Review - Skycaddie SG2.5 vs Sureshot 8800 golf GPS

By: John Flood | Sun 12 Apr 2009 | Comments


Right, here's my OWN personal opinion on 2 GPS devices that I have owned & used for 4 or more rounds of golf.

Skycaddie SG2.5

This was the 1st of the 2 devices that I used & my preference for choosing this model was at the time of purchase it was £50 cheaper than it's nearest rivals (£149).

On arrival of the unit it had to be charged for a minimum of 5hrs but this could be done whilst it was plugged into the PC. This enabled me to install the software on my PC to 'sync' with the GPS device & also register & activate the device.

In order to be able to use this once it was charged required you to 'sign up' to one of their three annual membership schemes, these range from £19.95 (just UK) up to £39.95 (worldwide).You are then able to choose courses & download them to your device. The SG2.5 can hold 10 courses (more expensive models can hold more).

Once on the course they suggest turning the device on 10mins prior to playing to allow it to get a strong GPS signal. The buttons are easy to use & the menus are quite simple to use. In all fairness you could use this device without having to press a button during your round as it automatically detects which hole your playing (even if your on the wrong fairway!!) so all you need to do is look at the screen.

The screen on the SG2.5 is black & white (it's colour on the more expensive models) & is quite easy to read in sunlight. It gives you distances to the front, middle & back of the green & it also allows you to move the on screen cursor to pin point the exact flag position. If you require more detailed info you can press the 'target' button & it will give details on hazards etc. It will also give you 'lay-up' distances, for example it will display 170yrds leaves 100yrds, this was a feature I thought was really useful on par 5's or long par 4's as I'm quite comfortable playing a full 100yd wedge into a green.

If you want to measure how far your ball travelled you simply press the 'mark' button from your starting position & then again when you reach your end position. This put paid to the theory that your average drive is 260yrds!! You'll be surprised at the actual distance!

the size of the unit is quite small & lightweight. you can either clip it onto your bag using the 'belt-clip' which is really good & has the option of a 'quick release' button or it can quite comfortably be carried around in your jacket pocket.

Overview of the skycaddie

Pros : Lightweight, small, black & white version is good value, quick release belt clip & layup yardage.

Cons : Have to pay a subscription before you can use it, can't edit courses already mapped, small(ish) screen

Sureshot 8800

 

The 2nd of my devices was the Sureshot 8800. This was bought for me as a gift & it cost £199.99, slightly more expensive than the skycaddie.

On arrival of the unit it had to be charged for a minimum of 5hrs & could not be switched on to register etc until fully charged . Once charged I was able to register the device, setup my preferences & download courses.

To use this device straight away did not require any subscriptions as your are entitled to 3 course downloads, I thought this was an excellent idea. The unit itself can store up to 20 courses. You can also 'edit' the courses to take into account any new hazards etc that have been built.

Again to use it on the course they recommend turning it on 10mins prior to playing. There are more buttons than the Skycaddie but this is because it can do a lot more than the skycaddie. The menus are simple & once you have used it a few times they become 2nd nature. I must admit that I did need to read the manual to be able to use all the features but then again I like reading manuals.

The screen on the 8800 is colour and is really easy to read in sunlight, even direct sunlight. It gives you distances to the front, middle & back of the green & it also allows you to move the on screen cursor to pin point the exact flag position. If you require more detailed info you can press the up & down keys & it will give colurful detailed images of the hazards (there are that many that they provide a waterproof legend card so you can take it out with you but I've not had to use that yet).

As with the SG2.5 it allows you to measure your distance with the same ease.

Now this is where the sureshot leaves the SG2.5 standing. On every hole you can record fairways hit, greens in regulation, sand saves, up/downs, putts & the final score. After 9 holes you can review your stats on the screen as it gives you a simple screen showing the above. It also shows this after 18holes.  It will also save this score so you can download it to your PC later (great if you want to input it into golfshake)

the size of the unit is bigger then the skycaddie & I don't think you could carry it in your pocket. I have been using the beltclip to attach it to my bag which once secured is very sturdy, but would have benefited from the 'quick release' button on the skycaddie as trying to get it off is a bit cumbersome, & more recently using a tie strap (the things you use to secure large items in a car boot or on a roof rack) to secure it to my Powakaddy & it works a treat.

Overview of theSureshot

Pros : Get 3 free courses to download, edit mapped courses, track score & stats, large colour screen.

Cons : Bit too big to carry in your pocket, belt clip bit awkward to get off.

So which one would I recommend??

In all honesty there both great units & if I hadn't have had the Sureshot bought as a gift I probably wouldn't have swapped but after trying them both out I would recommend the Sureshot for the following reasons

  • you don't need to subscribe to initially use it so if you only play 3 courses you don't need to spend another single penny.
  • being able to record your stats, if your out practising you don't need to bother with a scorecard & pencil.
  • the sureshot 'sync' software is easier to use.
  • the ability to edit courses.
  • the larger screen

the only area the sureshot falls down for me is not having the 'lay-up' yardage but I suppose a bit of mental arithmetic can get around that & not having the quick release button on the belt clip is a let down. I have included the links to both websites of the sureshot in action, if you require anymore info

 

Sureshot

Skycaddie

John.


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