ShotScope H4, ProLX and ProLX+ – Key Takeaways
- H4: ShotScope shot tracking for the non-watch wearer
- ProLX+ combines H4 with an updated laser rangefinder
- H4: $149.99; ProLX+: $349.99; ProLX (rangefinder only): $249.99
- Available March 31
Ever since appearing on the scene in 2017, ShotScope’s wrist-mounted devices have been the choice of stat-tracking golfers who didn’t want to lug their phones with them. But it had no answer for golfers who hate wearing watches.
Other than to say, “Here’s ARCCOS’s number.”
The new H4 unit and the unique combo that is the ProLX+ laser rangefinder aren’t groundbreaking technology. But for the Scotland-based ShotScope, both products represent creative ways to get into, or onto, more golfers’ bags.
ShotScope 2022: Three New Products
Yep, you read that right. Even though the headline says two products, ShotScope is actually introducing three. There’s a twist but, technically, it’s three.
When ShotScope arrived in 2016 with its V1 wristband, it changed the stat-tracking game. At that time, you either had to “tag” your club to a belt-mounted unit (GameGolf) or you had to carry your phone your pocket (Arccos). The V1 used RFID technology in the wristband to automatically read the screw-in tag in the butt end of the club to detect the shot.
All you had to do was play golf. The wristband did the rest.
There were two problems. The wristband was roughly the size of an aircraft carrier. And it had no GPS.
V1 was really a proof-of-concept for ShotScope. A year later, it added GPS to its V2 watch which was roughly the size of a destroyer. In 2020, it introduced the slimmed-down V3, a GPS/shot-tracking package that remains the mainstay of its lineup.
For 2022, ShotScope is taking a step to the left and maybe a step or two back in time.
The new ShotScope H4 unit is a small GPS/shot-tracking unit that can clip on your belt, go in your pocket or even hang on your golf bag. That’s the first new product. The second new product is an updated and improved laser rangefinder, the ProLX.
The third product, the ProLX+, is where things get really interesting. But for giggles and grins, let’s start with the H4.
ShotScope H4: Hello 2014
ShotScope’s big innovation was to eliminate “tagging.” GameGolf and others at the time required that you tap the club sensor to a plastic, belt-mounted unit to collect data. If you forgot, well, you forgot.
Arccos sidestepped tagging with battery-powered sensors but there was that phone-in-the-pocket thing.
The new H4 unit, however, is a return to the GameGolf days. Tagging is back.
“A lot of people don’t want to wear a watch on the golf course. Fair enough,” says Gavin Dear, former European Tour pro and ShotScope’s Chief Commercial Officer. “But a lot of people want to use our system. This is a great way to open up our platform for them.”
The H4 unit is pretty much the V3 watch. It’s the same size and functionality, just without the band. However, since the shot detection tech was in the watchband, you will have to “tag” your club to the unit.
“It’s almost a step back in technology but it is creating a separate avenue for people to collect data,” says Dear.
The GPS functionality is the same. You get front/middle/back distances plus front and carry distances to hazards. To use shot tracking, you go back to 2014 and actually “tag” your club to the unit itself. It’ll vibrate and confirm the club you’re using on the GPS face. Then swing away.
The H4 unit fits into a sturdy metal clip on your belt. “When we first started talking about this, I told our guys this has to be metal,” says Dear. “It can’t be anything else.”
Anyone who’s either lost or broken a GameGolf or Arccos unit can appreciate that.
The H4 also comes with a carabiner so you can hang it on your golf bag. It also has a pretty powerful magnet. Keep that in mind.
ShotScope ProLX Laser Rangefinder
ShotScope entered the laser rangefinder game last year with the budget-priced ProL1. At $199 with Adaptive Slope Technology, the ProL1 was, and still is, an excellent value. But at the time, it seemed like a “me-too” product.
What we’re now learning is that it’s really a gateway product. And that gateway opens up to the ProLX and beyond but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
On the surface, the ProLX is the next evolution of the ProL1. It still features Adaptive Slope Technology, Target-Lock vibration and red/black graphics and the updates are what you’d expect.
There’s seven-times magnification (the ProL1 has six) and upgraded optics to lock on to the target faster. It also has a 900-yard range (25 yards more than the ProL1 for you really big hitters) and a large, “why-don’t-the-other-guys-do-this?” arch for your thumb.
There’s a removable plate under the oculus that covers up a frame. The frame, dear reader, is what we writers call a “tease.” ShotScope calls it a plate, which is probably more descriptive since it covers up another magnet.
That’s another tease.
