SkyCaddie WATCH: Editor Review
Summary: It has all the basics a golfer needs in a GPS unit, plus scoring, pedometer and calories. It is a bit large but also light.
Pros: Very accurate. Simple and intuitive to use. Auto hole locator works great. Scoring built in. Good battery life.
Cons: Yearly subscription (cost) required. Non-watch wearers may take time to adjust to wearing the unit during a round. Initial search for nearby courses seems like it takes a longer than it should.
Bottom Line: A great unit that covers all the basics of using a GPS unit plus some extras. Accurate distance and scorecard capabilities make this a solid choice for most golfers not looking for a complicated unit.
Access to courses requires membership, which costs less than $20 / year on average. Rechargeable battery makes it easy to get ready for the next round.
Overview: Rangefinder units have gotten more advanced over the years, incorporating more features in smaller packages.
The SkyCaddie WATCH does pack a good amount of features into a small package.
- Big, easy-to-read front, center and back of green distances
- High precision, ground-corrected basic green course maps*
- Stores 29,000 preloaded, updatable course maps
- Track distance, time, speed of any run, walk or bike ride
- Water resistant to 30 meters
- Odometer, Lap Counter, and Calorie Counter
- Available in Black and White
- Extras: Clock, timer, alarm, English and French, pace-of-play timer, and backlight
The SkyCaddie WATCH promises a lot in a small package. Per SkyCaddie:
The SkyCaddie Watch isn’t just another golf GPS watch! It’s an attractive, lightweight, flexible and comfortable everyday sport watch that just happens to provide superior performance on the golf course.
So yes, it’s a sporty-looking GPS Watch packed with useful features. But, do those features perform? Read on. When starting your round, the watch will need to acquire satellites first. For some reason, ‘Finding Courses Nearby’ will always take a few minutes and feels a little longer than it should. This is essentially the only issue we had. Once that wait was over, nearby courses appeared in a list. Select your course/tee combo and you’re on you way. What separates SkyCaddie from others is ground-verifying their readings:
SkyCaddie differs from other GPS technology in that they ground-verify their maps. Called CGT (Core Golfer Technology) SkyCaddie claims this ensures accuracy in their units, whether it’s the top-of-line rangefinder or this watch, they promise the most accurate results.
We verified the SkyCaddie WATCH next to other GPS units during our testing and found its accuracy excellent. Most likely this is the number one reason to buy a GPS device and should be heavily weighted when selecting one. It’s hard to knock SkyCaddie here as it does an excellent job. On the display, the yardage to the center of the green is displayed in big, bold font in the center.
Distances to the front and back appear below this yardage in smaller typeface. We noticed a slight lag between reading the next yardage when walking from shot to shot, but nothing different than other GPS devices we’ve used.
Once you complete a hold, the SkyCaddie WATCH will allow you to keep your score with a few simple button clicks. The auto-hole functionality will advance the display to the next hole without a button press (don’t worry you can manually forward / rewind if needed).
Of course, this is a watch, so other functionality such as pace of play, time of day, pedometer and calories burned are there as well. It’s a lot of functionality built into a small unit on your wrist.
Looks and Feel:
SkyCaddie WATCH has a simple, sporty look and is available in both black and white color combinations (we tested the black). Its thickness is deceiving, and creates a bit of a bulky appearance. You’d think it was heavy or cumbersome, but that’s not the case.
On one swing we did accidentally press a button on the watch accidentally with the back of a wrist. This never happened again, however. Perhaps the wristband was too loose.
Whether you like wearing a watch during play is personal preference. Some take them off. Some leave them on. If you are bothered by something on your wrist, it may take some getting used to, but not because of weight. This is simply personal preference.
Overall, the SkyCaddie WATCH is an excellent performer. It has all the basics a golfer needs in a GPS unit, plus some nice extras like scoring, pedometer and calories. It is a bit large (maybe deep is the correct word) but does not feel that way due to its light weight.
Pace of play is an issue in golf (see the new USGA ‘While We’re Young’ initiative), and GPS units can help speed that up. Having one on your wrist helps even more. No need to drag a GPS unit out to your ball in the middle of the fairway (or woods). It’s always on, ready to give you an accurate yardage.
Data can be uploaded to the Club SkyCaddie website: http://clubsg.skygolf.com, where you can track your rounds and stats if you’d like. We won’t dive deep into it here, but there are additional benefits you can take advantage of. It’s important to note that SkyCaddie does require an annual membership to allow you to download courses and use its website.
You can view plan overviews here, but plan on an additional expense of roughly $20 per year (some plans will get you a slight discount). While this is a bit of an expense, it’s a guarantee that SkyCaddie is committed to continually update their apps, firmware and ground mapping of courses. Accuracy is priority #1, and there is a slight cost involved.
SkyCaddie WATCH is available now with an instant $50 rebate! Take advantage of this special here: SkyCaddie WATCH Father’s Day Offer