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Jspangler

skycaddie vs rangefinder+gps watch

37 posts in this topic

I want to start by I am not trying to start a GPS vs rangefinder argument. It always seems winter time is a horrible time for me because I don't get to play so I'm constantly tinkering. A measuring device is really all I need. Now I have looked at skycaddies, but I travel to different states threw the year for work and golf, so I would have to get the national package at $50 bucks a year. My other thought was to get a rangefinder and GPS watch. I like to take notes of different points on the course, but I also like the use of the watch so I can mark my distances of the shot, so I can make notes of club distances. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Originally Posted by Jspangler

I want to start by I am not trying to start a GPS vs rangefinder argument. It always seems winter time is a horrible time for me because I don't get to play so I'm constantly tinkering. A measuring device is really all I need. Now I have looked at skycaddies, but I travel to different states threw the year for work and golf, so I would have to get the national package at $50 bucks a year. My other thought was to get a rangefinder and GPS watch. I like to take notes of different points on the course, but I also like the use of the watch so I can mark my distances of the shot, so I can make notes of club distances. Any help is greatly appreciated.

And the better skycaddies let you keep track of each shot with your clubs.

If $50/year is a deterrent, you may not be that serious.

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Originally Posted by Jspangler

I want to start by I am not trying to start a GPS vs rangefinder argument. It always seems winter time is a horrible time for me because I don't get to play so I'm constantly tinkering. A measuring device is really all I need. Now I have looked at skycaddies, but I travel to different states threw the year for work and golf, so I would have to get the national package at $50 bucks a year. My other thought was to get a rangefinder and GPS watch. I like to take notes of different points on the course, but I also like the use of the watch so I can mark my distances of the shot, so I can make notes of club distances. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Why do people think that SkyCaddie is the only GPS out there?   Forget it.  Look at the Garmin Approach G5 or G3.  All courses preloaded, no fees, free updates.  Accurate graphics, touch screen, stat tracker on the G5.  You can set a target point anywhere on the hole just by tapping the screen, then drag it to the point where you want the distance to.  Shows trees, hazards, bunkers, and any distances which aren't pre programmed can be obtained with the target.  Tap the green for the green view, and drag the flagstick wherever you want it to match the daily pin placement.  I wouldn't want the watch simply because it only gives information pertaining to the green.  I wan't to know my tee shot and layup distances too.  I want to see that invisible bunker or water hazard over the hill from the tee.

I used to carry both a GPS (GolfLogix) and a laser (Bushnell Tour V2), and after I had used the Garmin for a few months, I gave the laser to my brother.  It was no longer needed.  The Garmin gives me all the information that the laser did and more.

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The one thing I love about GPS that lasers don't do is show top views of holes and yardages to things that you can laser.  This only applies for me when I am playing a new course and I am not aware of hidden dangers, etc.  It really saved my bacon when I was playing at a course that had a river moving across one of the fairways which we were unable to see and I was the only one that had a GPS, and I knew the exact yardage to and to clear the river.  The other people in my group hit it and were unaware of the danger because they didn't have GPS.  A yardage book will tell you this same information, but then your talking about buying a yardage book for each new course you play at.

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Why do people think that SkyCaddie is the only GPS out there?   Forget it.  Look at the Garmin Approach G5 or G3.  All courses preloaded, no fees, free updates.  Accurate graphics, touch screen, stat tracker on the G5.  You can set a target point anywhere on the hole just by tapping the screen, then drag it to the point where you want the distance to.  Shows trees, hazards, bunkers, and any distances which aren't pre programmed can be obtained with the target.  Tap the green for the green view, and drag the flagstick wherever you want it to match the daily pin placement.  I wouldn't want the watch simply because it only gives information pertaining to the green.  I wan't to know my tee shot and layup distances too.  I want to see that invisible bunker or water hazard over the hill from the tee. I used to carry both a GPS (GolfLogix) and a laser (Bushnell Tour V2), and after I had used the Garmin for a few months, I gave the laser to my brother.  It was no longer needed.  The Garmin gives me all the information that the laser did and more.

I guess I shouldn't have said skycaddie but rather GPS. I was looking at skycaddies sgx though for the sole reason they are $170(refurbished) at a shop near me. [quote name="SCfanatic35" url="/t/65089/skycaddie-vs-rangefinder-gps-watch#post_813064"]The one thing I love about GPS that lasers don't do is show top views of holes and yardages to things that you can laser.  This only applies for me when I am playing a new course and I am not aware of hidden dangers, etc.  It really saved my bacon when I was playing at a course that had a river moving across one of the fairways which we were unable to see and I was the only one that had a GPS, and I knew the exact yardage to and to clear the river.  The other people in my group hit it and were unaware of the danger because they didn't have GPS.  A yardage book will tell you this same information, but then your talking about buying a yardage book for each new course you play at. [/quote] For me I really prefer a yardage book, I dont need all the extra dudads on the GPS as I like to just make hand written notes. I don't want to have to go onto my GPS to type in 7i after my shot so I can save my data.

