Initial observations- September '21
Hi everyone, my name is Jerry. I've been golfing only for about three months and just broke 100 for the first time in September. My depth perception on most of my hits is horrendous. I'm the guy muttering "sit" just before my approach lands 20 yards in front of the green, lol.
I'm excited to have the opportunity to test this out; I have no experience with anything like this before. I have developed some impatience regarding pace of play. I'm the type who walks up, addresses, and hits all within a few moments. Because of this, I'm really interested to find out how it affects the regular process of my rounds.
One more thing I'd like to find out is what ways I can interpret the statistics. As an example, if I regularly use my 7 iron for bump and runs around the green, will it distort my understanding of the 7 as a full club? (11/8 update- It won't! You have the option to mark any shot as a "Positional shot." Use this if you have to do something abnormal like punching back onto the fairway from the trees.)
The unboxing and initial setup process was pretty straightforward. The box arrived quicker than anticipated (shout out to DHL!) As to be expected, there is not much to the package- the watch, a charging cable, 16 screw-in ID tags, and a little start-up manual.
From opening the box to ready-to-go the process took about a half hour. When I turned on the watch it was at about 50% battery. It went through a firmware update; as that was happening I downloaded the app and started to screw in the tags. Screwing the tags in didn't take too much effort. I set up my account on the app started to mark down my clubs. There is a large database of clubs available; I don't know the exact model of my Dunlop woods so I had to guess, but it really doesn't matter too much. The tags are very small and light. Once they're screwed in I do not notice them.
Shot Scope V3 – Official MGS Forum Review by JerryB (11/2021)
My name is Jerry and I’m a 39-year-old married father of three. My oldest is now 20 and he expressed interest in golf earlier this year when the place we work had an informal outing. We went out for the first time in late May and have been hooked ever since. Living an hour west of Chicago, we try to get out as much as possible, roughly twice on weekends and once during the week with the occasional range session mixed in.
As to be expected, my golf game is not great. I’m wildly inconsistent, lose track of my ball easily, and oftentimes forget what shot I’m on. In short, I have the mind of a goldfish! My progress has been full of little “aha” moments that lead to incremental improvements in my game. I’m lately shooting 95-110 and am starting to hit the ball in the required direction with more regularity.
My clubs are all hand-me-downs. They aren’t great but they do the job for me. I like tech but wouldn’t consider myself tech savvy. I can use things, but troubleshooting is not always my thing.
LOOKS AND FEEL 9/10
I'm not a watch person but it seems like a straightforward watch. Watch band is rubber which may be an issue when it’s hot outside. Fits well on my wrist and is unobtrusive once on. Clasp feels sturdy. There are four color options for the band. If I wore a watch regularly, I would likely wear this as a regular watch.
Setup instructions were clear and concise. Watch was at 50% out of the box. Initial setup took about thirty minutes. Much of that time was an initial firmware update on the watch. As the watch was updating, I began screwing the tags into the clubs. Took a bit of pressure to get them in, but nothing too intense. The effort to put them in makes me feel like they will be secure for a long time. Took a few minutes to set up “My Bag.” There are 16 tags that are included which covers the general setup for many golfers- D, 3W, H1, 4I-9I, PW, GW, SW, LW, P and two extras marked X1 and X2. I don’t have a 4 iron but I do have a 5 wood; I used the X1 tag. On a full charge, the watch was used on the course on Friday morning, left on all weekend and used again on Sunday midday. After that round, the watch was at 2%. Shotscope claims 10+ hour battery life, which seems about right. Uses a proprietary cable to charge; would be nice if it used a normal USB-C cable or something similar.
Yardages seem accurate for my purposes. I compared the yardages to my Garmin G80, and the differences ranged from spot-on to about 5-8 yard difference. Might not be feasible due to the size of the screen, but an overhead display of the course would be nice. Instead, it shows the distance to the front and carry distance of hazards as well as what side of the fairway it’s on. Those distances seem pretty accurate.
