Golf GPS IZZO Swami 1500 Review

IZZO Swami 1500 Golf GPS If you are in the market for a cheap, dependable golf GPS unit, you might consider checking out the IZZO Swami 1500 Golf GPS.

I was given the opportunity to review this unit and I’m going to tell you all about.. but first, here’s the copy and paste from the website 🙂

Simple, Fast & Accurate! SWAMI is everything a golfer needs in a GPS unit.

Featuring Insta-Lok Technology & powered by the latest SIRFStarIII chip, the SWAMI instantly calculates distance to the Front, Center and Back of the green of 12,000 US courses*.

SWAMI stores up to 10 courses at a time and automatically recognizes the course you’re playing, on power-up.

Easy to use buttons and a large display allows you to quickly cycle from hole to hole for quicker play.

The rechargeable Lithium Ion battery holds a charge for a minimum of 12 hours at a time for extended play. Finally a GPS unit, with the features you need, at a great price.

Now that that’s out of the way…

The first thing that I noticed about the IZZO Swami 1500 was the size.  It is much smaller than other units I’ve tried out and it comes with a very convenient belt clip that does not hinder the golf swing.  Most of the time, I find myself leaving the GPS in the cart because it’s so cumbersome, but not this one..

I was pretty impressed at the time it took to lock on to my position once I was on the course.  It wasn’t quite instant, but by the time I got out of the cart and walked back to my golf bag, the yardage was there on display.

IZZO Swami 1500 Golf GPSSpeaking of yardage, for the most part, the unit was accurate to within 3-7 yards.  Pretty darn impressive if you ask me..

The only time I noticed a larger variance is whenever I was on a tee box of a dogleg hole and the gps was calculating the most direct distance from between the green and me rather than following the hole.  This isn’t an IZZO Swami 1500 issue, as far as I know all GPS units have this limitation.

It has a pretty cool feature where it’ll recognize what course you are play just by turning the unit on, well, that is assuming you’ve installed the correct course… 🙂

The annoying part about this feature is the fact that it can take a couple minutes to actually locate the course.  But this really only affects the start of the round, when you first get to the golf course and if you’re a responsible/respectable golfer, you’ll arrive at the course with plenty of time to turn the unit on and have it find the course prior to the start of your round.

Once it’s setup, the unit is real simple to use.  You just add ten courses you want, make sure it’s charged and it’ll do the rest for you. 🙂

When you are playing the course, the default yardage is to the center of the green.  There’s an FCB button that you can press to get the distances to the front and back of the green.  The button just toggles through those three settings.

One thing it doesn’t do, that I wish it did was automatically change holes.  What I mean is if you go from the tenth to the eleventh, IZZO Swami 1500 Golf GPSunless you push the up arrow, it’ll still be recording distances from your position back to the tenth green.  I suppose it’s a relatively minor annoyance, but I’ve noticed it happening to me quite frequently.

The unit sells for $149.99 and there’s an annual subscription of $35.00.

Overall, I have to say I’m pretty happy with the unit.  It’s not as sophisticated as other units and doesn’t quite have all the “fluff” that others does, for more than 1/2 the price of many of the other units, it does a pretty awesome job.

The display is large and easy to read and it’s a very precise unit.  I’ve played with it on two courses so far and I’ve had no problems.

One recommendation I have, add one more button to the unit that’ll allow us to lock a current position and track the distance from that position to your ball.  That was one of my favorite features of some of the other big names and I’d love for this to get it.

Here’s a link to their website where you can pick up the unit.

IZZO Swami Golf GPS

Hope you found this helpful..  Leave any and all feedback!


  8 comments for “Golf GPS IZZO Swami 1500 Review

  1. mike

    that thing might be ok if you golfed 10 times a year, but not showing the shape of the greens, the distance to the front and back of the greens, not automatically finding the next hole to someone who golfs a lot, forget it.

    i think for the golfer who doesn’t golf that much, a GolfBuddy Plus would be a way better device. no subscription, shows the greens and hazards, and holds 1000 courses.

    Izzo- $150 + $35 subscription over 3 years = GolfBuddy Plus

    btw, I own a SkyCaddie, every course mapped out by foot(accurate).

  2. at

    Thanks for the comment. That’s some good info on the GolfBuddy Plus, didn’t realize it was no subscription, hmm.. might have to check that one out.

    I’ve used the SkyCaddie and it’s also a great unit, I have to agree with you that the courses that are mapped by foot are more accurate, I believe to within 3-5 yards, but they haven’t been able to map ALL the courses, last time I checked. I was using the SG5 and it was pretty awesome, I loved the feature where you could check your shot distances. The thing I didn’t really like about it was how bulky it was, hated putting it in my pockets because I felt lopsided and when I wore the clip it interfered with my swing 🙂

  3. mike

    i think the downside to a Golf Buddy Plus is the small viewing area, but it’s very light and the size of a very small flip phone, then again the Izzo looks like my alarm clock. i know all about the GB+ because my girlfriend uses it.

    have you tested the customer service by chance, regarding the Izzo?

  4. at

    I’ve always wondered how many people actually use these things. I am just starting to get serious about my game (instead of simply using golf as an excuse to drink) and have considered investing in one. Seems like the money would be better spent elsewhere given my current skill level. Do many of your readers use them?

  5. at

    I have a Neo (formerly by iGolf now owned by Bushnell). Same price, holds 10 courses, $35 annual fee for 100 course downloads with a good selection of courses. However, you keep the downloaded courses on your PC computer, not just in the unit. Plus you can map a hole, or a course. In addition, each hole has 4 mappable spots (some courses already have some or all of these mapped). And you can measure distance of any shot on demand. Accuracy is good… within 2 yards of any other unit (an allowable variance for satellite mapping).

    There is one problem with any of these GPS units… you get dependent on them and lose your ability to judge distances on your own. I am hooked on mine but I cannot say it has actually improved my game. I’m still a 15 handicap.

  6. at

    Nice comment, thanks Doug! I agree with the dependency on the units, it’s REALLY hard to wean yourself off it once you get one. One of the “not so obvious” benefits of having one is you get a solid reading of your distances for each club which in turn helps you better determine which clubs to use for which shots. I think that in itself will help shave a couple strokes off your game.

  7. Andrew

    I just got this unit off the bay for 50 bucks. The annual subscription fee is now only 10 dollars for UNLIMITED course downloads. This is the best bargain gps you can get. And I don’t need to know the bunker distances anyways. It only takes some simple math in your head to figure it out; hazard next to the green, add/subtract a yard, bunker in the middle of the fairway, take half of the yardage from the center of the green. Plus, when you play a course without gps, there are no markers to tell you the distance of the hazards anyways; its not like your aiming to go in them, right?

  8. william crombie

    Just come back from crail g.c which has 2 courses. My izzo swami gave me the distances on the craighead ok, but did not recognize the balcomie course. My own course of dullatur has 2 courses and i have to wait till i am on the 2nd of the antonine before it recognizes where i am, can anyone help me sort this problem

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