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I am trying to copy what low handicappers do. Of the scratch to single digit handicappers I see using these devices, I see more of them using laser range finders than GPS. I also see that they are not skimping on the quality of their gear. This is your thread, not mine so I will only say that I am looking for a laser range finder that includes slope and has pin seeking because that is what I see the low handicappers using.

BTW, I have never seen the low handicappers using two devices during a round.

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Originally Posted by SAGolfLuvr

I am trying to copy what low handicappers do. Of the scratch to single digit handicappers I see using these devices, I see more of them using laser range finders than GPS. I also see that they are not skimping on the quality of their gear. This is your thread, not mine so I will only say that I am looking for a laser range finder that includes slope and has pin seeking because that is what I see the low handicappers using.

BTW, I have never seen the low handicappers using two devices during a round.

If you have a laser range finder that shows slope than you can't use it in most tournaments.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

If you have a laser range finder that shows slope than you can't use it in most tournaments.

And those scores are not acceptable for handicap posting.  Which is not to say that lots of folks don't ignore that and post those scores anyway.

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I am trying to copy what low handicappers do. Of the scratch to single digit handicappers I see using these devices, I see more of them using laser range finders than GPS. I also see that they are not skimping on the quality of their gear. This is your thread, not mine so I will only say that I am looking for a laser range finder that includes slope and has pin seeking because that is what I see the low handicappers using. BTW, I have never seen the low handicappers using two devices during a round.

I'm a little confused on your sarcastic, for the record the devices the pros use(your low cappers) equates to much more than one device. I watched how a caddy makes a yardage book and its not just going out and shooting it with a laser. I'm really not concerened with what the other "lower cappers" are doing as the Two devices are being used for different reasons. I love to take notes the old fashion way with a pen and paper, the watch was simply for a measuring device so I can keep track how far each club is going on average in different situations. The rangefinder is obviously used to shoot distances and not much else. So yes thank you, there is a method to the madness

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Originally Posted by meenman

And the better skycaddies let you keep track of each shot with your clubs.

What do you mean by this? If you mean they keep track of your individual clubs' yardages then its illegal to use in competition.

Quote:

Originally Posted by meenman

If $50/year is a deterrent, you may not be that serious.

I am quite serious and $50 a year is a HUGE deterrent. Why would I pay for a yearly service when a majority of really good GPS devices out there do not charge anything?

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Why do people think that SkyCaddie is the only GPS out there?   Forget it.

I wonder the same thing, I don't know why anyone would still by skycaddies and pay that yearly fee. My golfbuddy world has 50,000 plus golf courses loaded on it, color screen with the hole layout, hazards, etc. No yearly fees. and there are many others.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SAGolfLuvr

BTW, I have never seen the low handicappers using two devices during a round.

I use both, is a zero handicap still considered low?

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Originally Posted by NM Golf

What do you mean by this? If you mean they keep track of your individual clubs' yardages then its illegal to use in competition.

Supposedly one of the ones after the SG5, you could put these little caps on the tip of your clubs and the skycaddie could tell which club you were swinging and would be able to track distances. Whether or not that info is on the skycaddie during play, I couldnt tell you.

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Supposedly one of the ones after the SG5, you could put these little caps on the tip of your clubs and the skycaddie could tell which club you were swinging and would be able to track distances. Whether or not that info is on the skycaddie during play, I couldnt tell you.

Skycaddie has been talking about this for the last 3-4 years and it still hasnt come out. Its probably on of those things that sounds good but never makes it to retail.

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Originally Posted by Jspangler

I'm a little confused on your sarcastic, for the record the devices the pros use(your low cappers) equates to much more than one device. I watched how a caddy makes a yardage book and its not just going out and shooting it with a laser. I'm really not concerened with what the other "lower cappers" are doing as the Two devices are being used for different reasons. I love to take notes the old fashion way with a pen and paper, the watch was simply for a measuring device so I can keep track how far each club is going on average in different situations. The rangefinder is obviously used to shoot distances and not much else. So yes thank you, there is a method to the madness

Jspangler, I am talking specifically of the single digit and scratch golfers I've played with and therefore have observed their habits. They are not PGA tour/nor teaching pros. These are the guys I am "chasing" because I wish my handicap was as good as theirs. Just to clarify further. The low handicappers and scratch golfers that I have played with tend to use one device and it tends to be a quality laser range finder.

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Originally Posted by SAGolfLuvr

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jspangler

I'm a little confused on your sarcastic, for the record the devices the pros use(your low cappers) equates to much more than one device. I watched how a caddy makes a yardage book and its not just going out and shooting it with a laser. I'm really not concerened with what the other "lower cappers" are doing as the Two devices are being used for different reasons. I love to take notes the old fashion way with a pen and paper, the watch was simply for a measuring device so I can keep track how far each club is going on average in different situations. The rangefinder is obviously used to shoot distances and not much else. So yes thank you, there is a method to the madness

Jspangler, I am talking specifically of the single digit and scratch golfers I've played with and therefore have observed their habits. They are not PGA tour/nor teaching pros. These are the guys I am "chasing" because I wish my handicap was as good as theirs. Just to clarify further. The low handicappers and scratch golfers that I have played with tend to use one device and it tends to be a quality laser range finder.

