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SkyCaddie WATCH: Editor Review

by   |   June 14, 2013
skycaddie WATCH
SkyCaddie WATCH: Editor Review Rob Miller

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.

4.5

Accurate/Affordable


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.

Performance:

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.

skycaddie watch

 

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.

skycaddie_center

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.

skycaddie_bandcloseup

The Takeaway:

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.

skycaddie watch

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

About

Rob is a golf junkie that has been involved with GolfWRX since its inception in 2005. From designing headcovers, to creating logos to authoring articles to social media management to sales and marketing, Rob has done it all. Born and bred in NJ. Favorite golfers: Phil, Freddie. Favorite club: Driver.


21 Comments

  1. Sandy anderson

    September 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    The battery takes way to long to charge. Only had this for a week. It’s been on charger for 2 hours and it’s at 30%. That’s what it said when I started!!
    It worked great for two rounds. I charged it to FULL.
    IF YOU WANTRD TO PLAY 36 holes in one day, you wouldn’t have enough time between rounds to charge.

  2. rolex watches

    August 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am in fact impressed to read all at alone place.|

  3. Alex Chan

    May 11, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Is it include my home course of mission hills in Chine? Unfortunely, I can’t find it in your course library.

  4. Dennis

    April 25, 2014 at 12:40 am

    How do I convert my Sky Caddie Watch to measure courses in metres and NOT yards?

    • gschwandtner

      May 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      wie stelle ich die uhr auf meter um

  5. Ed McElroy

    March 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Have watch. Have trouble. Cannot find out how to return for service. Other brands better

  6. Derek

    December 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Just picked up the watch for Christmas, and it won’t charge up…..leaving the screen blank.
    Customer support has been good (online guys very quick). Unfortunately, I have to replace the watch (even though it is brand new in the box), but Jancor Agencies in Canada is closed for 3 weeks. BRUTAL!

  7. Bob Ramey

    October 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Careful about buying this… I have one and am having lots of problems with it. My computer will not recognize it and it will not come on now. SkyCaddie customer service is an absolute JOKE.

  8. Marc b Rubin

    September 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I am a member of the Sao Paulo golf club and would like to be sure Brazil.s golf courses ,at least the principals are preloaded before I buy the Sky Caddie watch.
    Thank you very much
    Marc b Rubin

  9. Will Logan

    July 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Overall good experience, easy and convenient to use BUT battery life is POOR , barely 1 round with auto-hole advance switched on.
    Disappointed that only front/center/back green measurements shown, surely they could have included major hazards also ?

  10. RocketBladez

    June 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    great review. I now need to decide between the bushnell, skycaddie and garmin watch!

  11. Joe Golfer

    June 19, 2013 at 2:18 am

    My brother-in-law was thinking of getting one of these, but he doesn’t bother to read golf reviews or golf websites.
    I’ll have to send him this link and make sure he reads it.

    Once again, thanks for a good, honest and thorough review, GolfWRX guys.

  12. Kridian

    June 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Meh. I just use my good ‘ole Jedi focus to get yardage.

  13. Dave Ziemann

    June 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve been using a free app for my Android phone to do pretty much all that and more – getting satellite mapping of the courses I play. As I understand GPS technology, the accuracy of the position given is a function of the size of the antenna, so any hand-held or wrist-mounted GPS will have the same accuarcy. I’ve played many times with guys using a dedicated golf GPS and the yardages I get on my phone are the same or within 1 yard of their $250 unit.
    I’d be interested to see a GolfWRX review of this low-cast alternative to a dedicated unit.

  14. pablo

    June 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    at $150 with the rebate that’s a good deal! my expresso / igolf gps watch cost a little more that 18 months ago and it has the same features, although no annual fee. wonder if the skycaddie has better hazard info – my expresso will often show the greenside bunker hazard distances and completely ignore the closer and more immediate fairway bunker distances, which means i need to bust out my galaxy phone for golflogix or my rangefinder. anyways, if i was buying a gps watch today i’d buy this for sure.

    • ebenny10

      March 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      My Skycaddie watch does not show any hazard but my SG5 will show all hazards on any given hole even a big tree in the fairway as long as it was mapped.

    • roddy

      May 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

      What’s with the annual fee? My friends have other GPS watches and do not pay any fees at all after the original purchase. Why does Skycaddie require an annual membership fee to keep the courses on the watch?

  15. J

    June 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Battery life is not good.. Less than two rounds.

    Several competitors products, watches mind you, have better battery life.

    The Bushnell for example will actually function as a watch for about a year before it requires charges..

    I charge mine before rounds and wear it everyday… Not once have I had an issue.

  16. Tim Liddy

    June 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Be careful if you have a Mac, as it will not allow for needed software for SkyCaddie to load on computer. Skycaddie technical support is non-existent. Be on technical support line for 1/2 hour waiting for a response. I would not recommend this product.

    • John Pierce

      June 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I run Skycaddie software on my Macbook Pro with Mountain Lion OSX ver 8.3 with no issues whatsoever. I use it every weekend.

      You might check what version of Java you are running on your Mac, the latest versions of their runtime, particularly the 64 bit versions don’t play well with Skycaddie.

    • ebenny10

      March 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I used Skycaddie’s online support and within a minute had an answer to a question on a new product. Don’t think I’d bother calling.

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