SkyCaddie SX400 Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Andrew Picken
Over the years I have identified that my major golfing fault is course management. When I have had the chance to play supported by professional caddies my scores have always improved massively.
Having a sensible voice in my ear rather than the voices that usually occupy my brain is a massive advantage. This was best exemplified by my experience of being guided by European Tour caddie Steve Brotherhood around his own course at Newark.
I was genuinely excited at the prospect of reviewing the latest SkyCaddie SX400 as I had heard great things from current owners. Not being known for my technical prowess I wondered if this could be a step too far. Would it be too technical for my standard of game?
It was clear that my editor also had similar misgivings about my technical prowess in setting up the unit and provided me with some excellent instructional links via the SkyCaddie website.
If you are thinking of investing in this type of unit check out these links.
The website is excellent. The videos are superbly put together and offer a real insight into all the features that this unit offers the discerning golfer.
I could not have been more wrong about it being too complicated for my use.
This unit is the size of a mobile phone. It is housed in a rugged carry case for protection and it's an absolute delight to set up and use in play. There is nothing worse than being distracted during a game by the technical issues in a piece of equipment.
The high definition screen is incredibly clear and easy to use. I now need glasses to play the game, so size of font and clarity of image is an issue for me when using watches etc. This unit has an HD colour display, is easy to use and sits easily in the hand or attached to the bag by a carabiner clip.
I play a lot of courses that are new to me so a blind shot into a green can be a real issue. Not using the SkyCaddie SX400. No more blind shots or guesswork.
If you know your club distances this item is an absolute godsend.
There are 35,000 ground verified, error corrected maps offering unrivalled accuracy.
The HD graphics have to be seen to be believed. I first used the unit in anger on a beautiful spring day when I struggled to use my iPhone. No such issue with the SkyCaddie SX400. Clear, sharp contrasting colours and everything laid out simply on the screen.
The unit holds enough charge for 20 hours of golf and initial set up was a doddle. I also set up a Sky360 account to enable me to activate the Bluetooth facility to link the unit to my phone. I synchronised the units using wi-fi and the scores and data transferred with ease and speed to my account.
For those of you wishing to track your scoring performance over a season this is a brilliant piece of equipment.
It also offers a great shot tracking facility indicating errant shots and highlighting tendencies for poor shots. This is a really useful facility for those who analyse games post round.
Much like the Golfshake Score Tracker Cards this builds up a really useful picture of issues and faults.
Subscriptions come for the first 12 months for free followed by a small annual fee. This is justifiable given that SkyCaddie remap over 300 courses per year in the UK alone, so you are guaranteed to have the most up to date data possible.
This is not a cheap item of equipment retailing at £299.95 but it for me is the best course mapping guide I have ever had the pleasure of using.
I have immediately asked to retain it for a longer time review as I genuinely think that it will help my game and handicap.
I can’t afford to retain a professional caddie to play my medal rounds with me, but I can use this excellent piece of kit to guide me to avoid the regular stupid mistakes I have been prone to in the past.
Learning from my previous experiences with professional caddies and linking it with the superb accuracy from the SkyCaddie SX400 and I am genuinely confident that when I start to play competitively again, I will be in a very good place.
Both SX400 and SX500 are sold with a 1-year Birdie Membership worth £29.95.
This gives UK customers all GB & Ireland course maps. When the year’s up, you can renew Birdie, or upgrade to Eagle (Continental Europe, Middle East & Africa), or to Double Eagle (Worldwide).
The screen layout is simple and intuitive to use.
An excellent feature if playing a course that has pre-set pin position areas is the ability to be able to move the pin placement to the exact distances given on the pin sheet. Do this before your round as you prepare and be absolutely confident of the exact pin positions for that day.
My initial first impressions for this unit have been very positive and I cannot wait to put it into use in competitive play.
This is not a cheap item of golfing equipment, but I am confident that it would be found useful by most golfers of whatever skill level.
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