And a lot of them are simply imitating the pros and their caddies.  GPS technology is so much better now than it was even 5 years ago.  The advantages of GPS over laser are clear.  Lasers can't see around corners and over hills or through trees and brush.  They can't give the distance to the near side of a pond or near edge of a bunker.  The don't even give accurate distance to a mound or hill unless it has a very steep face.  I used a good Tour V2 for a couple of years, and I know their shortcomings.  High end GPS will do all of those things and more.  And unless you plan on turning pro soon, you don't need to be more accurate for distance than +/- 9 feet, and that is just a 6 foot difference from laser accuracy.  My own comparisons over the last 4 years show that the typical difference between a laser and a GPS measuring the same pin is never more than 2 yards, and usually closer than that.

Those guys you are chasing have low handicaps not because of what they use for measuring, but because they are damn good golfers.  Also, if you get a unit with slope it is useless for both competition and handicap.  Unless you also don't care about the rules, in which case your handicap is irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

And a lot of them are simply imitating the pros and their caddies.  GPS technology is so much better now than it was even 5 years ago.  The advantages of GPS over laser are clear.  Lasers can't see around corners and over hills or through trees and brush.  They can't give the distance to the near side of a pond or near edge of a bunker.  The don't even give accurate distance to a mound or hill unless it has a very steep face.  I used a good Tour V2 for a couple of years, and I know their shortcomings.  High end GPS will do all of those things and more.  And unless you plan on turning pro soon, you don't need to be more accurate for distance than +/- 9 feet, and that is just a 6 foot difference from laser accuracy.  My own comparisons over the last 4 years show that the typical difference between a laser and a GPS measuring the same pin is never more than 2 yards, and usually closer than that.

I agree. I have both but use the Laser rangefinder sparingly. My Golfbuddy is always on the mark. I get distances to everything plus a hole layout which is great on courses I don't know very well.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Those guys you are chasing have low handicaps not because of what they use for measuring, but because they are damn good golfers.  Also, if you get a unit with slope it is useless for both competition and handicap.  Unless you also don't care about the rules, in which case your handicap is irrelevant.

Speak for yourself, I was a 20 handicapper then I got my rangefinder and overnight I became scratch!

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I still like lasers over GPS for three main reasons:

  1. I can get a yardage to anything. I don't remember the last time I was left without something I could hit to get a yardage.
  2. Lasers are more accurate. You can say 9 feet, but you're also +/- estimating the pin position too.
  3. Battery life on lasers is forever. GPS requires charging all the time.
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Originally Posted by iacas

I still like lasers over GPS for three main reasons:

I can get a yardage to anything. I don't remember the last time I was left without something I could hit to get a yardage.

Lasers are more accurate. You can say 9 feet, but you're also +/- estimating the pin position too.

Battery life on lasers is forever. GPS requires charging all the time.

1.  Shoot the near edge of a pond to determine a layup distance.  Then tell me how you managed that.

2.  Granted that I am estimating, but most courses have a way of communicating the daily pin placements.  Using a pin sheet or the red - white - blue flag coding can get me typically within a yard of the laser reading.

3.  Well, not quite forever, but I grant you that a laser is pretty good.  But my Garmin isn't a rechargable.  It uses two AA batteries, and I use Energizer Lithiums.  I get 7-8 rounds from a pair, and I buy them at Sam's club at about $20 a dozen, so 42-48 rounds for $20.  If I was more frugal I could use Nimh rechargable batteries, but I'm terrible about remembering to recharge them (which is why I bought one that uses AA's), so I go the easy way.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

1.  Shoot the near edge of a pond to determine a layup distance.  Then tell me how you managed that.

Not hard. You said something before about a steep face and I haven't had the need to find steep faced things. I just point at the edge of the pond. Or a tree near the edge of the pond. Haven't had a problem.

Then again, maybe I don't lay up as often as you do.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

2.  Granted that I am estimating, but most courses have a way of communicating the daily pin placements.  Using a pin sheet or the red - white - blue flag coding can get me typically within a yard of the laser reading.

Point remains that it's a guess at best while a laser is not a guess. Greens are 30 yards deep or so - within that about eight yards you can have the same colored flag. And that's if they're always accurately colored.


Originally Posted by Fourputt

3.  Well, not quite forever, but I grant you that a laser is pretty good.  But my Garmin isn't a rechargable.  It uses two AA batteries, and I use Energizer Lithiums.  I get 7-8 rounds from a pair, and I buy them at Sam's club at about $20 a dozen, so 42-48 rounds for $20.  If I was more frugal I could use Nimh rechargable batteries, but I'm terrible about remembering to recharge them (which is why I bought one that uses AA's), so I go the easy way.

So, again, a win for the laser, which will go several thousand readings with a $4 battery. Thanks.

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