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Review: Precision Pro GPS Golf Band

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Pros: Lightweight and comfortable to wear. Instant yardages from anywhere on the golf course, and functions as a normal watch and pedometer. Waterproof and long-lasting with a rechargeable battery. USGA tournament legal.

Cons: No exact yardage to the hole. The three-button interface can make cycling through the different modes and distances tedious. The charging port can also be frustrating to attach.

Who it’s for: With more than 35,000 courses, any golfer can find the device effective due to its fast, easy yardages.

The Review

PrecisionProGPSBandReview

I recently had the opportunity to test the Precision Pro GPS Golf Band ($189), although I normally don’t use GPS-style rangefinders on the course. I usually prefer to use a laser rangefinder, because it gives precise distances to targets I choose rather than specific targets already chosen for me. However, the features on this band proved very useful and provided distances that were right on par with a laser rangefinder. The band is also very compact and light enough (about 1 oz.) so that it didn’t interfere with my swing.

Starting the Round

One of the features that can be used off the course is Tee Time Notification. It allows you to set a tee-time reminder up to one week in advance and will then alert you 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time.

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Once you arrive at the course, select the “Play Golf” mode, which will activate the GPS signal to find the 1 of 35,000 courses available (no downloads or purchases are required). This can take a few minutes, but only lasted about 45 seconds for me. The band will list several nearby courses, starting with the one closest to your current location. After you select the course you’re about to play, the GPS will automatically start on the first hole. If the starter sends you off the 10th hole, or you have a shotgun start, you can manually change holes using the small buttons on the side, which is done quite easily.

During the Round

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Once you are on the tee, the band shows the full length of the hole when outside of 250 yards. When inside 250 yards, the band has the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. These yardages update instantaneously as you move closer or farther from the green. The band also shows the distance to/distance to carry any bunkers and water hazards in the fairway or by the green. This is, however, where the band’s compact design has some issues. The face is too small to fit whole words like “bunker” or “water.” It can only fit a max of 4 letters across the screen. Therefore, there are 21 abbreviations used to communicate the distance to/carry distance of all the hazards on the hole (ex. Left Fairway Bunker = LFB; Right Fairway Water Cary = RFWC; Middle Carry Water Layup = MFW). This can take some getting used to, and you should probably take the instruction manual that lists all 21 abbreviations with you on your first few times out wearing the band.

The only other drawback with this feature is cycling through each list of hazards. There is only one hazard per screen, so if there are three bunkers in the fairway, you need to cycle through three times. If you keep pressing the button to get to the next hazard, you may press it one too many times and enter into a different mode. I have accidentally cycled out of golf mode many times trying to figure out all of the distances, only to have to re-enter Golf Mode and have the GPS find me again, which it does very quickly and to the exact spot on the course. Again, this just takes some getting used to.

Related: Our review of Precision Pro’s Nexus Rangefinder

The band also has a Shot Distance mode, which reveals how far a shot traveled. It is very simple to use. Simply cycle to this mode and press the middle button, hit the shot, and drive/walk to where the ball landed. The band will begin to count the yards as soon as you start moving toward the ball (the tricky part then becomes cycling back to get the distance of the next shot).

Once you finish 18 holes, the band has a time summary of how long your round lasted. You can then exit Golf Mode and enter back into the Watch Mode, which will keep the battery from depleting while you are recapping your round at the 19th hole.

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According to Precision Pro Golf, the band’s battery can last 8 hours while in GPS/Golf mode and more than 6 months while in Watch Mode. The band comes with a USB charging adapter, which may require some patience and a steady hand when first attempting to re-charge the band. It requires aligning the adapter’s clips with the band’s small ports, which is not always easy.

Takeaway

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At $179.95, the GPS Golf Band is on the affordable side for a GPS Golf Watch, but there’s plenty of competition in the category from names like Bushnell, Garmin, Tom Tom. Still, Precision Pro holds its own for golfers in search of a simple, lightweight and comfortable solution to on-course yardages.

The sleek design gives it the look of a small digital watch, so it can be worn on and off the course. While you can’t get the exact yardage to the pin, it still give you extremely accurate yardages to all aspects of the course. As long as you know the pin placement, you will have a very close approximation of the correct distance.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://www.precisionprogolf.com/products/gps-golf-band” oemtext=”Buy now” amazonlink=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017KYEDY2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=golfwrxcom-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B017KYEDY2&linkId=24136afa000c99a70f8d21fcb37e921a”]
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Evan is an attorney licensed to practice law in Michigan. He's also a dedicated golfer with an obsession for the latest golf equipment, and frequently gets caught in public examining his swing in any reflective surface.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Marlene

    Jun 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I just bought one yesterday. It’s light weight and didn’t even notice it was there. Not really complicated to use. I think after a few rounds you would be a pro at it. I did have a major issue with it today. It gave me distance that weren’t even close to the actual yardage. Very disappointed! Not sure if it might be a problem just with the one I bought. My pro shop is going to compare it to another and replace it if they find a issue. I might have to order something else.

