Thanks to technology, we are in an era where we are both information driven and also driven to get that information as quickly as possible. That has expanded well into the realm of golf, and as technology improves so too does the ability to take it and learn about one’s own golf game. Voice Caddie is bringing a new device to the golf market that aims to take advantage of all of the technology out there in what they are calling their “portable launch monitor” – the Swing Caddie SC100.
Information from Voice Caddie on their new Swing Caddie SC100:
The Swing Caddie SC100 is a standalone portable golf launch monitor designed to help golfers visualize their swings. It provides instant visual feedback and stores stats for each club, without any separate device or smart phone application, and its remote control makes it effortless to use. Swing Caddie is ideal for both practice and play, and creates a fresh new experience for golfers of all levels.
The Swing Caddie SC100:
- Standalone device (no phone app needed)
- Instant feedback via LCD display
- Carry Distance
- Swing Speed
- Ball Speed
- Smash Factor
- 3 modes
- Practice Mode
- Target Mode
- Random Mode
- Stats for each club
- Average stats
- Shot count and time display
- Compact size and weight
- Easy use with remote control
- Available in white or black versions
Contents and Initial Setup
The SC100 comes enclosed in a nice two-piece box and upon opening it is displayed prominently to show off the overall build of the device. As far as overall contents go there really isn’t much to it. Enclosed are the four AAA batteries the SC100 needs to operate, a drawstring pouch for easier storage than the display box, and also a slim external remote control.
Preparing the SC100 for use is simple. It is literally just a matter of inserting the batteries, turning on the device, selecting the desired mode, and setting it up 1 to 1.5 meters (about 3 to 5 feet) behind the ball. The remote control also offers the ability to change the modes without picking up the device multiple times during use, and because it is so thin it isn’t even noticed when in pocket. For a device that is so technologically impressive, it being so simple to get up and running is impressive.
Ease of Use
Actual use of the Swing Caddie, whether it is on the range or tinkering on the course, is just as simple as the setup of the device. After selecting the required mode by hand or remote and setting the SC100 up behind the ball, all you have to do is ensure you have the club listed on the screen and start hitting golf balls – no muss and no fuss. Since there is no additional smart phone app necessary and the SC100 itself allows you to recall prior information right there (100 swings will record and can be scrolled through by club and you can also look at the current day), things are incredibly streamlined as it pertains to the information. The orange tinted screen over the LCD seemed to aid in making the SC100 easy to read as well no matter the angle of the sunlight. Obviously mileage will vary there while practicing based on the users eyesight, but it handled it well in this tester’s time with the device. While it would admittedly be a nice bonus to be able to upload that information somewhere for long term tracking, you can still learn a lot about your numbers with the 100 recorded swings. That isn’t a knock on the device, but it would be nice to see that option down the line in future devices.
Modes, Information Displayed, and Accuracy
According to Voice Caddie, the Swing Caddie provides the various data through use of the built in Doppler radar system, which lends to it a level of accuracy which they are quite proud of. The SC100 gives information on swing speed, the carry distance, ball speeds, and also the smash factor. Additionally it has three different modes that can be utilized – practice mode, target mode, and random mode.
Practice mode is likely to be the most commonly used setting with the SC100, as this is the base mode which will provide swing-by-swing information on the four measurable pieces of data which the device focuses on. After setting the Swing Caddie to practice mode via the mode button or the remote the only other thing left to do is to make sure the proper club is also selected. From an accuracy standpoint the numbers seen during testing were much more impressive than initially expected, especially as far as swing and ball speeds were concerned. With multiple clubs the read outs given were impressively accurate with at the most +/- 1 to 2 MPH “variance” on speed numbers and the carry numbers compared to lasers shot to landing areas were right in that +/- 1 to 2 wheelhouse as well. Smash factor proved more applicable than expected on the SC100 as the readouts consistently changed based on center strikes and misses across the face.
Target and random modes proved to be much more fun than initially thought, as each brought a new twist into practice time. In target mode the user can select the distance which they want to “target” (40 to 200) and also the club with which they want to do it. From here you have 10 shots (one round) to swing away and work on achieving that number. Random mode is essentially target mode, but the SC100 actually picks the distance for you (40 to 100) and you have 10 shots (one round) to hit that number. To add some depth to these modes each round of 10 is scored. A perfect score is 100 and you can actually get bonus points for hitting the number on the dot. During review this proved to be a lot of fun, especially as a golfer who is working hard on the scoring zone with those 100-120 yard shots. Battling it out to hit the number and score well became almost an obsession to the point that it didn’t feel like practice.
The path at which technology in golf has traveled recently is nothing short of amazing. A few short years ago no one would have considered something like the Swing Caddie a possibility for providing a variety of information so easily. Will it be as spot on as a Trackman? No, but it isn’t trying to be a Trackman. What it is trying to be is a valuable tool for golfers across the gamut, from range rats to those just wanting to compare their numbers with their buddies. The Swing Caddie will come with a retail price of $289.00, which could be a tough pill for some to swallow, but compared to other options out there and the all-around usefulness of the target and random modes, it could be well worth a hard look for many.
For and more information on the Swing Caddie SC100 from Voice Caddie, as well as more on where you can locate it, be sure to visit their website at www.voicecaddie.com.