Voice Caddie's SC300i is among the best of the portable launch monitors under $600 thanks to its impressive accuracy, ease of use and host of useful features like audio call out of data, integration of video via the accompanying app, clear display and extended battery life.
Fairly easy to set up
Video feature with stats overlay on app
Accurate, especially outdoors
A little larger and heavier than the competition
Does not measure swing path
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Swing Caddie SC300i Launch Monitor Review
Launch monitors are an increasingly popular and affordable must have item for the serious golfer. You want to know more than just how far you hit the ball; you want to get immediate feedback on each swing - clubhead and ball speed, smash factor and launch angles, for example - so you can make adjustments in your practice and technique. The best golf launch monitors, of course, can be expensive, but thankfully technology just keeps getting better and better, and now golfers have many different options in more affordable portable launch monitors.
Voice Caddie are a company best known for producing personal GPS devices for figuring out distances to different points on the golf course, but they are also serious players in the launch monitor market and the Swing Caddie 300i is a great example of an affordable launch monitor with a lot of features. The SC300i is quite sophisticated, especially when you compare it to the original SC100 and SC200 that Voice Caddie introduced a few years ago. The 300 series are larger and heavier, they are rechargeable and they have added features. They are also more technologically advanced.
The SC300i improves upon the SC300 in a couple of ways. For a start, it has all new hardware, including its Doppler Radar system and electronics, making it even more accurate and certainly among the most accurate among all the portable launch monitors under $600, which includes the likes of the Flightscope Mevo, Rapsodo, Garmin Approach R10, Ernst Sports ESB1 and PRGR personal launch monitor, for example.
We found that the SC300i was deadly accurate, especially outdoors, in terms of distance, swing speed and clubhead speed. It even compared very well with launch monitors that cost thousands of dollars. The unit is also equipped with a barometric sensor, which makes the readings even more accurate. Indoors, the data was pretty close to a much more expensive simulator we used in conjunction with it.
The other big advancement is in battery life, with the newer SC300i boasting a 20-hour battery life as opposed to the 12-hour battery life of its predecessor. This means you can use it for several sessions before having to recharge, and unless you just let it run to zero, it should always make it though a session. Additionally, it has a video component with the app now, which means you can overlay the stats over swings, a really cool feature similar to that which has made the Rapsodo MLM so popular.
Having a portable launch monitor accompany you when practicing helps in many different ways. It’s a great way to compare different clubs, for example, so whether you are looking for the best driver for distance or perhaps the best hybrid to fill that difficult spot in your golf bag, having immediate access to the data makes it much easier to choose. You could even use it to find the best golf balls for your game as the SC300i measures ball speed, clubhead speed, launch, angle, carry distance, apex height, spin rate and smash factor (how close is contact to the sweet spot of the club?).
It does not measure clubhead path or even calculate it, but then very few inexpensive launch monitors can do this. The wealth of information it does provide though can really help golfers dial in their swing or equipment preferences, especially when it comes to gapping your irons or wedges.
There's also a good speaker in the unit that calls out distances almost immediately after you've struck a shot while the big screen of the unit is another feature that makes the SC300i stand out. The screen displays almost all the data points and is easy to see as you're hitting balls. Plus there's a handy remote control that allows you to make quick club selections. This is important because if you don't select the right club the readings will not be accurate.
As mentioned before, the SC300i also comes with an app that you can pair with the unit but it’s important to point out that you do not have to use the app to use the SC300i. It is a really nice bonus feature though.
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Mike has worked in the golf industry for nearly 30 years with full-time staff positions at publications and websites that include PGA Magazine, the Golfweek Group, and GolfChannel.com. He is currently writing for several different sites and magazines and serves as a contributing equipment writer for Golf Monthly, focusing on irons, shoes and the occasional training aid or piece of technical equipment.
Mike has experienced a number of highlights in his career, including covering several Ryder Cups, PGA Championships and the Masters, writing instruction pieces and documenting the best places for golf travel for more than a decade.
Mike carries a 7.6 handicap index and has two hole-in-ones, the most recent coming in February 2022. A resident of Texas for more than 40 years, Mike plays out of Memorial Park Golf Course (home of the Houston Open on the PGA Tour).
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