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Gadgets: Spy X18 The Beacon Bluetooth Speaker

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Playing music on the golf course has become both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses and driving ranges, and as a result more and more golf-specific gadgets have become available.

You might already have a bluetooth speaker at home, but some models are better for golf than others. Take Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker, for example. It’s designed to fit in a cup holder, which means it won’t fall out of your golf cart when you punch the gas.

If you’re not riding, you can hang it from your golf bag with a handy carabiner. And although we can’t endorse the behavior, there’s also a mic and speakerphone should you need to take a call on the golf course.

Here’s what else you need to know about Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker. 

the beacon speaker

It’s durable

  • It has a molded outer silicone shell skin for durability.
  • It’s water resistant, good if you spill drinks or it rains.
  • It’s IPX6 water-resistant, and drop-proof from up to 1.2 meters (that’s about the length of your driver, folks).

golf speaker

Good battery life

  • Boasts 15-hour battery life of full max volume playback, good enough for about three rounds of golf.
  • Built-in 2200 mAh class A high capacity rechargeable lithium battery

Sound-quality is “up to par”

  • The Spy X18 is equipped with dual 400mm speaker drivers and dual passive radiator, made for enhanced bass and consistent sound quality.
  • It’s rated power 6W with 360-degree surround stereo sound

Here is a sound bite from the voice on The Beacon bluetooth speaker:

IMG_1563

Where to buy

  • Spy’s The Beacon speaker is available for $99.95 at spyoptic.com in both orange and black shells. 
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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. DMT

    Nov 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I have considered bringing my speaker to the course. I have seen a number of people use them. The key word is SEEN. Unless I’m right next to their cart or bag, I can’t hear it, let alone be distracted by it.

    How is that more distracting than the walker in your group with clubs banging together as he walks? Or the other twosome in their cart driving around looking for their balls in the rough while you hit? Not to mention the guys NOT in your group in the next fairway, on the next tee, last green etc, who bang the gas and drive off during your crucial putt or tee shot?

    Or, God forbid, someone talking on the course?!? And the PLANES IN THE SKY!!! How dare they fly while I’m hitting?

    If anything, a little background music will drown a lot of that out, not be more distracting.

  2. Clark

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I see a lot of anti music posts on here. I don’t see a problem with low level music in your group as long as you are respectful to others around you. We play a GAME.

    If you are willing to spend the time and money to play. It is your descretion on enjoyment. If you play strictly by the rules, fine, don’t listen to music. If your rules are loose, then wear your loudmouth attire, drink that pint, improve your lie, and enjoy the experience. Neither is wrong.

    I’ve been a playing professional for over a decade now. Be respectful of others and enjoy the time with friends. Leave the Tour attitude on TV (or at least save it for a tourney) and out of your foursome. Just go out there and have fun.

    • Pro

      Oct 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Professional? What is your name and what are your stats?

  3. Bob

    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Why are you promoting this? Everyone likes their own music and no one wants to hear someone else’s from the adjacent fairway.

  4. Rule the World

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    It’s simple:
    Play by the USGA/ R&A rules, idiots!

    Simples!

  5. Joe

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    It looks like one more thing to leave on your cart when your finished playing. IF, I used such a device it would have to hang on my bag so it would not be left behind.

    Also, I don’t need any outside noise to distract me or others. I you are playing alone, use headphones. If playing with others forgo any music.

  6. Mark

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Music has no place on the course. I go to the course to enjoy the peace and quiet and nature. Our club has enough issues with Juniors trying to snapchat every shot. If you play in headphones you are ignorant and anti social. Find another game.

  7. McCleod

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I am 70, but I see nothing wrong with a little low-volume music in the background when my friends and I are playing. What with the customary slow play issues – it is often relaxing. Those that are aggravated with the “hacks” among us had better be happy that we play at all. The “players” could not support their hobby if all 5% of then had to fund golf in America. And, we are all “hacks” at something. I can soundly beat every good golfer I know in tennis. Just saying . . .