  2. Jonah Mytro

    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:54 am

    The GPS GOLF BAND has just been reduced to $129 MSRP effective today. You can purchase online or at over 1000 retailers in the USA. https://www.precisionprogolf.com/apps/store-locator

  3. Kyle @ TGG

    Dec 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    This is an older golf GPS product, but it was great when it first came out. It’s competitor now is the Garmin X40, which includes a heart rate monitor and other nice features.

  4. Jonah Mytro

    Nov 18, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Precision Pro GOlf is offering a $30 mail in rebate on the GPS GOLF BAND starting Nov 1-Dec 31 2016.. Order online or at an authorized dealer..
    https://www.precisionprogolf.com/products/gps-golf-band

  5. Jonah Mytro

    Aug 22, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Precision Pro Golf is offering an $50 exchange program for older GPS models.
    Upgrade Your GPS and get a $50 Refund when you trade in a used Garmin, GolfBuddy, SkyCaddie, or Bushnell GPS device. Ends 9/30/16.

    https://www.precisionprogolf.com/products/gps-golf-band-trade-in

  6. Nomad Golfer

    Aug 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Can’t seem to find a supplier in Australia

  7. Frank

    Aug 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I think the brand name should be bigger and the actual display smaller.

  8. birdy

    Aug 12, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    the interface looks like it leaves a ton to be desired.

  9. ButchT

    Aug 12, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Does it carry foreign courses? Mexico? Looks like a good replacement for my Garmin S 1.

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Accessory Reviews

Talking with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish…and a look at the insane headcover they made for GolfWRX

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We last talked with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish in November of 2017 after the Nashville-based company launched a custom headcover and accessory builder on its website.

The company has been producing custom headcovers, yardage books, and other accessories since 2013 when it entered the market with its signature wool headcovers.

We wanted to see what was up, and Guess was kind enough not only to answer a few questions, but to design a pretty incredible GolfWRX driver cover using some raw assets we sent over.

BA: What’s new at Sunfish since we last talked? 

AG: 2018 was a great year for innovation at Sunfish. We worked hard to develop new design and construction techniques, and it has been really exciting combining these new creative elements into one of a kind headcovers and accessories. 2018 was our eighth year in business, but it was probably the most significant in terms of innovation. We’re excited to see where we can go from here!

BA: Looking at your websites, I know one of the new things you developed is something you call Photoflux. What exactly is Photoflux?

AG: Photoflux is our proprietary high-resolution printing process, that gives us the ability to apply to our products anything from photos to complex patterns to intricate logos. The level of resolution and detail is truly unmatched, and can’t be achieved with embroidery. We apply it to our leather and Duraleather products, even our hand-made copper ball markers and divot tools! Those are really exciting, because we can make custom copper ball markers with full color logos, on demand

BA: How the heck did you come up Photoflux?

AG: A customer ordered a scorecard holder with his family photo to be embroidered on each side. We made the piece and weren’t happy at all with the result. The embroidery process couldn’t do justice to the photographs. It was clear that there were certain limitations to embroidery, and we were motivated to overcome them. After months of trial and error, long hours and strenuous testing against sun, rain, and wear, we developed the current process.

BA: What are ways the Photoflux process can be used?

AG: Photoflux is perfect for applying photos, but can also be used for intricate logos or family crests. Really any graphic element can be expressed accurately using Photoflux, including shading. Recently we’ve had fun developing custom patterns such as tiger fur and using them as stripes on headcovers. The sky’s the limit!

Photoflux is best in concert with other design techniques, such as embroidery, laser engraving, and precision cutting and sewing. The featured piece (shown in this feature) incorporates Photoflux, precision cutting and sewing, laser engraving and embroidery. The result is as much artwork as it is a functional golf accessory.

BA: What are the limitations of the technology…what products can you apply Photoflux to?

AG: It’s great for leather and Duraleather headcovers, putter covers, scorecard and yardage book holders, alignment stick covers, cash covers, valuables pouches, wine bags, barrel style tartan headcovers…and even copper ball markers and divot tools!

BA: Tell me about this headcover you made for GolfWRX. I suggested the use of a graffiti wall, a GolfWRX logo, and skeleton hand holding up one finger to denote one club/driver, and you really went to town!

AG: So for the headcover you have, we used Photoflux to apply the graffiti wall image to the top of the cover (did you notice the ‘GolfWRX’ spraypaint in there? We threw that in there for you as an Easter egg!). On top of that, we embroidered the skeleton hand. For the stripe, we laser cut the outline of a typical urban skyline, and laser engraved the chain-link fence pattern over the top, than sewed that down. The bottom portion is a Photoflux image of GolfWRX that you sent over.

With so many new ways to decorate and manipulate the materials, we’re really excited about combining it all for our fans and customers to create really unique products. We feel the sky is the limit, and we hope this headcover illustrates that.

 

 

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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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