Takes a little getting used to when using something like this for the first time. The Pin Collect feature took me a few holes to do correctly and just hitting the button when I picked up the ball from the cup is a little different. Not bad, just a little something extra to remember to do. When you get on the green, the Pin Collect feature automatically pops up on screen. This is a bit problematic if it pops up a step or two off the green and you aren’t trying to putt. Walking away from the green will bring up an X option to revert to the regular shot screen. I wish the X option were always available as it’s a small hassle to have to wander around the green to get the correct screen.
Getting the tag to “wake up” requires you to waggle the club or take a practice swing or two before you hit your shot. As a new golfer I don’t really have a pre-shot routine, but this is getting me on the path to one which feels helpful. A small gripe is that the watch must be on your lead hand which is also my glove hand. The buttons on the right side of the watch are then generally covered, a small nuisance.
As a GPS watch it works great compared to my Garmin that is attached to the cart. If I must stay on the cart path, the watch allows me to walk to my shot and give me an accurate reading as opposed to checking the Garmin and then making a guess as to the final distance. Shot tracking compared to Arccos is better on course since you do not have to carry your phone with you as you play. It would be nice if the watch could show your score in real time, but again this is a small nitpick.
You can add penalties (lost ball, water hazard, etc) as you go or manually add them in afterwards.
There is some debate regarding putting; whether to use the automatic or the manual putting tracking feature. Automatic is the easier option…on the green you would putt then hit the “1” button at the hole to mark the pin for your one putt. When I’m on the green, I would putt, then putt, then likely putt again and hit the “3” button at the hole to mark the pin and indicate that I took three putts. These putting distances may not be completely accurate due to the small distances involved in putting so while the number of shots will be correct, the exact locations may be a little fuzzy. Manual putting would just have you hit a button at each spot where you putt, and then a final button to mark the pin, to give you a more spot-on indication of where you were putting. A beginner like me would likely be fine with some pretty accurate distances and the number of putts while a more experienced golfer might want things as accurate as possible.
I haven’t had to deal with them, but customer service is said to be good. Shipping was prompt and arrived quickly. If you notice something has changed on the course like a hole has been re-designed, you can shoot them an email and they respond with a correction quickly.
The big feature to this watch is obviously the shot tracking and the information you can access afterwards. So much info! Definitely some overload for me as a new golfer that generally is also not very observant. You can see a course overview and a hole-by-hole overview, laid out over a GPS mapping, of all your rounds.
There is a lot of performance data broken down into sections: all shots by Club, Tee Shots, Approaches (shots beyond 50 yards or meters), Short Game (shots inside 50 yards or meters) and Putting. All these sections have visual representations such as graphs and charts to give you a better idea of where you are doing well and where you need to improve. For instance, my short game, while terrible, is quite a bit better if I can use my putter or PW. My tee shots tend to miss right but when I miss left it means I REALLY screwed up.
I do wish the Score Breakdown was a little more helpful to us high handicappers. Their example is on the left, while my actuals are on the right. Notice the large amount of “Double Bogey+” and I would like to emphasize the “+.” I get many triples, quads, and beyond and it would be nice to see them broken down as well.
There are also fun little medals and leaderboards so you can see how you stack up to the rest of the world. Much of the information is the same on both the app and the desktop, but there are some differences. On the desktop version, for example, you can add clubs and move them to an Unassigned section whereas in the app you can only edit a club that has a tag assigned. If you wanted to use and compare multiple drivers over the course of a season, you can add them all in the desktop and switch them in and out with the Driver tag. The app doesn’t have that option.
PLAY OR TRADE? 18/20
After a couple rounds, the use of the V3 is pretty seamless on the course. The amount of information given can be incredibly useful for players of all abilities. A good golfer can use it to really dial in aspects of their game, while a new player can really grow and take out some guesswork. I can see myself using this watch for a long time. With just a one-time purchase and no subscriptions to worry about, it’s a great buy for just about anyone.
I have the mind of a goldfish. Oftentimes if I’m not the last person to hit, I’ll forget where exactly my ball is. Once a round is complete, I’ve forgotten pretty much everything about it. The Shot Scope V3 allows me to go back and re-live my round and breaks it all down into data that is very easy to interpret, all with very minimal effort on my part. Having a GPS watch means just a quick glance at my wrist gives me the yardage info I’ll need. I can nitpick things all day (and I tend to do so...) but overall this can be a very useful device.