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SkyCaddie renewal or Phone App?


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#1 RoverRick

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:15 AM

I have had a SkyCaddie SG4 for 4 years now. It is beat up but still works fine. April the contract is up and it is time fo decide what to do. I love GPS. I is part of my preshot routine, find the distance, check the wind, check the lie, and pull the club. It takes about 3 seconds and it is an awesome invention and lowers scores because it takes the guess work out of the shot.

Now, advantages of the sky caddie is it is dedicated to golf only. It never gets a call or goes to another application. I can play 36 holes and never need to worry about the battery.

Advantages. I phone apps are actually better and more current. Includes more stuff, that I may or may not like, but tracking clubs, stats etc... Never forget the cell phone, and if I do I have to go back home to get it anywat, unlike the Skycaddie.

Drawbacks are battery issues, exit app to check email, have to make a new holder.



Ok those are my thoughts, what are yours? My biggest issue is I have had this thing for four or five years. It was before I remained because I paid like almost $500 and no wife would let me spend that. :D So I got it when I had no wife.

Actually, I bought it the day I picked the woman who would later become my wife up at the airport. I knew that if I did not buy one then I would have to justfy it later on. Sky Caddie did not even get the course mapped for two more weeks but I had already heard they were going to do it.

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In my
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Driver - :nike-small:   Covert Tour / Miyasaki C.Kua 43S / Best Grips Oversized Leather Grips

3 Wood - :titelist-small: 913F 15*  / Tslimonti  PD80 X/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

Hybrid - :titelist-small: 909H 19&21* / Project X PXV S/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

or   :mizuno-small: MP FLI HI 18 & 21* / KBS Hybrid S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grip

Irons -      :ping-small:  S56 4-P  / KBS C Taper S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips
Wedge-  :vokey-small: Series 200 Oil Can 52 & 60* / Dynameic Gold  Wedge Leather Wrap Grips

Putter -   :cameron-small:  Coronado with BestGrip Major Leaguer Leather Putter Grip

Balls - :titelist-small:  Pro V1x
Shoes - :footjoy-small:  M Project

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#2 Shambles

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:58 AM

Are you able to read text on your phone in bright sunlight ?


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#3 stevenhw8

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:27 AM

I'm totally against the idea of paying a yearly subscription for a GPS gadget, since there are plenty of options out there which only require a one-time fee.

Like you mentioned, mobile phones are part of our daily lives, so I always have it with me on the course. I personally try to take as few things with me as possible, so I prefer having an all-in-one thing instead of carrying 2 or 3 devices.

I use Golfshot GPS. The paid version is GPS + stats and score tracking. The free version is only stats and score tracking.

The thing is to unlock the phone like 1 minute before your shot so the GPS satellites can lock on. When I'm not using it, it's locked and saving battery. By doing this, I am able to play 36 holes on one battery charge. Realistically, I only use it once per hole (twice on Par 5's).

I have an Android phone, so battery life is much better than the new iPhones.

I don't need a holder, cause the phone fits perfectly in my pocket.

What Shambles mentioned could be an issue. My screen at 30% brightness is enough under noon sunlight. But that depends on which phone you have.

Hope it helps!

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#4 Shambles

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:28 PM

I had the choice of buying a new phone w/ GPS or buying a range finder or a Golf GPS a while back. My old phone was working well for me but I was romanced by the free GPS software available from various net sites. I chose the phone and found the screen was useless in the bright sunlight of my country. Thus my cautionary.

I believe there are programmable Golf GPS units being sold. I saw one and was attracted because all I had to do was map out whatever course I was going to play, store it, and call it back when needed. Unfortunately the unit I saw also suffered from a screen that became useless in the bright sunlight of my country. I've since learned to rely upon the course markings and also my caddy. I also learned, from my caddy, the tricks of finding reasonably accurate distance to the green. Not nearly as difficult as it seems. You just have to believe in your judgement enough to swing confidently.


