The Bushnell Pro 1600, introduced early in 2009, has proven to be the top range finder to beat. With a wider field of view than competing units, 7x magnification, and pin-locking technology, it has earned a place on the short list of any golfer considering a laser range finder. We wholeheartedly recommend it.
The 1600 is heftier than other devices on the market. It’s orientation is horizontal, like a pair of binoculars, and is likewise designed to be used with both hands. It can be used single-handedly if one prefers, but is easier to keep steady with two.
Like it’s sibling, the Bushnell Tour V2, the Bushnell Pro 1600 comes in tournament-legal (when allowed by Local Rule) Standard and Slope editions.
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Dimensions: 1.7 x 5.1 x 3.7 inches
- Range: 5 to 1000 yards, accurate to within 1 yard
- Magnification: 7x
- Battery type: 9-volt alkaline
- Objective lens diameter: 26 mm
Weighing in at 12 ounces, the Bushnell 1600 is a heavyweight among laser golf range finders. It’s dimensions make it so you won’t likely be carrying it around in a pocket, unless you wear cargo pants on the course. But it has a pleasingly solid feel in the hand, and while a few may not like it’s size, we found it quite comfortable to use.
Stated range of 5 to 1600 yards, with a plus or minus 1 yard accuracy. According to the manual, the maximum range to most targets (trees and buildings, we presume) is 1000 yards, while highly reflective targets can be ranged up to 1600 yards. Why anyone would need that kind of range on the golf course is beyond us, but it sure sounds impressive.
Marketing ballyhoo aside, the 1600 easily acquires the distance to the pin to 300 yards, and that’s what matters most. As with other laser range finders, it becomes more hit and miss as you try to capture the flagstick from further out, but the product scores more “hits” at greater distances than its competitors.
Sports an impressive 7x magnification, outpacing other available devices. Locking onto a flagstick is thus much easier compared with lower magnifications as you range out past 250 yards or so.
This higher magnification does, however, require a steady hand. But the horizontal orientation of the 1600 makes it easier to steady with both hands than the vertically-oriented range finders. The Bushnell 1600’s extra heft makes it more stable too.
Allows for two modes of operation, Automatic SCAN and PinSeeker.
Automatic SCAN Mode
As you might guess, Automatic SCAN mode is for acquiring the distances of multiple targets downrange. The 1600 enters this mode when you depress and hold down the power button for 3 seconds. Once Automatic SCAN mode is engaged, you simply scan from one object to the next while keeping the power button held down. The range to various objects will be continuously updated as you pan around the course. The Bushnell 1600 updates the displayed range very fluidly, which is easy on the eyes.
Designed to ignore laser signals bouncing off background objects in favor of those from nearer targets, PinSeeker makes it easier to lock onto the pin.
When PinSeeker mode is active, a flagstick icon will show in the 7:30 position in the display. When the product locks onto the closer object (which should be the pin if you’re aiming at the green), a circle will appear around the flagstick.
If you’re not concerned about bending the rules and don’t play in tournaments, you may want to consider the Bushnell 1600 Slope edition. Even if you are a tournament player, a slope-compensating range finder can be used to map out the course during practice rounds. It’s also an excellent teaching aid in learning to play uphill and downhill shots.
The slope-compensating feature is a third operational mode in the Slope edition – “PinSeeker with Slope.” Slope-adjusted distances are not available in Automatic SCAN mode.
What’s In The Box
It comes with:
- Carrying case with strap
- Manual written in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese
- 2-year warranty
A battery is not included.
The 1600 is a top-notch laser range finder that we feel is one of the very best available. We like its field of view, which is wider than other devices reviewed so far. Coupled with the 7x magnification, it makes it a snap to scan down the fairway and lock onto faraway targets.
It’s also at the top of the field as far as speed and ease of acquiring distances. The 1600’s display while in Automatic SCAN mode updates the yardages smoothly and without “hiccups” sometimes seen on other laser range finders.
If you hate hunting for hard-to-find batteries, you’ll appreciate that the 1600 uses a standard 9-volt alkaline. You can easily pop in and out of a 7-Eleven on the way to the course if your battery is running low.
In terms of functionality, accuracy and ease of use, we can find no fault with the 1600. It’s that good.
The high magnification could possibly be a problem for those with shaky hands, though it’s easier to keep the unit steady that vertically-oriented range finders.
What Owners Are Saying
Reviews from buyers of the 1600 are overwhelmingly positive, which is not surprising to us. There’s not much to complain about.
- “Shaved strokes off my game with the first use.”
- “Exceeded my expectations”
- “I’d recommend this rangefinder to anyone.”
- “I love the PinSeeker, it works great!”