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T&T: SkyCaddie SGX GPS Rangefinder
by Carly Cummins
January 25, 2012


I have been using a Laser Rangefinder for the last two years so when the opportunity arose to the test the SkyCaddie SGX GPS Rangefinder I wasn't sure how it would compare. Well if you are looking for plus points then for starters try blind holes - you can't look through a laser to get the distance to the pin if you can't see the pin! Secondly, I've lost count of the golfers I play with who simply can't hold a laser steady. Shaky hand syndrome is common, and even harder to hold still on a windy day. Then there are the occasions when the laser has let me down, like in the pouring rain, a slight fog or morning mist, it simply hasn't detected the pin. The SkyCaddie in comparison gives you an instant yardage rain or shine. It's so easy, in fact, that within the space of a couple of holes I stopped getting my Laser out of my bag at all. Having the SkyCaddie clipped to my trolley meant that a quick glance at the clear display screen gave me all the information I needed (distance to pin, to hazards etc.) much faster and hassle free.

Accuracy going into the pin was the one area I expected the Laser to beat the SkyCaddie in. Although the Laser gives you the exact yardage to the pin, I actually benefitted from the fact that the SkyCaddie gave me a distance to the front, middle and back of the green. When there was trouble at the front I hit a club extra to the back distance knowing that I wasn't going to overshoot the green and vice versa, and in doing so missed more hazards than I would normally find.

Other great features include the scorecard that you fill in with the simple press of a button at the end of each hole, great if you want to keep your eclectic scores online over the year. Then there's a really clever iGreen button - basically you move the target pointer to any position on the picture of the green and it gives you the correct distance to that point, particularly useful from close range.

There's also a 'Mark Ball' button that you can press before hitting a shot and again when you reach your ball to tell you how far you have hit it - a great way of learning very accurately how far you hit each club.

Are there any downsides? Well the cost of annual membership isn't cheap (they start at £29.99) and you'll need to sign up if you want to download lots of mapped courses to your device. Plus there's a little extra charge to upgrade to upload overseas courses, but that's definitely worth it if you play holiday golf. And of course you also have to charge your SkyCaddie up after each round of golf. But I'd highly recommend buying the Sky Caddie car charger as you could simply get into the habit of putting your SkyCaddie on charge as you drive to and from the golf course so you never leave it at home by accident.

Overall the SkyCaddie gets a big thumbs-up from me!

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