    • 8thehardway

      Oct 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

      What sort of music do you listen to when playing tennis?

  8. mgholda

    Oct 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    i listened to music while I played today for the first time
    Don’t know if it was the Celine Dion and Backstreet Boys or if it was just my day but anyways shot my best score ever (113). Me and my life partner just bought some Mariah Carey songs and can’t wait to listen to them this weekend on the course.

    • Boblocke2

      Oct 21, 2015 at 12:25 am

      Classic. Life partner and Celine Dion while banging a 113.

  9. 8thehardway

    Oct 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Wait ’till you meet Playlist Pete who blasts ‘ Ride of the Valkyries’ on the tee box, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ in the sand trap and ‘Summer Breeze’ on the putting green. Sure, he’ll turn it off after he hits so no problems, right?

  10. ooffa

    Oct 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Golfers come and go. Rock and Roll is here to stay. Tee it up and rock on. It’s time to bring these old geezers back from the brink of their stodgy old ways.

    • Affoo

      Oct 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

      You’ll be gone like Lamar Odom you’re in the same league as him and we’ll laugh

      • Like

        Oct 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        I like that.

      • prime21

        Oct 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

        Dropping a quote about someone who is struggling to cope with life is a classless move. Nothing about what you said is funny. It is sad to see that any human finds it ok to “make a joke” about the trials and tribulations of another, especially considering the individual nearly died. If knocking people down is the only way you can lift yourself up, you should take some time to reevaluate what is going on in your life and seek help from a mental health care provider. The staff at GolfWrx should also be ashamed that they allowed your post to go through. Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you should keep your commentary where it belongs, in your underdeveloped brain. I wish you good luck and hope that you find happiness in your life.

  11. Non

    Oct 15, 2015 at 3:52 am

    “both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses”

    NO, it HAS NOT. Only at mickey mouse low-class backwoods munis. Stop this lying now. It states, clearly in the rules of golf that music is NOT ALLOWED in play on the course at any time.

    If you have any respect for the game, you will stop any music on the course, period.

  12. Joshuaplaysgolf

    Oct 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Kyle, totally agree with you, if you aren’t doing it around other groups, who cares? As long as your group is cool with it. The issue is that a lot of people don’t have that awareness and get salty when asked (politely) to turn the music off while your swinging. I’m in my late 20’s, so not a crotchety old guy or preppy country club jerk, I adore hip-hop and listen to music constantly while I practice, which is 4-5 hours every day…but I always have my noise cancelling headphones in so I don’t annoy anyone on the range. It’s not all that different than if someone is talking while your swinging. Just be respectful of other people, as some golfers just want a few hours of quiet, sunshine, and a stroll around a georgeous course. I also agree with you fully that we need as many youth as possible, and the average golfer is really at the core of the golf economy. ‘Serious’ players and low handicappers might make up, what, 5% of golfers? I don’t think anyone wants to scare anyone off, but just want people to be self aware enough to cut the music when they’re around other groups. Everyone is out to have fun, that’s why we play, but that looks a bit different for everyone and when one person’s good time effects someone else’s good time, that is where the conflict comes from.

  13. Brian

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    100% AGREE

  14. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    The people who typically play music while on the golf course are either (1) hackers, (2) playing in a couples event, or (3) older guys trying to act younger. Whichever one fits your particular case, it is disrespectful conduct and should not be encouraged. I play serious golf to escape from societal de-evolution, not to be reminded of it. This is where I draw the line. Sorry to be “get off my lawn guy”, but this is indicative of larger problems in today’s world.

    • Non

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:53 am

      Thumbs up agree

    • Teaj

      Oct 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I wouldn’t call myself a hacker or play in couples events, nor do I consider myself to be old at 31. I have played music on the course but am courteous enough to know when to turn it down if approaching a group or within earshot of another group. I guess I am not the so called typical golfer playing music on the course then.

