Connect with us

Accessory Reviews

Review: Voice Caddie’s SC200 Portable Launch Monitor

Published

on

Pros: A hand-held doppler radar launch monitor for only $349.99, thousands less than leading models. Different game modes make practice more entertaining and possibly more worthwhile.

Cons: Accuracy is a concern. In our testing, the Swing Caddie 2 failed to capture reliable data more often than leading doppler radar launch monitors.

Who’s it for? Golfers who spend a lot of time at the range and want to spice up their practice sessions.

The Review

Much like the Swing Caddie 1 (SC100), which was the first-generation portable doppler radar device from Voice Caddie, the Swing Caddie 2 (SC200) provides carry, total yardage, swing speed, ball speed and smash factor. There are also multiple modes including:

  • Practice Mode: Allows you to select which club you’re hitting, and shows you data from the shot.
  • Target Mode: Set a target distance and hit 10 shots. The system scores your accuracy out of 10, and gives you a final score.
  • Approach Mode: The SC200 gives you random distances, and grades you out of 10 how close you were to the targets.

Usage

SwingCaddieGame

A shot of the SC200, 4-inch LCD screen after completing 10 shots on target mode

Transporting the product to and from the range is trivial. It measures 5.89 x 3.20 x 1.08 inches, and can fit in your front pocket, back pocket, golf bag, backpack, or whatever else you bring to the range with you. It’s about as lightweight as any smartphone, and only slightly bigger than an iPhone 6.

It also comes with four AAA batteries (it has about a 20-hour battery life) and a remote control, which is actually quite useful. I was skeptical about using the controller at all, but bending over every time you need to change modes gets old fast. Luckily the remote couldn’t be any easier to use.

Like a TV remote, the SC200’s remote comes with volume control for its new Voice Distance Output feature, but you may want to simply mute the system when at the range near others. Surely other golfers don’t want to hear a lady’s voice announcing your distances throughout the entire session, unless you derive joy from showboating a 300+ yard drive. You can also toggle easily between clubs, and even adjust the loft setting for each club for increased accuracy.

Does it work?

When asking whether it works or not, let’s first talk about what your expectations are for a portable doppler radar system that sells for $349.99. If you’re expecting a device that will replace your sessions on Trackman, hone yardages with each club and hope to test clubs or shafts using the SC200 you will be disappointed. But if you’re expecting a novelty-type item that yields yardage and swing speed and will make those hours at the range less monotonous, then this is perfect and may even surpass your expectations.

So now, is this device accurate enough to justify buying the SC200 instead of a new driver or a new set of wedges?

The SC200, on Voice Caddie’s website, advertises a +/- 3 percent tolerance in ball speed, and a +/- 5 percent tolerance on carry distance.

When taking the SC200 to an outdoor range I found the device to get yardages that were close enough, as the company advertises. I usually hit an 8-iron about 165 yards, and when I caught it solid, the SC200 gave me yardages of about 165 yards. It would never read something crazy like 190, or 120 on a well-struck shot. It was always in the expected wheelhouse.

With wedge shots I had a difficult time getting results to register, so it took some fiddling with where the device was placed in relation to the ball. Often it would take five or even 10 swings before I’d get one shot to capture. That’s pretty frustrating when you’re trying to play in one of the game modes where each shot matters. With the driver, it seemed fairly accurate on well-struck shots; usually registering around my average drive. But then I began testing the device out by hitting tops, skulls, big slices and big hooks on purpose. This is where the device struggled greatly. It would often read drastically off on carry distance and totals.

Like I said before, you have to lower your expectations with a sub-$500 launch monitor, or you will be disappointed. Remember, it’s not a $30,000 Trackman.

So the final verdict on accuracy is… well, I’m not entirely positive. It seems to get fairly close on occasions, and maybe even spot on sometimes. But it’s inconsistent, and can be wildly off the mark on drastic mishits.

Accuracy aside, it does have a serious cool factor. And with its new Voice Distance Output, it’s like throwing pitches with a baseball in your backyard and having a radar gun telling you how fast you threw it. Pretty awesome, right? And you can always set it up behind a par-5 tee box, or bring it to the range and have a competition between your friends to see who hits the longest drive. So there’s always that.

Here’s a simple guide to use when considering purchasing this product.

