Stat tracking devices have recently grown in popularity in the golf industry. For the most part, the category has been dominated by two brands - GAME GOLF and Arccos. However, a company called Shot Scope from Scotland has developed a system that allows golfers to track their performance on the course without having to tag shots or carry a cell phone around. Recently, I got a chance to try out the second iteration of their system and was extremely impressed.
Shot Scope V2 is easy to use, accurate and presents statistics to golfers with an intuitive online dashboard. I also believe it's a great value at $249 because you get a stat-tracking system as well as a GPS watch.
Needless to say, I think they have established themselves as a worthy choice for golfers. It might even be the best system in the market at the moment.
Update: Shot Scope V3 is a much better version, at a lower cost. You can check out our review here.
Why You Should Consider Tracking Your Stats
Before I get into what makes Shot Scope an attractive system for tracking your stats, let's discuss why it makes sense to do it in the first place.
I am a huge proponent of using statistics as a way to improve as a golfer. Many players go through the motions and don't make any informed decisions on how they could possibly alter their approach to the game. I view statistics as a way to hold a mirror up to your golf game and see what is really going on. Many times players don't ever know where they need help, and it's possible that a few small changes could yield big results.
Here are a few ways that I think statistics can help your golf game:
- They reveal tendencies: It's possible you are consistently missing targets on a certain side of the course, or you may be more accurate with your driver than you think and it makes sense to use it more.
- You can find out how far you actually hit the ball with each club: This can help you make smarter strategic decisions and evaluate your equipment performance.
- They allow you to benchmark your game and set smart goals: When you get a top-level view of stats, such as greens in regulation or scrambling percentage, you can see where your game currently stands, and make goals for yourself. More importantly, tracking yourself along the way provides motivation and accountability.
I could go on with the list, but my overall point is that if you are a golfer who really wants to improve, I believe stats need to be a part of that process. If you want to learn more about how to use stats you can read this article.
What Makes a Good Stat Tracking System?
There are a few things that a stat-tracking system needs to offer in order for golfers to actually stick with it:
- It needs to seamlessly integrate into your round
- The data needs to be accurate
- All of your stats need to be presented in an intuitive and easy-to-understand dashboard
In my opinion, no product has been able to tackle all three of these at the same time so far. Arccos doesn't require you to tag your clubs before each shot, but you need your cell phone in your pocket in order to provide GPS data. GAME GOLF doesn't require a cell phone, but you need to manually tag your club to a device on your belt before you swing.
In recent years I have chosen GAME GOLF as my system of choice because carrying a cell phone in my pocket is a deal breaker. I am a big fan of their product and have logged more than 70 rounds using it. The tagging isn't a huge nuisance to me, but other golfers have voiced serious concerns over it.
After using Shot Scope for my past 8 rounds I can tell you that the company has done an excellent job of tackling all three of these criteria. You simply wear their watch, play your round, and then upload your data to a very robust user dashboard when you are finished. To be honest, I was very skeptical before trying it out, but I am pleasantly surprised at how well the product works.
Let's take a little deeper dive...
Setting Up Shot Scope and Playing
In order to use Shot Scope, you need to do a few things.
First, you'll need to add small sensors to the top of each of your grips. This takes about 5 minutes to install - they are small, don't weight much, and won't alter your swing in any way. The sensors are almost exactly the same as the ones that GAME GOLF uses. One thing to note is that Arccos uses sensors on the clubs that weigh a bit more and have actual batteries in them that eventually lose their charge.
Before playing a course you will need to download its data to the provided GPS watch. You have the option of syncing it to your phone via Bluetooth or directly connecting to your computer. I also found this process to be extremely easy.
Now the most important part - playing with Shot Scope V2...
Here's what you do. Turn on your watch, select your course, choose which mode (yardages only, shot tracking only, or both), and then play golf. That's it.
Compared to other systems on the market, it doesn't get much easier than playing with Shot Scope. The shot-tracking process is completely passive, which is a huge benefit.
Accurate Putting Stats
Other systems have done a poor job at tracking the actual distance of your putts because they can't know where the pin placement is on any given day.
Shot Scope solves this issue with a fairly intuitive feature. The only caveat is that you will have to manually tag where the pin location is.
When the unit senses you are on the green, it will show three numbers over each button which represent the number of putts you have taken. When you go to pick up your ball from the hole you select the number of putts and it will then lock in where the pin was. This adds a small layer of a nuisance to your round, but to me, it was worth it to see what was really going on with my putting performance.
You can choose to forgo this if you want, and you can edit putting data afterward because it will still track where you actually struck the putt on the green (just not where the pin is).
