Shot Scope X5 GPS & Shot Tracking Watch Review

50 Words or Less

The Shot Scope X5 watch gives the game’s best shot tracking system the premium look and feel it deserves.  Useful new features and an intuitive interface.

Introduction

I’ve been using Shot Scope since the original – a “watch” with no screen at all.   With each new iteration, V2 and V3 [review HERE], they’ve made substantial improvements that genuinely impact the golfer’s experience.  As a huge fan of V3, I was curious what Shot Scope would change to make the new X5 meaningfully better.  After having it on the course, I can tell you that they found numerous ways to raise the bar again.

Set Up & Ease of Use

Setting up the Shot Scope X5 takes only a few minutes.  After unboxing the components, plug the X5 in to get a full charge.  While you’re waiting, screw the tags into your clubs.  Each tag is labeled, so there’s no need to pair them to your phone or the watch.  Once your X5 is charged, pair it with your app and go through the simple set-up process.

The Shot Scope X5 comes with tags that are different from previous versions.  As you can see above, the new tags [right] are slightly larger and thicker than the old tags.  The old and new tags are interchangeable, so you can use new tags with old devices or vice versa.

While the new tags do stand a little “taller” on the grip, they don’t interfere in any way with your swing.  Also, despite the size difference, they weigh just 3 grams, the same as the old tags.  You might notice this extra weight on your clubs if you were Tiger Woods, but you’re not Tiger Woods.

The Shot Scope X5 works with two buttons – one of which spins – and a touchscreen.  The buttons generally operate as forward/select and back.  You can choose whether you scroll through menus with the touchscreen or the spinning button.  The 1.2″ color screen is bright and easy to read.

There are 36,000 courses pre-loaded on the Shot Scope X5, and the closest ones will automatically show on the screen when you select “Play Golf.”  In Golf Mode, you can use the X5 for GPS + Tracking or GPS only.  You don’t need to do anything to track your shots, but you do have the option of using PinCollect to mark the exact location of the hole.  This will improve your short game and putting data.

Accuracy & Performance

Since not everyone is familiar with Shot Scope, I’m going to cover the Shot Scope X5 from a fresh perspective, but I will give particular attention to the new features.

At its most basic, the Shot Scope X5 is a GPS watch.  Shot Scope has mapped over 36,000 courses and can update their database within 48 hours to reflect course changes.  On the X5, you get a plethora of data, starting with yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green.  These yardages are dynamic, meaning that the “front” of the green is always the part closest to you.

Shot Scope also provides front and carry yardages for all hazards.    The symbols are easy to understand – no need to decipher abstract abbreviations – and the picture reflects the side of the hole that the hazard is on.  New to the X5 are distances to lay up points and doglegs.  Also, the X5 gives you the ability to see the shape of the green and move the pin location.  Finally, the X5 can tell you the distance of the last shot you hit, so you can accurately brag about your monster drive.

While the GPS features are excellent, the real value of Shot Scope is in the shot tracking.  Without any extra steps, the X5 records every shot you hit during your round.  When you upload this data to your Shot Scope app at the end of the round, it produces over 100 stats that tell you everything there is to know about your game.  For me, the best stats are the Strokes Gained numbers, particularly the ones that are relative to players at your handicap level.  In one number, you can see how your driving or iron play compares to your peers.  You can also go deep into the stats and see how each club performs.

One of the new features for the X5 is the digital scorecard.  As you complete each hole, you can record your score and see a running total as you play.  When you combine this feature with PinCollect, there’s virtually no need to edit your round when you’re done playing.

Something else new for 2023 is the Shot Scope Academy.  Golfers will have the ability to share their data with their coach.  As a former instructor, I would have loved having access to this information.  If you’re taking lessons, this data will allow your coach to tailor their instruction to exactly what you’re doing on the course.

Finally, the Shot Scope X5 has the ability to be your everyday watch, too.  There are five different watch “faces” and a step counter.  The battery lasts for over two rounds in golf mode and over two days in everyday mode.

Learn how to turn data into superior strategy with Shot Scope MyStrategy HERE

Value

The Shot Scope X5 watch retails for $299.

In the world of shot tracking, Shot Scope can’t be beat for value.  The reason is simple: no annual fees.  It costs less to buy a set of Arccos tags ($200), but the $155 annual fee more than negates those savings in year two.  You can argue about which system you prefer, but there’s no debate when it comes to value.

You can order the X5 with either a black or silver ceramic bezel and one of four bands – black, grey, white, or blue.

Tight budget?  Check out Shot Scope CONNEX HERE

Conclusion

Shot Scope has always been my go-to shot tracker for the depth of data they provide, the value, and for freeing me from my phone.  The new Shot Scope X5 GPS watch makes the choice even clearer by pairing all that with a truly premium device.  If you want to learn everything there is to know about your game, the X5 is something you must add to your kit.

Visit Shot Scope HERE

Matt Saternus

27 Comments

  1. M. Constantine

    Very nice review. Only 2 things are preventing me from jumping to Shot Scope. I’m waiting for something like this at the $350-500 price point that also acts as a smart watch and fitness tracker. Until then I’ll stick with my S62 as it’s basically a bare bones Apple Watch that does a good job with shot tracking while providing me smart notifications from my phone and a really nice fitness tracker. Also the battery life is stellar as I can go all week on just 1 charge and 3-4 days if I play 2 rounds. Only downside is the sensors are way too expensive so I manually track my shots on the watch face after every swing by scrolling to select which club I hit.