Reasons to buy the product

  • You’re a range rat, and want something to break up the monotony of practicing for hours on end.
  • You have a net in your backyard and can’t see ball flight, but want feedback on your shots.
  • You don’t have a range with targets, or simply practice in an open field.
  • You like to have swing-speed competitions with your buddies.
  • You want to look techy on the range and impress friends or range-goers.
  • You like cool stuff.

Reasons why you shouldn’t buy the product

  • You’re a club fitter, and you plan to use this product to fit golfers or yourself.
  • You’re a competitive golfer and want to hone distances using this feedback as your guideline.
  • You’re testing equipment and are deciding between club heads or shafts.
  • You rarely go to the range and prefer to play golf instead.
  • Spending $349.99 dollars on this product prevents you from getting lessons, playing golf or buying needed golf equipment.

The Takeaway

For $349.99, the SC200 may just be worth the price. It’s easily portable, accurate enough, provides serious entertainment value into practice and competition with your friends, and it’s just plain cool. How many other people at the range will have a voice telling them how far they just hit the ball?

The SC200 might be something you’ll want to splurge on. If it’s not in your budget, however, take a pass and get some lessons, a laser rangefinder, a new driver, or just use that money on green fees instead.

[wrx_retail_links productid=”104″]

Your Reaction?
  • 250
  • LEGIT37
  • WOW8
  • LOL16
  • IDHT8
  • FLOP16
  • OB5
  • SHANK70

He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Jay

    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I have one of these, and the review is spot on. It’s probably slightly more accurate than I was expecting, actually. You really need to pay close attention to the angle of the device and make sure it’s on a flat surface, especially hitting drivers/woods. When it’s angled, you’ll get some crazy swing speed/ball speed differences with the driver – like 122 mph club speed and only 160 ball speed. Once I straightened it out, it went back to reading about what I expected.

  2. Reginald Ridley

    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    These machines do pretty much what it is designed to do it is an alternative who can afford a $30.,000 trackman unless you are a big manufacturer of clubs i believe the Track Man is an expensive mans toy., the price to purchase one is ludicrous.,

  3. Blue

    Oct 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I have this model, and have used it all summer. Overall I like it. It does have problems. There are better reviews for it out there too. I use it into a net in my yard and have taken it to the range. I find it accurate with (9I-4I) and with the driver. Getting wedge numbers to work can be frustrating. Usually, I get good numbers w/the PW but the SW and gap don’t register more often than not. My guess is because the ball launches too high too fast to measure ball speed. It also calculates smash factor and I find it to be pretty accurate measuring SF too (I compare w/contact tape). And for whatever reason it frequently doesn’t measure my 4wood and 3 hybrid accurately. Often both of these clubs will have a swing speed 5-8mph higher than my driver.
    It is good for measuring swing speed and SF. If you’re outside and the device is in the sun your carry numbers may be higher due to the monitor thinking the temperature is hotter than it really is. Overall, I think it’s nice to have if you have a backyard or indoor practice area.

  4. tlmck

    Sep 26, 2016 at 4:37 am

    They should give up on the Doppler and hook up with someone like GoPro to make an affordable camera based system like GC2.