The Watch Is Pretty Big, But Useful
The only potential downside I see for golfers on the course with Shot Scope is the GPS unit itself. The watch is fairly big and bulky. If you are not used to wearing a watch when you play it might take some getting used to. For me, it wasn't an issue at all.
The unexpected benefit is that the watch itself functions as a pretty nifty yardage device. You'll be provided with accurate distances to the front, center, and back of every green. Additionally, a recent software update allows you to see distances to hazards on each hole. The data is very accurate; I compared to my rangefinder multiple times and they both matched. I am a huge proponent of GPS devices on the course, and this is one of the added benefits of using Shot Scope. You get the GPS yardage functionality as well.
If you are going to use the yardage and tracking function at the same time you can expect to only get one round on a full charge.
When you are finished with your round you simply tap a few buttons to end your round and you are done. Overall, it is an incredibly non-intrusive system.
Uploading, Editing, and Accuracy
One of the most important things I was looking for was how accurately the GPS unit tracked my shots around the course. To me, this is easily the most important feature of the product. If you had to spend a ton of time editing mistakes after your round, the novelty of the no tagging would wear off a bit.
When you are finished with your round you have two options to upload your round. You can go to your app on your phone via Bluetooth or connect to your computer. I opted for the second option because I always like to review each shot I hit after a round to think through what happened.
I'll get straight to the point - Shot Scope was very accurate at picking up all of my shots. I played eight rounds and there was, at most, one mistake to edit afterward. If you've used other shot-tracking systems this is pretty impressive. Especially since you are not manually tagging shots around the course.
Additionally, I found the yardages to be spot on. The company says they are using an updated GPS technology in the newer unit (their first version was a watch without a screen). I would say their claims are validated based on what I experienced.
I would expect to spend some time editing your round just to double check and make sure there weren't any mistakes. No technology is going to be absolutely perfect. On the whole, you shouldn't expect this process to take more than 5 minutes. The dashboard is very easy to use. You can quickly remove, add, or edit shots where you detected a mistake.
Here is an example of what it looks like:
The only small issue I found is with tracking my putting. Even though I opted to manually track where the pin was, I found a few instances where I either forgot to tag it, or it was a little different from where I remembered it. My advice is to upload your rounds as quickly as you can, while the memory of each shot is somewhat fresh in your memory. But I believe if you opt to track where the pin is, you will find it to be far more accurate than other shot-tracking systems out there.
Simply put, I was pretty blown away with how well Shot Scope picked up my shots around the course without having to manually tag them.
How Your Stats Are Presented
Aside from the accuracy of tracking, the next most important aspect of any statistic portal is how the information is presented to the golfer. If things are too complicated, then how can you make any meaningful insights?
Overall, I believe Shot Scope has done an excellent job with the online dashboard. They present top-level stats like GIR, Fairways Hit, and Number of Putts. However, those stats alone don't tell the whole story. You can take a very deep dive into almost every category:
- Your club distances and how often you are using them
- Tee Shots
- Approach Shots
The online dashboard may seem a bit advanced and will take a little getting used to, but each category has small information buttons that explain everything very clearly. You can actually see how it all works with their demo account here.
You can definitely start to get some pertinent info once you log somewhere around 5-10 rounds with Shot Scope.
Compared to GAME GOLF, which is the product I was used to, I would say the online dashboard is fairly comparable. Each system does a few things better than the other, but they're both excellent. While I have heard great things about the Arccos online dashboard I have never used the product because carrying a cell phone in my pocket while I play is a bit of a deal breaker.
Overall, there are two elements missing from Shot Scope that I think could be improved upon:
- You are unable to benchmark your stats against players of different handicap levels. This is a feature of GAME GOLF that I really like because if you are a 16 handicap looking to get down to a 10, you can see what parts of the game you are lagging behind. They even use strokes-gained data to illustrate this as well.
- There is no social element. You are unable to share your rounds with friends, enter online challenges, or evaluate how other golfers are playing certain courses.
Wrapping It Up: Shot Scope V2 Is The Real Deal
To be completely honest, I was not expecting Shot Scope V2 to perform as well as it did. I had not heard too much about the company and assumed that a system that did not require you to tag your shots would be inherently glitchy. This was not the case at all.
The product is accurate, almost completely passive during your round, and presents a wealth of actionable statistics to golfers looking to improve. Additionally, you get the benefit of a GPS watch all for $249. Although the landscape of this category is constantly changing as technology improves, I believe this is an excellent option for golfers who are looking to get into stat tracking.
It is worth noting that GAME GOLF is about to debut their Pro system which will not require tagging. I will update this article once I have had a chance to try it out.
Overall, I believe Shot Scope V2 is an excellent product. You can purchase it for $249 at the time this article was published.