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: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of
One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.
So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.
These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.
Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims
The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things
- Design that delivers more power and stability
- Custom comfort that lasts all day
These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.
Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.
On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.
After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.
I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII
Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.
Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.
Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII
First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.
In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.
Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.
Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.
The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.
The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.
Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.
WRX Spotlight: Putting Perfecter
Putting can be one of the most frustrating parts of the game, it mystifies scratch golfers as much as high handicaps and can make anybody tremble over a three-footers. It’s one of the biggest factors in scoring, especially for the club-level player, but it’s often one of the last things people actually work on. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fun to pound drivers on the range, am I right?
But if you are seriously looking for a simple tool to help get you into the proper address position, the Putting Perfecter is a great one to start with.
The beauty of the device is in its simplicity. Fitting under your arms and across your midsection, it “locks” the player into the proper position to create a pendulum putting stroke. After giving it a shot and hitting putts for just a few minutes, then going back to putting without it made me feel like I was much more connected.
Don’t think it’s just for putting though.
Funny story, when I first took it out to work on my putting, I used it for about 30 minutes and then moved onto my chipping. After a few trips around the putting green I tried chipping with the Putting Perfecter in the same position and “WOW” same connected feeling was produced—it was perfect for working on low-flying “runners.” I was excited to tell my friend about it, until I went home and realized they actually advertise it to help with that too. Guess I’m not as clever as I thought…
No matter how you use it, the Putting Perfecter is a simple and effective training tool that can be carried in a bag to be used before or after a round, takes NO time to set up (a big plus), and is light—so you don’t feel like its dragging you down if you actually keep it in your bag. Since it’s a putting tool, you can even use it indoors very easily. If you are someone that struggles with consistent address position on putts or disconnecting when chipping, I believe the Putting Perfecter is a great tool to try.
For more information check out the Putting Perfecter website.
Paige Spiranac blasts golf culture: “A big boys club” that is “elitist, stuffy and exclusive”
Looking back on a golf genius: Anthony Kim (with final full bag specs)
Patrick Reed’s winning WITB: 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship
Sergio Garcia WITB 2020
On Spec: Fairway wood fittings | Adam Scott wins with 17-year-old irons
Today from the Forums: “Best 3-wood off the deck?”
Phil Mickelson WITB 2020
Viktor Hovland’s winning WITB 2020 Puerto Rico Open
Sungjae Im’s winning WITB: The Honda Classic
Dustin Johnson WITB 2020
WITB Time Machine: Phil Mickelson WITB, 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Equipment is accurate as of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (2016). Driver: Callaway XR 16 Sub Zero (8.5 degrees) Shaft:...
Byeong Hun An WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5 degrees, B2 SureFit setting) Shaft: Accra TZ5 M5...
Pat Perez WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open. Driver: PXG 0811X Gen 2 (9 degrees) Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 130...
Adam Long WITB 2020
Equipment accurate as of the 2020 Players Championship. Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (9 degrees) Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green...
News2 weeks ago
Looking back on a golf genius: Anthony Kim (with final full bag specs)
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Bubba Watson WITB 2020
Equipment3 days ago
Phase 1 vs. P7TW: An inside look at Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade irons
Equipment2 weeks ago
Today from the Forums: “3-hybrid or 7-wood?”
Equipment6 days ago
Building the perfect half set
Opinion & Analysis6 days ago
Behind the numbers: A road map for an 18 handicap to get down to a 9
Whats in the Bag3 weeks ago
Tommy Fleetwood WITB 2020
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Steve Stricker WITB 2020