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#5 GolfSpy WD

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

I use a range finder and GolfShot for a score card. I've also used a wide array of GPS apps on my phone, but in the end I always like the range finder better. One drawback is the range finder won't help with a dogleg, but if you plan the course ahead, that's not really a problem. When I feel like measuring my shots, then I pull out one of the free GPS apps.

The battery is the main issue, not just whether it'll last 36 holes or not, but do you want to constantly drain the battery on your phone every day? Draining and recharging the battery daily is going to drastically shorten it's life, which is a pain on an iPhone, no so much for Androids. When my iPhone got old, I would have to be very careful with battery management. If you have a carrier like AT&T which doesn't allow you to turn off 4G, but keep 3G, then that's another battery hog to worry about. Personally, I didn't like having to micro manage this, so I simply don't use the GPS anymore.

#6 RoverRick

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

Yeah, I like the idea of a range finder. But it does not work on doglegs nor blind shots. My course typically has three blind second shots and a bunch of blind tee shots. Not that I use it on the tee box any way. I really like it inside 120 yards. That is when I really start to care if I am 91 or 98 yards from the flag. The free phone apps are great if your course is loaded.

Another thing to consider is A. They are remodeling the course this year, so half the holes will be moved so the old gps will not be correct. B. I wii be traveling so I will play different courses. So I am leaning towards a cheap rangefinder and using the phone apps.

Instinct Putting

2012 KBS Shaft Review

In my
:taylormade-small: golf bag today.
 

Driver - :nike-small:   Covert Tour / Miyasaki C.Kua 43S / Best Grips Oversized Leather Grips

3 Wood - :titelist-small: 913F 15*  / Tslimonti  PD80 X/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

Hybrid - :titelist-small: 909H 19&21* / Project X PXV S/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

or   :mizuno-small: MP FLI HI 18 & 21* / KBS Hybrid S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grip

Irons -      :ping-small:  S56 4-P  / KBS C Taper S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips
Wedge-  :vokey-small: Series 200 Oil Can 52 & 60* / Dynameic Gold  Wedge Leather Wrap Grips

Putter -   :cameron-small:  Coronado with BestGrip Major Leaguer Leather Putter Grip

Balls - :titelist-small:  Pro V1x
Shoes - :footjoy-small:  M Project

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#7 finalist

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:13 PM

I use GolfSHots on an iPhone 4. Overall it's great, but it doesn't always deliver a reading fast enough. I've had a few situations where for example it says 178, so I hit my 178 club and see it come up short. I look back down at my phone and it now says 194 or something. There are times when it takes too long to gather info.

On the other hand my uPro (older version) is always fast and slightly more accurate.

I think it has to do with the number of satellites it gets signals from.

Absolutely no point in paying a subscription for this service. Giant rip off.

I'd look around for a dedicated golf GPS unit with a big screen and no yearly fees.
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#8 GolfSpy Tim

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

I use golfshot and it's good enough. but I'd like to get a range finder to help.

I've done 36 holes with golfshot on my iphone and it's cutting it really really close.

And I agree with other statements recommending turning the app on a minute before you need the reading, it can take 10-60 seconds for the thing to lock on accurately enough to play the correct iron.
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#9 GolfSpy T

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

I use a range finder and GolfShot for a score card. I've also used a wide array of GPS apps on my phone, but in the end I always like the range finder better. One drawback is the range finder won't help with a dogleg, but if you plan the course ahead, that's not really a problem. When I feel like measuring my shots, then I pull out one of the free GPS apps.


I've owned a couple of rangefinders, a uPro, and have tried a couple of GPS apps on my phone. Like others here I've used both GolfShot and GolfLogix, and both are very good. I still use GolfShot, but just to have for those one or two shots per round where I don't have a direct line of sight to the pin, or where I need a number to a bunker or water hazard (the rangefinder doesn't work particularly well if there isn't a measurable elevation change near the boundary of the hazard).

