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Swing Caddy recently announced that its SC300 launch monitor has been discontinued and replaced by the SC300i. Since this is one of the most popular personal launch monitors on the market, I was interested in testing the newer version to see meaningful changes.
In this review I discuss the updates, test results and how the Swing Caddy SC300i fits into the growing market of launch monitors priced below $ 500.
The Long and Short of It
The category of personal launch monitors has exploded in recent years. I get emails daily from readers who come across my reviews and buying guide. With more options available, golfers get confused by what makes each product different. I do my best to point people in the right direction based on their needs (you can always contact me here).
Swing Caddy is the original innovator in space. You could say that the Swing Caddy SC100 "sparked" interest in low-cost launch monitors. Years later, I find myself still recommending their products to most people for two reasons:
They are easy to use
Forgive me for brevity. I appreciate simplicity in everything related to golf, be it strategy or technology products. And simplicity is the reason why Swing Caddy is still one of the leaders in launch monitors.
Many products I tested include apps that can be confusing or require additional hardware, such as your phone or tablet to take pictures. The last thing I want is for golfers to start fiddling their practice sessions with technology that is tricky to use. The Swing Caddy 300i puts the & # 39; easy and effective & # 39; benefit of the brand.
What has changed?
The Swing Caddy SC300 was a huge hit. It was accurate, easy to set up and offered additional features over the Swing Caddy SC200 +.
The main thing I like about the SC300 is that it had a companion app, but it was not needed for use . You always had the option to quickly turn it on and see all your stats (or have them shouted out loud). If you wanted to sync your phone or tablet with the app, you had that option too.
The other products at this price level, the Flightscope mevo and Rapsodo MLM, will not work unless you use an app on your mobile phone or tablet . This is not a problem for some. But for many other golfers I've communicated with, it's been a deal breaker.
The SC300i looks identical to its predecessor, but some interior components have been upgraded
The SC300i measures the same parameters as the original SC300:
Carry & Total Yardages
Apex (Max Height)
Spin Speed (Using Mobile App Only)
Perhaps the biggest news is that the accompanying app has received a nice upgrade.
Swing Caddy has cleaned up the user interface quite a bit. There is an improved data presentation of all your clubs. Most notably, there is an option to analyze your swing with video. The good news is that owners of the original SC300 will also get this feature . Here are some screenshots from the new app:
I prefer to test launch monitors indoors because I can control the variables. In addition, since all personal launch monitors are based on radar, it is a more rigorous test to see which units have the better sensor. Almost any radar-based unit will work better outdoors because it has more room to watch the ball move. When I go out of range, I have the tradeoff of using range balls, which don't give me the most accurate results.
The original Swing Caddy SC300 had very favorable figures compared to my SkyTrak (a camera-based, more expensive option for $ 2000) in carrying distance and ball speed. But other parameters, such as the launch angle, really struggled.
I compared the SC300i to SkyTrak to get a baseline of accuracy
As the SC300i has newer components, I expected the sensor to be slightly more accurate and to deliver cleanly.
Here are comparisons with SkyTrak for the carrying distance:
Club SkyTrak Carry Yardage SC300i Carry Yardage
Pitch Shot (LW) 5855.5
9-iron 153 150
7-iron 17517 3.7
I found these distances to be slightly more accurate than the previous SC300 . While SkyTrak isn't perfect (no launch monitor), the SC300i generally performed extremely well in carrying distance. All of these numbers match gauges I've verified for multiple products, including Trackman and the Foresight Sports GCQuad. In addition, my ball speed was within the same narrow margins.
The biggest improvement I saw on the Swing Caddy SC300i is the launch angle . The previous model had numbers that differed as much as 15-20% from the SkyTrak. These are the launch angle measurements I recorded:
Club SkyTrak Launch Corner SC300i Launch Corner
Pitch Shot (LW) 29.527.5
I don't pay too much attention to the starting angle of most of my clubs, except my driver. It can be a useful tool to optimize your driver's distance.
Therefore, I was pleased to see that the SC300i provided much more reliable measurement data on launch angle; this allows golfers to experiment with things like ball position, tee height or even driver loft settings (be careful).
How the SC300i Fits the Market
As I mentioned, there are many choices among the personal home monitors ($ 500 and under). Here are my current recommendations over other devices.
PRGR and Swing Caddy SC200 +
The PRGR and SC200 + are the best options for those on a lower budget.
At $ 199, the PRGR is a great choice, but it's more of a "no-nonsense" offering. There is no remote control, you will have to adjust clubs manually and it only measures distance, ball speed and swing speed.
If you want to save money but want a more polished product than the PRGR, the Swing Caddy SC200 + is still a great alternative for $ 289. The SC300i is a little more accurate than the SC200 +, but if you're willing To sacrifice something with an app and the added measurements such as the launch angle, the SC200 + is a huge added value.
The Swing Caddy SC200 Plus
You can read my reviews of these two options here:
Swing Caddy SC200 +
Swing Caddy SC300i vs. Rapsodo MLM
The comparison between the Rapsodo MLM and the SC300i gets a bit trickier. The MLM is a great product for a comparable price. But there are some pros and cons of each use.
Based on my tests, the accuracy between the two units is comparable. Rapsodo recently added indoor functionality, and I still think their app is superior (even with the new Swing Caddy update). But there are two major drawbacks:
The MLM requires the use of an iPhone or iPad to display your data . For some this may not be a problem, but for others it can be annoying if you are concerned about charging a different battery or your iPhone overheats in direct sunlight.
Currently, the Rapsodo MLM only works on iOS. There are still plans for Android, but they are not there yet. So if you don't have an iPhone or iPad, you can't use the Rapsodo MLM .
Overall, my main recommendation is that those who value simplicity in a product should use the SC300i. If having a robust app is more important to you, then the Rapsodo MLM is also a great product. These are still the top two picks in the category.
You can read my full Rapsodo MLM review here.
Swing Caddy SC300i vs. FlightScope mevo
The FlightScope mevo is a direct competitor to the SC300i in terms of pricing and features. However, when most people ask me which one to get, I tell them all to go with the SC300i.
In my testing, I found the mevo struggling indoors, and I didn't like the functionality of the app (which is needed to see your data). Overall, I think the SC300i is a more polished product, easier to use and more accurate.
You can read my full FlightScope mevo review here.
The Swing Caddy SC300i remains one of the leaders in the personal launch category. I think the app's rework and improved accuracy with newer sensors makes it a great value. It remains one of the best overall choices for those on a bigger budget and want more features.
You can buy it here with a special offer for Practical Golf readers for $ 449.
If you're looking for ways to practice with a launch monitor, you can refer to this guide.