      • Bert

        Oct 15, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        I doubt it. Use headphones and keep the noise to yourself.

    • Keith

      Oct 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I’m scratch and 37yrs old. My cart has a radio and if I play elsewhere I don’t play without my speakers. Regardless of what some people on here think, you can play music in your cart/group without disturbing others. It’s really quite simple to do.

  15. TimJHU

    Oct 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I agree…if you are playing music on a golf course make sure you’ve got earbuds in!

  16. Devin Bland

    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I was given this speaker as a tee prize. It’s pure garbage.

  17. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Using personal headphones is OK, but using a speaker on the golf course subjecting everyone to your taste in music and disturbing their round is NOT OK. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT or anything similar.

    • alan

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      you sound fun

      • J

        Oct 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        Because he doesn’t want to listen to someone else’s idea of ‘good music’? You sound like an idiot.

        The very strong majority of golfers would prefer it quiet when they are hitting a shot. What’s the difference in whispering about your crappy kid and having to listen to ‘NWA’, ‘Kenny Chesney’, or ‘Jimmy Buffet’ while someone tees it up?? It’s just not the time or the place. This is sort of like making a boom box for people who frequent libraries. If you ask your playing partners if they mind before turning it on and turn it off when other groups are around, it’s no big deal. But when your idea of a ‘good time’ starts ruining other people’s, there’s a problem. I’m guessing your the type who gets pissed and rolls his eyes when someone politely asks you to turn your music off while they hit. Try to find a little self awareness and figure it out. Bro.

        • alan

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm

          thankfully my playing partners are good golfers not jacka$$ hacks that need it dead quiet so they can hit their slice into the woods. you want peace and quiet go hike the AT or PCT or go lay in the bed with your lame wife

          • uid1

            Mar 29, 2016 at 3:02 am

            You sound like exactly the sort that wouldn’t shut the f##k up with the noise, er, music, when someone else is trying to enjoy some peace & quiet or even take a shot.

            And don’t get me started on how you probably listen to the same tired music you’ve been listening to since you were a teenager (most everyone’s favourite music is from when they were a teenager, and idiot on the course this past weekend was blaring some 30+ year old stuff – boring AND annoying).

        • Bert

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm

          +1 It’s always amazes me how some defend their need to disturb others.

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        Playing winning golf is fun. Care to play straight up for the deed to your mobile home?

    • TOOL

      Oct 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      …and if your bleeding ears are nowhere nearby, who cares what and how loud I play something;)

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

        Great name! Very fitting!

      • Jack

        Oct 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        So you’re that guy who likes to “share” his music with strangers and when they tell you to turn it down you feel like they are intruding on YOUR space?

        • TOOL

          Oct 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          Your assumption that I’m trying to ‘share’ my music with you or any other stranger is intruding…

    • Kyle

      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Sure some people may have their music loud and not be courteous to other golfers, but my friends and I play music because it’s relaxing and enjoyable for us. Takes a bit of the seriousness out of golf and let’s us get out and relax. When we come anywhere near other groups that may be able to hear the music we turn it down. All you’re doing is being stubborn/old school/dinosaur and taking the fun out of golf for young people who in the end are important to the sustainability of the game. Give your head a shake. If it doesn’t effect you with 99% of the time it won’t, shut your trap.

      • Non

        Oct 15, 2015 at 3:59 am

        “shut your trap.”

        Right back at you, eejit

      • Joe

        Oct 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Kyle: You think that old people don’t like music, and you have to be young? Music has its place but that usually is not on the golf course where if it disturbs the concentration of other golfers trying to concentrate and enjoy their game.

        When your music interferes with others it should be left for a different time. Common courtesy will take you much further with your game and life in general.

        Have fun golfing. It is not a life contest against the young and old.

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Accessory Reviews

Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas

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GolfWRX’s fashion expert Jordan Madley picks her top-3 favorite men’s polo shirts from the recent 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy the video below!

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.

The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.

The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.

Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.

The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.

Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.

The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.

The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.

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