UK Golf Guide
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Feature Review: SkyCaddie SGX
Posted by: Adam Smith on Mon 25 Oct 2010
I recently got the opportunity to try out the new SkyCaddie SGX.
Having not used one or any other range finder before I wasn't sure wether I would like it or not. I'm definatly a stroke saver kind of guy but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about as there seem to be a lot on the market nowadays.
Easy to install and pretty easy to use once you set-up and download the courses via the Caddie Sync software. The Caddie Sync provides desktop software to access the 30,000 preloaded courses which you can sync and download to your Sky Caddie SGX device.
Not all the courses are currently mapped for the new features but I was lucky enough to test out on a course I had never played and had all of the feature available; HoleVue, IntelliGreen Pro plus the Mark any Shot feature, so I was fully prepared.
It does take a bit of using to get used to all of the features and functionality but what tech gadget doesn't but with minimal effort it provides some fantastic all round functionality and as well as the GPS it includes shot tracking and score card.
I was very impressed with the GPS system and the way it knew exactly where you were and what hole your were on. It was a lot easier to use when I wanted to know how far it was to carry a hazard or how far I had to the centre of the green.
Every time you walked off the green it automatically moved you on to the next hole which meant you had little to do other than view the data.
The graphics were spot on to what I was seeing and the screen was easy to see even in sunlight. The GPS data was pretty much inline with the course yardage markers but if the markers had been moved it was great to get additional confidence from using the SkyCaddie device.
Unlike some other devices SkyCaddie pride themselves on using a team of professional SkyCaddie mappers to walk the course you play and record up to 40 additional targets for each hole and not just the green. This was something my playing partner found particularly useful:
'As an average golfer, using the SkyCaddie really helped me focus on some of my shots more. Rather than trying to reach the green from 200 yards out of the rough it helped me focus on what was really achievable and what I really should do. On a number of occasions it focused my course management making sure I picked the right club to lay up 60 yards short or make sure I carried the tree 140 yards away rather than hit it and rip it which I tend to do with little success!'
To sum up, the SkyCaddie is a great device for GPS data and yardages if all the features are available but at £329 it's worth checking your regular course is featured to justify the price tag.
We spoke with SkyCaddie and got a bit more background on the innovative HoleVue and IntelliGreen features plus the state of course mapping in the UK and why SkyCaddie are the number one seller of GPS devices.
'SkyCaddie has already mapped over 98% of UK golf courses in detail and on foot and we continue to re-map over 500 UK courses each year, as golf courses are constantly changing. Nobody else comes anywhere near this, which is why more golfers choose SkyCaddie than any other GPS.'
HoleVue enables the golfer to know the distance to any point on a hole, which helps them to plan the best strategy to play the hole in the fewest strokes. Currently around 25% or roughly 900 UK golf courses are HoleVue-ready, with the 1,000 mark due soon and they are adding around 150 a month in the UK.
The increase in HoleVue-ready course maps has been driven by consumer demand. SkyCaddie look at the amount of downloads for each course, and they look at the requests which come into their website, when prioritising which courses to re-map for HoleVue purposes. Thus, the 900 HoleVue-ready courses are certainly among the UK's most popular, most-requested, most-downloaded (and therefore most-played) golf courses in the UK.
IntelliGreen® technology provides details on the exact shape of the green by automatically rotating the green to match a golfer’s angle of approach. IntelliGreen provides all of the distances needed to hit more greens and avoid three putts. The number is growing fast with 1,000 UK golf courses IntelliGreen Pro-ready.
For more information see the official product information here: http://www.golfshake.com/news/view/1836/SkyGolf_Unveils_SkyCaddie_SGXy.html
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