Gear: Shot Scope V3 smart watch
Specs: GPS-enabled watch and 16 pre-labeled tags
Every week on the PGA Tour, golfers have their shots tracked by ShotLink, a network that involves scores of volunteers, laser-guided tracking systems and a lot of computer power. It’s state of the art and provides the game’s best players with a detailed look at every aspect of their games, from their average proximity to the hole from specific distances to their percentage of putts made from various ranges.
Recreational golfers do not have access to ShotLink, but a growing number are learning more about their strengths, weaknesses and tendencies thanks to shot-tracking systems. Shot Scope, which is among the most popular in Europe, just released the V3 GPS watch, and it is powerful, easy to use and among the most affordable.
While the previous version of the Shot Scope watch was large and somewhat rigid, the V3 watch looks more like an Apple Watch. While the screen size is 2 millimeters larger (diagonally), the watch itself is 20 millimeters smaller in length and 5 millimeters smaller in width. It is also 4 millimeters thinner. The color screen is easy to read in bright sunlight, and the watch does not inhibit a golf swing. The battery will last 10 hours in the golf mode and more than 10 days when used only as a timepiece.
For golfers who want to be stylish, five band colors are available.
A player does not need to carry a smartphone or have one nearby to use the Shot Scope V3. The watch has its own GPS, and according to Shot Scope, it can accurately determine a player’s position within 30 centimeters on any of the 35,000 courses that come preloaded.
The V3 comes with 16 pre-labeled, screw-in tags that golfers can easily attach to the top of any club. The addition of two extra tags means players who swap out a fairway wood for a driving iron or add an extra wedge depending on the course won’t have to swap out the tags before they play.
There is no syncing of the tags required because each tag uses a unique radio frequency (RFID), so the watch can determine which club is used to play every shot. That information, combined with the GPS location, allows Shot Scope to track a round without a player having to do anything.
The watch provides yardages to the front, middle and back of the green on the hole being played, along with distances to hazards.
After a round is complete, a player can see every shot played on a computer, tablet or a free smartphone app. The system reveals average distance with each club, and thanks to the Pin Collect feature, Shot Scope can determine where the hole is on the green, so it can also reveal things like average proximity to the hole with each club and make-percentage on short, medium and long putts.
In all, there are more than 100 stats available to peruse, and the company said golfers who use the system have reduced their handicap by an average of three shots.
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