For everything else I use the rangefinder, and if I were going to spend money on one or the other, I'd go rangefinder every time. Thankfully, there are apps with basic GPS functionality for basically nothing.

One other quick note. I tried both Golfshot and GolfLogix for score keeping. Though I'll probably check in again this year to see if there are any enhancements, I found oobGolf's functionality a bit richer...or at least more in line with what I was looking for.


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#10 Tyk

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:19 PM

I will be facing the same decision in July. The bottom line for me has always come down to functionality and battery life on a phone app. I need my phone for business and can't have the battery dying, ever. I can live through a round without a GPS unit. I've tested several GPS phone apps and none of them work as well as my SkyCaddy, the screen is hard to read, the phone goes to sleep or loses signal, and they just aren't very accurate. They don't work well enough imo.

I do hate paying the $50/year for the SkyCaddy membership but I do believe it is the best golf GPS product available (have an SGX).

A couple friends have the Garmin GPS Watch and they like it quite a bit and it seems pretty accurate when tracked side by side against my SkyCaddy. Downside to the watch is that the battery is only good for 1 round on a charge, but it seems very accurate, convenient, and no membership fee!

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#11 GolfSpy WD

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:01 PM

I will be facing the same decision in July. The bottom line for me has always come down to functionality and battery life on a phone app. I need my phone for business and can't have the battery dying, ever. I can live through a round without a GPS unit. I've tested several GPS phone apps and none of them work as well as my SkyCaddy, the screen is hard to read, the phone goes to sleep or loses signal, and they just aren't very accurate. They don't work well enough imo.

I do hate paying the $50/year for the SkyCaddy membership but I do believe it is the best golf GPS product available (have an SGX).

A couple friends have the Garmin GPS Watch and they like it quite a bit and it seems pretty accurate when tracked side by side against my SkyCaddy. Downside to the watch is that the battery is only good for 1 round on a charge, but it seems very accurate, convenient, and no membership fee!


The GPS watches have been tempting me for their simplicity. Too bad their battery is that bad though, 1 round per charge with such a smaller screen?

#12 stevenhw8

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Battery problems on phone apps are usually phone related, not because of the app.
iPhones are known for having an inferior battery life. My Motorola lasts 3 days with normal use. My older HTC used to last 4-5 days with one charge.

The time required to lock onto satellites after unlocking the phone also depends on the phone model.

Many of the GPS apps let you map your own course if it doesn't exist.

But I am really tempted to buy a range finder. It's cool to have a laser to play with! :D

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:cobra-small: Baffler T-Rail 16* 3W w/ Cobra GD Tour AD

Deciding between  :adams-small: Super S 19* w/ Kujoh 75 S or Super LS 19* w/ Kuro Kage Black 80 S
:mizuno-small: MP59 4-PW w/ KBS Tour S

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#13 RoverRick

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:10 PM

After careful consideration I am very likely to renew the Sky Caddie and keep the SG4 with its Soviet Designed power connection. This has been a great unit, easy to use, rugged, accurate, battery after 4 years will still go 36 holes, and even played 54 holes not long ago, (Sky caddie out lasted me,) but it is the crappiest design of connectors I have ever seen.

EDIT: Please forgive the following rant. No animals were killed or injured during the typing of this post.

Apparently, these people did not have a cell phone to copy, and it really is reminiscent of a 1950's design military grade radio connector. This would be fine for just the data transfer but you have to hook it up every time to charge it. It is such a poor design I have written them letters to complain about it five times. Then they made the mistake of saying it was not their design but Magellan's design, which really set me off because if it has your name on it, it is your problem not Magellan's.

Why five times? Because that is how many time the stupid screw that holds the connector on has stripped out and had to be replaced. Luckily you can buy them off eBay for 8 dollars including shipping. But the worst part is the new ones do not fit either. You have to take the screw out and shave some plastic off of the back so that the screw is long enough not to strip out. I play almost everyday so I am hooking it up almost everyday and everytime I do it pisses me off that I bought this and did not return it the first time I saw how it was designed. Instead I waited until the first screw stripped out, one month or so after I started using it, and they offered to replace it, FOR THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Because the price had dropped by $100 since I had bought it and they were offering me $100 trade in because mine was broken. What was broken was the stupid screw.

