Yardage is all the rage in golf, you just can’t get enough of it. As they say, never up never in, so the better you can judge distance the lower your scores should be. At least that’s the idea. The reality of course is not so cut and dried.
When golf’s ruling body the R&A made GPS devices legal to use, the gloves were off. No sooner did one GPS device come out promising the most accurate yardage for your course, another came out claiming even better technology.
Using the same technology as in car sat nav mapping, caddy devices log on to satellite maps of a given course and show you estimated yardages for the front centre and back of greens from wherever the device is. Many also include additional hazards like bunkers, ditches and lakes too. This is where the science is patchy though as some devices use what is termed “ground mapping” where each hole’s data has been uniquely recorded, whilst others rely on more generic “sky mapping” taking in the terrain from overhead views.
As technology go better, we enjoyed “fly overs” for each hole, full colour displays and even green slope indicators. These are all fine and dandy, but the reality is most golfers have a small window of time to look at distance, a quick glance and you choose your club and hit the ball.
Cue the best solution for GPS in my view, the watch version. Sky Caddie is the market leader in golf mapping with its “ground mapping” system, the accuracy is not in question, just the time it takes to go to your device and check it. The watch version provides an instant solution, giving you quick data right there on your arm, so no fussing around with your bag or looking in your pockets.
For me though, the biggest drawback on most of these devices is the annual fee you have to pay for course maps. The watch comes pre loaded with 30,000 courses on it, but these are only usable for a limited period after which you have to pay a subscription to access your courses. You can buy a UK , Europe or USA, or world-wide subscription.
The rechargeable watch comes in either white or black and can be used as a normal watch or as a stop watch and odometer in non gps mode. It’s also water resistant up to 30 metres.
Sky Caddie is the undisputed leader in this sector and the watch will prove a highly dependable ally in your fight for better golf scores. You just have to decide if you agree with paying the annual subscription fees.
Sky Caddie Watch £149.95 (plus subscription fee after 12 months)