ShotScope ProLX+: The Fully Monty
Turns out there’s a reason for the removable plate and all the magnets. They’re to couple the H4 GPS/shot tracker and the ProLX laser rangefinder into a single unit. And to decouple them when the need arises.
“This is actually where the idea for the H4 came from,” says Dear. “How can we integrate the two and make lasers do shot tracking?”
So when you buy the ProLX+, you get both the rangefinder and the H4 unit. During normal play, the H4 is attached to the rangefinder. You get your front/middle/back or your hazard distance from the GPS and/or shoot the target with the laser. Then you “tag” your club to the GPS itself, put the laser down and hit your shot.
“We knew we’d need the ability to separate the handheld from the laser so you could do shot tracking closer to the green,” says Dear. “But if they could be housed together, that would be great for long-game shot tracking. It gives the golfer so many options on how they’d want to use it.”
A couple of questions come to mind. First, how powerful are those magnets and is there a fear the H4 unit could fall off? Second, will the magnet mess with the GPS or the RFID tagging? Turns out both are a concern but ShotScope seems to have done its due diligence.
There’s a shield around the magnet housing to keep it separate from the GPS and RFID reader so that shouldn’t be a worry. As for possibly losing the H4, the laser has a molded-in lip along with the two powerful magnets.
“You can hear it click when the magnet connects,” says Dear. “You can actually feel the pull. And we’ve done all the obligatory throwing it around testing.”
Who Is It For?
George Carlin famously said, “If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it from you.”
Some golfers are GPS watch people and some are laser people. And some, this scribe included, carry both. Add to the mix the ability to collect all your shot-tracking data without hauling yet another piece of hardware around, well …
I guess that makes me a schmuck.
Even with the added step of tagging before each shot, the integrated package carries some appeal, especially for the golfer who hates wearing a watch. The obvious comp is the Arccos Caddie. ShotScope differentiates itself with battery-less club sensors and no monthly or annual subscription fees.
That’s none. Nada. Gratis. Compliments of the house.
No, the ShotScope stats package isn’t quite as robust as Arccos Caddie’s nor does it give you live on-course weather conditions or weather and elevation-based club recommendations. And it doesn’t have a GPS phone app.
But if you find all that a bit overwhelming, aren’t a fan of subscriptions and just want to play golf and track your stats, ShotScope is an excellent alternative. The stat package gives you more than 100 metrics including Strokes Gained along with a simple yet effective GPS unit with either the V3 on your wrist or the H4 on your laser (or in your pocket, on your bag or on your belt) and a value-priced, feature-laden-enough rangefinder.
And did we mention no fees?
Final Thoughts, Price and Availability
In the spirit of “trust but verify,” you can bet we’ll be putting the magnetic H4/ProLX magnetic coupling to the test. We’ve seen a live video of the two pieces pulling together (there’s an audible snap when they connect) and it appears some force is required to pull them apart. But how it all fares on the course, pulling it in and out of its case, and how it handles being tossed on the ground when you’re ready to hit all require our own testing.
As a ShotScope user since the V1 aircraft carrier days, my experience has been mostly positive. Yeah, it’ll miss the occasional shot (as does Arccos), but editing is pretty simple. And while the stat package lacks the oh-wow factor of Arccos, ShotScope does provide enough information without getting overwhelming. Set up is simple but one challenge is that it can take the GPS a little longer than you’d expect to find your course. It’s best to start the process a good 10 minutes before you tee off.
The new ShotScope H4 includes the unit, a USB clip charger, the metal belt clip, a carabiner and 16 tracking tags for your clubs. More than 36,000 courses are mapped and loaded. The H4 retails for $149.99 in the U.S. and $199.99 in Canada.
The ShotScope ProLX rangefinder will sell for $249.99 U.S. and $329.99 Canadian.
The ProLX+ is the combo package and includes the ProLX rangefinder and the H4 package. It retails for $349.99 U.S., $449.99 Canadian. Buying them together saves $50 U.S., $80 Canadian.
The rangefinder itself comes in three accented colors. They’re basic black with either gray, blue or orange accents.
Shotscope won’t be discontinuing any products. The V3 Data-collection/GPS watch stays in the lineup as does the G3 GPS-only watch. The ProL1 laser will also remain.
The new ShotScope products will hit retail on March 31. They’ll be available at DICK’S, Golf Galaxy, PGA TOUR SuperStore and at Golf Town in Canada.
For more information, visit the ShotScope website.
*This content is backed by the MyGolfSpy Integrity in Advertising Promise.
*We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.