This is a poor design that should have never made it into production.

Having said that it has been a great teaching aid to me. I design systems that are being built in Europe. I learned because of this Sky Caddie that it does not matter how good a system works if there is a irritating flaw in it. This GPS is really awesome, but the connector that is the last thing you see of it for the day is crap. So your thoughts about this is not how accurate, easy to use, visible screen, or anything else, because you have to hook it up to charge it, so the last thing you do it hold the Sky Caddie, hold the connector, and turn the screw. Yes, if you counted those you came up with three things to do with two hands, and then the very small very fine thread screw will strip out. So the last experience for the day, week, or however long you have with it is that connector. I always look at the little things and thing about the sky caddie as what not to do.

Instinct Putting

2012 KBS Shaft Review

In my
:taylormade-small: golf bag today.
 

Driver - :nike-small:   Covert Tour / Miyasaki C.Kua 43S / Best Grips Oversized Leather Grips

3 Wood - :titelist-small: 913F 15*  / Tslimonti  PD80 X/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

Hybrid - :titelist-small: 909H 19&21* / Project X PXV S/ Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips

or   :mizuno-small: MP FLI HI 18 & 21* / KBS Hybrid S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grip

Irons -      :ping-small:  S56 4-P  / KBS C Taper S / Best Grips Micro Perforated Leather Grips
Wedge-  :vokey-small: Series 200 Oil Can 52 & 60* / Dynameic Gold  Wedge Leather Wrap Grips

Putter -   :cameron-small:  Coronado with BestGrip Major Leaguer Leather Putter Grip

Balls - :titelist-small:  Pro V1x
Shoes - :footjoy-small:  M Project

post-14368-079422000%201371736688.jpg


#14 Tyk

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:05 PM

You got that right Rick, that connector has to be in the top 10 worst designs of any product I have ever owned! It is what eventually did in my SG4. Unfortunately I didn't know about being able to buy aftermarket connectors, so my SG4 is still sitting here with a stripped out connector. (let me know if you ever need it for parts, I also have the cradle for it if you want it for a mount, still using the mounting bracket for my SGX, but have the plastic cradle)

They did fix the connector problem with the SGX model though. The SGX is a significant upgrade all around to the SG4 and has a mini-usb data/charger connector. However, my connector did break just recently after 2 seasons. I mucked around with soldering the connector back to the board but that piece is tough to wrangle with. Fortunately they replaced my unit for $75, and they replaced it with a new unit, not a refurb which I was very happy with given that it was well out of warranty!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip


#15 RookieBlue7

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:53 PM

One thing with phone apps is that they're against USGA rule because the phone has a compass and wind direction built in (all smart phones do). As long as you're not using them in sanctioned events, you're fine. If it's anything sanctioned that allows yardage devices, if someone calls you on it, you'll be DQ'd. I, personally, prefer laser rangefinders. They're more accurate, and they work on any course out there. (I do have golfcard on my iPhone, and I use the statistics feature of it, but don't use the rangefinder anymore after it was brought to my attention about it being against the rules).

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Driver: TaylorMade SLDR 430 12* (w/ toe screw) w/ Project X Handcrafted LZ16 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade SLDR TS 13* with Aldila NV 75X
3 Hybrid: Adams Super LSP 18* (bent to 17*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams Super LSP 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
5-7I : Tour Issued Adams CB2 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour issue S400 hardstepped 1x
8-GW: Tour Issued Adams CB1 w/ Dynamic Gold S400 hardstepped 1x

SW: 56* Cleveland CG12 (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Cleveland CG12 (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
Putter: Mannkrafted Widebody Rattler 34", 71* lie, 4* loft

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.





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