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golf gps

Posted by: user417395 | Sun 6th Oct 2013 10:56 | Last Reply

any thoughts on golf gps devices have not got a whole lot to spend but looking for something that does the job

re: golf gps
Reply : Sun 6th Oct 2013 11:11

I have a SkyCaddie SG5.

These GPS devices are really useful when you are playing a new course. Not much good on my home course as I instinctively pick my club before looking at my SkyCaddie!

In order for a GPS to be of any use to you you need to know how far you hit each club. If you don't it's pointless using one.

I have to pay SkyCaddie each year in order to download courses (A real rip-off!)

There are a couple of GPS devices where you don't have to pay, get one of them instead of a SkyCaddie.

Laser range finders are good, but I find that I have trouble getting it to lock onto my target. Also, if there is a hidden bunker you won't know it's there, unless you purchase a yardage chart. Most GPS devices will give you a map of the hole.


re: golf gps
Reply : Sun 6th Oct 2013 11:35

Paul, any requirements ?

  • size
  • inclusion of course maps/hole images
  • touchscreen or multi point GPS data
  • non UK courses
re: golf gps
Reply : Sun 6th Oct 2013 12:12

couple of my friends have skycaddies and pay £29.99 per year which is ok if you play a lot of different courses but think it is a bit steep if you only play local heard the swammi 3000 is cheap and does the job

re: golf gps
Reply : Sun 6th Oct 2013 18:39

I have the watch-type Garmin Approach S2...


No map of the hole or colour display. But I like it because it's very quick and doesn't add any time to your shot preparation/ routine. Simply get to the ball, look at your wrist and select your club. You get yardage to front, middle and back of green as well as to 100/ 150 lay-ups and to any dog-legs. You can measure your last shot distance and an odometer keeps track of round time and distance walked in the background. Oh, and there's a scorecard function (single player only).

If you play on a fairly open course where you can see most of the hazards and see the greens from most spots on the fairway, I'd definitely recommend this. I wanted something that was going to be quick - and I find the watch type perfect for this.

I also have the "Golfshot GPS" app for my iPhone (about £26 I think). Expensive for an app but cheap compared to colour GPS devices. I use this on some holes where I want to know distance to carry streams, bunkers, etc. Check out the app if you have a smartphone. For each hole you get distances to all the hazards, lay-up points you can customise, overhead views and a wealth of stats information if you want, as well as a scorecard for 4 players. Would slow me down a little using this on every hole. I probably use it 3 holes per round - especially on a course I play regularly.

Hope this helps.


re: golf gps
Reply : Mon 7th Oct 2013 11:22

I have a rangefinder and think that this works best on courses I haven't played before but I always buy a course guide as well. I try to look at the flag as well as other hazards in the distance before the shot. Takes the same amount of time as I always did as I get to my ball as soon as I can and scope it whilst others are taking their shots so I'm ready to go when it's my turn. Only time it's slow is when I can't get to my ball quickly as I would be in the way.

Lee, I would advise people not to use smartphones as these aren't allowed in competitions due to the weather apps available. That way you can't get dependent on something that won't be allowed.

re: golf gps
Reply : Mon 7th Oct 2013 16:41


I recently invested in the Garmin G6, not the cheapest but gives a lot of information regarding hazards and the like. I chose over a wrist watch version as it gives a lot more information.

I have had it for a couple of months and am very pleased with it.

They are a little expensive around £250 but require no annual subscriptions and I believe are allowed in competitions. I am sure I will be corrected if I am incorrect.

re: golf gps
Reply : Mon 7th Oct 2013 22:39

Perfectly legal in competitions provided the approved local rule is in place allowing Distance Measuring Devices - don't know of any course which doesn't allow use.

re: golf gps
Reply : Mon 7th Oct 2013 23:49

If you've got a smartphone then download the golfshot app. It costs £20 with no renewal fees. It has a map of each hole with satellite images, distance to clear hazards, distance to places you point indicate with your finger and from there to the green.

It also lets you record each shot, marking the place of the shot, the place the ball ended up, and the club you used which builds a profile of your average distance with each club.

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 07:50

Hi Paul, the reason I asked is because I've tested quite a few and usage and price are big factors.

If you want the full information that complies with competitions then the SkyCaddie, Garmin, Golf Buddy are all great devices offering home images, full hazard info etc

Lee also mentioned the Garmin S2 Watch which is a great bit of kit for quickly looking at distances and even tracking shot devices but doesn't offer the in-depth hole/course image overview.

Similarly have a look at the Skycaddie Aire if you are just after accurate distances to the green. For me at my level I'm not that bothered about hazards off the tee nor hazards on the course but find quick distance to the green really useful in club selection.

Hope this helps.

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 08:57

most of the clubs i play at i already know where the hazards are or somebody with me does and i tend to buy a guide so it is just the distances to green. I am looking at the swammi on online golf rrp £129.00 but on offer at £59.99 no added costs except £9.99 for the 1st time but can store 10 courses which is probably all i will need small easy to use without the indepth of other more expensive gps devices and without the added yearly subscriptions.

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 08:58

what is the app like for using battery power i know a lot eat battery

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 09:57

Some of the smartphone golf apps do have problems that I've seen. There are obviously the battery problems and the fact that some comps and clubs don't allow them to be used (only stand alone 'dedicated' devices are allowed - even removing the sim card doesn't qualify). The biggest drawback I've seen though is that the ones that use satellite imagery rely on Google earth or similar systems for the information, and that needs to be up to date. I know of at least three courses in this area (E. Mids) that have had changes to the layout that would render a satellite image completely useless, and in one case (the Nottinghamshire Open) completely wrong. As the changes were implemented only this year even most dedicated GPS systems weren't updated either.

I should admit that I've been long term testing a Golf Buddy platinum and it has been a revelation. I'd never used a GPS before and it's simple, quick and accurate, simply turn the unit on when you get to the course and it's ready to go on the first tee and I rarely even need to enter a course. It was also almost the only one that had both sets of greens on the Gramacho course in Portugal. Although it's expensive it's a one off payment and courses are updated regularly and are free to download.

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 18:08

Tim, GolfShot updates pretty much every week - not every course, but those that require updates. Really is a cracking app, but as you say though, can only really be used for social golf. Even if some comps do allow phones to be used, I wont start asking places as it doesn't really comply with R&A rules

re: golf gps
Reply : Tue 8th Oct 2013 18:24

On my iPhone 5 a round of golf using GolfShot takes about 40% of my battery. And I do get it out for almost every shot, record scores on it and track a lot of shots. The shot tracking feature - which basically tells you exactly how far you hit the ball with each club after you've entered a few - is on it's own worth the £20.

It's probably not quite as good as a GolfBuddy, but if you already have a smartphone it's less than a tenth of the price.

re: golf gps
Reply : Sun 20th Oct 2013 18:58

I have a skycaddie SGXW for sale. Please see relevant topic

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