Do you hate wearing a watch? I do.
They make my wrist itch, the metal bands irritate me, the synthetic ones don’t breathe, and the cloth bands just get soaked with sweat. The last thing you need on a humid afternoon in the middle of summer is something else to provide another uncomfortable distraction out on the course.
Thank the golf gods for the Shot Scope H4. The designers at Shot Scope decided to throw all of the technology in their V3 series watch into a handheld device that provides a treasure chest crammed with usable statistics for game development as well as GPS data for the course.
Full Review of the Shot Scope H4 in Detail
In the Shot Scope H4 box
When you first open the Shot Scope H4, you’ll find
- a USB charger - it’s specifically made for the H4 so you’ll want to keep track of this and not lose it. I have the V3 watch as well and the cable is entirely different.
- a magnetic belt clip - provides a very secure magnetic connection if you prefer to wear it that way
- the GPS unit itself which is small
- 16 screw-in 'club tags' - there are 16 because everyone's bag is different so there are some extras
Difference between Shot Scope H4 and Arccos
The prime differences in the tags for the H4 vs the Arccos is that the Shot Scope tags don’t use a battery, so you don’t have to worry about the sensors going dead after a couple of years.
The H4 is also a unit you need to tap onto the butt of the club where the sensor is. The unit D-ring fits through a slot on the belt clip if you opt to carry the unit clipped onto your bag so it's easy.
I was also considering the Game Golf Live as well as the Arccos system. The Shot Scope H4 provides all the information and data tracking with comparisons WITHOUT subscription fees and that tipped the scales in favor of the H4.
How the H4 Club Tags work
To get the clubs ready, just screw the tags into the grips of the corresponding clubs - you do not need to sync anything yet.
Then download and start the mobile app, power on the H4, and the app will walk you through a simple pairing process via Bluetooth. The setup takes a couple minutes and then it will update the Firmware which takes about 3-4 minutes and you're ready to rock.
Once at the course turn the unit on, acquire the GPS signal, and you’re off to the first tee.
How to Use the Tags for SuperStroke Grips
The tag will not screw into a SuperStroke putter grip but that is no biggie. You just need to cut the screw off the bottom of the sensor. It's plastic so it's easy even with a pocket knife. Then you glue the sensor onto the top of your putter grip. Good to go.
How does the Shot Scope H4 work on the course?
On the course it’s a very accurate GPS unit with suggested layups, distances to hazards, front, middle, back, etc.
Unlike the V3 watch the H4 handheld does not automatically detect your swing. The H4 relies on the golfer to “tag” the club before each shot to register position. You hole the sensor to the H4 and it instantly vibrates to signal that it has the club. You can see the name of the club on the screen of the H4 after tagging.
This may seem like a hassle, but as I read reviews of various watch based systems missing shots, I came to like the idea of having to tag it myself. I have worked it into my pre-shot routine and tagging the club serves as a trigger that I’ve moved into the “action zone”. So far I’ve logged two rounds and not a missed shot, which made post round editing in app or on PC a breeze.
What if you don't tag a shot?
Edit from Matt: I missed a few shots on the golf course because the process is so new to me. It made me worried that it would destroy the data. But you can edit the shots afterward on the app on your phone. You can click and drag the location and name the club you used. Just remember where you were and what club you used!
The trigger of moving into the 'action zone' of the shot has helped to get me more focused on my shot and is a mental game side-benefit I did not expect!
H4 Pin Collect
The H4 Pin Collect shows up when you reach the green. This is an important feature but if you forget to do it or don't know how to do it, like I did on the first round with the H4, you can edit it on the app.
The important part is to input how many putts you took and then stand at the hole and use the Pin Collect feature to tell the unit where the pin is on the green. This helps to make the putting stats more accurate for your record keeping. If you don't do this, it will have a hard time keeping accurate data for your game.
What data can the H4 give a golfer?
Now we get to the fun stuff… the data. The H4 gives you three different distances for your clubs;
Longest, Average, and P-Avg (Playing Average).
The first two are self explanatory, but the playing average removes outliers from tops, duffs, scoops, thinned shots, etc. This gives valuable real life distances that mean more to me than LM numbers. There is also Strokes Gained data for a quick comparison of your game to your handicap peers that is in an easily understood “at a glance” reference, or it can be as deep a dive as you like.
All in all I don’t think you could get more bang for the buck out of a shot tracker. While it may not have an A.I. caddy like it’s competition, it’s a more than capable unit for game development and it’s lack of subscription fees and lifetime updates to the firmware make it a great choice for the value minded golfer.
How big is the H4 Shot Scope?
The little device is similar to the size of a golf ball and flat enough to not bother you on your belt, in your pocket or hanging from your bag.
If you don't like a watch, the Shot Scope H4 is a nice device to use for the exact same functions. But check out my review on the Pro LX as well because you can use it as a combination with the Rangefinder to have a super distance measuring device. The H4 clips onto the Pro LX!
The data that it tracks is useful to help you keep track of what you're hitting your clubs, how you're playing and how to improve.
You get the sensors, you get the distance measurements and the stats to analyze your game at a great price - what's not to like? If you're interested in a launch monitor, check out the Mevo plus review and the Skytrak review.