    • Yeah i totally agree with your preferences. I had a S62 and apple watch and in terms of a GPS golf watch and being overall a multifunction watch it cant be beat at the moment and not comparable to the X5. But thats not what shotscope and the X5 are trying to compete with. Its first and foremost the shot tracking and anything else with it is just like sprinkles on top. When I had the S62 and used their club tracking besides being just terribly expensive tracking shots on it is absolutely useless. No strokes gain poor data tracking of that club poor shot detection and so on. I got the X5 mainly cause of the strokes gain and that’s it if that’s not the highest priority of getting a shotscope X5 a S62 or apple watch are better and go get them but it you want comparable shot data compared to your handicap level and see parts of your game that are superior or lacking compared to your peers then this is the best in class.

    • I understand your complaint. I personally have just purchased the X5 for golf, while I use a Coros Vertix as my fitness tracker. It would be nice to have both golf and fitness in the same watch, and better yet if it had the battery life of the Vertix (45 days in regular use, 60 hours of GPS, about 15 times the life of the X5). Garmin makes both types of watch, so they will probably be the one that eventually makes a watch that does a good job of both golf tracking and fitness tracking, but you never know.

  2. Excellent review by Matt Saternus; agree completely on both Shot Scope V3 and X5. If you are serious about improving your game, this is the right tool. It tells you in great detail and specificity, the areas to improve your game. Shot Scope was one key part of improving my index from 16 to 7 over 3-4 years. I’d add that it helps with your game strategically – including playing a new course or one not played in a while – with the GPS ‘eye in the sky’ view on shot placement and hazard avoidance. Developed in Scotland, the home of golf and thrifty people, it is a good value. I’m tired of subscriptions to everything, don’t miss it here, and didn’t mind upgrading for good value. If you want fitness, sleep and recovery tracking get a Whoop; excellent and good value there for an annual payment. JT and Rory are investors in the company, so golf specific as well.

  3. It’s maybe a minor addition, but now that they’ve added layup distances and doglegs I feel like this can fully replace my GPS watch and give me the shot tracking data. Great review!

    • I’ve been a ShotScope user since the V2 as well. I used other golf watches prior to my switch to ShoyScope, and I am really excited about the X5, because of the layups yardages and most importantly the pin adjustment features.

      I always liked the shot tracking features that they offer, but since they have added the strokes gained data it’s a total game changer. I’ve been tracking strokes gained for my 8 years, and now ShotScope has the strokes gained data on every shot. Its incredible to see this data, and will help improve your game.

  4. Matt, great review. I’m leaving Arccos for Shot Scope, and the X5 has made my decision easy. Arccos is an excellent system, but I could not see paying a monthly subscription and not having the data readily available. My phone is in my pocket during play, and I never take it out to see the Caddie recommendations. Plus, I was using Garmin S20 for my distance. I wanted everything in one system, and the X5 fits the bill, plus no subscription.

  5. Does the watch miss shots? I had game golf pro and it missed many many shots when it came time to edit and record.

  6. Dave Rafus

    Hi Matt,
    Fantastic review!!!
    My question is, do you have to wear the watch during play, or can it just be strapped to a push-cart? I don’t love having anything on my wrist and wondered about this.
    Sorry if it’s a stupid question

    • Matt Saternus

      Dave,

      Not a bad question at all.
      Yes, you do need to wear the watch while you play. Shot Scope makes the H4 for people who don’t want to wear a watch.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Gary Pelletier

    Interesting and enlightening review. Question: battery life duration?

    Thanks,

  8. Mike McHugh

    Having the V3, is this worth the upgrade assuming I’m only using this as an on-course device?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      I think the X5 is a meaningful upgrade. Whether it’s worth the money is up to you; I don’t like to spend other people’s money.

      Best,

      Matt

  9. The watch looks great. Does the data easily transfer over if you are currently using the V3?

  10. “When you combine this feature with PinCollect, there’s virtually no need to edit your round when you’re done playing”
    This isn’t actually correct as the scorecard function and tracking function are completely separate of each other. After the round the watch will show you your “scorecard” and then it will be gone. It will then upload your score on the dashboard which corresponds to the shots tracked. Hopefully Shotscope do something in future that puts the 2 functions together.
    I have the X5 and have to add at least 5 or 6 shots when editing afterwards. Not an issue massively but just takes a bit longer

    • Matt Saternus

      Chris,

      This has not been my experience. My score on the watch is what shows up in my app. No editing needed.

      -Matt

  11. George Aaron

    Are you able to take a practice swing without it being recorded?

    • Matt Saternus

      George,

      Shot Scope is pretty intelligent about disregarding practice swings, but it’s possible that you’ll have to edit one or two out.

      Best,

      Matt

    • The only time I have seen that happen with my V3 was if I took a practice swing at a location not near my ball. The most common way that can happen is on the green, if, for example, you take a practice swing over in a distant corner of the green while someone else is lining up their putt. It also happened to me once, while I was waiting for some players on the green. I wandered over to chat with one of the people I was playing with, who was on the other side of the fairway, and happened to take a practice swing over there while we waited, before I wandered back to my own ball. It’s hard to blame the watch for that, and it’s easily fixed when you edit the round at the end, Perhaps the X5 is even better at sorting practice swings, but we shall see as I start using my new watch today.

  12. James young

    I have been a Garmin s40 user for some time and decided to try the the X5. Not happy so far after 4 attempts. Don’t like to have to stand on the pin and record my puts and score while other players are waiting. If you don’t record at the pin, it is lost. Also, technical support/help is non existent, can only send them an email!! Have not given up yet but will probably send unit back for refund and stay with Garmin.

    • Matt Saternus

      James,

      You’re not required to use the PinCollect if you don’t want to. All the other data is still there.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Great review, thanks! Do the yardages include slope? Or is there a way to turn slope reading on or off? Thanks again.

    Kyle

  14. Anyone have the issue were the watch gets stuck in the loading screen? Cannot get it to shutdown or do anything, just stays on that screen.

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