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The Swing Caddie SC4 is the new king of the $500 launch monitor hill. Very easy to use with or without a connected device. Lots of data. Good accuracy. Golf simulation ability.
Get an exclusive discount on the Swing Caddie SC4 HERE
It’s increasingly common to see golfers with their own launch monitors on the range. One that you’re likely to see often is the Swing Caddie SC300i [review HERE], one of the best personal launch monitors for the last couple years. New for 2023 is the SC4, which improves on the SC300i in almost every possible way, including the addition of simulation. Let’s dive deep into why this earns my recommendation as the best launch monitor under $600.
Set Up & Ease of Use
One of my favorite things about Swing Caddie’s launch monitors is how easy they are to use. Once you charge the SC4, push the power button, drop it five feet behind your hitting area, and get to work. Because it has an onboard display, you don’t need to connect a device. Not only does this boost its ease of use, it makes it more likely that you’ll use it because there’s less hassle.
There are two additional steps to take if you want to get the most accurate numbers. First, when you turn it on, a number will appear on the screen. Adjust the tilt of the unit until the number is zero. Second, if you want the horizontal launch angle to be accurate, you’ll need to align the unit with your target. There is a small red line on the top of the Swing Caddie SC4 to help with this, but it’s much easier with the alignment plate. The alignment plate and carrying case are sold separately.
The rest of the controls are found on the remote, which is cleverly tucked under the kickstand and secured with a magnet. The remote is slim and extremely light, so you can keep it in your pocket while practicing. This new remote is a substantial improvement over the SC300i, making it easier and quicker to select the right club, change loft, and keep practicing.
Accuracy & Effectiveness
The Swing Caddie SC4 offers a lot of data. Like the SC300i, it reports swing speed, ball speed, carry distance, launch angle, apex, and smash factor. The SC4 goes a level up by adding launch direction to the mix and reporting spin rate on screen (the SC300i only gave spin numbers in the app).
To test the accuracy of the Swing Caddie SC4, I ran it head-to-head with my Foresight GCQuad [review HERE] both indoors with premium balls and outdoor with range balls. In all scenarios, I found the SC4 to be as good or better than anything I’ve tested in this price range. The data is typically very close to the GCQuad – often perfectly in line – and never wildly off. Launch direction was the stat that deviated the most and the most often, but it did always point in the correct direction. Ultimately, I would not use the SC4 for a professional club fitting, but it’s more than accurate enough to be a practice tool.
For players who find that the SC4 is not reporting accurate data, Swing Caddie offers the Shot Data Equalizer in the My Swing Caddie app. With this, you can adjust the carry distance, swing speed, launch angle, and/or ball speed up or down as much as 10%.
Also worth noting is that the SC4 almost never misses a shot, whether indoors with limited ball flight or when moving around a bit outdoors. This is definitely above average for a launch monitor in this price range. You may not think of this as a huge plus until the one shot your launch monitor misses is the best swing of the day.
Finally, the display on the Swing Caddie SC4 is extremely bright and easy to read. Indoors or out, I didn’t have to squint, bend over, or walk back to the unit to read my numbers. The display is packed with data, which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but I got used to the layout quickly.
My Swing Caddie App & E6 Golf Simulation
The biggest addition to the Swing Caddie SC4 launch monitor is the ability to power golf simulation with E6 Connect. It takes just a few taps to get your device connected to the app, and you’ll be playing real golf courses with amazing graphics, like you see above. With the purchase of the SC4, you get one golf course and the driving range for life. Unlocking more courses requires an E6 subscription, which you can learn about HERE.
In using the SC4 with E6, a few things stood out as being particularly impressive. First, when you change clubs in the game, the SC4 automatically registers the change, too. Also, the SC4 stayed connected to the game throughout – something which should not be taken for granted. Finally, for those that are serious about their simulation, the SC4’s onboard display offers a great way to learn more about the game. When you’re in the rough or sand, your shot in the game will lose some distance, but the onboard display shows the real stats on the swing. This gives you the chance to dial in all your in-game shots for a real home simulator advantage.
While the My Swing Caddie app is not required to use the SC4, it makes a strong case to be part of every session. This is easily one of the best launch monitor apps available. First, it offers several different ways to view your data while you’re practicing (above). You can also film your swing and connect the videos to the swing data.
Additionally, the My Swing Caddie app tracks all your practice shots so you can view your historical data. This is a great way to get a clear picture of the distances you actually hit each club and how you’ve improved over time.
Finally, there are a couple additional features that show the level of effort Swing Caddie is putting into making the user experience as good as it can be. One is turning your phone into a second remote (above, left). If you prefer to leave the remote attached to your SC4, or it runs out of batteries, you can make any change in the app. Additionally, you can customize your bag. This goes beyond just naming your clubs – you can specify the loft of each club so that the SC4 knows that your sand wedge is 54 degrees and gives you the most accurate data.
The Swing Caddie retails for $550, but Plugged In Golf readers can get it for $500 HERE.
At this price, the SC4 is easily my favorite launch monitor. I love the ease of use, and it provides a lot of data points with solid accuracy. Additionally, the app is excellent and the ability to use it with E6 golf simulation is a big value add. Unless you’re going to step up to spending several thousand dollars for a launch monitor, the Swing Caddie SC4 is the easy choice.
The Swing Caddie SC4 continues to raise the bar on what golfers can expect from a $500 launch monitor. This is as accurate a launch monitor as you can find at this price, and it provides all the data on a crisp onboard display. And with the addition of simulation, the SC4 gives you more ways to enjoy golf no matter the weather.