Gear focus

Last month we looked at rangefinders. One of the plusses of the rangefinder was that there was no set-up necessary. The GPS watch has traditionally been something you would need to spend a little bit of time with and set up and get to know. When Shot Scope said they had a GPS golf-specific watch that was potentially the lightest on the market and was ready to go straight out the box, we had to give it a go.

I have to apologise – unfortunately, thanks to the courier industry being under huge pressure with Christmas around the corner and businesses wanting to make sure everything that needs to be sent is done before year end, the arrival of our test watch was delayed. As a result, we have had limited time on the course, so we are going to have to do a follow-up in the next issue to let you know exactly how the G5 performed on various courses. Let’s get down to business!

I unboxed the rather small looking and extremely light package – it was a pleasant surprise. Take a look at our video and you will get a good idea of what to expect.


The Shot Scope G5 GPS Watch

watch now!

The watch comes with two different shades of strap – bonus! The strap is extremely soft and fits snuggly and comfortably on your arm – I have never played golf with a watch, so comfort was going to be key for me. The strap clips on to the face with a clever pin system and is easily interchangeable. Which brings me to the watch itself; it is extremely light. Initially I was taken back by how light it is, to be frank. How would a watch that seemed so, well light, perform? Out the box the battery was at 57% and would most likely get you through a round without any problems, but after I had turned it on, toggled around and connected to the free app I decided to charge the watch (it has a bespoke charging cable, which you don’t want to lose on a golf tour...). It charged super quickly – tick that box. Packed with a lithium battery and a simple colour screen, the battery power is claimed to last for at least two rounds.

The G5 comes preloaded with 36 000 courses – naturally you only need the one you are playing on. Following the advice on the quick start guide I turned it on five minutes before tee time and it took seconds to find the course. I had linked the watch to the app and it updated two of my local courses. I am not sure what it had updated, but one of the courses hadn’t updated and it worked perfectly. It took me a little while to get used to the layout (which you apparently can customise but I haven’t tried that) and also getting into the habit of recording my score. Which is an awesome feature for me as I was on top of my score at all times, and it was a great way to confirm the card.

I particularly like the option that allowed me to see the hazards and distance to the front and the back, and whether it was water or a bunker. It also indicates distance to a dogleg. There is a lay-up option, which I am still coming to grips with, but that’s me, and trusting the technology, but also laying up… laying up(?). Not an option I have embraced yet. The default face shows the time, the battery charge, distance to the middle, the front and back of the green. What hole you are on, the hole’s par and your total round score to par. A lot of info quickly available on one screen.I mentioned that I have never worn a watch of any sort while playing. This was the biggest test for me. Not only having it on my arm but also seeing it on my arm. To make matters worse I am right-handed and wear my daily watch on my right hand (don’t ask… ). I must be honest, I have worn it on both arms and it’s not the watch, but me… Frankly, in between shots and sweating aside, I never noticed it. Did I tell you the G5 is light? I am still getting used to having the actual instrument on my arm and that will take a little time. The convenience of having the numbers available anywhere on the course and being able to make informed club selections is a game-changer. I have been


See how the Shot Scope G5 GPS Watch works

watch now!

using a phone app for a while now and besides irritating everyone who thinks I’m always on the phone, it’s nowhere near as easy. The distances are within a metre or two of the phones. I haven’t compared it to a rangefinder and the numbers are close enough, and frankly I am not sure how much more accurate it could be or how much of a difference it would make to most of us.

At R3 999.00 the G5 is not a cheap trick, it is the real deal, utilising clever materials to offer a golfcentric GPS watch that has very little gimmick and a whole lot of current, useful info instantly. Oh, and its super light.

I will give you some more feedback in the next issue. Promise.


Since buying my Hovr™ SL’s, Under Armour have brought out a new version: the Hovr™ FADE 2. Retailing at RRP R2999.00, so priced at the upper end of the UA range but offering good value considering the quality and tech in the shoe.