Bushnell Pro 1600 Rangefinder Review

The Hackers Paradise has had the privilege of reviewing quite a few Bushnell products over the course of the year. The Bushnell Tour V2 is still one of the most requested and viewed reviews on this site and during that piece, we really fell in love with their products. We have also had the opportunity to review a few of their GPS units including the Yardage Pro XGC, that we believe at this current time, is the best on the market today. We even had the opportunity to give away a few Bushnell devices on our forum with the highlight being a contest for a Bushnell Tour V2 for one lucky reader. When Bushnell told us that they were sending over the Pro 1600 for us to take a look at, we were pretty excited to give it a try.

From the Company:

Bushnell Outdoor Products, makers of the #1 laser rangefinder on Tour, has introduced the Pro 1600 – the newest member of the company’s industry leading distance measuring devices, available in two models: Tournament Edition and the patented Slope Edition. Both models will be available at Bushnell retail partners in March 2009. The Tournament Edition will retail for $429 and the Slope Edition $479.

“Our new Pro 1600 is extremely easy to use and will appeal to every golfer who has ever wanted an accurate yardage reading to the flagstick or virtually any other object on the course,” said Bushnell Senior Product Manager Jordan Vermillion. “From a Tour standpoint, we gathered feedback from our Tour Rep Royce Nielson, former caddy for Arnold Palmer, to better understand what the world’s best players and their caddies’ desire when preparing for tournaments. We also wanted to bring to market a unit that catered to the recreational golfer who is seeking precise accuracy and doesn’t want to rely on the scorecard or sprinkler heads for a distance reading.”

Both Pro 1600 models work without a locating reflector device and the unit can start obtaining accurate distances to any object right out of the box, with no downloads necessary. The more sophisticated of the two rangefinders is the Pro 1600 Slope Edition, which features a built-in inclinometer to provide the golfer with a compensated distance based upon the degree of incline or decline. This means when you are aiming at an up-hill or down-hill target, the Pro 1600 with Slope +/- will adjust the yardage reading for the angle and distance to help golfers with accurate club selection. Engineered for golfers who play competitively, the Pro 1600 Tournament Edition is legal for tournament play. Like the Slope Edition, the Pro 1600 TE is capable of ranging distances from five to 1,600 yards and it is accurate within +/- one yard.

Other product features include:
• 7x magnification
• Range 400 yards to the flag
• 100% waterproof (meets IPX7 standard)
• Patented RainGuard® HD lens coating
• Scan and PinSeeker modes
• Carrying case

Bushnell, the number one choice of professional golfers and caddies, offers a full range of laser rangefinders, which continue to change and improve the way golfers assess distances, ultimately improving performance.

First Impressions:
When the package arrived, we ripped it open to find a device that was larger than expected. About the size of a normal pair of binoculars, and the weight is a little more substantial than that of the Tour V2. The feel of the unit is one that wreaks of “well built” and “sturdy”. You can tell that this rangefinder is built for years of use and not something that will break if dropped for some reason. (however we do not recommend testing it in that way) Due to the fact that it was raining the day it came, we found ourselves using it from our offices and we can safely say that the entry door from my office is 16 yards away and that my car is 94 yards away for those keeping track at home.

Setup & On Course Testing:
Before our first round with the Bushnell Pro 1600 rangefinder, we set it up on the bag. Unlike the Tour V2 that has a small clip to attach to your golf bag, the Pro 166, has a large strap, almost backpack like, that wraps around the bag. The case has the same zipper enclosure as well as the magnet that we loved about the Tour V2. The entire strap works perfectly and keeps the unit easily accessible and ready to use during your round for any shot. The best part about these Bushnell rangefinders is, that is the complete setup needed. We took the unit to the course and used it for an entire round. Every single shot! Not one issue with it all day for myself or anybody else that tried it out. Easy to focus and because of the 7x zoom, we had no problems picking up flags that can be an issue with some units out there. To use the device is simple, point it at the target and press the button…Bam, you have your distance. The Bushnell Pro 1600 does have some modes to help assist you in finding your exact distance.

Targeting Modes
PinSeekerâ„¢ – Designed exclusively with the bottom of the cup in mind, this mode allows easy acquisition of the flag without inadvertently capturing background target distances. When more than one object is acquired, the closer of the two objects is shown on the LCD display.

Scan – The Scan mode allows you to pan across the landscape while viewing a continuously updated LCD display of the distances between you and the targets you scan with the viewfinder.

Both of these targeting modes are easy to use and allow for effortless and exact assistance when playing this game we love. While most reviews you will read about gadgets such as this would possibly finish here, we decided to take this testing to another level. We wanted to find out how a different segment of the golf community handle devices such as this.
We decided to find out how the senior golfers felt about rangefinders and if they could use the Pro 1600. In surveying the players that would be testing out the unit we found that not one of them were using a rangefinder. The number one reason given as to why, was that they were afraid that their eyesight “issues” would make it harder to use. We spoke with 6 golfers and gave all of them a chance to try out this gadget. All 6 of them came back thrilled with the device. The list of why they liked it so much was exactly the same by all of them.
-Ease of Use
-Very easy to read
-Any distance they want
-No yearly fees or computers to deal with
It seemed as though that each person that got to try out the device was happier than the last and we were getting quotes such as “the greatest thing I have ever tried” and “I hate the stupid computer and with this I do not have to use it”. Their thoughts really echo ours in some ways. The one negative that they dealt with was that they felt as though the device was a little heavy to use on every shot.

Final Thoughts:
We highly recommend the Bushnell Pro 1600 Rangefinder as a device that will help each and every golfer. The one complaint that a few people had was the weight of the unit, and while it did not bother us, it can be fixed simply by choosing the Tour V2 model that Bushnell offers, which is lighter and more compact. You will lose a little magnifying power, but it is a great device that we highly recommend. The Pro 1600 that we reviewed here works as good or better than any rangefinder we have ever used. It picks up every target you want to throw at it, and simply makes us better golfers because of that. The argument against knowing your exact distances is simply futile at best and other than cost we cannot find a reason to stay away from distance finding machines.

There are quite a few companies that say “most used on tour” and many phrases like that. I can assure you that there is only ONE rangefinder product line that is the most used on tour. That is Bushnell. When looking at distance measuring tools, we base our reviews on just a few criteria.
1. Ease of Use – Check
2. Durabilty – Check
3. Company History & Support – Check
4. Does it work – Check

The Bushnell Pro 1600 passes each one of those with flying colors. If you are in the market for a rangefinder, you must put this one on your short list of devices to try out. You will be glad that you did. For more information on this or any other Bushnell Golf product, check out their website at www.bushnellgolf.com.

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