  5. S Smith

    Sep 25, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    OK so you want a review on how the monitor works. I was out yesterday afternoon. I try to go out every other day whether to play or practice. As you know, my hips are bad and will need hip replacement surgery in a couple of years. So what does this mean? its hard to use your legs when hitting the ball. Again the driver. While still fresh (as possible) I hit maybe twenty or thirty drivers. I hit more of these because I can use my driver on eight or ten holes on my home course and the first shot is the most important as its sets up the shots for each of these holes. I was stuck on about 235 which is not bad. I noticed that as I became tired my legs were not in the swing and I was deteriorating to about 205 to 210 (so says the monitor). Interestingly my swing does not go below about 90 mph which is not bad for an arm swing. The monitor lets me know this. Smash factor varies but by experimenting with the machine I’ve noticed if I tee the ball lower and more forward, the smash factor increases into the 1.30- 1.40 range. If I consciously use my right hand I can increase this further but this affects my swing. So I hit about 110 balls and was ready to quit. I hate to leave when I’m not hitting well so I shagged some more balls and this time started to get my lower body into it by squatting a bit on the backswing. Allowing a more fuller turn. It was working with the irons so I uped the ante with the driver. I positioned the SC200 about 36 inches behind me and took a practice swing. I then proceeded to make an actual swing with a slight squat on the backswing. It felt real good. But without the machine, how do you know how good it was. You need to know this to try to repeat it. Its far to subjective without it. I looked at the swing caddy and wow its said 245. My best of the day by ten yards. It was directionally a good swing too. So I am keeping this swing in mind for Monday at my home course and will try to repeat it. The beauty of it is that it is small and can be taken to range (indoor and outdoor as well as the course!). You know very well you can only do this on a very limited basis with an actual trackman and that is to the driving range. Now the best combo is the Sc200 and the decals you place on the face of the driver which show how close to the sweet spot you are. This should maximize things. If you could hit the driver close to the center you’d probably get a smash factor of 1.45 and the Sc200 will tell you this. Stupidly I gave up on the decals when I went outdoors, I should never have done this and will start using them again with the Sc200. There is a downside to the Sc200. You become consciously aware of it and try to maximize distance at the expense of accuracy and you must be aware of this at all times. Nonetheless its a god send for most of us. The days of a little more of this and a little more of that and long gone. You have to be able to quantify the results to make meaningful improvement and then take it from there. The Sc200 is a good start.

    • T

      Sep 26, 2016 at 2:32 am

      Try hitting some wedges on grass and tell us what you find

  6. S Smith

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I don’t think you had a chance to play around with it for a while which you need to do. Its accurate enough as compared to trackman on an apples to apples basis. The real strength is when you are out at the outdoor range or at the course. First you have to get a read on your approximate distances and just as importantly the ball speed and interpolated smash factor for each club. The driver is a good first choice. Once you get a feel for the above, hit a series of balls to warm up. NOW. When you hit a real good shot. STOP. You will be able to quantify how good it really was using the above factors. NOW. Think about what you did differently to make the shot better and then try to replicate. I notice that for every 1/4 of an inch I am off from the sweet spot. Slightly above center on the driver you will lose approximately 10-15 yards. More importantly, recent studies I have seen on Science Daily.com have shown that we operate basically subconsciously. What does this mean when we golf? It means that we are constantly making little subconscious adjustments when we are on the course. We are not consciously aware we are making these adjustments! Really! So when you hit a good drive on the range (and you will immediately know by reviewing the data from the SC 200 you will be able to quantify how good it was since merely looking downrange just doesn’t do it) and if you now stop and think about the subconscious adjustment or adjustments that went into the good drive you will know what they are (any good golfer will immediately be aware) and then you can try to replicate them. It works. I have added about 20 yards to my average drive doing this. Over time I have found that I cant make my backswing slow enough (to sequence properly) and I can’t coil enough (to store energy). I now have a swing I can go back to when things go south. Oh yes, I have also found that conversely I tend to get too quick (don’t we all) and this is where my problems appear!! I am 67 years old, have two arthritic hips and am recovering from a broken ankle. My results Average drive abouty 225. Average swing speed about 92 miles an hour. Why don’t you try this and get back to me.

    • Mof

      Sep 24, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Nah. I consciously make DECISIONS for every shot the way I want to hit them, therefore I know the results from making those conscious decisions. I don’t think you mean to say you let yourself operate subconsciously, instead, I think you mean to say that you work instinctively, based on experiential conscious decisions based on what you learned from everything that led up to this current shot.
      But what does that have to do with this machine? How about giving a review of the actual machine itself a bit more in detail as to why you think it’s good or bad. Not why your swing has improved from practicing to hit the middle of the face properly

  7. Bull

    Sep 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Where’s Mark Crossfield to do this review for us, a bit more practically, than this biased bull

  8. Jim

    Sep 23, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    meh – I wouldn’t go that far, he did make sure to state what it wasn’t.

    but, having purchased & used pretty much every LM system since late 90’s – including FliteScope(s) (best before Tman) Tman is the best ever, and the one to beat. With that said, an inexpensive but (more) accurate Ernest unit would be great. If they get it CLOSER to Tman (driver especially) and keep it under a grand, I know I’d grab it…can’t afford another Tman for ‘kickin around’ – or letting a student borrow for a round and see what happens with them in the field

    • desmond

      Sep 23, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Haven’t seen any decent reviews of the Earnest for less expensive units.

