The Shot Scope V3 is a dedicated golf tracking watch that offers GPS and swing based analysis to make sure your game is recorded accurately. This works with a smart app to offer plenty of deep post-game analysis too.
To be clear, this watch is good for golf only and despite having GPS, won't track any other sports. So while it can claim a place on our list of the best golf watches it won't offer you some of the extras you get on a Garmin for example. Nor will it offer the apps you find on a smartwatch like the Apple Watch 7 or Galaxy Watch 4. So you won't have Google’s Wear OS or Apple’s watchOS, meaning if you want more than golf tracking you'll want to look elsewhere.
With 36,000 courses loaded on, a clear 1.34-inch color display and over 10 hours of battery life, this is built to handle nearly any course you find yourself on.
The screen uses memory in pixel tech meaning it can be viewed clearly even in bright sunlight, but without doing too much damage to your battery life. Helpful as this will also be using GPS and the included club trackers to keep an accurate measure of your game – all of which is going to use battery.
After game analytics are fantastic here, surpassing the Garmin competition. This allows you to actually improve your game by seeing which shot you struggle with, how you play with certain clubs and which side you miss fairways on more often.
Shot Scope V3 release date and price
- Out now in the US, UK and Australia
- Priced at $220 / £180 / AU$370
The Shot Scope V3 was launched back in the summer of 2020 in the US, UK and Australia as the follow-up to the V2 which was released in 2017.
The pricing, at time of publishing, is £180/$220/AU$370. As is typical with these types of watches you can expect the price to drop when a new model launches.
We'd also expect that price to drop during annual sales, so for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, for example, you may snap this up at a great price.
Out of season you may also find yourself better off as deals crop up when the weather gets less golf friendly. It's not a guarantee but if you're looking to save a bit and aren't in a rush to get this right away, you might want to wait and see how the price changes.
Shot Scope V3 design
- 1.3-inch color display
- Lightweight design
- Comfortable silicone strap
Design score: 4/5
The Shot Scope V3 uses an oblong shaped screen to give it a similar design form to the Apple Watch, only far more simplistic. This feels comfortable on the wrist thanks to an easily adjustable silicone strap, making it barely noticeable once in place.
It does look a little on the plastic side but then you are getting this at a far more affordable price than the Garmin or Apple competition which offer more premium materials and features like heart rate tracking.
The 1.3-inch display is good for daylight use, thanks to the memory in pixel tech used here and it's clear too with a decent 176 x 176 pixel resolution. It isn't touchscreen, which is a good thing for many golfers. This means you can use the button controls with gloves but also it won't accidentally register a touch under your clothes, or in a pocket.
The watch measures 39 x 34 x 10mm, and comes in black, gray, red or teal color options. The glass is hardened mineral meaning it will be scratch resistant but don't expect the sapphire level resistance that some watches now offer.
The device is water resistant meaning you can go out in the rain and play a game without any worries. But you won't be able to then take a shower with this on, or wade out into those water features as it's not made to submerged.
The watch uses an array of sensors to track you including GPS L1, Galileo E1, Glonass L1 plus the trackers you can insert into your clubs. It also uses Bluetooth 5 to keep connections with devices, including iOS and Android, efficient in terms of data speed and battery drain.
The watch is backed by the Shot Scope app which has been refined over a number of years to include an easy to use interface with rich data analysis. As such it can prove a very useful place to look over your game, after you've played to clearly see areas that could use work.
- Automatic tracking
- Club tracking
- Shot distances
Performance score: 4/5
The Shot Scope V3 comes with a set of 16 club trackers as standard. This is a very welcome addition that means you can not only track your shots but can also see that laid out across your woods and irons.
The start-up is easy enough, once you've charged the watch, installed the app and selected a few of your favorite courses. But it does pay to fire up the watch when you arrive as we found it can take a while to acquire the course and load up ready to play.
Despite being button controlled, the menus are well laid out so getting started is a simple and fluid process that's intuitive and easy to learn right away.
While this watch will track your game automatically, it won't offer a live scorecard. This means you can scroll back through and see how you've been playing. As such you'll likely need to keep a classic written score also if you want to refer to it during the game. Also, if you want to make corrections to inaccuracies, this is also needed.
All that said, the watch was very accurate, to within a few yards when compared to a dedicated laser range finder. It did miss the exact score on a few shots, but this is easy enough to correct afterwards – presuming you recall or have it written down.
