Shot Scope set the bar very high a couple of years ago when they released the V3 Watch, which offered all of the usual features of a GPS Watch along with shot tracking information to help golfers improve their game.
Their latest offering is designed to offer a 'sleek, sophisticated' look and performance which is suitable for on and off-course use. I got my hands on the new X5 GPS to see whether three years of development has improved on one of the best bits of tech in the industry...
The new Shot Scope X5 has seen improvements made to the overall look and performance with a couple of new features compared to the previous V3, with the most notable being the fact that the watch is now touchscreen.
The clear, full-colour 1.2" touchscreen is housed in a new round watch shape with ceramic bezel, while the option of a number of different watch faces (whilst not in Golf Mode) and a step counter aim to increase the appeal beyond just golf to more of an everyday look.
There are updated tracking tags which have an increased range of up to 12cm for more accurate shot tracking, and they only weigh 1.2 grams so they are pretty unobtrusive.
There are more than 36,000 preloaded courses available worldwide, and the device displays dynamic yardages to the front, middle and back of each green, as well as front and carry distances to hazards, bunkers, doglegs and layup points.
The green view allows you to see the shape of each green alongside yardages, with pin placement allowing the golfer to move the flag to its exact location for that day for even more precise measurement.
As you play your round the watch will automatically total up your score based on the shots picked up from the tags, and this will be displayed on the main yardage screen. At the end of each hole the watch will ask you to confirm your score and in track mode you'll also be able to detail how many putts were taken.
Shot Scope X5 GPS Watch Review
The new design sees Shot Scope opt for a round watch rather than a square one which is a little larger on your wrist but does look smarter in my opinion. it's a bit more 'everyday sports watch' rather than 'golf watch'. On your wrist I'd say it feels substantial but not too bulky in terms of thickness or weight.
There are two buttons on the side of the watch, one which can be used to scroll between different screens as an alternative to the touchscreen which is a nice touch.
The watch strap did seem to be on upside down which felt a bit odd when putting it on but it fits comfortably and has the added bonus of being waterproof. There are five different interchangeable straps so that you can customise the watch to your liking - the model I tested was all-black which looked pretty smart.
After unboxing the watch and switching it on, you create an account on the Shot Scope app (or use the online Dashboard) and then go through the signup process to pair up your watch. This is all very intuitive as the app essentially walks you through each step, and it only took me about five minutes to pair up, download the latest firmware and I was ready to go.
If you're familiar with Shot Scope tracking watches then you'll know about the tagging process, where you have to screw circular tags in to the top of each of your golf clubs. This is used to identify when you've used each club and works out where you've hit the ball from and how far it's travelled, which is the basis for your statistics and scoring.
Screwing in the tags is a bit fiddly so I'd suggest that you do this in advance of your round to save yourself the stress. They aren't particularly big so you shouldn't find them too distracting when you actually come to hitting shots, although if you have more of a pistol-shaped putting grip you might find that it sticks out a little bit.
It took a few minutes for the GPS to find me when I first tried to start a round but after that the process seems to have sped up compared to the previous V3. If you set the watch up whilst you're on the putting green or walking to the first tee there should be plenty of time for it to be ready when you tee off.
You can choose to use the X5 GPS purely as a GPS watch or GPS & Track mode, which is a nice option for those rounds where you don't want to keep score or if you're playing on your own and using a couple of balls.
During the round the watch provides you with all of the features you'd need: normal yardages to the front, middle and back, Green View and pin placement, hazards, layup, shot tracking and scoring.
The new touchscreen looks fantastic - so clear and bright in a range of different light conditions makes it really easy to read yardages and other data.
The touchscreen itself was not quite as responsive as I wished it was, it didn't seem to pick up all of my swipes so navigating to the hazard or layup screens was a bit more laborious than it could've been.
My biggest gripe with the watch was that the new auto-lock feature was far too intrusive and seemed to lock the screen after just a couple of seconds which became irritating when trying to cycle through the different screens.
When checking the details after my round I could see that the watch tended to pick up most of my shots, a couple of times when I had gripped down (which I tend to do on lots of shots) it did miss it but luckily Shot Scope's editor tool makes it really easy to go back in and fine-tune your round after you've played.
Before testing I had seen a couple of comments online which questioned the battery life but I found it to be excellent. I've played twice with the watch over a few days without charging and it comfortably managed with plenty of life left.
Of course the main selling point with this watch compared to most others comes after the round when you are able to delve into the nitty-gritty of your performance, as Shot Scope are able to show you exactly what you did right and wrong with over 100 different performance statistics.
My favourite part is the Strokes Gained feature which was first introduced a couple of years ago. As someone who is just about clinging on to my 5 handicap this is a great aid to show me where I need to be improving if I want to maintain or even lower my handicap. It only shows handicap increments of 5 which is a little broad in my opinion but it's still really interesting.
You can also opt-in to the various Leaderboards on the Shot Scope Dashboard which allow you to see where you rank against your friends or the entire Shot Scope community in different categories, as well as collecting Medals as you achieve certain feats on the golf course, such as breaking 80, hitting a 275 yard tee shot and consecutive greens in regulation.
These features are a great way to keep you engaged with your golf and reminded me of the likes of Peloton or Strava where you can compete against your friends and get more from each round.
Shot Scope X5 GPS Watch Verdict
The X5 GPS provides a smarter, more premium package compared to the V3 in terms of the actual watch and a couple of bonus features, as well as the touchscreen capabilities which have modernised the device.
The main functionality remains pretty similar in terms of the tags for tracking and the performance analysis following the round but the range of metrics offered has improved, and the device itself looks and feels much better too.
The V3 was the best shot tracking device in the business for me and the X5 easily retains that title for Shot Scope. I'd say it's small improvements here and there rather than wholesale changes, but if you want to go in-depth on your golf then you could spend all day looking at all of the new figures.
Price-wise, an RRP of £279.99 does mean that this watch is £70 more expensive than the V3 but for a device that is a GPS watch and features the performance tracking, along with a pretty smart, I actually don't think that's too bad in terms of value.
Would I Use It?
If I was serious about improving my game this season and wanted to get an in-depth look at how I'm performing and why, this is the device I would use. The watch itself is good but the performance tracking sets it apart as one of the best bits of tech in the business.
Who Is It Aimed At?
Anyone who is dedicated to their golf game and serious about improving. If you're interested in your statistics and learning how you can use them to get better, this is the device for you. It's also best suited to people who play lots of golf because the more you use it, the more representative your results will be.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch Review
Shot Scope Pro LX+ Review