SC200 Launch Monitor Review: Budget Pricing With Big-Dollar Accuracy
Launch monitors have become great tools for golfers who are looking to measure more data during their practice sessions. The problem is that the majority of products still cost in the thousands of dollars. The SC200 Swing Caddie is currently the most inexpensive unit on the market, and I recently got a chance to test it out.
While it doesn’t provide a wide variety of information, I found it surprisingly accurate and I think it’s an excellent value for golfers who are looking to purchase an entry-level launch monitor.
What Does the SC200 Measure?
The SC200 Swing Caddie is a fairly basic launch monitor. Using radar technology, it will display your carry distance, ball speed, and swing speed. You won’t get stats like spin rate, launch angle, or any simulated ball flight.
To get those extra features you’ll have to pay considerably more money, which is why the SC200 is a value proposition for certain golfers. Right now I believe the best deal for a launch monitor that has enhanced ball flight data and simulation capabilities is from SkyTrak, but it costs $2,000. Beyond that, you can spend anywhere from $5,000 all the way up to $20,000 for products from companies like Trackman and Foresight sports.
At $289, this is a basic launch monitor that can provide useful club distance data for your practice sessions and challenge you to improve your distance control.
As Simple As It Gets
Using the SC200 is very easy. You simply turn the unit on, it takes a few seconds to calibrate, and then you are ready to go.
You’ll want to make sure that you adjust for the club you are hitting on each shot, which definitely makes the unit more accurate. A remote control is included so you can easily change clubs or change modes. Once you swing it calls out how far you hit the shot so you don’t even need to look back at it.
There are three modes you can choose from.
- Practice Mode: Displays shot distance, swing speed, ball speed, smash factor, as well as time played and total shot count.
- Target Mode: You select a distance and hit 10 shots, and then you are given a score out of 10 after each shot.
- Approach Mode: Random distances are selected for you and you are given a score out of 10 after each shot.
Is It Accurate?
The most important characteristic of this product is whether or not it is displaying accurate distances. There are two ways that a launch monitor can measure your ball flight – using photometric technology or radar. Companies like SkyTrak and Foresight use photometric, which directly measures the ball after impact using cameras. The SC200 uses radar, like Trackman and FlightScope.
Generally speaking, photometric launch monitors will be more accurate indoors because they don’t need any extra room to see the ball traveling. When I tested my SkyTrak launch monitor in this review versus the FlightScope Xi Tour it was far more accurate, even though it was considerably less money.
It is worth noting that no matter how expensive or accurate a launch monitor may be, they are not perfect. All of them make mistakes from time to time.
I decided to test the SC200 against my SkyTrak indoors because I know many golfers will want to use a product like this at home. Since SkyTrak is using cameras to track the ball this is a very good product to test against for accuracy.
To be honest, I was pretty shocked at how accurate the SC200 was. It performed far better than the radar-based FlightScope, which costs thousands of dollars more.
|Club||SkyTrak Yardage||SC200 Yardage||% Difference|
|Pitch Shot (LW)||53.8||55.6||3.29|
You can see, on almost all of my shots, it was within a tight range of my SkyTrak. Overall, I would say the unit performed extremely well as long as I kept it at the recommended distance from the ball, and adjusted the loft for the club I was using.
How I Would Use It
I think for golfers who are on a budget, and can’t afford a more expensive launch monitor, the SC200 can be a great practice companion. Knowing that you are getting reasonably accurate data on your carry distances, this is a great way to map out your bag. Instead of guessing how far you are actually hitting each club, you can take your average carry distances out to the course and make smarter decisions with your club and target selection.
Personally, I believe the unit would be best served working on your wedge distances. This is the exact type of practice that Dustin Johnson credited for his improved wedge play using Trackman. Every golfer can benefit from this type of practice, especially mid-to-high handicappers.
Using a mixture of the target mode and approach mode would be my recommendation. You can first dial in distances between 50-100 yards and get your feel for each shot. Then you can test yourself with random yardage selections to see how well your body is remembering those distances.
If you only used the SC200 Voice Caddie for wedge practice alone I think it would be money well spent because most golfers don’t take the time to dial in their wedge distances.
SC200 vs SC100
The SC200 is the second generation of this product. Many of you have probably read about the SC100 in the past, or have purchased one. Priced just under $200, the SC100 is just around $100 less expensive depending on where you purchase it.
The main difference with the SC200 is the following:
- Upgraded/more accurate sensor
- Voice output after shots
- Ability to adjust the loft of each club for more accurate readings
- Displays both ball speed and swing speed on all shots
Wrapping It Up
If you are looking to add some more accuracy to your practice sessions I think the SC200 is a nice tool. For golfers who are hitting into nets, you will get some feedback on your shots rather than having to guess how well you hit the ball.
The unit is surprisingly accurate for the cost, and using the practice methods I discussed can absolutely help make meaningful changes to your golf game.
Typically the SC200 costs about $350 depending on where you purchase it. The folks at Voice Caddie are selling it here for $289.99, which is the lowest price you will see online.