The watch does offer hole-based information to help you decide how you're going to play. There are details like how far to the green, distance to lay-up and hazards, including what side they are on, all right there. What you don't get is the distance to a dog-leg but then not many watches offer that anyway. The distances to the front, middle, and back of the green are also helpfully available whenever you need them.
Shot distance is a nice feature which lets you click a button after your drive to immediately see just how far you hit. Helpful for knowing what to expect for your next shot as well as giving you a great feeling of satisfaction if you really nailed it.
Once the round is over, the app is a really useful way of seeing just where you need to improve your game. You can see an overview of each hole with a literal overhead shot showing where you hit the ball for each shot.
Build up these rounds and you'll see helpful details like fairways hit, misses to the left or right, strokes gained, your total number of putts, if you miss the green long or short more often, and plenty more. It offers a clear overview so you can work on broader areas of your game as well as specifics.
You are required to do some manual input though, with a PinCollect button tap required each time you retrieve your ball from the hole. This marks the pin position allowing you to have the most accurate results for when you're done. It becomes a habit as you tap and reach for the ball so really isn't much of a hassle for all the data benefits you're getting.
Some features were lacking though like the ability to place the pin manually so you can see how far it is to a certain point on the green. Instead this only offers distances to the front, middle or back of the green – unlike the Garmin competition, for example.
There is also a lack of information for slope and elevation changes, where you can't take that into account as a 150-yards shot downhill might play like a 120-yard shot.
Off the course this wearable will still work as a day to day watch with time and date but that's about it. Don't expect any extra features and since the battery is good for about two games, tops, this is likely a watch you'll want to keep just for when you're playing.
- Over 10 hours of battery
- Club tags included
Features score: 4/5
The battery life of the Shot Scope V3 is claimed to be just over 10 hours and that was found to be pretty much spot on. What does that mean for your game? Based on a pretty average play rate you're going to be able to get two rounds in before you need to charge.
So if you charge this after each game you never need to think about the battery. But if you're away for a golf weekend or longer you will likely need to throw the dedicated charger cable in the bag with you.
The included tags are a useful addition as each one of the 16 is labelled to go with each of your clubs. Pop them in the top of the club handle and the watch will work with them to track your game more accurately. There are a few modes for this.
Go for GPS only and you'll have distances to play but your game won't be tracked. Use Track mode to use the club data but no GPS distances. Or go for GPS + Track mode for total tracking and distances. The dual tracking is the best but this does use the battery to its limit, so if you wanted to stretch that life longer than two rounds you might consider using one of the simpler modes.
Value for money
Value score: 4/5
The Shot Scope V3 is a really great value for money option when you consider how much you get for your buck. The inclusion of the club tags alone is a great appeal over the Garmin competition where these have to be bought separately.
While the watch is more affordable than some of the competition, you have to factor in that this only does golf tracking where some will do other sports tracking too. If you only need it for golf, want the best tracking with club swing accuracy too, then this is very well priced.
The Shot Scope V3 is a well-priced and highly accurate golf tracker which comes with club sensors for a completely tracked game with minimal manual involvement. The wealth of after-game analytics make this a genuinely useful way to improve your game.
The lack of live scorecard is a real let down and may be a deciding factor for some but if you can trust this is accurate enough then you don't really need even that.
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
The major competition comes from Garmin. That said, for Apple Watch and Wear OS users, an app based alternative might be enough to save some money but still get smart tracking on the device already in use.
Garmin Approach S42
The Garmin Approach S42 is the company's mid-range golf watch. This offers a lot of what the flagship option does but saves you some money but ditching a few of the features you may not need.
The screen is a little smaller at 1.2-inches but the battery life is impressive at 10 days in standby and 15 hours of GPS tracking. You also don't get other sports tracking.
Hole 19 + Apple Watch / Wear OS
Hole 19 is a free app, available on both Apple Watch and Wear OS devices which helps to track your game. This won't automatically track shots, and it requires a phone to offer hole maps, but it's a step up from pencil and paper to digitise your game.
This uses GPS to track distances off the tee and to the pin, without the need for a phone. But for strokes, putts and fairway shots you'll need to input that manually. This then syncs to the connected phone so you can analyse your game afterwards.
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First reviewed late July 2022