro 1M so it could pick up the pin from 400 yards away. About the only person of the planet who needs that kind of yardage is Bubba Watson or long drive champion Jamie Sadlowski, but I guess it's nice to know you have silly-long range if you really need it.

The Slope version of the Pro 1M also comes with a nice feature -- although it's not legal in tournament play -- if you're looking for a precise number. Unlike the standard version, the Slope will provide you with compensated distances to the pin, whether uphill or downhill, thereby allowing you to grab the correct club and pull the trigger.

Bushnell's Pinseeker™ technology and 7x magnification make it darn near impossible to not locate an object on the course, even if it happens to be way out in the distance. Simply put, this device just flat out works. Just point the pixel on the object, click and shoot. There's no learning curve here, folks. Pull it out of the box and you should be good to go for your next round.

Final verdict

When you boast on your carry case, in bold print, that you're "The #1 Laser Rangefinder on the PGA Tour," you better back up the claim with a near-flawless product. After giving the Pro 1M a test-drive, it's clear the device can do it all. From its ease of use and accurate yardages all the way down to the sweet color scheme, Bushnell's newest range-finder is about as perfect as they come.

Price: $499 ($599 with the slope feature)

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