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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Spotlight: Uther Supply golf towels
Product: Uther Supply golf towels
Pitch: Via Uther: “Uther cart towels use the highest quality material and construction which have been tested to perform season after season…Uther’s unique blend of moisturize wicking, soft microfiber is 3x more absorbent than cotton and 5x more durable…Waffle pattern to easily remove even the most stubborn dirt in club grooves and golf ball dimples…Uther is the creator of the fashionable golf towel. Features unique sublimated prints and designs that make a fun accessory for both men and women golf bags.”
Our take on Uther Supply golf towels
Most golfers have a “logo” towel hanging on their bag today. Typically you’ll see the name of a course the golfer has visited, or an OEM name. Uther Supply towels, however, are different. Uther (pronounced “other”) Supply Founder Dan Erdman described his inspiration for this unique line of golf towels in an interview with GolfWRX a few years back:
“When you work in the back shop and storage facility, you handle a lot of golf bags. I just noticed rows and rows of bags that all look the same and I thought it made a lot of sense to inject some personality into it. You know, people go crazy for how all the pros personalize their wedges and their bags. They buy towels and bag tags from courses like TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach to personalize their stuff, but in the end it all kind of blends together… I thought we could really add something to the marketplace.”
They have certainly succeeded in creating a new type of towel in the marketplace. We used them over several rounds of golf, in various conditions to put them to the test.
Meant to be shown off, Uther golf towel designs are creative and clever, with some of the most popular being the “Happy Gilmore inspired” Cart Towel and “90s coffee cup” Tour Towel. There of course, are many others to choose from.
Of course, let’s not forget that the primary function of a towel is to clean your golf equipment. That might seem easy but we at WRX have ordered some custom towels from other manufacturers in the past and were disappointed in the performance. Uther’s towels, however, succeed in both form and function. They’re stylish, but they also are an excellent functional towel. You’re like to be impressed at how light they are as well. These aren’t bath towels, but rather high-quality microfiber blends that Uther says are 3x more absorbent than cotton.
As far as cons, if we’re nitpicking, you may need to find a larger carabiner clip for some golf bags if you want to hang your towel in a more prominent place. These are made to show off, after all.
Prices range from $28-$35 USD and are available for purchase at uthersupply.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy in the US and Golf Town in Canada.
WRX Spotlight: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes
Product: Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes
Pitch: From Adidas: “Designed for protection from the elements, these golf shoes have enhanced cushioning to return energy on every swing. The shoes feature a spikeless outsole that flexes with your foot and has strategically placed lugs for outstanding grip and balance. An innovative closure system is built for micro-adjustments so you get the exact fit you need.”
Our take on Adidas Forgefiber Boa golf shoes
Golf shoes are curious creatures existing in a strange place? No? Finally free of the gravitational pull of traditionalism, shoe styles are finally at a place where form follows function. And while you may pine for the days of saddle shoes aesthetically, your feet (and likely your golf swing) surely do not.
While the shoes are also available in gray/white and black/white colorways, we tested the bolder dark marine variant.
Now, “good” footwear, as we are constantly wont to admit, is highly subjective. As of yet, you can’t test two pairs of kicks on a TrackMan and determine which is superior (rumored featured of TrackMan 5). So leaving aside aesthetics and how you like your shoes to fit, we provide the most valuable information, that is, regarding stability, cushioning, and traction. However, in this case, it’s also worth noting the closure system does allow for a more precise fit (and one that stays in place) than lace-up shoes do.
With respect to comfort, first of all, anything Boost is going to be comfortable, and these shoes are no exception. And whether you refer to the “Forgefiber in the upper features heat-pressed, TPU-coated fibers…stitched in” to the upper (as Adidas does), or merely the sensation that the Forgefiber Boas provide a solid foundation during the swing, the truth is the same: sound, stable here.
A look at the Puremotion outsole showcases some serious spikeless technology that also offers performance on par with the very best in spikeless footwear.
A final word: These shoes are no porous sieve, either, as you might be concerned they could be on first glance. Adidas’ Climastorm technology in the exterior yields a respectable level of water-repellency.
WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool
Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool
Pitch: From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”
Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool
Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.
The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.
A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.
Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.
The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.
Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.
The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.
As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.
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