My thanks to Sara over at SkyGolf/SkyCaddie, who was kind enough to send me one of these to try out.
So far I’ve used this baby on two golf courses, Ridgewood Lakes and Black Bear Golf Club and I’ve found it to be very useful and a much needed accessory to any golfers arsenal.
Here’s a link to their website: SkyCaddie SG5
You can read the full list of features, specs, etc.. at their website, I’m going to highlight what I’ve found most useful in this golf product review.
You can download up to 10 different golf courses to the unit at any given time. It comes with software that installs the drivers needed to connect the unit to your computer and I believe that it also has the 17,000 golf courses you can choose from on it. I guess it’s not that important, what is important is that they have over 17,000 courses for you to choose from. If for some reason your course is not available for download, the unit also has the ability to map out the course that you play so that it can be reused later. Now, I never had the opportunity to try that out, so I can’t speak to its accuracy or simplicity, but the capability is there.
The unit is real simple to use, once the course is loaded on to the unit, just go to your course, turn the unit on, select the course and your off.
I’ve got to say that the most valuable feature for me is the ball marking. Once your on the course, stand next to your ball, push the ball marking button, hit your ball, and when you get to your ball again, it will give you the distance of your shot.
This has been really helpful to me because I now realize that I’ve been over estimating my shots by 10-15 yards. My drives I’ve been over estimating by about 25 yards… And obviously, if you don’t have a solid, accurate understanding of your distances, it’s going to add a couple strokes per hole. Perfect example, I’m a big fan of hitting my sand wedge 50-100 yards out from the green, I love how the ball soars straight up into the air and lands with very little roll on the green. After using the GPS, I’ve worked out that the max distance I should use that club is 72 yards and once I realized that, I cut at least 4 strokes off my last score.
The unit also has a target feature, so you can see the distances to the various hazards on the course, like distance to the front, middle, and back of the left fairway bunker. This is a good feature of the unit, but in my experience, its not 100% reliable. The first course I played with it (Ridgewood) was very accurate and it included about 90% of the courses hazards, on the second course (Black Bear), it probably included more like 70% of the hazards. But, to their credit, they’re supporting over 17,000 courses, so given that load, anyone could overlook a thing or two.
Using the IntelliGreen feature allows you to see the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green as well as show you what the green looks like from your angle of approach. It’s pretty useful.
Overall, I really enjoy this unit, it boasts a 14 hours battery life with a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery so you can get a couple rounds in off a single charge.
This beast will run you $429.95 and you have to choose from three different membership plans.
Birdie – $29.95/yr, gives you unlimited courses in your state.
Eagle – $49.95/yr, gives you unlimited courses in your country
Double Eagle – $59.95/yr gives you unlimited courses world wide.