No matter how seriously you take the game, I think most of us can agree that golf is, at its core, a social game. It’s fair to say that 99.8% of us play the game as an activity, as a hobby and, dare I say it, for fun.

Shot Scope’s unique no-tagging/no phone required shot tracking system coupled with a GPS watch already offers you the easiest-to-use data collection system out there. Its dashboard allows you to dive as deeply as you care to into your analytics, and gives you a boatload of cold, hard facts about your game.

This week Shot Scope is adding an element of competitive fun to its platform with the addition of a variety of new interactive social features, giving golfers what it’s calling a truly immersive way to track their golfing journey.

Medals & Achievements

“It’s for the less serious side of the game,” says Gavin Dear, Shot Scope’s Chief Commercial Officer. “It’s for the moments we all enjoy, remembering certain achievements that we’ve managed to accomplish during the year.

Specifically, Shot Scope is offering over 500 different achievement medals golfers can unlock. Medal categories include breaking 80 for the first time, consecutive birdies, playing US Open or Open Championship courses, 300 yard drives, playing in other countries, and scores of others.

“There will be medals people haven’t thought about in there,” says Dear. “And we’re not going to release all the medals right away. You won’t be able to work out what everything’s for until you’ve unlocked them. There may be a medal for consecutive left and right misses, and we can add as we go.”

You’ll also be able to share your achievements via social media, if you’re so inclined. And even there, Shot Scope is going to add a little bit of fun to the process.

“We’ve got all sorts of little Easter Eggs in there. If you share on social media that you’ve made an 8, it’ll be shared as a snowman,” adds Dear. “We’ve managed to put a wee bit o’ Scottish humor into it.”

Medals will be available in today’s software update. Also, in response to user demand, Shot Scope’s My Bag functionality is now available for both IOS and Android App users. My Bag allows golfers to track and compare different clubs and had previously only been available on Shot Scope’s Performance Dashboard online.

Leaderboards

Next on the upgrade list for Shot Scope is a new Leaderboard system. Available early next month, the Leaderboard functionality will allow you to compare yourself to other golfers.

“You can break it down by age, by handicap, by location,” says Dear. “You may not be able to compete with certain golfers on distance, but you can look for golfers by handicap in your age bracket in your area. And maybe you can compete over putts holed, or length of putts holed, that sort of thing.”

There will be Leaderboards for Medals earned, longest drive, average proximity to the hole, inside 6 feet make percentage, shoring average, longest putt and more.

“It’s all how you interact with the game,” says Dear. “Our users say they’re improving using the system, but that’s not the purpose for everybody. We all have months we don’t play well, but we can still achieve on the golf course, or enjoy ourselves and look forward to something.”

By The Numbers

One of the areas in which Shot Scope shines is User Interaction. Dear says Shot Scope regularly gets a 75 to 80% open rate on its email newsletters, and in a recent survey of Shot Scope users, 35% say their handicap is improving, with an average improvement of 2.7 strokes.

What’s more, 65% say the V2 GPS watch and its associated data is making them play golf a little differently and is changing the way they think on the course.

“Our user survey taught us a lot,” says Dear. “We have a lot of users who use it for pure improvement, and others used just for GPS distances. And some use because they want to capture trips and moments so that they can look back.”

Between Shot Scope, Arccos and others, the technology of shot tracking and data collection is pretty much in the can. Sure, there will be software and hardware refinements, but data collection is data collection. The name of the game now is what to do with all that information, and how do you make it usable and meaningful to golfers to the level at which they want to use it.

“That’s the key,” says Dear. “Not to overpower the user, but to make sure they can get what they want out of it. It’s not for us to say you must get this out of the system and you must do this. It’s pretty open in that way. It’s not going to throw stats down your throat if you don’t want them.”

Shot Scope’s Medals update is free and is available to Shot Scope users right now. Leaderboards are due out next month.