      • Jim

        Sep 24, 2016 at 12:09 am

        THANK YOU …unfortunately me neither…but, hadn’t looked this year – which is why I brought it up. He had reviewed it a year + ago, and the cat I spoke with was pretty confident it would continue to be refined. Something within a degree or two for driver launch & even 500 rpm would be great for less than a grand…I’d buy it and like I said even let students take it on course and track 18 tee shots – if nothing else that round.
        Suppose it depends on Ernest – what they’re willing to spend and then sell it for.

        There’s an ad running on TV here from a home heating oil company (new hi- efficency burners/cleaner ‘oil’ etc) VERY good tag line “we want to sell LESS oil to MORE people.

        whoever – comes up with one that’s pretty close & keeps the price 999 or LESS will sell a boatload.

  9. Robert

    Sep 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Don’t waste your money guys! Come on now!

  10. John O

    Sep 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I have one of these and it works well and is fairly accurate on decently hit shots, especially mid distances. If you mishit a low missile, it will oversestimate your distance on the basis of ballspeed. The big variation of height possible on wedge shots detracts from its accuracy and usefulness on short shots. Pros have compared it to Trackman across a range of clubs (correctly selecting the club on both devices!) and found it fairly accurate. It has preset club names (e.g. W3, U4, I7, PW, SW) that you select to match the club you are hitting (there’s no LW). Someone dug out the fixed lofts (they are not user amendable) that SwingCaddie has in mind for each of these clubs, and they are not as they should be on the long clubs. But plainly they are consistent from one day to the next and work out well enough. The device and the display are rudimentary and there’s only a thin bag but no case. But, basically, yes, the radar tells you how far and fast you hit each club.

  11. Sander Roest

    Sep 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

    The SC200 is not a launch monitor. All it measures is ball speed. The displayed yardages are calculated based on a preset loft value for each club. Important factors that contribute to accurate yardages, like launch angle, backspin and launch direction are not measured, and thus the calculated yardages are just guesswork. Better buy a Swing Speed Radar for $100.

    • desmond

      Sep 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      SSR is not a solution either – for the price, it’s okay. This does a bit more.

  12. Jim

    Sep 23, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Doesn’t sound like anything I’d recommend to any students. However, that Ernest Sport ‘personal’ launch monitor that was around $700 (I know: twice the price) did give spin & launch angle. I made big tech investments @ 2014 Orlando show – upgradeable platforms & software for the next decade. I was going to grab that Ernest monitor to use during on course playing lessons but when speaking with a (very honest) engineer in their booth he told me frankly (1st gen) it wasn’t “quite as accurate as they want” and hinted it would get better (3-4 degree launch angle dif. from Tman is unacceptable for drivers)
    Almost 3 years later, I think your readers (I know I would) would love an unbiased new review. If they’ve refined those numbers and it’s still < $999.00, I think it would be a HUGE hit

  13. John O

    Sep 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I agree. The photo makes no sense. If the Trackman data is for a drive (230yds) or wood, then the SwingCaddie isn’t going to give good matching data if he failed to change the selected club on the SwingCaddie which under the 188yds still says I7 (i.e. a 7 iron, like he was hitting earlier).

  14. Michael C

    Sep 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

    What Greg C said. He nailed it.

  15. Mike

    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

    If you cannot measure spin or launch angle, you cannot calculate carry. This device is worthless for that. If you want to measure ball speed, this could work for that but beware anytime a device is using user entry for loft as their basis for estimating launch angle.

  16. desmond

    Sep 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Have an SC200 and use it outside – after the first 2 times of use, I have no issues with shot registering. It misses a shot once in a while. I use range balls to measure most of the time, and don’t expect accuracy – I mean, 235 carry at 90 Swingspeed is overdoing it, but may be within error margin. But that’s with range balls. I will take it on the course soon with real balls when it’s not busy to compare shafts and irons. I look at smash factor and swingspeed – those seem accurate. Fun tool.

