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Accessory Reviews

SkyCaddie WATCH: Editor Review

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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

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Kyle @ TGG

    Dec 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    This is a pretty solid entry level watch, but there are far better options on the market for the money. The subscription fee is real downside.

  2. coleshil

    Aug 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I would not recommend this watch battery life is poor and cannot be replaced technical help is non existent they want you to trade in and waste even more of your money.
    Very disappointing will never buy another one from them

  3. Linda Shelton

    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Watch band broke. How or where to replace it. Oherwise great watch.

  4. Mick Lowbridge

    Dec 30, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Had the watch for 12 months and all okay until the battery started to take 18hrs to charge. It also lacks a lot of the functionality of competitor watches (Hazards etc). I dont think it will be too loong before battery packs up and I will not bother replacing it.

  5. Fred

    Aug 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    If I take the back off of my sky caddie can I replace the battery?

  6. Truth Teller

    Jun 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    The charging clip is poorly designed. I it does not simply plug in to the watch. You have to seat it so four prongs align with four receptors. Twice now in two seasons the clip broke on me for some unknown reason. At $30 plus shipping it is pretty expensive due to a design flaw. I have not had problems with the watch itself, only charging issues. Battery does not last very long. If I use the other features it will not last a full round. And it takes all night to charge up. So overall I would warn to stay away from this product for a better watch option.

  7. dave blasiak

    Jun 14, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    battery lasted one season and warranty is only 6 months. Bottom line watch doesn’t last a full round year two. Customer service states out of warranty and you need to purchase a new product.

  8. Pingback: Skycaddie Courses | Garmin Approach

  9. Mike sweeney

    Jan 22, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Send map of courses available we are going to Kauai hi what courses are listed ? Thanks mike

  10. Larry Dickman

    Jan 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    This is the second watch that they have sent me and still unable to make it work. They want to take control of my computer to fix it or give them the access to arrange my computer. Not comfortable with their repair ideas of given control of computer to some remotely.

  11. Allan

    Nov 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Thinking of buying a used skycaddie. Concerned that the battery will not take me through a full round before too long. I heard the only option was to trash it and buy a new one. Is this correct?

    • coleshil

      Aug 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Yes battery life is poor my club is full of guys who are all having the same problem very disappointing and waste of money

  12. Sandy anderson

    Sep 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.

  13. rolex watches

    Aug 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.|

  14. 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.

  15. Dennis

    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:40 am

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

  16. Ed McElroy

    Mar 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

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

  17. Derek

    Dec 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!

  18. Bob Ramey

    Oct 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.

  19. Marc b Rubin

    Sep 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

  20. Will Logan

    Jul 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 ?

  21. RocketBladez

    Jun 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

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

  22. Joe Golfer

    Jun 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.

  23. Kridian

    Jun 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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

  24. Dave Ziemann

    Jun 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.

  25. pablo

    Jun 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

      Mar 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?

  26. J

    Jun 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.

  27. Tim Liddy

    Jun 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

      Jun 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

      Mar 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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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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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

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. 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.

Verdict

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.

 

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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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.

Review

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.

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