Shot Scope V3: Product Highlights
- Affordable watch and club-tagging hardware combination with a promo price of $179.99
- Shot tracking and GPS on the course without tethering to your smartphone
- Impressive dashboard for game analytics
- Easy Pin Collect feature for accurate approach and putting data
- Numerous watch upgrades from V2
Interest in advanced golf statistics are at an all-time high on the PGA Tour thanks to Shotlink. And in recent years, game tracking and analytics have proliferated into the pockets and wrists of the avid amateur golfer. For those of us who think more insights can help our own game, there are now a wide variety of ways any golfer can track every shot - right down to the specific club and yardage - to uncover valuable insights that weren't available just a few years ago.
UK-based Shot Scope just unveiled V3, a combination GPS watch with club tags that eliminate the need to assign clubs to shots after your round or tether to your phone. The current $179 all-in price point of the Shot Scope V3 is very competitive. And the fact your phone isn't needed is welcomed. Women, I'm told, typically don't like putting phones in their often small or non-existing front skirt or pants pockets. Also, something I learned the hard way with Arccos, is that if you show up to the course with low phone battery, your tracking will die before you finish. (On July 15 Arccos introduced Caddie Link, which eliminates the need to keep your phone in the front lead pocket).
The on-course experience with Shot Scope V3
The first thing you'll want to do after unboxing the V3 is screw the club tags into your corresponding clubs. The 16 club tags come pre-labeled, so you don't have to pair them (if you have a more exotic bag setup - like, say, you have a 9-wood - you will need to pair a differently labeled tag and rename it in the dashboard's "My Bag" feature in your profile. Just screw each tag into each club's grip, down to the putter.
Compared to the V2, it's a vast improvement with a color display on a less clunky watch with a longer battery life of about ten hours in GPS mode. There are various color options to choose from. The watch's GPS is clear, stable, accurate and provides distances to the front, center and back of the green. Shot Scope maps courses itself, rather than relying on a third party. You can also get yardages to bunkers and water by clicking on the arrow button on the top right.
Unlike Arccos or any Apple Watch GPS or tracking app, you can leave your phone in the bag (or car!) and still track a round on the Shot Scope V3. Acquiring satellites and your precise location does seem to take a solid three-plus minutes, so account for that. Eventually it should boot up the course you're at and you can tee off.
Perhaps the trickiest part about accurate amateur shot tracking is on the greens. PGA Tour players have their ShotLink putts measured to the inch. That's harder to achieve with only satellites. Personal GPS devices can't identify daily hole locations, either. Shot Scope's "pin collect" is a very convenient method for tagging the hole location. When you stand over the hole, hit the number of putts using the watch's side buttons and it will tag the location. Pin Collect seems to be accurate to within about 3-5 feet. This is crucial for accurate statistics putting, approach and short game. If you forget to use Pin Collect on any hole, you can edit pin location in the dashboard after the round.
Beyond shot tracking and GPS, Shot Scope's watch is pretty basic. It tells time but doesn't come with a lot of the bells and whistles beyond golf that some other golf watches, apps and activity trackers offer. There is no step counter or heart rate or flyover GPS maps or alarm clock. There is no "virtual caddie," a feature that more and more companies are deploying (even if the caddie's advice can be head-scratching at times). The V3 watch also lacks a real-time shot distance measuring display. I've come to rely on this with Garmin golf watches to help me know when to venture into woods or bush to search for stray drives.
Shot Scope V3: The analytics dashboard
So how accurate is the Shot Scope V3? You'll find out once you boot up your phone and upload the round to the dashboard, which takes a minute or two. You can view your game's stats on a mobile app or an even more in-depth dashboard on desktop.
I noticed after a few rounds that there were some errors that need to be corrected: shots triggered I didn't take and the wrong clubs tagged with some shots. The device will sometimes detect a shot struck but miss the tag and use analytics to predict which club was used. Shot Scope's customer support team recommends taking a practice swing in order to get the watch out of hibernation. It might also miss a tag if a ball is above your feet, or if you're wearing the watch too high on the wrist (as you review your shots, a red exclamation point is next to some of the shots where the watch isn't sure it got all the data correct).
That said, the location of most of the shots is accurate enough to give key insights into your game.
As with any data set you're working with in work or life, the data can only be insightful if it is accurate to begin with, so make sure you edit all locations and clubs properly. Once you've done that, the dashboard is quite clever. It is very sharp with a robust suite of statistics for your game. You can view and filter shots by club and by type (tee shot, fairway, bunker, rough, etc.) A radial map charting all your shots is visible for each club and each shot type. It lacks the "strokes gained" analysis of Arccos or V1 but instead has a comparable "Strokes to Finish" metric.
Shot Scope V3: The Verdict
If you want a phone-free, golf shot-tracking experience at a good price and you are open to wearing a watch while playing golf, this is the best unit I've tested. While Garmin also offers phone-free GPS and club tags, the combination of the Approach s62 watch and CT10 sensors will set you back about $800. Arccos has a similar price point to Shot Scope but it requires a yearly $99 subscription after the first year in order to access all the analytics in their dashboard.
While Arccos is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to analytical dashboards, and it's had fewer shot tracking errors in my experience, I would compare Shot Scope's data suite favorably to Garmin. Shot Scope's Pin Collect feature is tops for getting the most accurate and hassle-free pin location.
While the individual club tags do negate the need to assign clubs to each shot, it is still worth checking over each shot location and club assignment following play. I have never played a round of golf with any shot tracker that was 100% accurate from tee to green. A shot tracking app also can't replace the accuracy and immediacy of a traditional scorecard. Shot trackers are bound to miss putts and require post-round editing to add penalty strokes. For this I prefer golf watches like Garmins's Approach s62 or Apple Watch apps with scoring like The Grint.
Shot Scope owns its maps and promises to update mapping within 48 hours if you send a request. My neighborhood course changed its routing a few years ago and I noticed Shot Scope's starting hole was off. I submitted a request and sure enough their support staff was on top of the fix.
Shot Scope has an initial launch price of $179.99, but plans to raise it to $219 at the end of July. You can buy it on their website or other various golf retailers.