    • desmond

      Sep 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Ballspeed is nice to have as well as adjusting loft to all of your clubs. Also adjust for barometric pressure and temperature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Uther Supply golf towels

Published

on

Product: Uther Supply golf towels

Pitch: Via Uther: “Uther cart towels use the highest quality material and construction which have been tested to perform season after season…Uther’s unique blend of moisturize wicking, soft microfiber is 3x more absorbent than cotton and 5x more durable…Waffle pattern to easily remove even the most stubborn dirt in club grooves and golf ball dimples…Uther is the creator of the fashionable golf towel. Features unique sublimated prints and designs that make a fun accessory for both men and women golf bags.”

Our take on Uther Supply golf towels

Most golfers have a “logo” towel hanging on their bag today. Typically you’ll see the name of a course the golfer has visited, or an OEM name. Uther Supply towels, however, are different. Uther (pronounced “other”) Supply Founder Dan Erdman described his inspiration for this unique line of golf towels in an interview with GolfWRX a few years back:

“When you work in the back shop and storage facility, you handle a lot of golf bags. I just noticed rows and rows of bags that all look the same and I thought it made a lot of sense to inject some personality into it. You know, people go crazy for how all the pros personalize their wedges and their bags. They buy towels and bag tags from courses like TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach to personalize their stuff, but in the end it all kind of blends together… I thought we could really add something to the marketplace.”

They have certainly succeeded in creating a new type of towel in the marketplace. We used them over several rounds of golf, in various conditions to put them to the test.

Meant to be shown off, Uther golf towel designs are creative and clever, with some of the most popular being the “Happy Gilmore inspired” Cart Towel and “90s coffee cup” Tour Towel. There of course, are many others to choose from.

Of course, let’s not forget that the primary function of a towel is to clean your golf equipment. That might seem easy but we at WRX have ordered some custom towels from other manufacturers in the past and were disappointed in the performance. Uther’s towels, however, succeed in both form and function. They’re stylish, but they also are an excellent functional towel. You’re like to be impressed at how light they are as well. These aren’t bath towels, but rather high-quality microfiber blends that Uther says are 3x more absorbent than cotton.

As far as cons, if we’re nitpicking, you may need to find a larger carabiner clip for some golf bags if you want to hang your towel in a more prominent place. These are made to show off, after all.

Prices range from $28-$35 USD and are available for purchase at uthersupply.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy in the US and Golf Town in Canada.

Your Reaction?
  • 26
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

Published

on

Product: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

Pitch: From Adidas: “Designed for protection from the elements, these golf shoes have enhanced cushioning to return energy on every swing. The shoes feature a spikeless outsole that flexes with your foot and has strategically placed lugs for outstanding grip and balance. An innovative closure system is built for micro-adjustments so you get the exact fit you need.”

Our take on Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes

Golf shoes are curious creatures existing in a strange place? No? Finally free of the gravitational pull of traditionalism, shoe styles are finally at a place where form follows function. And while you may pine for the days of saddle shoes aesthetically, your feet (and likely your golf swing) surely do not.

While the shoes are also available in gray/white and black/white colorways, we tested the bolder dark marine variant.

Now, “good” footwear, as we are constantly wont to admit, is highly subjective. As of yet, you can’t test two pairs of kicks on a TrackMan and determine which is superior (rumored featured of TrackMan 5). So leaving aside aesthetics and how you like your shoes to fit, we provide the most valuable information, that is, regarding stability, cushioning, and traction. However, in this case, it’s also worth noting the closure system does allow for a more precise fit (and one that stays in place) than lace-up shoes do.

With respect to comfort, first of all, anything Boost is going to be comfortable, and these shoes are no exception. And whether you refer to the “Forgefiber in the upper features heat-pressed, TPU-coated fibers…stitched in” to the upper (as Adidas does), or merely the sensation that the Forgefiber Boas provide a solid foundation during the swing, the truth is the same: sound, stable here.

A look at the Puremotion outsole showcases some serious spikeless technology that also offers performance on par with the very best in spikeless footwear.

A final word: These shoes are no porous sieve, either, as you might be concerned they could be on first glance. Adidas’ Climastorm technology in the exterior yields a respectable level of water-repellency.

Your Reaction?
  • 74
  • LEGIT11
  • WOW6
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP9
  • OB2
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Published

on

Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Pitch:  From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool

Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.

The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.

A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.

Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.

The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.

Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.

The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.

As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 21
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB1
  • SHANK14

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending