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Garmin Approach G5 Owners Check In

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Who's got one?  What are your pro's and con's?

Can you track stats?  Can you measure distance?  most of all is it accurate?

tom

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I have the G3, which is similar. I love it. It is quite accurate---always has been within a couple yards of yardage plates on the courses I've seen. The map coverage is fairly good and all the courses are free.  There is no provision for mapping points on an unsupported course, however.

The interface is pretty straightforward. You can touch the screen to get yardage to intermediate points on the course or to position the pin on the green.

It does measure shots, but they made an unfortunate choice to put this on a separate screen rather than in a corner of the main screen.  To measure a shot means taking it out of screen lock, going two menus away, then pressing reset.  When you've measured the shot, you then have to navigate back.  It doesn't take long, but it means some fiddling.

It uses AA batteries, which is a huge plus in my opinion. It means you can carry spares. You want to get some rechargables for sure---they aren't only rechargable, but last much longer in a high-drain device like this. It does add $30-$50 to the cost if you don't already have the charger, but I think it's worth it.

Mechanically it is extremely rugged and feels like it could survive a drop (not that I'm going to test that).

Stat-wise, the G3 can keep scores for up to 4 golfers. I don't use this much, but it's well-integrated, automatically detecting when you reach the next tee box and prompting for the scores at an appropriate time. I believe the G5 also tracks some other stats, like perhaps club distances, but I haven't used it.

One thing I like is that when you plug it in to your computer via USB, it shows up as a drive. You can drag files onto it and poke around---there's even a text file that lets you set a greeting message that shows up when it boots. This isn't necessary from a functionality perspective, but as a geek it's a nice touch.

The only other thing that annoys me is that sometimes it's tricky to get it into or out of screen lock.  If you forget, you can wind up with it navigating around in your pocket.  But all things considered, I love the device and I'm sure the G5 is great as well.

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After I got my G5 last spring i gave my laser to my brother - didn't need it any more.  The G5 gives me all the info I need, including distances to ALL hazards, doglegs - even shows tree locations.  Nothing else is necessary.

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The latest (October) software upgrade provides tracking for all types of things. You can measure each shot. When you get to the ball, tell it what club you hit. Over time it will learn what club you hit based on your current distance and tell you what club to play. It will track GIR, fairways hit, number of putts, scores for 4 people etc. Love mine.

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I will never give up my G5. Garmin has produced an excellent product. Measurements are dead on with laser measurements 99 percent of the time ( always within a yard or two ), and it tracks all the stats I need it to. The user interface is simple... and the free course map updates are a nice touch. It will measure distances for each club, and calculate your average distance with each. I don't see any reason to buy anything else. Especially when you consider there is no monthly / annual fee. Best product available, in my opinion.

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I have a G3 and love it. I use Lithium instead of rechargeable batteries, but other than that I agree with above. It's dead-on accurate, extremely rugged, and very easy to use. I don't track stats with it

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Anyone know what selecting the different battery types actualy does ? What does the G5 do differently if you have alkaline versus recharable versus lithium battery selected. I would assume power consumption is different but my experience is that most of the hand held gps units perform best with fresh batteries or in other words, maximum power. So if choosing one battery type over the other somehow decreased power consumption, you are also decreasing accuracy to some degree. I would rather replace more batteries and maintain accuracy then conserve power at the expense of accuracy.

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Originally Posted by R11driver

Anyone know what selecting the different battery types actualy does ? What does the G5 do differently if you have alkaline versus recharable versus lithium battery selected. I would assume power consumption is different but my experience is that most of the hand held gps units perform best with fresh batteries or in other words, maximum power. So if choosing one battery type over the other somehow decreased power consumption, you are also decreasing accuracy to some degree. I would rather replace more batteries and maintain accuracy then conserve power at the expense of accuracy.


The discharge curve (voltage versus remaining capacity) is different for different battery chemistries. IIRC, alkaline batteries steadily and fairly linearly decrease in voltage until they're spent, whereas NiMH rechargeables hold a fairly steady (but slightly lower) voltage until they're nearing empty, then drop off rapidly. Not sure about Lithium.

I believe setting the battery type is just used to calculate the battery life remaining display. It's possible that it makes other changes, since e.g., NiMH are able to provide higher current than alkalines, but I don't believe it does this.

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It appears to me it dims the display slightly when you've selected Alkaline as your battery type, which would make sense from a power conservation standpoint.

And FWIW, the (NiMH) rechargeable batteries I've found to perform best for all sorts of digital devices are Sanyo Eneloops.

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